HR Professionalism and Employees with Concussion

Signe Rømer Sonne & Mette Christa Borup Lering

Student thesis: Master thesis


During the past 10 years, the media coverage of people with concussion has increased in relation to personal histories and scientific research. The increased focus on concussions in the media, has raised our awareness of the fact that people diagnosed with a concussion are often employees in a company. Whenever an employee is struck by concussion his/her employer may be affected by a long-term sick leave and accordingly related expenses. HR management of employees with concussion is a relatively new challenge compared to e.g. managing employees suffering from stress. This paper put focus on how HR professionalism is expressed through concussion management. This paper examines the HR concussion management through qualitative interviews with five employees with concussion and four HR consultants from four different private companies. Through a data reduction process and an analysis of three main topics; HR in the eyes of the employees with concussion Use of knowledge and experience and Value creation the paper discusses how HR professionalism is dependent on which perspective one has. According to employees with concussion, the HR-professionalism consists of regular human qualities. According to HR, HR professionalism covers two main areas: 1) being personally experienced in general and, 2) ability to apply one's personal ideas of value creation in the management of an employee with concussion. It is rather interesting that various HR professionals are able to create such different understanding. In addition, it is worth taking into consideration why employees with concussion see the HR professionalism as a profession, that any employee would be able to discharge and that neither HR education nor HR experience is necessary in this respect. The paper concentrates on the HR concussion management, but analyses has shown that apparently, HR fail to align HR related activities such as performance management systems in relation to management of an employee with concussion, which leads to dissatisfaction. In a further analysis, it may be relevant to analyse the goal-setting strategy of HR in order to understand pros and cons of aligning concussion management and performance management systems.

EducationsMSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages115
SupervisorsNanna Mik-Meyer