Work and HRM in the 4.0 era: Insights and research directions

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The practice and theory of Human Resource Management has made huge progress over the last century; now it has been recognized as a fundamental part of business and it has become the subject of a rich academic and practitioner literature (Kaufman, 2015). The role of the HRM department, previously known as personnel management, has also changed considerably from its origins. From a largely administrative function with very low impact, it has shifted to the present day, where it has the potential to be a source of competitive advantage (Pfeffer, 1997; Wright & Urlich, 2017,). However, the position and role of HR departments have been continuously debated in the HRM practice and literature (Roche & Teague, 2012). The aim is to understand whether (and how) the 4.0 scenario could represent an opportunity to overcome ambiguities and vicious circles, transforming the impact that HR specialists have on people, business and society at large (Strohmeier & Parry, 2014; Bondarouk & Brewster, 2016), and gaining power and legitimacy. Nonetheless, Industry 4.0 could become the further lost opportunity to demonstrate the HR’s ability to truly offer a professional, valuable and credible contribution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-26
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • HR credibility
  • HR legitimacy
  • HR power
  • Industry 4.0


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