institutional complexity, work and occupations, human resource management, ethnography, research paper
Faced with institutional demands, organizations often create departments whose work is divorced from technical imperatives. This paper examines workers in one such department: Human Resources. Analysis of HR's recent history and evidence from an ethnographic study of HR work highlight the institutional origins of conflict between HR's established "compliance police" role and the "business partner" expectations of line managers. The paper outlines a theory of how organizational responses to institutional complexity contribute to persistent tension in HR and other heteronomous occupations.
Original Publication Citation
Kurt W. Sandholtz Tyler N. Burrows . "Compliance Police or Business Partner? Institutional Complexity and Occupational Tensions in Human Resource Management" In The Structuring of Work in Organizations. Published online: 03 Aug 2016; 161-191.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Sandholtz, Kurt and Burrows, Tyler N., "Compliance Police or Business Partner? Institutional Complexity and Occupational Tensions in Human Resource Managment" (2016). Faculty Publications. 3603.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Marriott School of Management
Copyright (c) 2016 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved ISSN: 0733-558X/doi:10.1108/S0733-558X20160000047018