Strategically Managing Hr Function

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STRATEGICALLY MANAGING THE HR FUNCTION
Chapter Summary
The chapter discusses the various roles and activities of the HR function first. Then it examines how to develop a market- or customer- oriented HR function. Next, the chapter describes the current structure of most HR functions. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of new technologies that can improve HR effectiveness, including the Internet, expert systems, groupware, imaging, and various software applications. Learning Objectives

After studying this chapter, the student should be able to:
1. Describe the roles that HR plays in firms today and the categories of HR activities. 2. Discuss how the HR function can define its mission and market. 3. Explain the approaches to evaluating the effectiveness of HR practices. 4. Describe the new structures for the HR function.

5. Relate how process reengineering is used to review and redesign the HR practices. 6. Discuss the types of new technologies that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of HR. 7. Describe how outsourcing HR activities can improve service delivery efficiency and effectiveness. Extended Chapter Outline

Note: Key terms appear in boldface and are listed in the “Chapter Vocabulary” section. Opening Vignette: Blowing up HR
Within a company, employees usually spend 80% of their time on routine administrative tasks, which can be performed for less by others. Leaders are unable to describe their contribution to value added except in trendy and unquantifiable terms; however, the department frequently offers to others advice on how to eliminate work that does not add value. This analogy is describing a human resource department within a company and Stewart argues why not get rid of it. I.Introduction—Virtually every HR function in top companies is going through a transformation process to create a function that can play this new strategic role while successfully fulfilling its other roles. II.Roles and Activities of the HR Function—Dale Ulrich proposes two dimensions to exploring the role of HR as noted in Figure 16.1 (TM 16.1).

A.Roles of HR
1.Strategic Partner—this role focuses on providing strategy execution as the deliverable. Strategy execution stems from aligning HR strategies to business strategies. 2.Administrative Expert—requires designing and delivering efficient and effective HR systems, processes, and practices. These include systems for selection, training, developing, appraising, and rewarding employees. 3.Employee Advocate—role entails managing the commitment and contributions of employees. 4.Change Agent—final role, entails that HR play a role in transforming organizations to meet the new competitive conditions. HR members must help in identifying and managing processes for change.

A related reading from Dushkin’s
Annual Editions: Human Resources 99/00:
•“A New Mandate for Human Resources” by Dave Ulrich

B.Activities of HR
Transactional activities are low in their strategic value. Traditional activities are the nuts and bolts of HR such as performance management, training, recruiting, selection, compensation, and employee relations. Transformational activities create long-term capability and adaptability for the firm. These activities include knowledge management, management development, cultural change, and strategic redirection and renewal. These activities comprise the greatest strategic value for the firm (Text Figure 16.2 and TM 16.2).

A related reading from Dushkin’s
Annual Editions: Human Resources 99/00:
•“HR 2008” by Floyd Kemske

Competing through High-Performance Work Systems:
Human Resource Departments Become Business Partners

This box discusses a new role taken on by the HR function that of business partner. To become a full-fledged partner in business, the human resource department must evaluate its role, practices, and effectiveness. At Clorox, for example, HR managers...
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