Theoretical speculations and prescriptive discussions abound in the literature regarding the strategic importance of human resource management. However, evidence based on rigorous empirical studies that the transformation from an administrative service function to strategic partnership has taken place has been less pervasive. Based on a sample of CEOs, line managers and HR executives, this study applies both a quantitative and a qualitative approach to examine the research question whether HR professionals are strategic business partners. Although the overall quantitative results provided a weak support for an affirmative answer to the research question, quantitative analyses and the qualitative findings revealed that while HR executives regarded themselves as strategic business partners, CEOs and line managers were not sure that they played this strategic business role. Plausible explanations and fundamental implications of these findings are discussed in detail.
International Employment Relations Review, 2011, Vol 17, Issue 2, p. 75-95