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Human Resource Management and Technical Change
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Human Resource Management and Technical Change

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June 1993 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
What role do human resource managers play in the processes of technical change in organizations? What opportunities or constraints are presented by different dimensions of technical change? How does technical change affect such issues as job design, supervision, total quality management, team-working, increased flexibility, skills training and employee involvement? In addressing these central themes and debates, this book provides a systematic analysis of the relations between technical change and human resource management (HRM).

The contributors draw on research and case studies to clearly demonstrate that effective technical change in organizations is integrally related to effective HRM - as much by general and line managers as by specialist personnel managers.

 
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION TO THE ISSUES
Jon Clark
Personnel Management, Human Resource Management and Technical Change
Karen Legge
The Role of Personnel Specialists
Centrality or Marginalization?  
 
PART TWO: HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND TECHNICAL CHANGE IN PRACTICE
W W Daniel and Neil Millward
Findings from the Workplace Industrial Relations Surveys
Chris Hendry
Personnel Leadership in Technical and Human Resource Change
David Preece
Human Resource Specialists and Technical Change at Greenfield Sites
Jon Clark
Full Flexibility and Self-Supervision in an Automated Factory
Graham Sewell and Barry Wilkinson
Human Resource Management in `Surveillance' Companies
David Collinson
Introducing On-Line Processing
Conflicting Human Resource Policies in Insurance  
Ian McLoughlin
Technical Change and Human Resource Management in the Non-Union Firm
John Bessant
Towards Factory 2000
Designing Organizations for Computer-Integrated Technologies  
 
PART THREE: CONCLUSION
Jon Clark
Managing People in a Time of Technical Change
Conclusions and Implications  

`In coupling together the activities of human resource management and technical change, Jon Clark and his team have broken new ground to make a link that is long overdue. A major advance on any other work on this theme, the book is an excellent read and compelling in its arguments.' - Derek Torrington, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology

`This is a superb book which should become a key reference point for future research and debate. It demonstrates convincingly the importance of the human factor in technical change and also poses some real challenges for enthusiasts of HRM and for the personnel function. I shall certainly use it in my teaching and I am sure others will want to do the same.' - David E Guest, Birkbeck College, University of London

`Although this is another book emanating from a conference, the contributors in this case have not simply put their conference papers between two covers but have clearly given a lot of thought to the book's structure. This is a well-coordinated effort in which each of the contributors has, unusually, read the work of the others and there is a considerable degree of cross referencing between them. Jon Clark contributes his own case study and, as editor, a thoughtful introduction and a conclusion which pulls the threads together and teases out the theoretical and practical implications... I found this a very thought provoking collection as, I should think, will the British Institute of Personnel Management.' - Work, Employment and Society

`The publication resulted from a September 1992 Workshop and it is remarkable not only for the speed with which it was produced but also for the coherence and integration of it.... This integration is achieved not only through the editor's valuable introduction and insightful conclusion to the nine different contributions but also through the explicit attempt by the authors to utilise findings from their own research.... More important is the emphasis of this volume on human resource issues and the need for a strategic as well as an operational approach by organisations.' - Human Resource Management Journal

`For those jaded by the acres of non-committal, evasive and agnostic verbiage about the effect of technological change on organizational design, Jon Clark's clear statement of where he stands on the issue will be refreshing. That is, contrary to extensive opinion, technology can generate strong imperatives for certain aspects of work and organization, and set constraints and opportunities for others.... Evidence is accumulating that pursuit of consumer welfare through high productivity policies is seriously detracting from producer welfare. In raising this issue and also pin-pointing propitious conditions for human resource management procedures, this symposium makes a notable contribution.' - New Technology, Work and Employment

`All the chapters offer insightful analysis and are well worth reading, whether you are a practitioner, an academic or a student.... In the final chapter Clark pulls together and summarizes the evidence presented throughout the book to address questions raised in his introduction. This is an effective conclusion which raises important issues about the future of the personnel specialist. It also shows that complexity and diversity of practice are more evident than prescriptive HRM texts would have us believe, and that technical change and organizational change are now so intertwined that separation of the concepts is neither theoretically possible nor empirically useful' - Personnel Review

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Jon Clark

Jon Clark is Professor of Industrial Relations in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Southampton. More About Author

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