This article examines the work and roles of HR managers in the Irish recession. It tests the validity of three competing views about the future of HR: that the profession needs to become a business partner; that it is knee-deep in a legitimacy crisis; and that it is fragmenting by being unable to cope with the complexity of modern organizational life. Three key findings emerge from the research. First, HR managers have gained greater influence in business decision-making, but much of this influence arises from short-run retrenchment measures. Second, many HR managers remain committed to long established professional values and ideas of good practice. Third, modern HR managers are developing a professional identity that allows them to perform multiple, competing roles. These findings challenge existing arguments about the effects of the current recession. They also speak to ongoing debates about changing HR roles by showing how HR managers remain adept at making pragmatic adaptations to secure their role in organizational life. © The Author(s) 2012.
- Work, Employment, Economic recessions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management of Technology and Innovation
- Strategy and Management
- Social Sciences(all)
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)