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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1972

Dan Gowler and Karen Legge

In part 1 of this paper we used the concept of the occupational role to illustrate some of the contributions social scientists make to the better understanding of the…

Abstract

In part 1 of this paper we used the concept of the occupational role to illustrate some of the contributions social scientists make to the better understanding of the problems confronting members of work organisations. The problem we were particularly interested in commenting upon was the difficulties surrounding the inter and intra‐organisational mobility of labour, and we used an analysis of the structure of the occupational role to examine the processes which result in the inability and/or unwillingness of employees to change their job.

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Personnel Review, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1972

Dan Gowler

Social scientists are able to make, and indeed have made, contributions to the ideas and techniques available to the practising manager. These contributions vary from…

Abstract

Social scientists are able to make, and indeed have made, contributions to the ideas and techniques available to the practising manager. These contributions vary from social scientist to social scientist, depending upon their current theoretical interests and specialisms. They also vary with the nature of the practical problems concerned. For example, social scientists have contributed to the deeper understanding of such complex problems as labour turn‐over, absenteeism, wage and salary administration, job satisfaction, and so on. Naturally enough these contributions have generally been of most direct interest to those managers concerned with the preservation, improvement and economic utilisation of the organisation's human resources.

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Personnel Review, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1984

Dan Gowler and Karen Legge

Acts of evaluation—the assessment against implicit or explicit criteria of the value of individuals, objects, situations and outcomes—form the core of any high discretion…

Abstract

Acts of evaluation—the assessment against implicit or explicit criteria of the value of individuals, objects, situations and outcomes—form the core of any high discretion job, where choices have to be made and decisions taken in a world of scarce resources. On a day‐by‐day basis informal evaluations pervade the job of any manager or administrator, but often this is supplemented by formal evaluation research studies—whether technology assessment, investment appraisal, the evaluation of markets and competitors, or in the case of personnel managers—the evaluation of training and development and of organisational change programmes generally. These formal studies include the evaluation studies conducted by “professional” evaluation researchers, such as those engaged in the evaluation of federally funded US social change programmes, those drawn from commercial consultancy agencies or occupying an internal consultant's role within a large company, and those applied social scientists, working in university departments and research institutions interested in issues concerning work system and organisational design . Many articles published in Personnel Review attest to this concern with evaluation research and, indeed, expertise in the conduct of formal evaluation studies has been identified as a major weapon in the armoury of personnel managers who adopt a “conformist innovator” approach to developing their power and influence.

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Personnel Review, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1989

Karen Legge

The monograph analyses (a) the potential impact of informationtechnology (IT) on organisational issues that directly concern thepersonnel function; (b) the nature of…

Abstract

The monograph analyses (a) the potential impact of information technology (IT) on organisational issues that directly concern the personnel function; (b) the nature of personnel’s involvement in the decision making and activities surrounding the choice and implementation of advanced technologies, and (c) their own use of IT in developing and carrying out their own range of specialist activities. The monograph attempts to explain why personnel’s involvement is often late, peripheral and reactive. Finally, an analysis is made of whether personnel specialists – or the Human Resource Management function more generally – will play a more proactive role in relation to such technologies in the future.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1984

Dan Gowler and Karen Legge

In Part I of this article we examined the conventional strategies which have emerged to cope with crises in methods, utilisation and values in evaluation research and…

Abstract

In Part I of this article we examined the conventional strategies which have emerged to cope with crises in methods, utilisation and values in evaluation research and, using “deconstructive” analysis, we questioned their validity and effectiveness. In so doing we argued that the logic of deconstructing evaluation research would suggest that there is no ultimate solution to the crises.

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Personnel Review, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1973

Karen Legge

Several problems present themselves when discussing the concept of obsolescence in relation to human behaviour within organisations. Most definitions of ‘obsolescence’ in…

Abstract

Several problems present themselves when discussing the concept of obsolescence in relation to human behaviour within organisations. Most definitions of ‘obsolescence’ in fact refer to evaluations of inanimate physical phenomena within a dynamic context, not to human behaviour as such. Thus ‘obsolescent’ is often defined as ‘going out of date’, ‘falling into disuse’, or in accountants' terminology, as part of the process of calculating depreciation, involving the assessment of the ‘inadequacy of an asset relative to newer models’. Yet these ‘definitions’ beg the question. When is a machine (or an operative or manager) ‘out of date’, when is any asset, human or otherwise, ‘inadequate’ as compared to something ‘newer’ and where is the dividing line between ‘new’ and ‘old’ to be placed? These questions suggest that to define what we mean by ‘obsolescent’ in relation to any phenomenon, involves essentially a process of evaluation in the light of selected criteria in some particular context.

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Management Decision, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1988

Karen Legge

Since the late 1970s, the study of the role, structure and functions of personnel management in the United Kingdom has been greatly facilitated by surveys emerging from a…

Abstract

Since the late 1970s, the study of the role, structure and functions of personnel management in the United Kingdom has been greatly facilitated by surveys emerging from a number of large‐scale surveys. A major interest in interpreting the data from these surveys has been to evaluate the impact of recession, and, latterly, recovery on the power, structure and roles of personnel departments and personnel specialists in recent years. The survey data are used comparatively to evaluate the empirical plausibility of the different scenarios which have arisen, and to account for the results that emerge.

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Personnel Review, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1974

Karen Legge

At regular intervals over the past two decades, management has been presented with various attractively packaged techniques, offered as the panaceas to cure hitherto…

Abstract

At regular intervals over the past two decades, management has been presented with various attractively packaged techniques, offered as the panaceas to cure hitherto perennial managerial problems. Although these “cure‐alls” may differ greatly (cf. MBO and productivity bargaining) they tend to have a common characteristic, that is, they claim that advantages will result for all the parties involved, and, often, that they will produce results in every organisation in which they are properly applied and given a chance to work. The experience that, in practice, some of the benefits claimed by the different groups involved are incompatible, or that some are more difficult to bring about than anticipated, or that the supposedly “universal” panacea “just does not work in our company”, does not seem to inhibit the discovery of new panaceas to replace or supplement the old.

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Management Decision, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1977

Dan Gowler and Karen Legge

Diffusion channels, after all, consist of people. If there is no one in an organization with an understanding of mathematics, then information available only in…

Abstract

Diffusion channels, after all, consist of people. If there is no one in an organization with an understanding of mathematics, then information available only in mathematical terms is unavailable information. For this, among other reasons, many organizations employ mathematicians, as they employ physicists, chemists and engineers in a development role. Their effective use requires a good deal of organizational sophistication and tolerance of ambiguity.

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Personnel Review, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1986

Dan Gowler and Karen Legge

The last five years have seen an enormous resurgence of academic and managerial interest in the concept of organisational culture — the taken‐for‐granted assumptions…

Abstract

The last five years have seen an enormous resurgence of academic and managerial interest in the concept of organisational culture — the taken‐for‐granted assumptions, beliefs, meanings and values enacted and shared by organisational members. While for some academics, interest has centred on the epistemological questions raised in the very conceptualisation of organisational culture, for many managers the interest has been more down to earth. A group or organisation's culture is interesting because it is felt to “make a difference” — in other words, that culture can influence behaviour and, consequently, a company's performance, that a “strong” culture is both symptomatic and generative of “excellence”. Hence several practical questions have been posed. Can the organisational cultures generated in the large companies of economically successful nation states (e.g. Japan and West Germany) be transferred to companies in less economically successful countries? Can organisational culture be managed “in search of excellence”? If it can be managed — and there is much academic controversy on this point — how is this to be done?

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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