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Susan Cartwright

The chapter examines the issue of workplace health and well-being. It explains how human capital reporting standards may help HR functions function account for the value of their employees and their collective knowledge, skills, abilities and capacity to develop and innovate. It argues that we need to broaden the meaning of well-being beyond its traditional and legislative concerns with health status from a medical perspective, and include job demands, control, role clarity, security, pay and equity, and wider factors such as co-workers, HR practices, and aspects of the workplace environment more generally. It examines the evidence from systematic reviews of flexible working to reveal a series of paradoxes facing HRM practitioners and examines some of the ways in which organisations can prevent and address the occurrence of ill health and promote health, well-being and performance. It addresses questions about responsibilities for this, and the choice of processes to monitor, address and modify workplace policies, practices and job characteristics.

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Helen Shipton, Veronica Lin, Karin Sanders and Huadong Yang

The chapter examines the relationship between innovation and HRM, through the literature on recognising, leveraging and releasing the creative and innovative behaviours of employees across specialisms, and across levels of the hierarchy. It develops a four-stage conceptualisation of innovation: problem identification; idea generation; idea evaluation; and implementation. It identifies two areas that would benefit from more focused research. First, distinguishing between environments where creativity and innovation is overtly required, as opposed to job roles where creative outcomes, while valuable, are not expressly called for as part of the job. Second, examining the effect that HRM has on individual creativity (idea generation) and the more collective process of innovation implementation. It examines the process of bottom-up emergence, and the ways in which HRM can support and underpin employees’ efforts not just to generate ideas, but also to work with others to foster their implementation.

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Wayne F. Cascio, John W. Boudreau and Allan H. Church

The chapter applies a risk optimisation lens and reframes talent management systems in ways that hedge risk and uncertainty. It uses the notion of human capital risk – uncertainty arising from changes in a wide variety of workforce and people-management issues that affect a company’s ability to meet its strategic and operating objectives. It examines the use of future scenarios to alleviate risks, and the concept of potential. It highlights two implications for practice: what this means for measuring candidate “potential”; and what the implications are for the ownership rights and decision accountability for talent development. It uses a Leadership Potential framework to demonstrate how organisations might take a more comprehensive and holistic view to framing the identification and prediction of future leadership success. It calls for four developments: improved HR information/talent management systems, databases, and managerial tools for planning different staffing scenarios and downstream implications; changes in the mindsets of leaders, the culture of organisations, reward systems, accountability; changes in our concepts of what talent management and succession planning are supposed to be about; and changes in the capabilities of HR professionals.

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David G. Collings, Anthony McDonnell and John McMackin

This chapter evaluates the literature on talent management and establishes key trends in the research. It differentiates research that treats talent as a subject (where every individual’s strengths should be harnessed for the organisation’s benefit, the motivational effects associated with being classified as talent, and the attention that must therefore be given to the role of objective, fair, and transparent processes of identification), and research that treats talent as an object (where attention is given to the ability, competence, performance, and behaviours of a subset of the workforce that makes them comparatively more important than everyone else in terms of the value they add to corporate performance). It argues that by looking at the interplay between critical roles and talent in isolation, we can avoid the limitations of early research that segmented employees. It identifies three trends that will drive the talent agenda: the interface of talent management and performance management; the importance of context in talent management research; and how to engage this talent and maximise their contribution and rewards for sustainable organisation performance.

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Researching IHRD: context, processes and people

Context, Processes and People

Anthony McDonnell

The chapter deliberates on the primary issues and challenges that scholars face when undertaking international human resource development research. In so doing, the chapter articulates the importance of improving the comprehensiveness and sophistication of the research design and data analysis so as to move our understanding of international human resource development forward in a more robust manner. The focus of the chapter is on quantitative methods, which somewhat surprisingly appears to be less common in this area. This may reflect the relatively recent nature of the field that has seen a more exploratory and qualitative approach dominant. In anticipation of researchers engaging in increased theory testing the chapter focuses on three key areas of conducting valid and reliable quantitative studies, namely, the development of equivalent measures for comparative research; the development of appropriate sampling frames; and the administration of surveys.

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Edited by Paul Sparrow and Cary L. Cooper

The book’s expert contributors provide short and succinct reviews of 12 key topics in strategic HRM, including HR strategy and structure, talent management, selection, assessment and retention, employee engagement, workplace well-being, leadership, HR analytics, productivity, innovation, and globalisation. Each chapter identifies the strengths and gaps in our knowledge, maps out the important intellectual boundaries for their field, and outlines current and future research agendas and how these should inform practice. In examining these strategic topics the authors point to the key interfaces between the field of HRM and cognate disciplines, and enables researchers and practitioners to understand the models and theories that help tie this agenda together.
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Robert E. Ployhart and Jason Kautz

The chapter applies a human capital management lens to research on selection, assessment and turnover. It examines two core but inter-dependent HRM processes – selection and retention – in the context of the talent management research agenda. It examines the relationship between turnover and performance through a number of research lenses: the loss for valuable knowledge, skills, and abilities (the KSAO model); operational disruption and loss of important information flows; and human resource accounting for the true costs of turnover. It discusses the effect of cultural influences on predictor methods, the impact of cultural differences on retention practices and outcomes, and the use of technology for selection and retention. It calls for more study of selection and retention at the unit or firm level, the incorporation of theory from organisational strategy, and the link between investments in selection and training and the recovery of firm productivity.

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Johan Coetsee and Patrick C. Flood

The chapter reviews definitions of leadership potential, the nature of succession programmes, and the underlying leadership models. It explains the main approaches taken – leader-centric approaches, traits and behaviours of leaders, ethical and relational approaches, follower-centric approaches, team leadership and identity-based approaches. It argues the leader-centric approach is over-used. It argues we need to re-examine the assumptions and paradigms we currently use in the study of leadership, as well as our methodologies. It lays out some new paradigms of leadership, and explains the methodologies that will enhance our understanding of what is a complex phenomenon. It signals two important areas of research that now need to be addressed. First, to understand leadership as it is conducted in a context of strategic collaboration at the industry and firm level, predicated on more collaborative cultures at the top of the organisation. Second, the role of HR directors as coaches of their organisations.

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Paul Sparrow and Cary L. Cooper

The chapter summarises recent changes in the HR function. HR directors have developed strategic insight into their organisation, focusing their function on the need to look “into” the organisation, and its strategy, and help ensure the effective execution of change, as part of a team of other senior leaders. As such, they have had to evidence the contribution that people management can have to business challenges such as innovation, productivity, lean management, customer centricity, and the globalisation of operations and organisation capabilities. They have learned to understand the complexity of their organisation’s business models and the different options that exist in terms of organisation design. It notes two over-riding debates or narratives that have come to activity: the notion of talent management; forging a clear link, and line of sight, from the strategy and the changes in business model this often entails, and the engagement of the workforce. The chapter signals the re-emergence of a range of societal debates. It organises the future HRM research agenda into four topics: the role of HR strategy, structure and architecture; the role of key HR processes; key performance enablers and key performance outcomes.

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Thomas Garavan, Alma McCarthy and Ronan Carbery

This chapter charts the landscape of international human resource development (IHRD) and engages with four key strands of IHRD scholarship that point to its possible boundaries. The chapter maps out a number of contextual drivers that are shaping IHRD as both an academic field of research and a set of organisational practices. The chapter proposes an overarching framework to conceptualise the terrain of IHRD. The chapter summarises the focus of the Handbook and summarises the individual chapters and how they are organised. Finally, the chapter proposes a number of priority research areas that will help to give the construct legitimacy as a field of research. The chapter engages in these debates while also acknowledging the emergent, dynamic and constantly evolving nature of the IHRD field.