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Human Recources Transformation

In: Business and Management

Submitted By timmombers
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Human resources transformation

May 26th 2009 | Online extra
Human resources transformation refers to the massive restructuring of corporate human resources (HR) departments that took place in the decade or so after 1995. Before that, the staff in HR departments had generally been seen as administrators, not as people to be involved in high-level strategic discussions. HR staff saw themselves as lifetime career specialists with little need for knowledge or experience of what the rest of the business was about.

But with the growing appreciation of the value of a company's human assets, and a need to ensure that the talent that an organisation requires is not just on board but also properly motivated, the role of HR has more and more come to be seen as strategic. The old-style HR that dealt with strikes, bonuses and gripes was rarely suited to this task.

So companies began to look at ways to revamp their HR departments. They were heavily influenced by the ideas of Dave Ulrich (see article), a professor of business at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and author of a 1997 bestseller, “Human Resource Champions”, the book that more than any other set the HR transformation ball rolling. Ulrich's idea was that the HR function should be divided into three:

Related items
Idea: Flexible working
May 19th 2009
Idea: Disruptive technology/innovation
May 11th 2009
Idea: The glass ceiling
May 5th 2009
Guru: Dave Ulrich
Dec 5th 2008
• what are normally called shared service centres (SSCs), groups that deliver the traditional HR services (and do jobs that can often be easily outsourced);

• something described as centres of expertise (COEs), which house the designers of remuneration packages that ensure an organisation can attract the people that it needs;

• business partners, HR people whose job it is to do high falutin'…...

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