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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1997

Michael Poole and Glenville Jenkins

Proposes to assess the extent to which line management has responsibility for human resource management (HRM) practices in the enterprise. First, addresses a number of…

5831

Abstract

Proposes to assess the extent to which line management has responsibility for human resource management (HRM) practices in the enterprise. First, addresses a number of theoretical positions that include “traditional”, “cyclical” and “secular” approaches and that emphasizing “diversity”. Then deploys survey data based on the responses of more than 900 managers in the Institute of Management and located throughout the UK to assess these approaches. Investigates four main areas: employee involvement, training and development, rewards and work practices. Reveals that with the partial exception of rewards, line management is found to be dominant in most areas. However, this pattern is likely to have been historically the case rather than representing a “new wave” or movement associated with the rise of HRM itself.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2007

Karin Bredin and Jonas Söderlund

The aim of the article is to analyse HR devolution from HR departments to the line. Two important problems are addressed. The first problem concerns the disregard for the…

2914

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the article is to analyse HR devolution from HR departments to the line. Two important problems are addressed. The first problem concerns the disregard for the changes in line management that comes with HR devolution. The second problem addressed deals with the lack of studies of organisational contingencies.

Design/methodolgy/approach

The paper presents and analyses an in‐depth case study of a radically projected firm within the Tetra Park group where a new HR‐oriented management role has been created to replace the traditional line management role. Based on the case study findings, the paper elaborates on the new approach to line management and how a new management role is moulded in the context of project‐based organisations.

Findings

Based on literature studies, the paper identifies four key challenges for HRM in project‐based organisations that are critical for the development of the new approach to line management in such settings. Based on case study observations, it analyses the creation of a new management role – the so called “competence coach” – in project‐based organisation within the Tetra Park group. It argues that the new approach adopted points to the need of breaking out of traditional conceptions of line management, and of developing the concept of an HR‐oriented management role that is a legitimate player in the HR organisation of a firm.

Originality/value

The paper provides a rich case description of a project‐based firm in a HRM perspective. The descriptions and the analysis give practical as well as theoretical implications of HRM issues that arise in project‐based firms, and of changes in line management as a way of developing the capabilities to handle these issues.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Organisational Roadmap Towards Teal Organisations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-311-7

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Hugh Bainbridge

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the different rationales for devolving people management responsibilities to the line and examine their consequences for the HR…

4470

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the different rationales for devolving people management responsibilities to the line and examine their consequences for the HR function and HR’s interactions with line managers and employees.

Design/methodology/approach

A model was developed and tested that describes how the rationale for devolving people management to the line influences the HR function, HR’s interactions with line managers and the quality of people management. Survey data were collected from 446 managers who reported that their organisations had devolved people management to the line.

Findings

Results indicate that devolution rationales are associated with distinct changes to the HR function’s strategic integration and size. These changes in the HR function are in turn associated with utilisation of line manager focused HR practices, HR’s business partner orientation and people management effectiveness.

Practical implications

The HR function should consider changes that refine job descriptions to include a clear statement of people management responsibilities, ensure performance appraisals incorporate an assessment of people management effectiveness and prioritise line manager training and rewards in an environment where line managers may be less than enthusiastic about their newly acquired people management responsibilities.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the devolution literature by outlining how the effects of devolution are tied to the rationale underlying devolution efforts. It suggests that the tendency to conceptualise devolution without reference to the reason why it is pursued may be contributing to the controversy over its consequences.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Torstein Nesheim, Karen M. Olsen and Anita E. Tobiassen

This paper aims to analyze how formal, horizontal knowledge communities contribute to knowledge application. In large, complex organizations employees face multiple roles

3061

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze how formal, horizontal knowledge communities contribute to knowledge application. In large, complex organizations employees face multiple roles that compete for their time and may be conflicting. The paper seeks to analyze the interplay between the communities, the line organization, and the employees; specifically, to examine how the quality of management of the communities, the attitudes of line managers, and the employees' motivation for participating in the communities facilitate knowledge application.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a survey in an organization with several specialized, horizontal knowledge communities. In total, 2,517 responses were obtained from members of 131 different communities.

Findings

First, community management, line support and intrinsic motivation have a positive impact on knowledge application. Second, the effect of line support is stronger when employees are intrinsically motivated.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to one organization. Future research could study knowledge processes in matrix‐like organization, as well as the role of community coordinators for knowledge sharing and application.

Practical implications

To enhance knowledge sharing and knowledge application, commitment from both line managers and community coordinators is vital. In a matrix‐like organization, dialogue and communication are important in order to reconcile supplementary goals and considerations.

Originality/value

The paper presents a study that is one of the first to analyze antecedents of knowledge application in formal communities of practice.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 March 2020

Daniel Tyskbo

Two research questions are asked in this paper: RQ1. How does line management involvement in PA work unfold in practice? RQ2. How does line management involvement…

1307

Abstract

Purpose

Two research questions are asked in this paper: RQ1. How does line management involvement in PA work unfold in practice? RQ2. How does line management involvement contribute toward any divergence arising between intended and implemented PA work?

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth case study from a multi-actor perspective based on interviews with HR managers, line managers and employees, and organizational documents.

Findings

The findings illustrate how line managers faced three types of complexities during implementation, i.e. dilemmas, understandings, and local adaptations. These jointly contributed to a divergence arising between the PA as intended and the PA as implemented. This divergence became associated with how line management involvement was restricted to the local context and the initial stages of the PA process, highlighting how HR practices can contain both devolved and non-devolved elements.

Originality/value

We respond to calls for more in-depth qualitative studies of how line managers are involved in HR work; this is done specifically by conceptualizing the complexities line managers face in practice when implementing HR practices. As such, we add to the understanding of HR practices as relational and social in nature. We also contribute to the processual understanding of HRM by highlighting how HR practices can contain both devolved and non-devolved elements. By stressing the limitations of binary conceptualizations of HR devolution, we add to the understanding of HR devolution as more complex and multifaceted than traditionally assumed.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 1995

Ian Cunningham and Jeff Hyman

Line managers and supervisors have a prime role in ensuring thesuccess of performance outcomes under HRM. They are required to take onnew people management roles, whether…

10922

Abstract

Line managers and supervisors have a prime role in ensuring the success of performance outcomes under HRM. They are required to take on new people management roles, whether it be through a style which is “hard” and control centred or more “soft” and facilitative. Presents findings from an in‐depth study of 45 establishments. Highlights concerns over whether line managers and supervisors are sufficiently competent to take on demanding roles required under change programmes, and the difficulties in attempting to transfer an HR vision, which is senior management‐led, down to the line.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 17 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 September 2019

James Richards, Kate Sang, Abigail Marks and Susannah Gill

The purpose of this paper is to address a significant gap in the line manager, HRM and the diversity management literature, that of exploring the role and significance of…

1300

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address a significant gap in the line manager, HRM and the diversity management literature, that of exploring the role and significance of emotional labour (EL) in relation to the lived experienced of line managing neurodiversity.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was used to explore lived experiences of line managers responsible for managing neurodiverse employees. Interviews were conducted with line managers employed in the UK transport industry.

Findings

The findings provide rich insights into line managing neurodiversity. A key overall finding is reasonable adjustments deemed essential to support neurodiverse employees require a myriad of hidden, complex, time consuming and often emotionally draining interactions with disabled employees, the employee’s wider team, and HRM and occupational health (OH) practitioners.

Research limitations/implications

This is an exploratory study and therefore limited by nature of the research design, industry focus, scope of study and sample size.

Practical implications

The findings have the potential to inform HRM and OH practitioner support for line managers responsible for managing neurodiverse employees.

Social implications

The study contributes to wider societal attempts to make employment more inclusive to a range of historically disadvantaged groups.

Originality/value

The study fills an important gap in the HRM literature on line managing neurodiverse employees. The study makes a specific and unique contribution to extensive literatures on line management, disability and EL.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 48 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 June 2019

Anastasios Hadjisolomou

The purpose of this paper is to revisit discussions on managerial work, seeking to re-examine the front-line service manager’s position within the service triangle, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to revisit discussions on managerial work, seeking to re-examine the front-line service manager’s position within the service triangle, and bring forward questions of agency that remain under-developed by scholars. Challenging the assumed unitarist and “consensus” standing point in organizations it recognizes that front-line managers, similarly to their subordinates, resist corporate demands and unveils stories of “battles” and disengagement towards their role, providing a rich empirical agenda regarding managerial misbehaviour. In order to explore front-line managers’ agency issues, the paper adopts the framework of the dimensions of misbehaviour, as developed by Ackroyd and Thompson (1999), to capture and to better describe and understand the recalcitrant agential practices by front-line managers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper calls on qualitative data from two case study organizations in the Cyprus food-retail sector. In total, 46 interviews took place with participants across different departments and different management levels. This aimed for a better and deeper understanding of the research problem through understanding of the different perspectives.

Findings

The evidence reveals the intensification of FLSMs’ work and their feelings of pressure. FLSMs, however, did not stay apathetic and have utilized tactics to oppose the increasing workload and the expansion of their role. The paper classifies these tactics using the four dimensions of misbehaviour (Ackroyd and Thompson, 1999), namely, appropriation of time; work, product and identity. It shows that FLSMs not only resist corporate demands, like their subordinates, but also devised practices which are similar to workers. The data also reveal a variety in actions of misbehaviour between FLSMs depending on the level of customer interaction and their mobility on the shop floor.

Research limitations/implications

Students of managerial work overlooked the political realities of management and the contested nature of (front-line service) management work. As this study has shown FLSMs across the shop floor strongly identify more with “front-line employees” than senior management, protecting their own interests within the employment relationship via oppositional actions and disengagement. FLSM is, of course, in an agency relationship with capital; however, this neglects the heterogeneity in interests at different levels of management. This paper shifts the focus of management research away from the traditional agency argument and discusses FLSMs as “misbehaving agents”. It challenges the assumed unitarist and “consensus” standing point for FLSMs in organizations and calls HRM scholars to embrace a pluralist analysis in line management research.

Practical implications

This research shows that FLSMs misbehave as an expression of discontent towards the expansion and intensification of their role. Yet, the data reveal variation in the organization of FLSMs’ work across the shop floor and consequently variation in their actions of misbehaviour. This suggests that it is erroneous to presume a similar labour process for these managers and/or over-generalize their battling actions. HR practitioners will need to re-examine the roles of FLSMs in organizations, recognize the variety of interests within management, step away from rhetoric discourses of unproblematic devolvement of HR and managerial tasks to the front-line and appropriately review, redesign and re-organize front-line managerial work.

Social implications

Although research has fruitfully located the powerlessness of front-line managers as a central theme in their analysis, the complexity of the front-line management position within the social relations of interactive service work and their “logic of action” within their labour process remains a relatively marginal theme in research. Indeed, FLSMs’ position within the triangle, where managerial work is subject to degradation and trilateral conflicting dynamics and their battles within their own labour process, still remains under-explored. This study addresses this research lacuna focusing on the FLSMs’ experiences on the front-end and their actions of misbehaviour within their labour process.

Originality/value

The paper brings forward questions of agency that remain under-developed by scholars and unveils “stories of battles”. It discusses FLSMs as “misbehaving agents” a question that is only superficially addressed in resistance and managerial studies. This paper challenges the embedded HRM unitarist assumption that FLSMs are conscientiously agents of the capital and reveals evidence suggesting the plurality of interests across management. HRM scholars, especially those discussed line managers as HRM partners, have overestimated FLSMs’ identification with senior management and the strategic goals of the organization. As this study has shown FLSMs across the shop floor strongly identify with “front-line employees”, protecting their own interests within the employment relationship via oppositional actions and disengagement.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1986

The Nature of Business Policy Business policy — or general management — is concerned with the following six major functions:

1486

Abstract

The Nature of Business Policy Business policy — or general management — is concerned with the following six major functions:

Details

Management Decision, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

1 – 10 of over 165000