Understanding and conceptualising the daily work of human resource practitioners

Article


Wallo, Andreas and Coetzer, Alan. 2023. "Understanding and conceptualising the daily work of human resource practitioners." Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance. 10 (2), pp. 180-198.
Article Title

Understanding and conceptualising the daily work of human resource practitioners

ERA Journal ID213381
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsWallo, Andreas and Coetzer, Alan
Journal TitleJournal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance
Journal Citation10 (2), pp. 180-198
Number of Pages19
Year2023
PublisherEmerald
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN2051-6614
2051-6622
Web Address (URL)https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JOEPP-01-2022-0013/full/html
Abstract

Purpose
This study aims to explore how human resource (HR) practitioners conceive of their practice, reveal challenges they grapple with in daily work and generate a conceptual framework of HR praxis.

Design/methodology/approach
The paper is based on interviews with HR practitioners in Sweden and a review of articles that examine aspects of HR practitioners' work.

Findings
The HR practitioners' work is fragmented and reactive, filled with meetings and affords few opportunities to work undisturbed. Operational tasks are prioritised over strategic work, and their work sometimes involves tasks that are not HR's responsibility. The nature of HR practitioners' daily work mimics the work of their main “customer”, i.e. managers within the organisations.

Practical implications
The HR practitioners were working mainly in the service of managers, which suggests that they have an internal focus. Consistent with current, prescriptive HR discourse, HR practitioners should adopt a multi-stakeholder perspective of human resource management (HRM) and a more external focus that is necessary to contribute to wider, organisational effectiveness. The findings could enrich what is taught in higher education by providing students with an account of the reality of HR practitioners' daily work.

Originality/value
The study provides a situated account of the daily work of HR practitioners, which is largely absent from the literature.

KeywordsDaily work; Human resource management; HR practitioners; HRM-as-practice; Qualitative
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350503. Human resources management
Byline AffiliationsLinkoping University, Sweden
University of Southern Queensland
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/z270z/understanding-and-conceptualising-the-daily-work-of-human-resource-practitioners

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