In 2011, an international project to standardize human resources management (HRM) started with the purpose of developing global standards for human resources (HR) in order to enable organizations to work more efficiently and be more resource-smart with respect to HR issues, but also to advance professionalism in the HR field. The HR profession can be defined as being rooted in an occupational professionalism with a certain amount of professional discretion. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relation between standardization of knowledge and professional discretion within HR. A common argument from the sociology of professions is that standards limit and threaten professional discretion. In this paper, I argue that global standards may instead enhance the status of the HR profession, since HR standards are designed for managers to follow. Proposed ideas challenge the sociology of professions by approaching this subject from a different angle.
|Keywords:||Standards, Professional Knowledge, Human Resource Management|
Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden