Three sets of environmental conditions favour the personnel function: tight labour market conditions, substantial government intervention in the employment relationship through legislation, a sizeable increase in the proportion of the workforce that is unionised. The presence of the latter two in the 1970s is thought to be the basis of the gains made during that period. The extent to which these gains were considerabe relative to other management functions and enough to ensure a sufficiently entrenched position which could not be subsequently undermined or cut back remains open to question. The latter should be considered in any study specifically concerned with the supposed current decline of the personnel function.
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