To understand how line managers make decisions about employee requests for time off at short notice and to consider the consequences for management training.
Based on evidence from case studies carried out in four financial sector companies in Scotland, this paper illustrates a model of line manager decision making in relation to employee requests for time off at short notice.
Factors that were found to have an impact on decisions of this kind included: organisational policies, the extent of devolution of personnel decisions and the role of the human resource function, operational constraints and the nature of the employee's request for time off and their previous commitment. Management experience and competence and the use of “common sense” mediated these factors. Managers received very little training in order to help them make appropriate decisions.
Although the authors consider that the model of decision making is general enough to be applicable outside the financial services sector, further research testing in other industrial sectors would be welcomed.
While the use of management “discretion” can have advantages for employees, it could also have negative consequences resulting from inconsistent application, in terms of staff relations, company climate, morale, productivity and labour turnover. Therefore, effective training is important in order to deconstruct line managers’ notions of “common‐sense” decisions and make better decisions around these issues.
The paper outlines a model of line manager decision making for dealing with time off at short notice that can be used by HR professionals in designing management training programmes.
Bond, S. and McCracken, M. (2005), "The importance of training in operationalising HR policy", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 246-260. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090590510591111Download as .RIS
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