Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences. Vol.10 No.1

Inside state enterprises: Symbolic compliance to modern HRM as a response to contradictory institutional logics

Shabana Naveed, Dr. Yaamina Salman (Corresponding Author), Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal Jadoon, Prof. Dr. Nasira Jabeen, Naveed Saeed Rana

1 Lecturer, UCP Business School, University of Central Punjab
2 Assistant Professor, Institute of Administrative Sciences, University of the Punjab
3 Professor, UCP Business School, University of Central Punjab
4 Dean, Faculty of Economics & Management Sciences & Director, Institute of Administrative Sciences, University of the Punjab
5 Consultant, SE, Systems Limited


This study explores how state enterprises, incorporating competing institutional logics, internally manage the contradiction of logics that they embody. Using case study research design, the  study attempts to evaluate adoption of private-sector HRM practices (in place of contradictory personnel administration practices) in Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited. Twenty-one in-depth  interviews are conducted from both within and outside HR department. Additionally, HR policy documents were analyzed. The study found that the enterprise adopted modern human resource  management by (i) creating a Human Resource Management Committee, (ii) creating a position of Senior General Manager HR, (iii) bifurcation of HR and administrative activities, and (iv)  horizontal integration of HR practices through performance management system. However, evidence from outside the HR department revealed that these modern HR practices are not  implemented in their true spirit and traditional employment practices are still in operation. Using the strategy of symbolic compliance to modern HRM, the enterprise has incorporated both  (modern and traditional) logics in HR system. The study supports the argument of institutional logics perspective that instead of conformity to institutional pressures, the organizations can use  its discretion in choosing appropriate strategy to manage contradictory logics.
Keywords: Institutional logics, state enterprises, HR practices, symbolic compliance




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