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Becoming an HR strategic partner: tales of transition

Pritchard, Katrina (2010). Becoming an HR strategic partner: tales of transition. Human Resource Management Journal, 20(2) pp. 175–188.

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This article aims to bridge the gap between previous examinations of HR strategic partnership from a role perspective and an emerging interest in the social construction of identity. I consider ‘strategic partner’ as a local, flexible social construction framed by the broader occupational context. Based on a year-long ethnographic study, I examine the experiences of HR practitioners ‘becoming’ strategic partners, considering the themes of becoming strategic, becoming a partner and remaining a generalist. Practitioners depict becoming strategic as a ‘release’ from previous constraints, with becoming a partner positioned as filling a gap created by clients' deficiencies in people management. Meanwhile, tensions develop as strategic partners attempt to retain a say in transactional issues. I reflect on the resulting practical issues while also considering the role of HR practitioners in, in the words of Helen Francis, ‘the dynamic and socially complex nature of HRM’.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN: 1748-8583
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
PhDPTA-0302004-00095ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 41236
Depositing User: Katrina Pritchard
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2014 16:32
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 11:05
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