The Future of Human Resource Management

HR Magazine, June, 2005 by Leigh Rivenbark
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The Future of Human Resource Management Edited by Mike Losey, Sue Meisinger and Dave Ulrich Society for Human Resource Management/John Wiley & Sons, 2005 List price: $34.95, 400 pages, ISBN: 0-471-67791-4 What is the future of HR? That's the question posed to 64 academics, consultants and senior HR practitioners in this volume of essays. Some of the experts focused on the future of HR professionals, their roles and development, while others concentrated on "the outcomes of doing HR work," such as HR's engagement in public policy debate or how HR can manage culture change.
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The editors--Mike Losey, former president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); Sue Meisinger, current president and CEO of SHRM; and Dave Ulrich, a University of Michigan professor and management education specialist--found that demographics, technology, globalization and competitiveness turn a spotlight on how well HR does its job. They also note that HR must partner with line managers, who have increasing HR responsibilities. Among the essay topics in The Future of Human Resource Management: * The labor supply. Two essays present differing opinions on whether there will be a labor shortage. One author says there will be a change in the employment relationship, not a

demographically driven shortage of workers. Expressing an opposing view. * Competency development. or as a "productivity czar" with a handle on the intangible assets companies need. Essays look at how General Motors redefined its HR career path." show how analysis can improve employers' candidate selections and discuss the development of different HR practices for core and peripheral employees. how AT & T developed its HR professionals after major outsourcing. * A scientific approach. One author offers ideas for envisioning HR as "product lines" to serve the larger business. Authors examine "human resource accounting. how HR can help alter employees' fixed mind-sets and how a firm transitioned to a customer-centered culture. . Authors look at how HR can play new roles in organizations and processes without giving up HR's human core. Essays on corporate culture outline how HR led culture change at American Express. HR professionals must keep learning the changing competencies expected of them. Losey says there will be a real labor shortage requiring improved recruitment and retention strategies as well as better understanding of why employees really leave organizations. The writers re-imagine HR as a business driver. The editors advocate seeing HR as a "decision science" needing "rigorous theory and research. * Culture change. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] * New roles. designing processes to get the most from employees." Professionals can make recommendations based on data and evidence rather than on personal preferences (though the editors note that instinct will always play a positive role in HR). and how competency as both HR and business professionals is increasingly important.

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