The Role of the Line Manager as a Facilitator of HRD.Abstract
The purpose of this literature review is to assess the role of the line manager as a facilitator of HRD. Literature identifies a number of positive and negative aspects with regard to thedevolution of HRD activities to the line manager. In order to successfully achieve theeffective facilitation of HRD within an organisation, emphasises is placed on the necessity for the efficient training and development of the line manager and the clear definition of rolesand responsibilities. Additionally, it is clear that there is necessity for partnership, supportand effective communication between the line manager and the HR specialist.
Much of the literature relating to Human Resource Management (HRM) and HumanResource Development (HRD) indicates that, in recent times, there has been a shift in the roleof the line manager (Evan et al 2006, Heraty and Morley 1995, MacNeil 2003, Ruona andGibson 2004, Sambrook and Stewart 1998). In many cases, line managers are becomingincreasingly responsible for the training and development of their subordinates (Ellinger andBostrom 1999, Heraty and Morley 1995, MacNeil 2003, Ruona and Gibson 2004).Devolution of HRD is the passing of HRD activities from HRD specialists to line managers(Heraty and Morley 1995, MacNeil 2003). Traditionally HRD was seen to be theresponsibility of the specialist function or Human Resource Department in an organisation(Heraty and Morley 1995). Since the 1980’s there has been an increasing trend towards thedevolvement of HR activities to line managers (MacNeil 2003 p 295, Ruona and Gibson2004, Sambrook and Stewart 1998, Watson 2007). This has caused much debate within theliterature with regards to whether or not the transition of responsibility to the line manager for the development of employees makes for a positive change (Beattie 2006, Cunningham andHyman 1999, Heraty and Morley 1995, Guest et al 2003, Purcell and Hutchinson 2007,Valerde 2006, Watson 2007). Much of the literature argues that their direct involvement andexperience in the area of their subordinates makes line managers a much more logical andinfluential facilitator of HRD (Beattie 2006, Ellinger and Bostrom 2002, Guest et al 2003,Mankin 2009, Purcell and Hutchinson 2007, Truss 2001). On the contrary, it is also arguedthat there are many negative aspects to the installation of such responsibility on linemanagers, many of whom do not want the additional task of being involved in HRD(Cunningham and Hyman 1999, Heraty and Morley 1995, MacNeil 2003, Watson 2007). It is