The Australian HR professional: a 1995 profile

Peter Dowling, Cathy Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The new human resources (HR) function represents a move away from an administrative, reactionary role towards a more strategic, proactive, planning position. The current research surveyed members of the Australian Human Resource Institute to determine, first, whether these changes are actually taking place in Australia and, second, to provide a profile of those involved in the area in order to analyse how well the function is equipped to deal with this period of transition. Results show that change is apparent. Departments are now called 'human resource' departments rather than 'personnel', and the HR function enjoys improved status. Representation on boards of directors is poor but there is evidence of committees of senior executives meeting regularly to discuss HR matters. Responses also suggest balanced involvement of line managers in HR initiatives. Change is also evident in the profile of those involved in the HR area. Gender equity has been achieved and the group is more highly qualified than it was in 1985. Areas of concern include reduced salary levels, the non-representation of women in the higher salary group, careful monitoring of younger people to ensure that they get access to a broad range of business experiences within the organization, and retention of those involved in the HR area who understand the culture and strategic vision of the firm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes

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