The roles, responsibilities and activities of personnel specialists in the formulation of business and HRM strategies in the Scottish financial services industry.

Zorn, Christopher (1995) The roles, responsibilities and activities of personnel specialists in the formulation of business and HRM strategies in the Scottish financial services industry. PhD thesis, Edinburgh Napier University.

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This research project investigates the roles of Personnel/Human Resource Specialists in
the formulation of corporate strategy. It aims at providing a better understanding of the
current practice in comparison to "best practice" as prescribed by the leading literature.
To this end a comprehensive literature review on strategy formulation and Human
Resource Management (IBM) has been conducted. The core ideas from the leading
literature have been concatenated in an integrated model of Human Resources( HR) in
strategy formulation. This research project focuses exclusively on the first stage of the
strategy process, namely formulation and blacks out the subsequent stages of
implementation and evaluation. Particular emphasis is given to the rational, analytical
aspect of strategy formulation.
The elaborate model of integration delivered the basis for a detailed questionnaire which
was used the means of collecting primary data. This questionnaire was sent out to over
100 key personnel in leading financial services companies in Scotland. The survey was
the first of its kind to be conducted with an exclusive focus on the emerging Scottish
financial community. The Scottish Financial sector employs 209.000 people and
responses were received from 33 different companies which between them had 107.629
staff on their payrolls.
The results of the study draw a detailed picture of the extent to which the proposed
strategic activities are carried out by the HR functions of the leading Scottish institutions.
The results furthermore indicate that Human Resources pecialists are still finding it
difficult to adapt a more strategic approach towards the management of employees. This
study identified the analytical part of the strategy formulation process, i. e. the scanning
of a company's environment for opportunities as well as the internal analysis of the firm
as a weak point in the management of HR and as an area often neglected by Human
Resource specialists. Due to this self-inflicted abstinence a vacuum is created and the
influence that environmental changes can have on a firm's HR might well be
underestimated. This lack of facts and data also meant that HR functions are often only
partially integrated in the strategic decision-making process.
The study identified this lethargy as the main area where improvements can be made and
makes recommendations to industry and teaching academics alike. Finally, at the level of
researchers and writers, this research project gives an opportunity to either replicate or
validate the research findings or to widen the field by conducting further studies in this

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Corporate strategy; personnel/human resource specialists; formulation; financial services; Scotland;
University Divisions/Research Centres: The Business School > School of Management and Law
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations > 658 General management
Library of Congress Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Item ID: 3710
Depositing User: Mrs Lyn Gibson
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010 16:44
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 04:55

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