A Research Agenda for Human Resource Management
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A Research Agenda for Human Resource Management

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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Chapter 4: Using a risk-optimisation lens: maximising talent readiness for an uncertain future

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

Abstract

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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