Devolving Hr to Line Staff

Topics: Management, Human resource management, Human resources Pages: 7 (2187 words) Published: May 16, 2013
Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment and management, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. Human Resource Management is the organizational function that deals with issues related to people such as compensation, hiring, performance management, organization development, safety, wellness, benefits, employee motivation, communication, administration, and training. This is the reason why HR managers in some multinational companies are called people managers or people enablers and the process is called people management. The HR expert manages the relationship between fulfilling employee expectations and achieving the management purposes. The major goal of HRM is the development and management of knowledge, skills, creativity, attitude and talent with the use of the strategic and comprehensive approach. An effective HRM enables employees to contribute effectively and productively to the overall company direction and the accomplishment of the organization's goals and objectives.

In an organization, there are line and staff authority. Authority is the right to make decisions, to direct the work of others, and to give orders. In management, we usually distinguish between line authority and staff authority.

Line authority entitles a manager to direct the work of an employee. It is the employer-employee authority relationship that extends from top to bottom. A line manager directs the work of employees and makes certain decisions without consulting anyone. On the other hand, Staff authority gives the managers the authority to advise other managers or employees. They create staff authority functions to support, assist, advice, and generally to reduce some of the informational burdens that the line managers have. Line managers in many organizations also carry out activities that have traditionally fallen within the remit of HR such as providing coaching and guidance, undertaking performance appraisals and dealing with discipline and grievances. They also often carry out tasks such as recruitment and selection or pastoral care in conjunction with HR. Staff managers assist and advice line managers in accomplishing their basic goals. They do, however need to work in partnership with each other to be successful.

The relationship between a staff manager has with a line manager is a staff manager can prescribe certain procedures in his specialist area. For example, he can develop and implement recruiting policies and procedures that are used across the organization. The line manager is expected to follow those organizational procedures unless he has a solid rationale for exceptions.

In order to be able to discuss how the devolution of HRM functions to Line managers affect the capabilities of the staff, it is important to understand how the devolution happens and what are the arising conflicts from carrying out devolution are. Researchers suggests that the involvement of Line Managers in some HR decisions does have a favorable effect on the achievements of the organization as a whole as well as allowing the implementation of a corporate vision and strategy with a beneficial effect upon performance and upon employee motivation. There is further evidence to show that nowadays more than a half of larger organizations have moved towards the devolved model with a reduction in the size of HR departments and a change in HR function, as well as an increase in line managers’ responsibility.

Providing responsibility of HR activities to the line managers to both public as well as private sectors is believed to have tighter the bond between line managers and employees with a prompter decision making speed and effective solution of any difficulties on workplace. This gives them a unique and specialized knowledge of day-to-day relationships with employees and an insight into some functions previously assumed to be the area...
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