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5.

We willl proceed now to the the most important informations


One of them is that it’s evident that a business-centred discourse in HRM studies is currently dominant over
the employee-centred one. A business-centred agenda is perceived as offering more influence and higher
status to HR professionals, than an agenda rooted in employee championship.

Also, an important feature of this changing context of HR work is the importance of the growth in use of
technology for how HR roles are changing and how functions are being redesigned. Technological changes
include the automation of systems used by HR such as payroll, personal information and e-enabled HR.

6. In terms of the key concept and models

Keegan and Francis in their analysis made use of the Ulrich Model, which we have discussed on the previous
lecture. Just to quickly remind, the Ulrich Model is meant specifically to organize human resources
functions. It was developed by David Ulrich who suggested that in large-scale businesses, HR functions
should be divided into four segments such as strategic partner, administrative expert, employee champion
and change agent.

The strategic partner role is one in which the HR managers help organisation to reach its goals through
effective strategy formulation and its execution.
Change agents are responsible for the delivery of organizational transformation and culture change.
Administrative experts constantly improve the efficiency by reengineering the HR function and other
processes such as introducing so called ‘shared services’.
The role of employee champion is to represent employees and protect their interests.

The authors in order to conduct their analysis also applied the theory of Norman Fairclough- a linguistic
proffesor, one of the founder of the critical discourse analysis, who states that the discourses are ways of
representing aspects of the world as well as that ‘we cannot take the role of discourse in social practises for
granted, it has to be established through analysis’. According to that Keegan and Francis worked out the
discourse thematic- coding framework in order to compare, contrast and analyse the interviews.

In terms of the conclusions, we have divided that section into 3 separate paragraphs.


First of all, HR working for the business 




According to the analysis, shifts in job titles appeared to signify a move away from a person-centred
employee champion discourse towards a more performance business-focused HR agenda that allowed less
time for employee concerns and issues.

Due to the fact that HR practitioners are urged to take on strategic roles, responsibilities associated with
employee championship and fighting for equality in the employment relationship are gradually disappearing.

HR by remote


Furthermore, the emergence of new communication technologies such as f.e HR web-base technology is
leading profound structural changes. Organisations continue to downsize their HR functions and become
more reliant on call centre technology and controlled interactions with staff through help desks. With HR
operating more remotely, it seems that one specific aspect of that remoteness, was separation of employee
champions from employees and in consequence the disappearance of their specific ways of seeing employee
issues. 

Devolution of HR tasks to tine managers


Another clear theme is the devolution of HR tasks to line managers which is a core aspect of how HR
practitioners currently view their roles. The HR advisory model where HR officer ‘do not see people’ is
clearly assumed to be the superior model. Respondents commonly remarked significance of line managers in
the new modelling of HR service. The contrast of the ‘self-sufficient’ line managers with those from whom
HR ‘is doing everything’ reveals clear preferences in terms how HR should be organised according to
practitioners. 


If it comes to the implications



Tensions arising from moves towards the business partnership model are beginning to cause the distancing of
HR from employees as well as their line managers, segmentation of HR roles, fragmentation of HR work and
an emerging imbalance between people-oriented and business-oriented HR roles.

Reinforcement for HR practitioners to pursue strategic roles and disregard their historically embedded
administrative and employee championing, pose a serious threat to the HR integrity and claims to
professional expertise.

Furthermore, while the landscape of HR might be changing, there is also a concern that employee’s rights in
the workplace are under-emphasized due to HR system favouring rather the employer interests. This concern
comes from a deterioration of employment conditions caused mostly by cost cutting and increasing work
pressure.

Finally, despite the fact that HR ‘business partner’ label offer the promise of some relief from the constant
lack of professional status of HR functionaries, analysis suggests that the majority of HR practitioners aspire
to strategic roles even if only the minority actually occupy them. That suggests a problem for those not
necessarily suitable for strategic roles, and a general devaluation of operational activities and specialist
expertise traditionally at the heart of the HR profession.