Human Resource Management Roles

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Description of Human Resource Management Roles. Explanation.




Definition Human Resource Management Roles. Description.

In an attempt to classify HR managers into categories, Lengnick-Hall and Lengnick-Hall (2003) distinguish the following Human Resource Management Roles:

  1. Human Capital Steward. Acts as a guide and facilitator in partnership with employees with the aim of achieving the highest return possible on a company’s human capital investments. Compare: Skandia Navigator

  2. Knowledge Facilitator. Facilitates both knowledge capital (held in explicit and implicit sources) and knowledge flows. Compare: Knowledge Management (Collison & Parcell)

  3. Relationship Builder. Manages relationships between individuals and groups both internal and external to the organization to enhance social capital across the total value chain. Compare: Dimensions of Relational Work

  4. Rapid Deployment Specialist. Takes responsibility for the development of flexible human capital resources with an emphasis on adaptability, tolerance
    and capacity to learn. Compare: Appreciative Inquiry

HR Competences (Human Resource Competency Study at the University of Michigan Business School)

Dave Ulrich distinguished between 4 other HR philosophies:

  1. Strategic Partner. HR must ensure that its practices, processes, and policies complement the overall organizational strategy. It needs to develop a capacity to execute that strategy. HR must minimize the time it takes to implement the strategy.

  2. Change Agent. All organizations change. In recent years the rate of change has increased dramatically, due in part to the globalization of the economy and enhancements in communication (e.g. the Internet). The HR role is to facilitate that change in organizations. This includes modeling change to other departments, advocating change across the entire organization, resolving issues that arise from change, and institutionalizing change by implementing efficient and flexible processes.

  3. Administrative Expert. This is the role to which HR dedicates most of its time, and rightfully so. This role involves HR infrastructure, such as recruiting, hiring, compensating, rewarding and disciplining, training, recordkeeping, and terminating, and any other process that involves people. HR must ensure that these processes are efficient and optimized, which requires tracking, monitoring, and continuously improving. "You have to deliver on the basics," says Ulrich, "because it is much easier to change when there is confidence in the infrastructure."

  4. Employee Champion. This too is a traditional HR role, similar to 'employee advocate.' To be employee champions, HR must know the employees well and spend time meeting with and listening to employees. HR must promote communication, which can include employee surveys, employee suggestion programs, all-employee meetings, on-going communication of business status, and any other program that can make employees feel part of the team and dedicated to customer service. This role also includes ensuring that employees who are having problems get a fair hearing.

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