Personal- og HR-funksjonen i Norge 1945 til 2020. En historisk studie av organisatoriske felt og institusjonelle logikker
Using neo-institutional theory as a lens, this thesis analyzes the Norwegian personnel and HR functions as a professional field in the period 1945-2020. In an attempt to establish a link to the organizational level, the thesis also examines the evolution of The Norwegian Public Roads Administration’s personnel and HR function during the same time period. The study employs a qualitative and historical research design, and draws on a variety of data sources, gathered by means of 69 in-depth interviews as well as extensive examinations of archival source material. The research question centers around how the field’s two institutional logics (strategy-oriented and support-oriented) evolve and interplay over time. The findings indicate that both logics can be traced back to the inception of the professional field. Throughout history, the strategy-oriented logic has not had a great impact on the field. The limited influence of the strategy-oriented logic has been a recurring theme during the last 75 years and has shaped the field’s collective narratives and identities. Since the 1980s, a distinct issue field focusing on HR-related themes has emerged, in parallel with the professional field. The study shows that the growth of the HR issue field has lead to a weakening of the professional field. The study develops a typology of handling mechanisms that can be used to analyze the Norwegian Public Roads Administration’s handling of the professional field’s institutional logics: (1) non-response, (2) balancing, (3) separation, and (4) cooptation. The study shows that these four ways of handling institutional logics vary in terms of relative importance. Handling mechanisms that may have been dominant in one time period may become less influential in later time periods. Compared with previous studies that have focused primarily on short and delineated time periods, this study provides a longitudinal and historical view that sheds more light on the complexity of organizations’ handling of institutional logics. It is argued that organizational-level factors and processes influence the relative importance of the different handling mechanisms. Organizational characteristics such as culture, identity, and actors constitute an «organizational filter.» In some periods, the organizational filter may shut out much of what is happening at the field-level, while during other time periods, the filter may change and make the organization more attentive and receptive to dominant field-level institutional logics.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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