|M.Sc Student||Dafna Shmuel|
|Subject||Role Perception of Human Resource in the Insurance Branch|
in Israel as Employees and Human resource
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Dr. Shlomit Kaminka|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The research objective is to map role perception of HR professionals in the insurance industry. The need to explore the role perceptions in the industry arises following changes in the HR area, on the one hand, and in the insurance industry on the other.
The role perception is based on four variables: Background characteristics of professionals: experience and education, Activity areas: (1) administrative, (2) traditional and (3) strategic,
HR's status in the organization: Influence and involvement, HR orientation in the organization: Service- or business-oriented.
The research hypotheses are : The employees in the indusrtry perceive HR departments in the industry as spending most of their time on administrative and traditional activities rather than on strategic ones, they believe that the education required of an HR professional should have both education and experience in HR, they perceive the common orientation of HR employees as service providers. Another hypotheses relates to a positive relationship between a business orientation and HR's organizational status in terms of involvement and influence.
The study is based on a random convenience sample including 48 respondents in two big insurance companies in Israel. The HR Role Perception Inventory created for the quantitative part of the study. In addition, ten in-depth interviews were conducted with senior HR staff in four insurance companies. For the purpose of the qualitative analysis, we created the HR Function Open-Ended Inventory, a semi-structured questionnaire used for our in-depth interviews.
Our quantitative findings are :
· It is more important for an HR professional to be educated and experienced in HR and behavioral sciences than in other areas.
· The profession is significantly service-oriented.
· The status of HR in the organization is correlated with the emphasis on strategic activities.
Our findings show that in order to improve the status of HR professionals in the industry, it is advisable to change their background characteristics (education and experience). This would naturally lead to changes in the other variables - activity areas and orientation. Consequently, the HR professionals in the insurance industry could become significant business partners contributing to the organization's business results.