This study explores the roles of human resource departments in Vietnam. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 human resource and line managers. Data were analysed using the repertory grid approach. There was divergence in the roles performed by human resource departments between foreign and local enterprises. The role framework of human resources developed in Western economies was perceived to be present in foreign investment enterprises, but not identified in privately-owned enterprises. Human resource departments in privately-owned organisations were perceived to be more administratively-oriented. In addition, the present study supports the notion that multiple stakeholders perceive differently the strategic and value-added role of human resource departments in organisations.