The Open UniversitySkip to content

Investors in People and the Standardization of Professional Knowledge in Personnel Management

Bell, Emma; Taylor, Scott and Thorpe, Richard (2001). Investors in People and the Standardization of Professional Knowledge in Personnel Management. Management Learning, 32(2) pp. 201–219.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Professionalization, for personnel specialists, is accomplished through their organizational activities, and their ability to socialize others into particular ways of operating. The national people management standard, Investors in People (hereafter `IiP), has been promoted as a career vehicle for the personnel manager. From interviews with professional IiP advocates in a range of research case study organizations, this article illustrates some of the ways in which IiP implementation becomes a negotiated process, prone to the career interests of the managers concerned, and shaped by political-organizational contexts. The analysis indicates that IiP represents a codified body of knowledge which legitimates the personnel function and helps to make it recognizable to the rest of the organization. The role of the Training and Enterprise Councils (hereafter TECs), as local regulators of the IiP standard forms part of the broader socio-political context within which organizational recognition is achieved, and as the main external point of contact for the liP advocate. This leads to the conclusion that the origins of standards of best practice, on which IiP is based, are themselves influenced by a broader socio-political process.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2001 Sage Publications
ISSN: 1461-7307
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for People and Organisations
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 48623
Depositing User: Emma Bell
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2017 15:04
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:48
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU