Original Research

Professional personas and capabilities of the future people practitioner: A thematic review

Dieter Veldsman, Melinde Coetzee
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 20 | a2017 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v20i0.2017 | © 2022 Dieter Veldsman, Melinde Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 June 2022 | Published: 30 September 2022

About the author(s)

Dieter Veldsman, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Melinde Coetzee, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: The transformation of the technology-enabled workplace has a significant impact on the future professional roles, services and capabilities of both the human resource professional (HRP) and industrial/organisational psychologist (IOP).

Research purpose: The present study aimed to identify the intersecting professional personas and capabilities that speak to both the HRP and IOP as people practitioners of the digital era.

Motivation for the study: An integrated 2020s capabilities framework outlining IOP and HRP services-linked personas and capabilities in their conjoint roles as people practitioners seems to be lacking.

Research approach/design and method: The study utilised a configurative thematic review analysis methodology to identify convergences among contemporary scholarly and empirical views on the professional personas and capabilities of the 2020s multidisciplinary people practitioner.

Main findings: The thematic analysis revealed professional development in terms of four digitally-dexterous capabilities proficiency domains and six professional personas relevant to the technology-enabled working environment.

Practical/managerial implications: The proposed integrative conceptual personas and capabilities model may inform the context-relevant professional development of the digital-era people practitioner.

Contributions/value-add: The study adds to the research literature on the shifting roles and capabilities of IOPs and HRP as future people practitioners in technology-enabled hybrid and virtualised work environments.


capabilities model; people practitioner; digital-era working world; future-fit people practitioner capabilities; people practitioner personas; professional development; human resource professional; industrial/organisational psychologist


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