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Achieving consistency: a practice-based approach to HRM

López-Cotarelo, Juan and Nicolini, D. (2015) Achieving consistency: a practice-based approach to HRM. In: Academy of Management Annual Meeting: Opening Governance, 2015-08-07 - 2015-08-11, Vancouver, Canada, CAN. (Submitted)

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This paper contributes to the debate on consistency in HRM offering a view that contrasts with the received approach which frames the issue in terms of implementation variability, slippages and resistance. Building on the result of a qualitative study in a large retail chain, we argue that consistency stems from a set of specific practices that we describe as text work, connection work and upkeep work. We suggest in particular that consistency is achieved through a dynamic process between center (HR department) and periphery (business units), in which the center monitors local situations and HRM activities and tries to govern them at a distance through text and talk, only for the periphery to produce further variation as the result of the attempt to domesticate the messiness of local situations. We argue that reframing the issue of consistency in terms of practices which try to give regularity and consistency to what is inherently heterogeneous and local –rather than the more or less accurate implementation of an ideal design– has profound implications both for practice and future research.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2015 15:21
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 11:10

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