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HR Generalist vs Employment Law Specialist: Research Reveals Essential Skills

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Acacia Learning tutors, Dr Kay Maddox-Daines and Dr Danielle Wooten have conducted the new research. Participants in the new research were all senior HR professionals, from across three public sector organisations; a primary Care Trust, a university and a local education authority.

The study seeks to identify how managing employment law and regulation at an organisational level has influenced HR strategic decision making.

Key Findings

  1. Line managers increasingly require HR support. HR are working hard to ensure that they are seen as credible. There is a desire for “status and respect” and some attempt to exert power and control over stakeholders within the organisation. So that line managers feel obliged to “check in” with HR prior to making people management decisions.
  2. It was apparent in this research that human resource professionals had some reluctance to devolve responsibility to line managers. Not just because there was concern over competency. But also because there appeared to be a form of bureaucratic protectionism, with the HR function attempting to maintain its status.
  3. The extent to which HR professionals position themselves as legal advisers and compliance officers within their organisation may constrain their ability to act as strategic HR partners.
  4. The way in which HR work is structured impacts on the extent to which HR professionals are able to engage with strategic HR decisions. The separation of operational and strategic HR activity does not prepare HR professionals for career development. Neither does it support the integration of organisational goals into operational practice.
  5. With a lack of exposure and opportunity to get involved in HR strategic work, HR professionals are unprepared for directorships and senior HR roles.

Download the full research from the Journal of Management and Economic Studies 2019.

Whether you’re looking to develop your own HR career or up-skill your team, Acacia Learning can help you achieve both.  We provide high quality learning solutions and offer a mix of professional qualifications in HR, L&D with a range of training programmes, designed to improve your business function and organisational goals.

We offer the complete learning journey in the most flexible way to ensure learners are given the best support to achieve their professional goals. Modules can be undertaken in any order and via online, blended or face-to-face workshops, offering delegates a complete personalised training programme.

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Tutors and References

Kay Maddox-Daines Acacia Learning Ltd, UK

Danielle Wootton University of Warwick, UK

Journal of Management and Economic Studies 2019, 1(4): 1-19 DOI: 10.26677/TR1010.2019.114

Journal of Management and Economic Studies website