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The importance of training in operationalising HR policy

McCracken, Martin; Bond, Sue; McCracken, Martin G


Martin McCracken

Sue Bond

Martin G McCracken


To understand how line managers make decisions about employee requests for time off at short notice and to consider the consequences for management training. Design/methodology/approach- Based on evidence from case studies carried out in four financial sector companies in Scotland, this paper illustrates a model of line manager decision making in relation to employee requests for time off at short notice. Findings - Factors that were found to have an impact on decisions of this kind included: organisational policies, the extent of devolution of personnel decisions and the role of the human resource function, operational constraints and the nature of the employee's request for time off and their previous commitment. Management experience and competence and the use of "common sense" mediated these factors. Managers received very little training in order to help them make appropriate decisions. Research limitations/implications - Although the authors consider that the model of decision making is general enough to be applicable outside the financial services sector, further research testing in other industrial sectors would be welcomed. Practical implications - While the use of management "discretion" can have advantages for employees, it could also have negative consequences resulting from inconsistent application, in terms of staff relations, company climate, morale, productivity and labour turnover. Therefore, effective training is important in order to deconstruct line managers' notions of "common-sense" decisions and make better decisions around these issues. Originality/value - The paper outlines a model of line manager decision making for dealing with time off at short notice that can be used by HR professionals in designing management training programmes.


McCracken, M., Bond, S., & McCracken, M. G. (2005). The importance of training in operationalising HR policy. Journal of European industrial training, 29(3), 246-260.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2005-04
Deposit Date Feb 29, 2008
Journal Journal of European Industrial Training
Print ISSN 0309-0590
Electronic ISSN 0309-0590
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 3
Pages 246-260
Keywords decision making; line managers; Human Resource development; Scotland; training;
Public URL
Publisher URL