Chapter 9: Human resource management

Prouska, Rea (2011) Chapter 9: Human resource management. In: Business and management practices in Greece: a comparative context. Prouska, Rea and Kapsali, Maria, eds. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 170-185. ISBN 9780230245853

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Abstract

This chapter explores the field of Human Resource Management (HRM) in Greece. Greece suffers from high unemployment rates, low demand for labour, and by a severe problem in creating high-skill and new technologically-oriented jobs (Karasiotou 2004; Staikouras 2004; National Statistical Service of Greece 2005). These factors precondition the Greek market in being one of limited investment and expansion opportunities (Eurostat 2008), while businesses are characterised by their small size (micro enterprises): 54.6 per cent of all registered businesses are owner only and 43.7 per cent employ from 1-10 employees, while large organisations (250+ employees) only account for a meagre 0.05 per cent of all registered businesses in the Greek market (National Statistical Service of Greece 2002). With an average organisational size of two employees per company, businesses in Greece can be characterised as very small in comparison to the EU average (Galanaki and Papalexandris 2007). However, the Greek economy significantly depends on the operation of micro enterprises. The share in total employment of micro enterprises in Greece accounts for 59.6 per cent, in comparison to an EU-27 average of 29.5 per cent, while the share in total value added in the economy by micro enterprises accounts for 38.6 per cent, in comparison to an EU-27 average of 20.2 per cent (Eurostat 2008). In addition, since the Greek economic environment is characterised by low government and business efficiency, low competitiveness, and low attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI), this leads to lower levels of investment and presence of MNCs in the market (for example, Haritakis and Pitelis 1998; Joumard and Mylonas 1999; Staikouras 2004). At several points throughout this chapter, a discussion on the differences in HRM practices between small-medium-large Greek firms and MNCs will take place. This discussion is essential in order to illustrate the differences in HRM practices in MNCs, large Greek organisations, and small/medium-sized Greek firms, since it is micro enterprises (up to 10 employees) that constitute the majority of enterprises in the country, while large Greek firms and MNCs only constitute a meagre minority. The chapter explores HRM practices in Greece by, firstly, providing a brief historical overview of the HR function in order to provide the necessary background to the reader to understand the current state of HRM in Greece. Secondly, it highlights issues relating the supply and demand for labour in the Greek labour market in order to illustrate organisational HR structures. Thirdly, it explores the Greek HR department and HR managers so that the particularities affecting the size and role of the department, as well as the level of professionalism of managers are understood. Fourthly, it provides an overview of the core HR activities (recruitment and selection, performance management and appraisals, training and development, employee rewards, and employee relations). Fifthly, the practice of outsourcing HR activities to external providers is discussed, as this is common practice for many Greek organisations. Sixthly, an overview of the use of e-HR is provided, as this is one of the latest developments in the field. Finally, two critical issues in HRM are explored; the ageing workforce and gender equality in the Greek workplace. [Author's description]

Item Type:Book Section
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
ID Code:8613
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Deposited On:15 Mar 2012 15:45
Last Modified:21 Nov 2014 16:51

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