Dynamics of intervention of the human resource manager within the context of mobility: risks, challenges and opportunities
SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION AND EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION UNIVERSITY OF MINHO BRAGA, PORTUGAL
The process of economic transnationalization and the unprecedented level of internationalization of financial markets brought about, not only the renewal and emergence of new occupational profiles, but also a profound stratification and fragmentation of the work reality. Organizational loyalty has been shaken and organizational identity building has lost momentum and consistency, both being replaced by a feeling of insecurity, transitoriness and general disengagement.
The human resource professional is both the face and the mask of the new values and practices that characterize the global economy. While playing out his role, this professional tends to reproduce global management models, embodying the principles of flexibility, relocation, mobility, insecurity, job instability, risk and competitiveness. Moreover, putting these values to practice calls for the adoption of cultural recontextualization strategies, disguising the dominant models with trappings that evoke grassroot professional identities developed at the workplace. To uncover this two-faced structural facet of the activities undertaken by the human resources professional, one needs to reflect on the risks, challenges and opportunities that the current context of mobility poses to this professional group.
Using the employment postings/ads published in the Portuguese weekly newspaper ?Expresso? during the period from 2006 till 2008, as our research object, we seek to identify the most fundamental structural requirements of occupational profiles publicized by employers seeking candidates for job offerings in the field of human resources management and training. We identified a total of 410 employment postings/ads over this three years period. It is believed that the understanding of the professional profile requirements most searched for by employers allows us, among other things, to more fully comprehend the form and nature of the job functions required for this field of work as well as debate the type of knowledge and skills most relevant to the carrying out of those functions. Based on this data, we strive to critically reflect upon the political and strategic role of professionals who work in the Human Resources Department and, in all likelihood, are quite aware of the inexorable globalized trends towards the consolidation of flexicurity, downsizing, (mega)merges, closure, dislocation and relocation, among other sociologically relevant dimensions.