The Professionalization of Human Resource Management: Personnel, Development, and the Royal Charter, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Professionalization of Human Resource Management

Personnel, Development, and the Royal Charter, 1st Edition

By Ruth Elizabeth Slater


168 pages

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Hardback: 9781138492493
pub: 2019-12-02
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Evolving economies, the emergence of new technologies and organisational forms are all features of late capitalism. Among this milieu, a marked feature has been the emergence and recognition in society of new occupations. The claim upon a body of knowledge and practice, and a societal domain in which to exercise expertise characterise these occupations. Status and recognition may ensue; in short, they claim ‘professionalism’. ‘Professionalism’ is a word resonant with allusions to a particular time and place, loosely located in the United States and England in the twentieth century, although its roots are far earlier, and its present branches are far-reaching.

The text is an account of the Human Resource Management occupation’s search for status, legitimacy, and "professionalism" and illustrates how key agents wove a purposeful plan in pursuit of goals through changing socio-economic and political contexts.

The text also discusses the changed meanings of and opportunities for professionalism for individual agents, as members of a social grouping that is the occupation.

This text is an analysis of the recent development of the Human Resource occupation, against the backdrop of changing meanings and models of professions and professionalism and the traditional signifier of professionalism in the U.K., the Royal Charter. The original research from the UK outlines the efforts undertaken between 1968 and 2000 by the professional body, the present day Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD, the Institute), to attain a Royal Charter.

This text addresses the following:

• The role of key agents and institutions on shaping social structures and practice regimes

• The changing construction and meanings of professionalism and professional occupations

• The role of the collective professional body in shaping occupational practices in Human Resource Management and Human Resource Development and their effect upon working lives

• The continuing significance of the Royal Charter as an ancient institution with deep societal effect

Table of Contents



Part One The century of occupational development and change

Chapter One Professionalism, the Institute and the Royal Charter

Part Two The Institute’s pursuit of professionalism


Chapter Two 1968-1993 - The play begins


Chapter Three 1993, 1996-2003 – The Institute’s drama continues


Chapter Four Beyond the Institute’s Royal Charter


Part Three The long shadows of professionalism


Chapter Five An incomplete professionalisation and new professionalism

Author Biography



About the Author

Ruth Elizabeth Slater is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and holds a PhD from the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster University.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Employment Relations

Aspects of the employment relationship are central to numerous courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Drawing from insights from industrial relations, human resource management and industrial sociology, this series provides an alternative source of research-based materials and texts, reviewing key developments in employment research. Books published in this series are works of high academic merit, drawn from a wide range of academic studies in the social sciences.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Government & Business
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Development