The Changing Roles and Responsibilities of Human Resources : The Transformation from Tactical to Strategic Planning Methods in the Automotive Industry
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Competition, globalization, and continuous change in markets and technology are the principal reasons for the transformation of human resource management. Additionally, a revolution in capital markets has given shareholders a more powerful voice and has made it possible for them to claim a larger share of the corporation's resources. As a consequence of these forces, corporations are finding themselves in the midst of a revolution in organizing and managing people that will continue well into the twenty-first century. This is not the first time that the discipline of human resources has undergone significant changes. Consider the distance the profession has come already from its narrow focus as primarily transactional personnel function to the larger perspective represented by its human resource identity. To make a successful transformation, the HR function will have to shed its traditional administrative, compliance and service role and adopt a new strategic role concerned with developing the organization and the capabilities of its managers. The older administrative, compliance, and service-oriented human resource activities will have to become more differentiated from the new strategic HR activities. Increasingly HR services are being outsourced to external vendors. Moving administrative and service functions out of HR is essential if a new strategic role is to emerge. The new HR. function will be much smaller but more high powered; its key role will be strategic. At the business unit level, HR partners will work closely with the managers and their team to assess and develop the alignment of the organization with strategy and core values. Analytic and interpersonal skills needed to facilitate change will also be essential. A flatter, faster and more responsive organization is emerging as the model for the future. In such an organization people will be employed in a more cost-effective manner. More importantly, organizations will have to enhance a number of capabilities and make these the source of their competitive advantage. Far higher levels of coordination across functions, business units and borders; employee commitment to continuous improvement; general management and leadership competence; developing useful metrics and conducting relevant benchmarking studies; and open communication will have to be developed.