Academic literature found that HR and IT departments often lack power and influence within their organisations leading to sub-optimal performance of the organisations. The purpose of this research was to explore power and influence of HR and IT departments within the manufacturing industry, so as to gain an understanding of the enablers and inhibitors driving these levels. This will enable managers and executives to make better use of these drivers in order to improve not only the performance of the HR or the IT department but also overall business performance.
A qualitative exploratory approach was adopted to identify new insights into the power and influence of the HR and IT departments. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with managers and executives within an HR or an IT department, covering eight sectors within the manufacturing industry, located in the Gauteng area, South Africa. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse each interview.
This study found that departments are perceived to be in a position of power and influence when they have a formal form of power, such as legitimate power or when they make use of legitimating tactics to influence others. HR departments often lack power and influence. Some IT departments have power and influence, and some do not. This is ascribed to the transforming of IT department power and influence due to the rapidly changing IT environment. The CEO, top management, expertise, metrics, technology and policies and procedures were identified as constructs enabling or inhibiting the power and influence of both HR and IT departments. These constructs affect the credibility of a department and impact on the co-operation and integration with other departments. The findings of this study add to the literature in the field of power and influence.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2018.