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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Asma Bajawa and Jean Woodall

The purpose of this paper is to report on case study research of employment downsizing and the implications for equal opportunity and diversity management conducted in the…

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12352

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on case study research of employment downsizing and the implications for equal opportunity and diversity management conducted in the UK airline industry during 2002/2003.

Design/methodology/approach

Review of literature on downsizing and equal opportunity and diversity management followed by identification of a number of research questions which are answered with reference to secondary analysis of labour market data and interviews with key informants from senior management and line management.

Findings

A planned approach to downsizing had been adopted that was strongly influenced by the human resources function in terms of equal opportunity and diversity management. An adverse impact on different employee groups had been avoided in order to sustain the diversity of the workforce.

Research limitations/implications

The research focuses on the management of downsizing and equal opportunity and diversity management. It addresses the perceptions of managers involved in developing and implementing policy, but does not examine the perceptions of other employees.

Practical implications

There are some reflections on ways in which equal opportunity and diversity management policy might adapt to organisational change and downsizing.

Originality/value

This paper brings together two scholarly debates on downsizing and equal opportunity and diversity management, and provides case study evidence of how an equal opportunity and diversity management agenda is implemented during organisational restructuring and downsizing.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Amandine Weil and Jean Woodall

To explore and describe the roles, activities and strategies of French human resource development professionals.

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3901

Abstract

Purpose

To explore and describe the roles, activities and strategies of French human resource development professionals.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based primarily on exploratory and descriptive research. A range of secondary sources on European and French human resource development is critically reviewed to generate a number of research questions designed to identify the corporate perspective on human resource development by means of cases drawn from six organizations located in Eastern France.

Findings

These confirm the lack of a clear understanding of human resource development on the part of French companies; the wide range of activities that is considered to fall within human resource development; an emerging interest in management development, career development and skills forecasting, but a neglect of training evaluation; the similarity of human resource development practitioner roles to those elsewhere in Europe; growing evidence of the involvement of line managers in human resource development activity, and a strong commitment to the strategic significance of human resource development.

Research limitations/implications

The study was based on an opportunity sample of just six companies in Eastern France, and may therefore not be representative, but it does provide findings that expand upon and also qualify earlier research.

Practical implications

This study provides new knowledge and understanding of the context and practice of human resource development in France and makes a number of suggestions for further research.

Originality/value

This paper provides original research based on recent cases of corporate human resource development practice, and should be of interest to scholars of international human resource development.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 29 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1996

Diana Winstanley, Jean Woodall and Edmund Heery

Reports on the conference on Ethical Issues in Contemporary Human Resource Management, held in April 1996. Notes concerns raised at the conference relating to a lowering…

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17824

Abstract

Reports on the conference on Ethical Issues in Contemporary Human Resource Management, held in April 1996. Notes concerns raised at the conference relating to a lowering of employment standards. These included factors such as: insecurity and risk, transfer of risk and surveillance and control. Suggests a number of alternative ethical frameworks useful in an analysis of HRM, including such elements as: basic human, civil and employment rights, universalism and community of purpose. Considers methods of defending such an ethical focus from charges of utopianism, and suggests that ethical HRM will be a developing theme over the next few years.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2009

Jean Woodall, William Scott‐Jackson, Timothy Newham and Melanie Gurney

The purpose of this paper is to explore and describe how the decision to outsource human resources was made by 12 large and five small organisations.

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11002

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and describe how the decision to outsource human resources was made by 12 large and five small organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

Desk research and key informant interviews with senior HR staff who lead the decision to outsource human resources in a purposive sample of organisations identified through an initial search of the professional literature and nomination by an expert panel.

Findings

The research identifies a number of drivers that lead organisations to consider outsourcing their HR. In large organisations cost considerations are dominant, but other factors arise out of the organisational history and context, and very often, senior managers from outside the HR function are very influential. For most organisations, paradoxically, the decision to outsource appears not to be made on the basis of a thorough analysis of costs, with consequences for the quality of HR service offered to line managers, and also for the career paths and skill sets required from HR staff.

Research limitations/implications

This study focuses upon the perceptions and experiences of senior HR managers, but excludes the perceptions and experiences of all staff employed in the HR function. Also, while the use of a qualitative research design makes it possible to uncover the individual perceptions and motivations of the key informants in the sample, there are obvious limitations in respect of statistical generalisation.

Practical implications

The findings relate mainly to the future shape of the HR function in organisations where HR activity is outsourced, with consequent implications for the skill sets and career paths for HR professionals.

Originality/value

The views of HR directors and senior managers have provided a valuable insight into the strategic decision to outsource HR activity and will be of interest to those involved in the same field.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Pat McCauley

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169

Abstract

Details

Education + Training, vol. 56 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

Mike Noon

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1983

Abstract

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1996

Christine Edwards, Jean Woodall and Rosemary Welchman

Challenges the assumption implicit in much of the literature on women managers that their failure to progress can be explained solely in terms of the individual behaviour…

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1338

Abstract

Challenges the assumption implicit in much of the literature on women managers that their failure to progress can be explained solely in terms of the individual behaviour of women and their employers. Examines the characteristics of organizations in which women make their careers which are potent factors impeding female advancement. Draws attention to the effects of radical organizational change, and explores some of the consequences of this change for women managers through the in‐depth analysis of a “typical” case. Explores the complex process by which restructuring and managerial policy and practice eventually combined to undermine the organization’s stated intent to expand significantly the number of women in management. Suggests that in‐depth analysis over time is required to understand the complex processes of change and its often unanticipated consequences for management careers.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1996

Jean Woodall

Considers corporate culture management as an area where ethical concern and analysis has been weak. Examines justification of corporate culture management as an essential…

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12492

Abstract

Considers corporate culture management as an area where ethical concern and analysis has been weak. Examines justification of corporate culture management as an essential ingredient for corporate success, and finds little evidence to support a consequentialist ethic. Proceeds to identify areas where ethical issues might arise in the process of corporate culture change, particularly the role of change agents, and the ethical outcomes of the “unfreeze‐change‐refreeze” process. Illustrates these by reference to two case studies of corporate culture change programmes. Finally, concludes with reflection on potential ethical frameworks for the interpretation and guidance of corporate culture management initiatives. Makes a case for communitarian ethics, and outlines their implications for culture management.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1995

Jean Woodall, Christine Edwards and Rosemary Welchman

Despite the growing amount of literature on women′s career lifehistories and individual career paths, analysis of the different andchanging organizational contexts in…

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813

Abstract

Despite the growing amount of literature on women′s career life histories and individual career paths, analysis of the different and changing organizational contexts in which women pursue their careers is sparse. Uses an in‐depth case study of Public Sector Utility to examine how the restructuring of a public sector bureaucracy over a five‐year period affected the careers of women managers. Finds that although restructuring at PSU has opened up opportunities for women through an increase in the number of managerial jobs and through changes in the objective requirements of managerial work, a number of factors operated to keep glass ceilings in place: the concentration of women in the “velvet ghetto” of human resources, or their isolation in the cul‐de‐sac of other professional specialisms; the increased significance of informal organizational processes and networks as a means to career progress in a time of uncertainty; poor line manager support for access to work‐related career development opportunities such as special development projects and task force memberships; and generic corporate‐wide equal opportunity policies and processes which emphasize formal procedure and practice, and which have become marginal to core business concerns and the rest of human resource policy.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2004

Kiran Trehan, Clare Rigg and Jim Stewart

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384

Abstract

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 28 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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