Corporations are undergoing dramatic changes that have significant implications for how human resources are best managed and organized. There is growing consensus that human capital is critical to an organization’s success. But how should the HR function itself be organized? Is change in HR keeping pace with organizational change overall?

Creating a Strategic Human Resources Organization reports the findings from a 6-year longitudinal study of whether and how the HR functions in large corporations are responding to the challenges and opportunities posed by the changing business environment. The book identifies the changes that will be required in order for HR to become a true strategic partner, and suggests why, in too many companies, this transition is not occurring. It examines the paradoxical roles played in this transition by the focus on talent management and the application of IT capabilities, and proposes a new way of conceptualizing HR as providing three service lines. It finds that the most effective HR teams are substantially changing their mix of activities to become knowledge-based contributors to organizational strategy and effectiveness.

The authors conclude that HR is at a crossroads, and will either have to face up to these challenges or become a marginal contributor to corporate success.

The study was carried out at the Center for Effective Organizations in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, and was funded by the Human Resource Planning Society and the corporate sponsors of the Center for Effective Organizations.

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Creating a Strategic Human Resources Organization:
An Assessment of Trends and New Directions
By: Edward E. Lawler III and Susan Albers Mohrman
Stanford University Press, 2003

 
 

 

 

 

Watch a video of Ed Lawler discussing his career.
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For Ed Lawler's complete curriculum vita
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For Ed Lawler's background information click here.

For the Built to Change press release click here.