Research Report

Changing HR operating models

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Changing HR operating models

Published February 2015

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This collection of thought pieces brings together a number of lead thinkers; academics, practitioners and consultants who are active in the debate about the future of the HR function. We asked them to talk about HR operating models from various angles to provide a summary of the key themes for HR practitioners.

Content of report


Executive Summary

Thought pieces: 
  • A modern HR operating model: the world has changed. Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte
  • The future is ‘centres of expertise’. What impact has 18 years of the Ulrich model had on the HR operating model and what does it tell us about the future? Allan Boroughs, Orion Consulting
  • ‘You can’t put in what God left out’: not everyone can be a strategic HR business partner. Nick Holley, Henley Business School
  • The strategic role of HR. John W. Boudreau and Edward E. Lawler III, University of Southern California
  • Cloud technology in the HR operating model. Gareth Williams, Travelex
  • Will the cloud have a silver lining for HR outsourcing? Andrew Spence, Glass Bead Consulting
  • Reflecting on the past and looking to the future: the importance of business structure. Dave Ulrich, Ross Business School, University of Michigan and RBL Group
  • Owning our HR Operating Model: an enterprise centred Organisational Design methodology for HR. Barry Fry, Slumbering Giants and Anton Fishman
  • What does the future of HR look like in an SME? Jill Miller, CIPD
  • Living in a collaborative world: implications for HR operating models. Professor Paul Sparrow, Lancaster Business School

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Changing HR operating models

This collection brings together a number of thought pieces by lead thinkers who have contributed to the CIPD report 'Changing HR operating models'. The full report is published by the CIPD.