Personnel administration is a line management responsibility but a staff functions. A central management objective is getting effective result with people, as we stressed earlier. Therefore Personnel administration is a basic management responsibility in every organization. Its permits all level of management beginning with the chief executive. Chief executives can be effective only to the extent that they achieve results with the assistant of wise chairman and general managers, who in turn depend on the cooperation and skill of the superintendents and first level supervisor. And these supervisors have the task of building effective work teams of the people for whose daily performance they are responsible.

If personnel administration-the effective management of human resource is a line responsibility what is meant by calling it a staff function? An extensive re-examination of this question in many companies by the conference board concluded that three functions are central to any staff group:

1) Advisory or counselling

2) Service

3) Control


Sometimes Personnel Administrator has conflicting roles.

1) Strategic Planning:

The corporate level personnel or human resource executive has increasingly been a member of the top management strategic planning committee. As one vice president for personnel a member of a six member committee including the president in large company .This role for the top personnel executive that of a personnel generalist, who is advisor to and participant in top management planning.

2) The control function:

This should be exercised sparingly and tactfully if it is to win the confidence and corporation and line management thought the organization. Effective personnel administrators are those who succeed in persuading other managers that they want to work them instead against them. The authority or of personnel people should drive from established personnel policies and procedures that they have helped to formulate and from the inner authority that is the result of accepted specialized knowledge sometimes a personnel specialist needs a position one offering advice to line manager. In such a situation, personal people can hope succeed only if they have earned the reputation of being a source of help rather than a threat to line managers.

3) A Change Agent:

The personnel administrator may be an enabler helping managers think through the implications of current or prospective policies and decision relating to the human organization. The effective personnel staff officer requires a basic familiarity with behavioural science literature and its implications for management. One of the most talked about sub fields is organization development .The ODI consulted and the client ideally work out collaborative solutions to organization problems which may have structural as well as interpersonal aspects

4) Occupational Role Conflict :

These may occur when personal administrator do in fact make decisions effecting line managers, even though they believed that there should involve less decision making and more information and advice for decision making by other whether this is a really myth depends on how one regards the personal functions. If it is to make decision for line managers, it becomes manipulative at best and directive at worst. Line managers are likely to know they are being manipulative. And it is difficult to see how trust and understanding between line and staff people can develop under these conditions.


Courtesy: Md Shahid Sarwar

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