In this section, I will be conducting an exhaustive analysis of the methodology evolution that was adopted in assessing the literature used alongside the descriptive methods explicitly employed. The thrust of the paper is centrally premised on the land mark study of Thornhill and Saunders (1998); therefore I will be making intermittent references to it, as part of the process of making the analysis as lucid as possible.
Granted this is conducted in a fashion that suits the conventional research methodology, it becomes relatively easier to assign a research method that generates evidence for the research findings (Sato, 2000). At this juncture the findings and outcomes triggers the development of an obvious logic essential to make my hypothesis worth the expected consideration.
Probank, a medium-sized Greek bank which started operations in 2001, has been growing at a remarkably fast pace, and is on track to get listed on the Athens Stock Exchange within 2008. The bank's Human Resources strategy is notable by its absence, but this could be viewed as not very surprising, insofar as the rise of the bank has been meteoric, the whole sector has been growing and operational issues were higher up on the agenda. As the organisation is maturing, this report will attempt to understand the mechanics of HR within Probank, including the obligatory devolution of personnel activities to line/branch managers, and evaluate the bank's performance in a number of key HR areas, namely knowledge management, performance management, employee satisfaction/retention, and the recruitment and development of managers/executives. Even though Probank do have a personnel department, it is very small (3 employees) and distinctively non-strategic, almost confining itself to purely administrative matters.
While there has been a lot of discussion about the devolution of HR to line management, there remains a very clearly identifiable gap in the published academic literature in that only Thornhill and Saunders (1998) have attempted to analyse a sizable organisation lacking a human resources department. On the strength of the (relatively) tiny size of the department and the impression conveyed by Probank managers during our conversations at the start of this project, it is felt that the "absentee specialist" paradigm effectively holds true for Probank, and, where applicable, parallels will be attempted with the Thornhill and Saunders (1998) study, in an attempt to evaluate the personnel situation at the bank, identify strong points in the current policy as well as its weaknesses, highlight areas for improvement and suggest ways for it to take place, considering both the "absentee specialist" scenario as well as one of more formal HR involvement.
Cardinal to this report is the desire to identify a reconciling gap that will fill the existent void between academic literature and direct policy inclusions that have an intricate bearing on the justification, either covertly or overtly on the backseat role assigned to conventional human resource practice. It should be noted that, the depth of research carried out on this topic is very limited and where it is available is very scanty and vague. In this report, the practicality of the policy is explored from all angles using Probank as the main case in point.
Suffice to explicitly state at this point that my report seeks to highlight and answer a number of pertinent questions that are directly related to the research goal. Measured by the overall performance of the bank since its inception, it should be asked ...
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