NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ801717
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0309-0590
Mapping Out Devolution: An Exploration of the Realities of Devolution
Cascon-Pereira, Rosalia; Valverde, Mireia; Ryan, Gerard
Journal of European Industrial Training, v30 n2 p129-151 2006
Purpose: Few definitions in the HRM literature have reached as much consensus as the term "devolution". However, devolution is a phenomenon that has been defined from the perspective of HRM specialists, with little or no contribution from middle managers. This paper seeks to explore what is behind the commonly shared definition of devolution, by examining not only the actual tasks that are being devolved, but also by trying to establish different degrees of devolution according to a number of dimensions. Design/methodology/approach: An approach that facilitated the exploration of the extent of devolution and impact on middle managers' perceptions was required. A qualitative approach was adopted. Specifically, a case study of a hospital in Spain was undertaken. The research methods included in-depth interviews, participant observation and internal documentation. Findings: The findings emphasize the importance of reflecting on the reality and the rhetoric of devolution. The results indicate that it is worthwhile to break down the concept of devolution into dimensions (tasks and responsibilities, decision-making power, financial power and expertise power) and to specify what dimensions are devolved. Practical implications: There is a clear difference between the rhetoric of devolution and what actually happens in practice. In order to distinguish between those organisations that go beyond the rhetoric of devolution, it is important to differentiate between the devolution of tasks and the devolution of decision-making power and autonomy in order to undertake these tasks. This differentiation facilitates the identification of those companies which display superficial levels of devolution and take steps to advance the process. Originality/value: This paper questions the traditional definition of devolution. It proposes a new definition of devolution based on the identification of various dimensions and incorporates the perspectives of all the actors involved in the process.
Emerald. 875 Massachusetts Avenue 7th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139. Tel: 888-622-0075; Fax: 617-354-6875; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain