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ERIC Number: EJ857087
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0969-6474
The Thinking Styles of Human Resource Practitioners
Higgins, Paul; Zhang, Li-fang
Learning Organization, v16 n4 p276-289 2009
Purpose: Drawing upon Sternberg's theory of mental self-government, this paper aims to investigate the thinking styles and workplace experiences of 152 human resource (HR) practitioners pursuing Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) membership. It seeks to explore whether their thinking styles complemented their jobs and consider the implications for the CIPD's notion of the "thinking performer". Design/methodology/approach: A two-part questionnaire, including the Thinking Styles Inventory-Revised II (Sternberg et al.) is completed by the research participants to identify their Type I (creativity-generating) and Type II (norm-favouring) thinking styles. Six focus group sessions are also conducted to gather insights about the participants' workplace experiences. Findings: On average, participants scored more highly on Type I thinking styles. Although this suggested their thinking styles are consistent with the "thinking performer" ideal, focus group participants doubted whether the creativity-generating attributes of Type I suited the reality of the HR function, which is described as being awash with rule bound behaviours. Particularly, this is the experience of junior staff, who felt unable to challenge senior management or contribute to the bigger picture. Correlation coefficients revealed that age, length of service with current organization and perceived autonomy at work are the most significant socialisation variables. Practical implications: Emphasis on strategic matters in CIPD courses needs to be balanced with a greater recognition of the operational and routine reality of much HR practice. Originality/value: This represents the first known attempt to test thinking performer construct amongst HR practitioners. The study combines questionnaire and focus group methods.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A