Talentship and the New Paradigm for Human Resource Management: From Professional Practices to Strategic Talent Decision Science

By Boudreau, John W. | Human Resource Planning, June 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Talentship and the New Paradigm for Human Resource Management: From Professional Practices to Strategic Talent Decision Science


Boudreau, John W., Human Resource Planning


As HR strives to gain greater strategic influence, human resource and business leaders must look beyond the HR profession. They must learn how the strategic "decision sciences" of finance and marketing evolved from the professional practices of accounting and sales. Today's HR is focused mainly on its professional practice, which, like accounting and sales, is important but incomplete. Full strategic partnership requires a "decision science" that enhances decisions about talent resources; finance and marketing enhance decisions about money and customers. We describe the historical lessons from finance and marketing, and how they reveal the elements of a new decision science for talent resources, and a logical framework to support the decision science. Then, we provide an example showing how organizations can use this framework to gain new insights about the talent decisions that are most critical, and enhance the strategic insights and influence of those decisions.

People, intellectual capital, and talent are ever more critical to organizational strategic success. This observation is so common today that it almost goes without saying. Digitization, labor shortages, growth through acquisitions, simultaneous downsizing and expansion, workforce demographic changes, and globalization are just a few of the trends that have made talent a top priority (Lawler & Mohrman, 2003; Frank & Taylor, 2004).

Today, top executives are quick to point out that managing talent well is their personal concern; it is perhaps the most difficult issue preventing their organization's maximum success. Yet, when we ask them if their decisions about the talents of their people are made with the same rigor, logic, and strategic connections as their decisions about money, technology, and products, they readily admit that their talent decisions are much less rigorous. Business leaders are increasingly frustrated with traditional HR, even when it is executed well or bestin-class. One CFO (now the CEO of his organization) put it well: "I value the hard work of HR, but I worry that our organization may not know which talent issues are the important ones, versus which are mostly tactical. I know how to answer that question in finance, marketing, and operations. I'm not sure how to do it for talent. I wish HR had more to offer here."

Frustration with the current state of traditional HR, and hopes for something more, are reflected in questions like these:

"Why is there so little logical connection between our core business management processes and our talent management processes? Our strategic planning, marketing, operations, and budgeting processes connect deeply and logically with how we create competitive success and shareholder value. Yet, at best these processes reflect only general talent goals like headcount, labor costs or generic HR programs. At worst, people issues appear only as a headcount budget at the end of the plan."

"We invest heavily in the latest HR measurement techniques: HR scorecards, HR financial reports, ROI on HR programs, and studies of how HR programs enhance attitudes, skills, and abilities. Yet, these HR measures seldom influence key business decisions, such as acquisitions and entry into new markets. They provide little insight on how well we compare with our competitors in creating competitive advantage through people. Can talent measures truly drive business decisions and investments?"

"Not all investments are equally important in all situations. Marketing would never get away with a strategy to 'provide 40 hours of advertising for every product.' Yet, our HR programs typically apply similarly to everyone, such as '40 hours of quality training.' Shouldn't we deploy our HR investments with greater precision and distinction, to have more impact and less wasted effort?"

"HR spends a lot of time showing the value of HR programs. Yet, in Finance, Marketing, and Operations we judge their value through results: How much they help our leaders make better decisions about those resources to drive organizational effectiveness.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Talentship and the New Paradigm for Human Resource Management: From Professional Practices to Strategic Talent Decision Science
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.