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Managing Human Resources: Assignment.

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YANG YANG 02187827 Managing Human Resources: Assignment "The benefits and drawbacks of devolving HRM to line managers" 21/01/03 no more than 2000 wards The development of the topic of human resource management (HRM) is now well documented in literature. Nevertheless, the focus of the debates relating to HRM is ever changing . Presently, an attempt is being made to identify the relevance of HRM to firms' performance . One of the central features of the recent HRM debate is the importance given to the integration of HRM into the business and corporate strategy and devolvement of HRM to line managers instead of personnel specialists. We want to know the benefit and drawbacks of devolving HRM to line managers. The term "strategic human resources management" was an outcome of such a debate. It highlights the growing proactive nature of the human resource (HR) function, its potential importance to the success of organizations and the possibility of change in the HR function from being reactive, prescriptive, and administrative to being proactive, descriptive and executive. Presently, importance of the mutual relationship between business strategy and HRM is more and more recognised. Lengnick-Hall and Lengnick-Hall (1988) ...read more.


The interviewees believe that it is the line manager's job to take responsibility for certain activities as they are closer to the reality. Moreover, it is the company policy of many organizations to devolve responsibility to line. The aim is to make the line more responsible, to gain its commitment and to give the line more control. Further, due to the increased level of competition, it has become important to free specialists from routine activities and devolve these activities to the line. This helps in the smooth functioning of the organization. Devolvement of HRM to line managers also improves commitment of HRs towards organizations, motivates them and helps in maintaining good industrial relations. There are some other benefits of devolving HRM to line managers such as increasing in speed of decision-making, strategic role for central HR, short lines of communication etc. The main negative outcomes of devolvement of responsibility for HRM to line managers include increased pressure to train line managers, problems of maintaining consistency in the system (risk of different standards and risk of falling standards), the need for strict HR auditing and the problem of maintaining a balance of power between line and specialists. ...read more.


There are still some other drawbacks such as increasing in grievances cases, lack of consistency in decision-making, potential for HR to be marginalized, less consistent communications etc. HRM to line managers are practised in UK organizations and has helped to evaluate the present scenario. It recommends that practitioners give serious thought to the issues of integration of HRM into the business strategy and devolvement of responsibility to line managers and to the main determinants of HRM while forming their policies. This will not only improve the effectiveness of HRMs but will also help to make their HR function more strategic. However, the negative aspects of the devolvement function needs serious consideration. Reference BUDHWAR PS(2000) Evaluating levels of strategic integration and devolvement of human resource management in the UK, Personnel Review,vol 29 no2 pp141-161 HALL,L and TORRINGTON,D (1998)Letting go or holding on -the devolution of operational personnel activities ,Human Resource Management Journal,Vol8,No 1 pp41-55 RENWICK,D (2000) HR-Line work relations : a review, pilot case and research agenda,Employee Relations,Vol 22,No 2 pp 179-205 Gennard, J., Kelly, J, 1997, "The unimportance of labels: the diffusion of the personnel/HRM function", Industrial Relations Journal, 28, 1, 27-42. Gibb, S.J., 1995, "The lead body of personnel management", Human Resource Management Journal, 5, 5, 60-71. ...read more.

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