Freddy Hällstén

Senior Lecturer

Department of Business Administration
Visiting address
Vasagatan 1
41124 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 610
40530 Göteborg

About Freddy Hällstén

My research area is called value-adding Human Resource Management. The project has explored how HR has been organised with an aim of increasing business orientation and value creation and how this has affected the other parts of the organisation. The concept of HR transformation is often used to describe changes in the HR organisation that are based on the principle of dividing the HR function into three parts, so-called shared service organisation: service centres, expert units and local HR business partners. The project shows that many companies have adopted the HR transformation concept and apparently copied the ways large multinationals organise their HR functions. In practice, however, many different ways of organising HR emerge, suggesting the presence of ‘HR transformations’. Whether we see HR transformation as a concept or as a number of different transformations, the changes are not as significant as the advocates had hoped. It is not enough to change the organisation of the HR work with a focus on the HR function – in order to be successful you also need to have line managers and other actors on board. Also these groups are affected by the changes. A great deal of work also remains with respect to the HR function’s business orientation and value creation.

In 2013, our research on HR transformation earned us the Swedish HR research-of-the-year prize. A second edition was launched 2021, which included updated empirical research about what had happened to the different case organisations, as well as a new chapter on how the future HR work can be organised with regard to digitization, people and social values.

I continue to monitor the reorganisation efforts and quest for value creation in HR, including the progression of the international/global transformation as well as strategic approaches in HR work. I am also interested in other adjoining research areas that connects to the transformation concept, among these the digitalisation of HR, HR/People analytics and new ways of organising HRM, especially agile HRM.

In the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s, I studied areas such as HR accounting and managers’ HR responsibilities, as well as employeeship/coworkership and ethics. The research results concerning employeeship (or coworkership) are presented in the book Medarbetarskap i praktiken (Employeeship in Practice, Studentlitteratur 2006). In 2007, we published a practically oriented handbook, Medarbetarskap från ord till handling (Employeeship From Words to Action, Liber). This book was also published in Norway. In 2016 a chapter was published in International Human Resource Management (Dickmann, Brewster and Sparrow - eds.) (Routledge): Nordic HRM - Distinctiveness and Resilience (together with Andersen, T.)

Research areas

  • Human Resource Management

Teaching areas

  • Human Resource Management
  • Ethics
  • Leadership och Coworkership
  • Organization theory

Selected publications

HR transformation and shared services: Adoption and adaptation in Swedish organisations. Boglind, Anders, Hällsten, Freddy, Thilander, Per. Personnel Review, 40:5, s. 570-588, 2011

Nordic HRM: Distinctiveness and Resilience. Andersen, Torben, Hällsten, Freddy. International Human Resource Management: Contemporary HR Issues in Europe. Eds.: Dickmann, M., Brewster, C. and Sparrow, P, London : Routledge, s. 100-114, 2016