From 'Tucked Away' to 'Joined at the Hip': Understanding the Evolving Relationships within the HRBP Model in a Regional Energy Company.

Martin McCracken, Norma Heaton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many authors have studied how the HRM function has evolved. A fundamental recurring theme in the literature centres upon the role HRM should play to ensure it adds real value to organisations. This article seeks to contribute to the ongoing debate surrounding the HRM role by reporting findings from case study research carried out in an organisation that has recently restructured its HRM function towards the Human Resource Business Partnership model. Through interviewing key stakeholders in the organisation, our aim was to understand the roles which HRM professionals play and the key stakeholders with whom they have relationships. Evidence suggests that, as a result of the restructuring, the HRM function has a more strategic and integrated position with many viewing HRM professionals and advisors as valued business partners. However, we also noted some important ambiguities, tensions and role conflicts amongst the key parties involved in the partnership, which suggests that further work is required to fully clarify the role of the HRM function in this organisation and to ensure that relationships continue to evolve successfully.
LanguageEnglish
Pages182-198
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012

Fingerprint

Energy
Stakeholders
Interviewing
Role conflict
Case study research
Advisors
Human resources
Integrated

Cite this

@article{599241a011e3407990511aee5c46ffb0,
title = "From 'Tucked Away' to 'Joined at the Hip': Understanding the Evolving Relationships within the HRBP Model in a Regional Energy Company.",
abstract = "Many authors have studied how the HRM function has evolved. A fundamental recurring theme in the literature centres upon the role HRM should play to ensure it adds real value to organisations. This article seeks to contribute to the ongoing debate surrounding the HRM role by reporting findings from case study research carried out in an organisation that has recently restructured its HRM function towards the Human Resource Business Partnership model. Through interviewing key stakeholders in the organisation, our aim was to understand the roles which HRM professionals play and the key stakeholders with whom they have relationships. Evidence suggests that, as a result of the restructuring, the HRM function has a more strategic and integrated position with many viewing HRM professionals and advisors as valued business partners. However, we also noted some important ambiguities, tensions and role conflicts amongst the key parties involved in the partnership, which suggests that further work is required to fully clarify the role of the HRM function in this organisation and to ensure that relationships continue to evolve successfully.",
author = "Martin McCracken and Norma Heaton",
note = "Reference text: Beer, M. (1997). ‘The transformation of the human resource function: resolving the tension between the traditional administrative and a new strategic role’. Human Resource Management, 36: 1, 49–56. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(164K)ReferencesWeb of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 29 Bowen, D.E., Galang, C. and Pillai, R. (2002). ‘The role of human resource management: an exploratory study of cross-country variance’. Human Resource Management, 41: 1, 103–122. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(152K)ReferencesWeb of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 22 Brandl, J., Toft Madsen, M. and Madsen, H. (2009). ‘The perceived importance of HR duties to Danish line managers’. Human Resource Management Journal, 19: 2, 194–210. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(107K)ReferencesWeb of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 3 Brockway, S. (2007). ‘The art of business partnering’. Strategic HR Review, 6: 6, 32–35. CrossRefBuyens, D. and De Vos, A. (2001). ‘Perceptions of the value of the HR function’. Human Resource Management Journal, 11: 3, 70–89. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(306K)References Caldwell, R. (2001). ‘Champions, adapters, consultants and synergists: the new change agents in HRM’. Human Resource Management Journal, 11: 3, 39–53. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(237K)References Caldwell, R. (2003). ‘The changing roles of personnel managers: old ambiguities, new uncertainties’. Journal of Management Studies, 40: 4, 983–1004. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(114K)ReferencesWeb of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 42 Caldwell, R. (2008). ‘HR business partner competency models: re-contextualising effectiveness’. Human Resource Management Journal, 18: 3, 275–294. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(117K)References Dany, F., Guiedri, Z. and Hatt, F. (2008). ‘New insights into the link between HRM integration and organizational performance: the moderating role of influence distribution between HRM specialists and line managers’. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19: 11, 2095–2112. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 6Francis, H. and Keegan, A. (2006). ‘The changing face of HRM: in search of balance’. Human Resource Management Journal, 16: 3, 231–249. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(122K)References Hall, L. and Torrington, D. (1998). ‘Letting go or holding on – the devolution of operational personnel activities’. Human Resource Management Journal, 8: 1, 41–55. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(220K)References Hope Hailey, V., Gratton, L., McGovern, P., Stiles, P. and Truss, C. (1997). ‘A chameleon function? HRM in the “90s” . Human Resource Management Journal, 7: 3, 5–18. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(1035K)References Hope Hailey, V., Farndale, E. and Truss, C. (2005). ‘The HR department's role in organisational performance’. Human Resource Management Journal, 15: 3, 49–66. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(143K)References Jackson, S.E. and Schuler, R.S. (2000). Managing Human Resources: A Partnership Perspective, 7th edn, Cincinnati, OH: South-Western College Publishing (Thomson Learning). Kessler, G.C. (1995). ‘A model and process for redesigning the HRM role, competencies, and work in a major multi national corporation’. Human Resource Management, 34: 2, 229–252. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(1209K)ReferencesWeb of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 6 Kochan, T.A. (2004). ‘Restoring trust in the human resource management profession’. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 42: 2, 132–146. Direct Link: Lambert, V.A. and Lambert, C.E. (2001). ‘Literature review of role stress/strain on nurses: an international perspective’. Nursing Health Science, 3: 3, 161–132. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(82K)References Lawler, E. III, and Mohrman, S.A. (2003). ‘HR as a strategic partner: what does it take to make it happen?’. Human Resource Planning, 26: 3, 15–29. Legge, K. (1995). ‘HRM: rhetoric, reality and hidden agendas’, in J. Storey (ed.), Human Resource Management: A Critical Text, London: Routledge. Lengnick-Hall, M., Lengnick-Hall, C., Andrade, L.S. and Drake, B. (2009). ‘Strategic human resource management: the evolution of the field’. Human Resource Management Review, 19: 64–85. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 17Maxwell, G. and Watson, S. (2006). ‘Perspectives on line managers in human resource management: Hilton International's UK Hotels’. The International Journal of Human Resource Management., 17: 6, 1152–1170. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 11May, T. (1993). Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process, Buckingham: Open University Press. McConville, T. (2006). ‘Devolved HRM responsibilities, middle-managers and role dissonance’. Personnel Review, 35: 6, 637–653. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 9McGuire, D., Stoner, L. and Mylona, S. (2008). ‘The role of line managers as Human resource Agents in Fostering Organizational Change in Public Sector Services’. Journal of Change Management, 8: 1, 73–84. CrossRefMiles, M.B. and Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, 2nd edn, London: Sage. Papalexandris, N. and Panayotopoulou, L. (2005). ‘Exploring the partnership between managers and HRM in Greece’. Journal of European Industrial Training, 29: 4, 281–291. CrossRefPickard, J. (2005). ‘Part, not partner’. People Management, 11: 21, 48–49. Purcell, J. and Hutchinson, S. (2007). ‘Front-line managers as agents in the HRM-performance causal chain: theory, analysis and evidence’. Human Resource Management Journal, 17: 1, 3–20. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(127K)References Renwick, D. (2003). ‘Line manager involvement in HRM: an inside view’. Employee Relations, 25: 3, 262–280. CrossRefRizzo, J.R., House, R.J. and Lirtzman, S.I. (1970). ‘Role conflict and ambiguity in complex organizations’. Administrative Science Quarterly, 15: 2, 150–163. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 1382Schuler, R.S. (1992). ‘Strategic human resource management: linking the people with the strategic needs of the business’. Organizational Dynamics, 21: 1, 18–31. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 49Silverman, D. (2000). Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook, London: Sage. Teo, S.T.T. (2002). ‘Effectiveness of a corporate HR department in an Australian public sector entity during commercialisation and corporatisation’. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 13: 1, 89–105. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 12Teo, S.T.T. and Crawford, J. (2005). ‘Indicators of strategic HRM effectiveness: a case study of an Australian public sector agency during commercialization’. Public Personnel Management, 34: 1, 1–16. Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 10Teo, S.T.T. and Rodwell, J.J. (2007). ‘To be strategic in the new public sector, HR must remember its operational activities’. Human Resource Management, 46: 2, 265–284. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(215K)ReferencesWeb of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 8 Torrington, D., Hall, L. and Taylor, S. (2005). ‘Ethics and corporate social responsibility’, in D. Torrington, L. Hall and S. Taylor (eds), Human Resource Management, 6th edn, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Web of Science{\circledR}Truss, C. (2008). ‘Continuity and change: the role o the HR function in the modern public sector’. Public Administration, 86: 4, 1071–1088. Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 7Turner, B.A. (1981). ‘Some practical aspects of qualitative data analysis: one way of organizing the cognitive processes associated with the generation of grounded theory’. Quality and Quantity, 15: 3, 225–247. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 156Ulrich, D. (1997). Human Resource Champions, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Ulrich, D. (1998). ‘A new mandate for human resources’. Harvard Business Review, 76: 1, 124–134. PubMed,CAS,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 60Ulrich, D. and Beatty, D. (2001). ‘From partners to players: extending the HR playing field’. Human Resource Management, 40: 4, 293–307. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(174K)ReferencesWeb of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 25 Ulrich, D. and Brockbank, W. (2005). The HR Value Proposition, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Whittaker, S. and Marchington, M. (2003). ‘Devolving HR responsibility to the line: threat, opportunity or partnership?’. Employee Relations, 25: 3, 245–261. CrossRefWinstanley, D. and Woodall, J. (2000). ‘The ethical dimension of human resource management’. Human Resource Management Journal, 10: 2, 5–20. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(228K)References Wright, C. (2008). ‘Reinventing human resource management: business partners, internal consultants and the limits to professionalization’. Human Relations, 61: 8, 1063–1086. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 10Zhu, C.J., Cooper, B.D., Cieri, H. and Dowling, P. (2010). ‘A problematic transition to a strategic role: human resource management in industrial enterprises in China’. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16: 4, 513–531. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 24",
year = "2012",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1748-8583.2010.00150.x",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "182--198",
journal = "Human Resource Management Journal",
issn = "0954-5395",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - From 'Tucked Away' to 'Joined at the Hip': Understanding the Evolving Relationships within the HRBP Model in a Regional Energy Company.

AU - McCracken, Martin

AU - Heaton, Norma

N1 - Reference text: Beer, M. (1997). ‘The transformation of the human resource function: resolving the tension between the traditional administrative and a new strategic role’. Human Resource Management, 36: 1, 49–56. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(164K)ReferencesWeb of Science® Times Cited: 29 Bowen, D.E., Galang, C. and Pillai, R. (2002). ‘The role of human resource management: an exploratory study of cross-country variance’. Human Resource Management, 41: 1, 103–122. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(152K)ReferencesWeb of Science® Times Cited: 22 Brandl, J., Toft Madsen, M. and Madsen, H. (2009). ‘The perceived importance of HR duties to Danish line managers’. Human Resource Management Journal, 19: 2, 194–210. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(107K)ReferencesWeb of Science® Times Cited: 3 Brockway, S. (2007). ‘The art of business partnering’. Strategic HR Review, 6: 6, 32–35. CrossRefBuyens, D. and De Vos, A. (2001). ‘Perceptions of the value of the HR function’. Human Resource Management Journal, 11: 3, 70–89. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(306K)References Caldwell, R. (2001). ‘Champions, adapters, consultants and synergists: the new change agents in HRM’. Human Resource Management Journal, 11: 3, 39–53. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(237K)References Caldwell, R. (2003). ‘The changing roles of personnel managers: old ambiguities, new uncertainties’. Journal of Management Studies, 40: 4, 983–1004. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(114K)ReferencesWeb of Science® Times Cited: 42 Caldwell, R. (2008). ‘HR business partner competency models: re-contextualising effectiveness’. Human Resource Management Journal, 18: 3, 275–294. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(117K)References Dany, F., Guiedri, Z. and Hatt, F. (2008). ‘New insights into the link between HRM integration and organizational performance: the moderating role of influence distribution between HRM specialists and line managers’. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19: 11, 2095–2112. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 6Francis, H. and Keegan, A. (2006). ‘The changing face of HRM: in search of balance’. Human Resource Management Journal, 16: 3, 231–249. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(122K)References Hall, L. and Torrington, D. (1998). ‘Letting go or holding on – the devolution of operational personnel activities’. Human Resource Management Journal, 8: 1, 41–55. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(220K)References Hope Hailey, V., Gratton, L., McGovern, P., Stiles, P. and Truss, C. (1997). ‘A chameleon function? HRM in the “90s” . Human Resource Management Journal, 7: 3, 5–18. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(1035K)References Hope Hailey, V., Farndale, E. and Truss, C. (2005). ‘The HR department's role in organisational performance’. Human Resource Management Journal, 15: 3, 49–66. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(143K)References Jackson, S.E. and Schuler, R.S. (2000). Managing Human Resources: A Partnership Perspective, 7th edn, Cincinnati, OH: South-Western College Publishing (Thomson Learning). Kessler, G.C. (1995). ‘A model and process for redesigning the HRM role, competencies, and work in a major multi national corporation’. Human Resource Management, 34: 2, 229–252. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(1209K)ReferencesWeb of Science® Times Cited: 6 Kochan, T.A. (2004). ‘Restoring trust in the human resource management profession’. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 42: 2, 132–146. Direct Link: Lambert, V.A. and Lambert, C.E. (2001). ‘Literature review of role stress/strain on nurses: an international perspective’. Nursing Health Science, 3: 3, 161–132. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(82K)References Lawler, E. III, and Mohrman, S.A. (2003). ‘HR as a strategic partner: what does it take to make it happen?’. Human Resource Planning, 26: 3, 15–29. Legge, K. (1995). ‘HRM: rhetoric, reality and hidden agendas’, in J. Storey (ed.), Human Resource Management: A Critical Text, London: Routledge. Lengnick-Hall, M., Lengnick-Hall, C., Andrade, L.S. and Drake, B. (2009). ‘Strategic human resource management: the evolution of the field’. Human Resource Management Review, 19: 64–85. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 17Maxwell, G. and Watson, S. (2006). ‘Perspectives on line managers in human resource management: Hilton International's UK Hotels’. The International Journal of Human Resource Management., 17: 6, 1152–1170. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 11May, T. (1993). Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process, Buckingham: Open University Press. McConville, T. (2006). ‘Devolved HRM responsibilities, middle-managers and role dissonance’. Personnel Review, 35: 6, 637–653. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 9McGuire, D., Stoner, L. and Mylona, S. (2008). ‘The role of line managers as Human resource Agents in Fostering Organizational Change in Public Sector Services’. Journal of Change Management, 8: 1, 73–84. CrossRefMiles, M.B. and Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, 2nd edn, London: Sage. Papalexandris, N. and Panayotopoulou, L. (2005). ‘Exploring the partnership between managers and HRM in Greece’. Journal of European Industrial Training, 29: 4, 281–291. CrossRefPickard, J. (2005). ‘Part, not partner’. People Management, 11: 21, 48–49. Purcell, J. and Hutchinson, S. (2007). ‘Front-line managers as agents in the HRM-performance causal chain: theory, analysis and evidence’. Human Resource Management Journal, 17: 1, 3–20. Direct Link:AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(127K)References Renwick, D. (2003). ‘Line manager involvement in HRM: an inside view’. Employee Relations, 25: 3, 262–280. CrossRefRizzo, J.R., House, R.J. and Lirtzman, S.I. (1970). ‘Role conflict and ambiguity in complex organizations’. Administrative Science Quarterly, 15: 2, 150–163. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 1382Schuler, R.S. (1992). ‘Strategic human resource management: linking the people with the strategic needs of the business’. Organizational Dynamics, 21: 1, 18–31. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 49Silverman, D. (2000). Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook, London: Sage. Teo, S.T.T. (2002). ‘Effectiveness of a corporate HR department in an Australian public sector entity during commercialisation and corporatisation’. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 13: 1, 89–105. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 12Teo, S.T.T. and Crawford, J. (2005). ‘Indicators of strategic HRM effectiveness: a case study of an Australian public sector agency during commercialization’. Public Personnel Management, 34: 1, 1–16. Web of Science® Times Cited: 10Teo, S.T.T. and Rodwell, J.J. (2007). ‘To be strategic in the new public sector, HR must remember its operational activities’. Human Resource Management, 46: 2, 265–284. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(215K)ReferencesWeb of Science® Times Cited: 8 Torrington, D., Hall, L. and Taylor, S. (2005). ‘Ethics and corporate social responsibility’, in D. Torrington, L. Hall and S. Taylor (eds), Human Resource Management, 6th edn, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Web of Science®Truss, C. (2008). ‘Continuity and change: the role o the HR function in the modern public sector’. Public Administration, 86: 4, 1071–1088. Web of Science® Times Cited: 7Turner, B.A. (1981). ‘Some practical aspects of qualitative data analysis: one way of organizing the cognitive processes associated with the generation of grounded theory’. Quality and Quantity, 15: 3, 225–247. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 156Ulrich, D. (1997). Human Resource Champions, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Ulrich, D. (1998). ‘A new mandate for human resources’. Harvard Business Review, 76: 1, 124–134. PubMed,CAS,Web of Science® Times Cited: 60Ulrich, D. and Beatty, D. (2001). ‘From partners to players: extending the HR playing field’. Human Resource Management, 40: 4, 293–307. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(174K)ReferencesWeb of Science® Times Cited: 25 Ulrich, D. and Brockbank, W. (2005). The HR Value Proposition, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Whittaker, S. and Marchington, M. (2003). ‘Devolving HR responsibility to the line: threat, opportunity or partnership?’. Employee Relations, 25: 3, 245–261. CrossRefWinstanley, D. and Woodall, J. (2000). ‘The ethical dimension of human resource management’. Human Resource Management Journal, 10: 2, 5–20. Direct Link:AbstractPDF(228K)References Wright, C. (2008). ‘Reinventing human resource management: business partners, internal consultants and the limits to professionalization’. Human Relations, 61: 8, 1063–1086. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 10Zhu, C.J., Cooper, B.D., Cieri, H. and Dowling, P. (2010). ‘A problematic transition to a strategic role: human resource management in industrial enterprises in China’. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16: 4, 513–531. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 24

PY - 2012/4/1

Y1 - 2012/4/1

N2 - Many authors have studied how the HRM function has evolved. A fundamental recurring theme in the literature centres upon the role HRM should play to ensure it adds real value to organisations. This article seeks to contribute to the ongoing debate surrounding the HRM role by reporting findings from case study research carried out in an organisation that has recently restructured its HRM function towards the Human Resource Business Partnership model. Through interviewing key stakeholders in the organisation, our aim was to understand the roles which HRM professionals play and the key stakeholders with whom they have relationships. Evidence suggests that, as a result of the restructuring, the HRM function has a more strategic and integrated position with many viewing HRM professionals and advisors as valued business partners. However, we also noted some important ambiguities, tensions and role conflicts amongst the key parties involved in the partnership, which suggests that further work is required to fully clarify the role of the HRM function in this organisation and to ensure that relationships continue to evolve successfully.

AB - Many authors have studied how the HRM function has evolved. A fundamental recurring theme in the literature centres upon the role HRM should play to ensure it adds real value to organisations. This article seeks to contribute to the ongoing debate surrounding the HRM role by reporting findings from case study research carried out in an organisation that has recently restructured its HRM function towards the Human Resource Business Partnership model. Through interviewing key stakeholders in the organisation, our aim was to understand the roles which HRM professionals play and the key stakeholders with whom they have relationships. Evidence suggests that, as a result of the restructuring, the HRM function has a more strategic and integrated position with many viewing HRM professionals and advisors as valued business partners. However, we also noted some important ambiguities, tensions and role conflicts amongst the key parties involved in the partnership, which suggests that further work is required to fully clarify the role of the HRM function in this organisation and to ensure that relationships continue to evolve successfully.

U2 - 10.1111/j.1748-8583.2010.00150.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1748-8583.2010.00150.x

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 182

EP - 198

JO - Human Resource Management Journal

T2 - Human Resource Management Journal

JF - Human Resource Management Journal

SN - 0954-5395

IS - 2

ER -