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Human resource management as a profession in South Africa

Author(s): Huma van Rensburg | Johan S. Basson | Nasima M.H. Carrim

Journal: South African Journal of Human Resource Management
ISSN 1683-7584

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: bona fide profession | code of conduct | pillars of professionalism | professionalisation | South African Board for People Practices (SABPP)

Orientation: Various countries recognise human resource (HR) management as a bona fide profession. Research purpose: The objective of this study was to establish whether one could regard HR management, as practised in South Africa, as a profession.Motivation for the study: Many countries are reviewing the professionalisation of HR management. Therefore, it is necessary to establish the professional standing of HR management in South Africa.Research design, approach and method: The researchers used a purposive sampling strategy involving 95 participants. The researchers achieved triangulation by analysing original documents of the regulating bodies of the medical, legal, engineering and accounting professions internationally and locally as well as the regulating bodies of HR management in the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA) and Canada. Seventy- eight HR professionals registered with the South African Board for People Practices (SABPP) completed a questionnaire. The researchers analysed the data using content analysis and Lawshe’s Content Validity Ratio (CVR).Main findings: The results confirm that HR management in South Africa adheres to the four main pillars of professionalism and is a bona fide profession.Practical/managerial implications: The article highlights the need to regulate and formalise HR management in South Africa.Contribution/value-add: This study identifies a number of aspects that determine professionalism and isolates the most important elements that one needs to consider when regulating the HR profession.How to cite this article: Van Rensburg, H., Basson, J., & Carrim, N. (2011). Human resource management as a profession in South Africa. SA Journal of Human Resource Management/SA Tydskrif vir Menslikehulpbronbestuur, 9(1), Art. #336, 15 pages. doi:10.4102/sajhrm.v9i1.336
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