HR Profession in Estonia: Content and Contradictions
In this article the HR (human resource) professionalisation process in Estonia is studied. Debates about the content, possibility and necessity of HR or personnel as a profession have a history of almost forty years and they are still ongoing. A wide scope of subjects and the temporal scale of forty years of history could complicate the addressing of essential contradictions in the process. The issue of HR as a profession is further complicated in the context of national impact. Exemplar case studies could reveal the content of some contradictions in debates about HR as a profession and HR professionalisation process. The development of personnel management as a professional service in Estonia for different reasons could serve as a model of contradictions, questions and challenges standing on the way of HR professionalisation. The research was carried out via analysis of HR managers’ extended biographical data. The study of Estonian HR managers revealed specific as well as common features in the HR professionalisation process. The analysis showed up a big variety in education, continuing training, responsibilities among HR professionals. Weak standards of entry and typical career paths indicated on absence of common understanding about profession and professional activities. Based on the data of the current study it could be argued that HR community in Estonia makes the very first and insecure steps to grow as a profession.
HR as profession, HR/personnel manager’s as occupational group, HR professionalisation process, training and continuing training in HR, HR professional associations
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