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"Together we can do miracles!" : An interview study based on HR managers’ experiences of their work

  • Gunnarsson, Irma Lina
  • Mencevski, Maria
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2017
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Many organizations in modern working life holds their employees as their most important resource. The human resources (HR) department is responsible for managing all questions relating to the employees in an organization, such as talent management, supply of competence, leadership development, work environment and payroll issues. Over the past decades, the HR work organization has undergone a transformation; from being an administrative support function, to the present and modern role as a strategic business partner, where the existence of the HR function must be legitimized through constant value creation by working strategically towards the company's business goals. In Sweden, the HR department is also responsible for ensuring a strategy to manage the organizational and social workplace health problems. Since 2010, sickness absence due to these problems has increased dramatically in the country. Extensive research and science studies from the past decade, shows that the leadership has considerable impact on the state of health of the employees. We have studied HR managers’ experiences of their role, and analyzed which varieties of resources that they depend on to create influence in their work. The fundament in our analyze, is a set of scientific theories, which consists of contrasting organization theories, Bourdieu's capital theory, Ostrom's theory of collective action and Dave Ulrich's transformation concept; The HR Value Proposition. We have carried out eight thematic interviews with women in the position of HR manager. The result shows that all HR managers in our study practices elements of both soft and hard HRM in their work, but that the main emphasis between perspectives varies amongst the managers. The interaction between HR managers and organizational stakeholders effects the HR manager’s prospects to generate influence and to achieve a value-creating HR approach that focuses on collective action and the business goals of the organization. This circumstance also stands in direct reliance to the HR manager's amount of social and cultural capital, as well as how they are used and demanded by the organizational stakeholders.

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