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Beyond the line: exploring the HRM responsibilities of line managers, project managers and the HRM department in four project-oriented companies in the Netherlands, Austria, the UK and the USA

Keegan, Anne and Huemann, Martina and Turner, Rodney J. (2012) Beyond the line: exploring the HRM responsibilities of line managers, project managers and the HRM department in four project-oriented companies in the Netherlands, Austria, the UK and the USA. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23 (15). pp. 3085-3104. ISSN 0958-5192

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Abstract

The topic of what HRM (Human Resource Management) responsibilities are devolved from the HRM department to line managers has attracted much interest in recent years. We report findings from a study on the devolution of HRM practices in four POCs (Project-Oriented Companies) and argue that although HRM practices are carried out beyond the HRM department, they are also carried out beyond the line. While the literature on devolving HRM responsibilities to line management is burgeoning, the HRM responsibilities of managers beyond the line organization are neglected. We make two contributions to the literature. Firstly, our study reveals that some HRM practices are the domain of the project manager rather than either the line manager or the HRM department. The complex interplay of the roles of the HRM department, line management and project management creates challenges and pitfalls where people are managed across the boundaries of the permanent and temporary organization. We identify a potentially powerful role for the HRM department in both monitoring and guiding the different players from the line and project organizations, and in protecting the well-being of employees whose work traverses these organizational boundaries. Our second contribution is that we map the diversity of practices in different POCs for managing the interplay between the three main parties delivering HRM practices and offer project-orientation as a contextual indicator that contributes to diversity in HRM practices.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: To see the final version of this paper please visit the publisher's website. Access to the published version requires a subscription. The definitive version is available at http://www.tandfonline.com/.
Keywords: project-oriented companies / project managers / line managers / devolution of HRM responsibilities / employee well-being
Divisions: Departments > Marketing > Marketing-Management
Version of the Document: Accepted for Publication
Variance from Published Version: None
Depositing User: ePub Administrator
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2013 11:16
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 21:56
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/56659/
URI: http://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/3837

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