Keywords

institutional complexity, work and occupations, human resource management, ethnography, research paper

Abstract

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.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2016-08-03

Publisher

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

College

Marriott School of Management

Department

Management

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor

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