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HR managers, SHRM and the Australian metals mining sector: Embracing the unitarist vision

Moore, B. and Gardner, S. (2004) HR managers, SHRM and the Australian metals mining sector: Embracing the unitarist vision. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 42 (3). pp. 274-300.

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The findings from a detailed study of human resource management (HRM) practitioners in the metals mining industry indicate strong support for the view that significant changes to workplace practices and the management of human resources have taken place in the mining sector in recent years and that these changes have led to high organisational productivity and the evolution of workplace and organisational cultures amenable to productive change. The results reveal that a key element of the change process has been the introduction and development of workplace agreements, and this industrial regime has been instrumental in facilitating the type of workplace reform which is beneficial to the achievement of organisational goals and objectives. A flow-on effect of this workplace reform has been the diminution in importance of the traditional industrial relations component in the HR role, and the trend towards the decentralisation of some of the traditional HR functions to line managers. However, evidence of a major shift in the importance of HR managers and comprehensive moves to integrate HRM strategically is not overwhelming, although most HR practitioners surveyed agreed that the status and influence of HR professionals have generally increased over recent years. The results of this study raise important questions about the positioning of HRM as a strategic element in organisational and business planning and activities, and its role within management systems which reflect a largely unitarist interpretation of organisational life.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Sage Publications
Copyright: 2004 Australian Human Resources Institute
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