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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/16784

Title: 
  • After economic collapse: What happened to human resources in Iceland?
Published: 
  • October 2013
Abstract: 
  • The purpose of this study was to understand the effects of the 2008 economic
    collapse on the role of the human resources function (HR), derived from the
    premises that the HR profession is sensitive to outside conditions and its
    continuous search for legitimacy and power. It utilizes a qualitative research
    method, comprising semi structured in-depth interviews with Icelandic HR dir-
    ectors responsible for HR during the 2008 economic collapse. Analyzing the
    data by coding it by major themes, unusual single events or issues, allows
    valuable insight into the HR role in times of economic turbulence. Key findings
    are the following: 1) The HR profession’s search for status and power is appar-
    ent in the focus on having a seat on the organization’s board, persistently shown
    to be the profession’s ultimate goal. 2) A variety of retrenchment methods were
    utilized during the collapse. Interestingly, lowering salaries was deemed un-
    successful, appearing to affect long-term recovery. 3) Role changes: While the
    HR directors appeared to gain input and power during swift and far-reaching
    cost-cutting, Ulrich ́s (1997) ‘employee champion’ role became dominant and an
    enhanced sense of responsibility for employee wellbeing. Furthermore, HR
    directors assumed responsibilities traditionally outside the realm of HR. The
    findings demonstrate the continued vulnerability of the HR profession to
    external conditions.

Citation: 
  • Þjóðarspegillinn XIV: Rannsóknir í félagsvísindum - Viðskiptafræðideild
ISBN: 
  • 978 9935 424 17 4
Accepted: 
  • Oct 24, 2013
URI: 
  • http://hdl.handle.net/1946/16784


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