Being ‘human’ under regimes of Human Resource Management: Using black theology to illuminate humanisation and dehumanisation in the workplace


Critical studies have rightly faulted mainstream HRM for its failure to account for the meaning of being human under regimes of HRM. This article advances the field in this regard by drawing on African and broader black theological reflection on the meaning of being human, and by using visual research methods to interrogate the extent to which workplaces respect human dignity. Fifty-five (55) visual timeline interviews were conducted in a range of workplaces in the north-east of England. Data showed that allowing autonomy and freedom, mediating audit regimes, contractual affirmation, and creating communities of care were the key factors whose presence created humanising workplaces and whose absence signalled dehumanising ones. This research allows a richer understanding of structures and processes that produce either humanising or dehumanising workplaces.

Author Biography

Nick Megoran, Newcastle University
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, United Kingdom