Once believed to be strictly an administrative function low on management’s priority list, the human resource function is increasingly involved in strategic management decisions. Intense competitive pressures are forcing it to reexamine its structure, the services it provides, and the competencies it requires. As a result, HR is looking at outsourcing as a way to reduce its workload and concentrate on strategic core functions. Interviews with nine HR executives reported in this study provide a snapshot of how Canadian organizations and their HR functions are changing to cope with the new economic environment. They reveal that outsourcing is increasingly seen in some organizations as a way for HR to shed parts of its administrative burden. But others are reluctant to transfer functions outside the HR department.
Archives for September 1996
This article from 1996 takes a look at CP Rail, and the tremendous pressures for change it was being confronted with. Environmental forces, government policy and the responses of management and labour to their environment had a significant impact on industrial relations policies and practices at CP Rail. The story at CP Rail represents a classic case of an old system of industrial relations finally yielding to overwhelming forces for change.
Although a number of recent articles have underscored the importance of human resource management (HRM) and employee involvement (EI), there has been very little research addressing the relationship between human resource practices and organizational strategy and culture. Among the questions that frequently arise are: what practices have other organizations implemented?, what HRM practices and organizational strategies distinguish successful and unsuccessful organizations?, and what is the impact of strategy and culture on the success of HRM practices and organizational behaviour? The present study is aimed at addressing these questions.
In fall 1993 and winter 1994, major Canadian organizations were surveyed with respect to employee involvement practice and corporate strategy and culture, and human resource management. This report is designed to provide a summary of the research findings of the study. The results contained in this report represent initial findings from more than 1,465 organizations. Although the author is using multivariate statistics in examining the data, he has avoided using statistical jargon and procedures in this report. Rather, his focus is on presenting the major conclusions of the research.