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A role that can be adopted by a manager who is primarily responsible for personnel/human resources. Handmaidens react to the requirements and demands of line managers, often adopting a firefighting role when personnel problems surface. They are tactical, rather than strategic, and tend to have a subservient, attendant relationship to line managers (hence the label, handmaiden). The term ‘handmaiden’ was coined by management theorist, John Storey, to describe one of four potential styles of managing human resources (the others being adviser, changemaker, and regulator).

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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