Employee engagement and employee well-being: who really cares?

Gary Rees, Sally Rumbles

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Academic literature has questioned the changing role of the HR/Personnel Function over the last five decades. Many organisations now follow the Ulrich model of the HR Business Partner, focussing upon HR adopting a strategic role in order to demonstrate added value. To what extent has the HR function “sold its soul” in order to take its place at the corporate board and abandoned its caring nature and employee champion role? Strategic imperatives may dictate that the (people) resource is simply an issue of utility; there for management to manipulate for the sake of competition and possibly survival. The view that people are an organisation’s most important asset and that their effective development and deployment offers a distinctive and non-imitable competitive advantage is at the heart of the Business Partner model of HR. The emphasis is now placed upon the contribution that HR makes to business and competitive advantage, and not on how such work contributes to parity in the employment relationship and the ethical treatment of employees. An embedded assumption is that what is good for business is good for workers. The emphasis is placed upon HR practitioners providing cost efficient HR services and strategic advice to senior managers in order to deliver business and competitive advantage. The question then arises as to whether Duty of Care sits within the remit of the HR function. This article builds upon a survey conducted on employees representing 115 organisations, and their reports on how the HR function is perceived by them within their organisation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14-17
    Number of pages4
    JournalHR Bulletin: Research and Practice
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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