Jones, Carol and Saundry, Richard
The practice of discipline: evaluating the roles and relationship between managers and HR professionals.
Human Resource Management Journal, 22
The roles played by managers in exercising workplace discipline have been of long-standing academic interest. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the way that the distinctive functions of operational managers and HR practitioners may interact and shape the nature and outcomes of disciplinary procedures and processes. This article examines this through a series of organisational case studies. It suggests that dimensions of control between operational managers and HR practitioners are fundamental to understanding the nature of workplace discipline. Furthermore, it argues that this relationship is crucial in determining the prospects for a shift towards greater flexibility in the management of discipline, as called for by Gibbons and reinforced by the Employment Act 2008. Therefore, findings suggest that questions of managerial preparedness to embrace this new agenda must also consider the role played by HR practitioners in embedding a culture of formality.