Human Resources as a Strategic Partner

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Case for Human Resources as a Strategic Partner
In an era of organizational flux due to competition and globalization, companies and employees are faced with constant change. Leaders must be able to adapt to change as the environment shifts. HR has been known as the organizational change agent, administrative expert, and employee advocate. More recently they have been regarded as business strategic partners for many organizations. In order to be successful and remain competitive in today’s market, Human Resources (HR) must be considered a strategic partner if an organization wants to flourish. Top executives today commit significant resources to ensure that their company’s functions are capable of rapid change and achieving their goals. Far too often, the Human Resources (HR) function is nominal thus they are not as quick to respond to the rapid rate of change. When “this occurs, companies may be perpetuating or even creating barriers to fully leveraging their human capital. Organizations can begin the process of removing these barriers by assessing the Human Resources function and its alignment with business objectives” (Wert & Liwanag , 2002). This paper will make a case for having HR report to the CEO. In order to do so the author will describe the relationship between HR strategies and business strategies. Examples of HR strategies that can be effective will be discussed. In addition, the author will examine the benefits and consequence of having HR as a strategic partner and well as the key business competencies that they must retain. Furthermore, she will discuss an optimal career path for a senior HR executive.
HR Strategies and Business Strategies
In order for an organization to succeed and be competitive they must be strategic and have a strategic management plan. According to Webster’s New American Dictionary, strategy is defined “as the skillful employment and coordination of tactics and as artful planning and management” (Noe et al., 2002,



References: Allan, C., Sommerville, J., Kennedy, P., Robertson, H. (2000). Driving for business excellence through environmental performance improvements. Total Quality Management. Abingdon: July 2000, 11(4-6), 602-608. Buford, S. C., & Mackavey, M. (2003, Mar 2003). New directions for human resources in 2002 and beyond . Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 2 (2), 600. Jamrog, J., & Overholt, M. (2004). Building a Strategic HR Function: Continuing the Evolution. Human Resource Planning 27(1), 51. Noe et al. (2002). Human Resource Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage (4/e ed.). : The McGraw-Hill Companies. Wert , J., & Liwanag , M. (2002, June 27, 2002). HR as Strategic Partner?. Retrieved October 30, 2004, from http://www.imakenews.com/sibson/e_article000078305.cfm

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