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Unpublished Paper
Does Human Resource Management use rhetoric to construct reality for employees?
British Academy of Management Conference Proceedings (2007)
  • Carol Gill, Melbourne Business School
  • Denny Meyer
The Critical Management Studies debate on Human Resource Management proposes that reality is socially constructed for employees through macro discourse. It argues that in response to a unitary rhetoric of mutual gains, employees trust the organization to take care of their needs, preferring a direct individual relationship with their employers over a collective workplace relationship facilitated by unions, and that this produces superior outcomes for employers at the expense of employees. This research extends extant knowledge in this field by using a large scale empirical perspective based on a survey of 189 large, Australian organisations. This research concludes that Human Resource Management does not construct reality for employees, but does play a significant role in the gap between rhetoric and reality. When Human Resource Management is strategic and well resourced it effectively implements soft reality and delivers mutual gains for both employers and employees, even in the absence of a union.
  • Identity Theory,
  • Human Resource Managment,
  • Rhetoric and Reality,
  • Macro Discourse,
  • Critical Management Studies
Publication Date
Citation Information
Carol Gill and Denny Meyer. 2007. "Does Human Resource Management use rhetoric to construct reality for employees?" Available at: