On the Interface Between Operations and
Human Resources Management
John Boudreau • Wallace Hopp • John O. McClain • L. Joseph Thomas
ILR Human Resource Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853
IEMS Department, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208
Johnson School of Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853
Johnson School of Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853 firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com
perations management (OM) and human resources management (HRM) historically have been very separate ﬁelds. In practice, operations managers and human resource managers interact primarily on administrative issues regarding payroll and other matters.
In academia, the two subjects are studied by separate communities of scholars publishing in disjoint sets of journals, drawing on mostly separate disciplinary foundations. Yet, operations and human resources are intimately related at a fundamental level. Operations are the context that often explains or moderates the effects of human resource activities such as pay, training, communications, and stafﬁng. Human responses to OM systems often explain variations or anomalies that would otherwise be treated as randomness or error variance in traditional operations research models. In this paper, we probe the interface between operations and human resources by examining how human considerations affect classical OM results and how operational considerations affect classical HRM results. We then propose a unifying framework for identifying new research opportunities at the intersection of the two ﬁelds. ( Multidisciplinary; Cross-Training; Work Design; Scheduling; Low Inventory; Behavioral Science;
Motivation; Turnover; Worker Performance; Worker Attitude )
The ﬁelds of operations management (OM) and human resources management (HRM) have a long history of separateness.
References: Anand, K. N. 1999. Four-step approach for eliminating people dominant effect. Total Quality Management 10(6) 829–842. Appelbaum, E., R. Batt. 1993. High-Performance Work Systems: American Models of Workplace Transformation Argote, L., S. L. Beckman, D. Epple. 1990. The persistence and transfer of learning in industrial settings Bailey, D. E. 1998. Comparison of manufacturing performance of three team structures in semiconductor plants Banker, R., J. Field, K. Sinha. 2001. Work-team implementation and trajectories of manufacturing quality: A longitudinal study. Bartholdi, III, J., D. Eisenstein. 1996a. A production line that balances itself. Oper. Res. 44(1) 21–34. Batt, R. 1999. Work organization, technology, and performance in customer service and sales , P. Osterman. 1993. A National Policy for Workplace Training: Lessons from State and Local Experiments Becker, B., B. Gerhart. 1996. The impact of human resource management on organizational performance: Progress and prospects. Bhatnager, V., C. G. Drury, S. G. Schiro. 1985. Posture postural discomfort and performance. Human Factors 27(2) 189–199. Bischak, D. 1996. Performance of a manufacturing module with moving workers Bishop, J., S. Kang. 1996. Do Some Employers Share the Costs and Beneﬁts of General Training. Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Bobko, P. 1999. Derivation and implications of a meta-analytic matrix incorporating cognitive ability, alternative predictors, Boswell, W. R. 2000. Employee alignment and the role of “line of sight.” HR: Human Resource Planning 23(4) 48–49. Boudreau, J. W. 2003. Strategic knowledge measurement and management , B. B. Dunford, P. Ramstad. 2001. The human capital “impact” on e-business: The case of Encyclopedia Britannica , M. Sturman, C. Trevor, B. Gerhart. 1999. Is it worth it to win the talent war? Using turnover research to evaluate the Bowen, D., S. Gilliland, R. Folger. 1999. HRM and service fairness: How being fair with employees spills over to customers. Brannick, M. T., E. Salas, C. Prince, eds. 1997. Team Performance Assessment and Measurement: Theory, Methods, and Applications. Buzacott, J. 2002. The impact of worker differences on production system output Campbell, J. P. 1999. The deﬁnition and measurement of performance in the new age. D. R. Ilgen, E. D. Pulakos, eds. The Changing Nature of Performance , R. D. Pritchard. 1976. Motivation theory in industrial and organizational psychology Chadwick, C., P. Capelli. 1999. Alternatives to generic strategy typologies in strategic human resource management Clark, D. 2002. Inside Intel it’s all copying—In setting up plants, chip maker clones older ones down to the paint on the wall. Conway, R., W. Maxwell, J. McClain, L. J. Thomas. 1988. The role of work-in-process inventory in serial production lines