The principal idea of this paper is that human resource management (HRM) and quality management (QM) ideas require contextualization when used to change organizations. Here, contextualization stands for the process that leads to a shared meaning, i.e. the majority of the co-workers in an organization understand and define a concept or change in terms that are shared and accepted. In the present paper, we study a strategic change project, based on HRM and QM ideas, conducted at the County Council of Varmland (CCV), the public healthcare authority in the County of Varmland in Sweden, where the focus was on everybody's involvement. Our interpretation of the project shows that a shared meaning of the concept of everybody's involvement was not reached in this particular case, i.e. contextualization did not occur. One important result of the study is that contextualization is a prerequisite for realizing HRM and QM thoughts. The paper also stresses how important it is that general and 'non-contextualized' HRM and QM ideas are adapted to local practices when used to direct organizational change.
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