The management of human resources and the governance of employment

The ‘space’ between?

Dr Leonard Holmes (University of Roehampton, London, UK)

SAC Room / Room 110, Cairnes Building (Ground Floor, St. Anthony's), NUI Galway 13:00 :: 5th September 2012

A growing body of literature in the field of strategic human resource management presents claims for considerable knowledge of the links between managerial practices and organisational performance (Purcell et al., 2003). Whatever the validity of such claims, particularly in respect of their universal application and in terms of assumed causality, such work is limited to the extent that it is typically organisation-centric. Little attention is given within the field to issues, concerning employment, that lie outside of, or are not restricted to the bounded arena of the organisation (except, perhaps, within employment relations theory and research. This seminar will suggest that there is need for an approach to enquiry and analysis that is not limited in this way, particularly by considering the potential application of socio-political governance theory (Bevir, 2011) to the broader area of employment. It will suggest that a combination of HRM theory and research and a socio-political governance approach to employment may provide a more fruitful way to examine key issues that are poorly addressed by either approach. The case of skills training in the UK is considered in such terms, particularly focusing on a critical period halfway through the past half century of government attempts at intervention in this field. The seminar will invite discussion on future directions for research in this ‘space’ between the management of human resources and the governance of employment.

Bio: Leonard is Reader in Management at the University of Roehampton, London. He previously held academic posts at two other UK universities, following a background in the employee training and development field, particularly trainer training and management and professional development. He worked at the Hotel and Catering Industry Training Board from 1977 to 1983, where he was responsible for policy development on trainer training and development. He was also a member of the National Advisory Committee for the white collar trade union ASTMS, campaigning on issues of national policy on industrial training.

His main research interests are in issues concerning expertise (knowledge, skill, competence, learning, assessment, etc), particularly in respect of the social character of the forms in which these are manifested in modern social and economic life. This includes work on the governance of skill training, which forms the basis of his visiting fellowship.

ISSP Sponsors: