Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The role of human resources organizations in downsizings, mergers, and acquisitions
by Shook, La Verne B., Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, 2009, 177; 3359053
Abstract (Summary)

Downsizings, mergers, and acquisitions are examples of radical organizational responses, stemming from increased global competition, improvements in technology, and government deregulation. These organizational responses are intended to improve a firm’s financial position; however, these actions need support from employees in order to become successful change strategies. Human resources practitioners can provide support, develop and implement training, and communicate information throughout these change events. The human resources unit or organization, unlike those of accounting and finance, does not have a clearly defined list of tasks and roles for the due diligence of mergers and acquisitions. Rather, the strategic and intervention roles of HR must be improved or modified through lessons learned during these chaotic events. The roles of human resources tend to be situational and are highly dependent on the business context of the respective organization.

This study investigates the various roles that human resource organizations assume when a firm is involved in downsizings, mergers, and/or acquisitions. Perspectives were gathered from human resource practitioners who had experienced downsizings, mergers, and/or acquisitions. Grounded theory was selected as the methodology for this study due to the complex nature of the phenomena under investigation. Practitioners of this study report that human resources organizations are not viewed by organizational leaders as strategic business partners. Findings of this study indicate that the human resources unit or organization is primarily considered to be an administrative department within an organization. One of the conclusions of this study is that human resource practitioners need to increase their visibility in nontraditional roles by strengthening their talents as strategic change agents, internal consultants, and facilitators. Suggestions for future research pertain to how human resources practitioners can add value to their respective organizations. Research is needed in regard to aligning the strategic processes of human resources to the business needs of the organization.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Roth, Gene L.
Commitee: Watson, Lemuel W., Widen, William
School: Northern Illinois University
Department: Counseling, Adult and Higher Education
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Adult education, Business education, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Downsizing, Human resource, Human resources organizations, Mergers and acquisitions
Publication Number: 3359053
ISBN: 9781109186109
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