Conflicting logics? The role of HRM in a professional service firm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HRM is considered of vital strategic importance in professional service firms, but professionals generally resist these managerial initiatives. In this article, I report on an in-depth case study of a tax consultancy department in a major accounting firm by exploring the way professionals reconcile the logics of professionalism and HRM. Results indicate that the logics are reconciled in several ways as they are simultaneously replicated, revised, and rejected. Whereas current theories argue that the different logics balance each other, this study indicates that the professionals strengthen professional logic by acknowledging HRM and its procedures, simultaneously circumventing them through inverted appropriation. Results suggest that hybridity between conflicting logics may appear on an organisational level, whereas a single logic dominates in everyday work. The study contributes to in-depth studies of institutional logics and to a detailed understanding of the workings of HRM in professional contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-44
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Issue number1
Early online date2017 May 26
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Hybridisation
  • Institutional theory
  • Knowledge work
  • Performance management
  • Professional service firm
  • Training and development


Dive into the research topics of 'Conflicting logics? The role of HRM in a professional service firm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this