Overcoming the identity crisis in human resources

Stephen Flynn
  • Human Resource Management International Digest, March 2014, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/hrmid-03-2014-0037

Reconnection HR Operations and HR Strategy

What is it about?

The Ulrich Model of HR has encouraged practitioners to separate HR Operations from Strategic Partnering. This article points out the folly of this approach. HR commentators have misinterpreted what HR work is 'strategic'. Managers and employees do not see their requests as merely 'transactional' but as strategically important. Further, separating the operational from the strategic denies the strategic the field intelligence that informs and test the strategy.

Why is it important?

The Ulrich Model has not worked. This article points out two reasons why. First, reconnecting HR Operations and Strategy is needed. Second, the rejection of the unitary bias in Strategic HRM is required by acknowledging both sides of the HR professional balancing act - the business and the employee. This is the central paradox that Personnel Management explicitly accepted and HRM implicitly denies.

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