Human Resource Management

Cover image for Vol. 54 Issue 2

Edited By: James C. Hayton

Impact Factor: 1.395

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 28/75 (Psychology Applied); 71/173 (Management)

Online ISSN: 1099-050X

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Call for Papers: Special Section

Research Methods in HRM

Human Resource Management is soliciting and accepting papers for a special section of the Journal. This section will focus on research methods in HRM. We would like to invite papers for this section, which will be part of the HR Science Forum. Below are more details.

We are interested in receiving papers that help researchers in HRM understand the best practice application of specific research methods, research tools, and research designs.

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Call for Papers: Special Issue

Workforce Analytics

Editor: Mark Huselid

Research on the impact of human resource management on firm performance has a long history in the social sciences. For much of this time both scholars and practitioners have focused on assessing the firm-level impact of HR function activities. In the current environment what is new and potentially important is a shift in emphasis from assessing the activities of the HR function to the productive outcomes of the workforce. In large part, the focus has shifted from assessing the levels associated with a particular workforce attribute (e.g., what is our cost per hire?) to understanding the impact of the workforce on business-level outcomes (e.g., how might an increase in the quality of our project managers affect new product cycle time?).

Driving these changes is the recognition by both scholars and practitioners that effective workforce management represents a substantial untapped business opportunity. In addition, the availability of significantly enhanced data and informatics have made many new types of analyses not only possible but also relatively inexpensive to perform. As a result, the emphasis of the emerging field of workforce analytics has most often been on helping managers proactively execute their firm’s strategy through the workforce.

What are the implications of these trends for workforce management? It’s an old saying in the field of organizational design that HR management practices should be “as common as possible – but as different as necessary.” But a segmented, differentiated, and highly competitive customer space means that a conventional, hierarchical approach to workforce management may no longer be effective. Indeed, many firms routinely spend between 50% and 70% of their revenues on direct and indirect workforce costs, but often these investments are not well measured or managed. Addressing these issues means that leaders (both HR and line) should be prepared to develop a comprehensive understanding of how the workforce contributes to their strategic success – and this understanding should be reflected in the workforce metrics and analytics that they develop and deploy.

The goal of this special issue of Human Resource Management will be to explore the latest thinking and advances in workforce analytics. We believe that there is an “information failure” concerning talent in most firms, in that the most expensive asset with the greatest upside potential (talent) is often the least well measured and managed. Solving this problem will require measures that are as differentiated and focused as the talent and the HR practices they are intended to monitor and help to implement. Simply put, a differentiated approach to workforce management means that the analytics we employ need to be differentiated as well. But this approach is often at odds with conventional approaches to HR and workforce measurement.

We encourage authors to submit conceptual, empirical, and/or case-based research papers which employ a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. Suitable topics include but are not limited to:

• How do we identify and quantify the strategic capabilities – bundles of information, technology, and people – that drive our strategic success?
• What are the key strategic positions in our firm and how should they be managed?
• How do we identify and quantify the strategic work that has a major impact on value creation in our firm?
• How well is our strategic work currently being performed? What work needs to be added or deleted?
• How do we develop strategic talent inventories that help us identify 1) the talent we have, 2) the talent we need, and 3) what actions will close this gap?
• How do we design and implement measurement systems (HR and Workforce Scorecards) that ensure managerial accountability for firm’s most expensive resource, the workforce?
• What are the economic returns of investing in top talent in strategic roles vs non-strategic roles?
• How well does our current performance management system help us execute our business strategy? Our compensation system? How effective is our pipeline at producing “A” level strategic leadership talent?
• How will the workforce react to more measurement of their behavior and outcomes?
• How can we create a culture and infrastructure to ensure that metrics and analytics are being used appropriately?
• How can we equip both HR and Line managers to use data and analytics to improve the quality of decision-making?

Authors interested in submitting manuscripts for consideration for this Special Issue should submit manuscripts by December 31, 2015.

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