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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2020

Clinton Longenecker, Sheri Caldwell and Deborah Ball

The purpose of this paper is to identify and share the specific factors that cause senior human resource (HR) leaders to lose their jobs. The paper will also provide…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and share the specific factors that cause senior human resource (HR) leaders to lose their jobs. The paper will also provide readers with key lessons to help them improve their senior HR leadership talents and acumen while at the same time providing them with a checklist of specific questions that address the causes of termination.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors will describe a leadership development process that they use to help senior HR leaders identify the causes of senior HR leadership failure. A focus group methodology is used so that senior leaders are able to share their experience and input in response to the question, “Based on your experience, what are the primary factors that will cause a senior HR leader to be terminated from their position?” In this paper, the authors will share what they have learned from these HR leaders having gone to this process with hundreds of senior HR leaders. The authors will also provide the readers with lessons based on their input.

Findings

Senior HR leader focus groups revealed a set of “failure factors” that included a lack of understanding of the core business model, inability to fashion an effective value-added HR strategy, poor working relationships with members of the senior leadership team, a marked lack of emotional intelligence, political factors and an inability to create best HR practices and leverage technology, among others. Participant leaders provided rich dialogue and discussion points that provide the readers with a better understanding of why senior HR leaders fail, and equally important, how to avoid HR leadership failure.

Research limitations/implications

The basis for the findings stated in this paper is based on the content analysis of a convenience sample which may limit the generalizability of these findings. Having said that, the findings will provide the readers with a rich context for better understanding of the nature of senior HR leaders’ terminations.

Practical implications

The practical implications of this project provide the readers with any number of important lessons requiring application. From a senior HR leader’s perspective, the key lessons from this research provide them with a checklist of factors that need attention and forging and implementing an effective HR strategy and set of best practices. At the organizational level, these findings can serve as a needs assessment that can be used in senior HR leader selection, orientation and development.

Social implications

Any time a paper provides guidelines that can help prevent senior leadership failure, there is a positive social effect for both organizations and individuals operating in these environments. The authors believe that the findings will provide the readers with effective guidelines to improve the overall effectiveness of senior HR leaders when properly implemented. Previous research makes it clear that when organizations have great HR practices, the quality of work life for organizational members moves in the right direction.

Originality/value

As a general rule, there is limited research on the subject matter of why leaders fail while antidotal information and literature abound. It is the authors purpose to provide the readers of Strategic HR Review, the relevant information based on the input of their fellow members of the C-suite so as to improve their performance and provide their organizations with the template for organizational HR success.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Clinton Longenecker and Laurence S Fink

– Presents the distilled wisdom of two human-resource (HR) award facilitators.

Abstract

Purpose

Presents the distilled wisdom of two human-resource (HR) award facilitators.

Design/methodology/approach

Takes in the form of ten questions that make a difference for HR leadership.

Findings

Asks: Are you trusted by the members of your organization? Do you possess a real and comprehensive understanding of how your business makes money? Do you keep yourself up to speed on the legal and compliance issues that are most important to your organization? Do you think strategically and execute operationally? Are you measuring and monitoring the most meaningful metrics that measure mission-driven performance? Are you working hard to create business partnerships with your stakeholders that increase the likelihood of success? Are you taking steps to help all managers in your organization to operate like great HR leaders? Are you using your talents and influence to build teams and solve organizational problems? Do you seek out and apply innovative HR practices that can truly affect your organization’s bottom-line performance? Do you ensure that people have the information they need to perform in an optimal fashion?

Practical implications

Urges HR specialists to review, reflect on and assess their response to each of the questions.

Social implications

Suggests that each question identifies key behaviors and activities that can become a target for improvement.

Originality/value

Provides valuable insight rarely available to HR specialists.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 18 September 2006

Bruce J. Avolio and Fred O. Walumbwa

Exercising human resource (HR) leadership has always been difficult in challenging times, but the unique stressors facing organizations throughout the world today call for…

Abstract

Exercising human resource (HR) leadership has always been difficult in challenging times, but the unique stressors facing organizations throughout the world today call for a new approach to HR leadership and its development. We propose a multifaceted model that redefines the role of strategic HR leadership and for understanding connections between authentic HR leadership and sustainable organizational performance. We argue that to build enduring organizations and motivate employees to provide superior customer service and create sustainable value for their organizations, we need HR leaders who know themselves, who lead with integrity and demand conformance to higher ethical values.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-426-3

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Book part
Publication date: 20 July 2017

Elizabeth P. Karam, William L. Gardner, Daniel P. Gullifor, Lori L. Tribble and Mingwei Li

Academic and practitioner attention to the constructs of authentic leadership and work engagement and their implications for organizations has grown dramatically over the…

Abstract

Academic and practitioner attention to the constructs of authentic leadership and work engagement and their implications for organizations has grown dramatically over the past decade. Consideration of the implications of these constructs for high-performance human resource practices (HPHRP) is limited, however. In this monograph, we present a conceptual model that integrates authentic leadership/followership theory with theory and research on HPHRP. Then, we apply this model to systematically consider the implications of skill-enhancing, motivation-enhancing, and opportunity-enhancing HR practices in combination with authentic leadership for authentic followership, follower work engagement, and follower performance. We contend that authentic leadership, through various influences processes, promotes HPHRP, and vice versa, to help foster enhanced work engagement. By cultivating greater work engagement, individuals are motivated to bring their best, most authentic selves to the workplace and are more likely to achieve higher levels of both well-being and performance.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-709-6

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

M.S. Rao

The purpose of this research paper is to address the current challenges in HR and offer innovative tools and techniques to craft a modern HR philosophy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research paper is to address the current challenges in HR and offer innovative tools and techniques to craft a modern HR philosophy.

Design/methodology/approach

It illustrates with examples of global companies, including Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, FedEx Corporation, Mayo Clinic, Rolls-Royce, Shell, Ford, Boston Consulting Group, Nissan, and Cadbury, that are noted for innovative HR practices.

Findings

It concludes that global organizations and senior leaders must address the current HR challenges and adopt innovative tools and techniques to stay relevant and competent in the present global dynamic business environment to achieve organizational excellence and effectiveness.

Practical implications

The tools and techniques adopted to achieve a modern HR philosophy can be applied in any industry and in any size of organization.

Social implications

The social implications of this research suggest that HR leaders can achieve organizational excellence and effectiveness by adopting these innovative tools and techniques.

Originality/value

It advises placing more emphasis on leadership than on leaders because leaders are mortal, whereas leadership is immortal. It explains the role of HR leaders and CEOs in crafting a modern HR philosophy.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 25 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Thomas O. Davenport

The purpose of the article is to demonstrate the value that human resource (HR) can provide in the effectiveness of leaders and managers.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the article is to demonstrate the value that human resource (HR) can provide in the effectiveness of leaders and managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Two complementary Towers Watson studies – the 2014 Global Workforce Study (GWS) of over 32,000 employees, and the 2014 Global Talent Management & Rewards Study (TM&R) of 1,637 organizations – formed the research basis for the article. The TM&R study was fielded from April to June 2014 in 31 markets around the world and includes responses from 1,637 participating organizations in a range of industries. The GWS covers some 32,000 employees from a population of full-time employees working in large- and mid-sized organizations across a range of industries in 26 markets around the world. It was fielded online during April and May 2014.

Findings

A key role of HR is ensuring that the organization has the right people performing well in leadership roles at all levels. This means HR must focus attention in five key areas: job architecture, incumbent assessment, performance definition, recognition for success and building leadership capacity. It is also up to HR to dispel the notion that “soft skills” should be subordinate to “hard skills”, which are often seen as more important. In fact, soft skills are usually more difficult to master and, in our opinion, are more important – they are what leaders need to maximize performance from others.

Research limitations/implications

Different observers assign a variety of roles to the HR function. These range from compliance enforcer and data administrator to strategic partner and culture creator. The author believes that HR’s most important role may well be ensuring that the organization has an ample supply of leadership and management capability at every level of the enterprise. It is leaders, who envision the future and help people generate the motivation to go there, and managers, who see to it that systems, assets and processes serve their purposes efficiently, who enable the enterprise to make the most of each employee’s contribution.

Practical implications

In a world where technology evolution, demographic shifts and social change are rewriting the rules of the workplace, the author can expect that the role of the HR function will also continue to change. What should not change, however, is the contribution that HR makes toward building and preserving the organization’s leadership and management capacity. In this article, the author makes the case that, despite the many shifts taking place in the business terrain, HR should remain focused on this fundamental goal, acting as ally, trusted advisor and coach.

Originality/value

The value of this article is to provide strategic and practical advice on how HR can influence manager and leader effectiveness.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 January 2015

Clinton Longenecker and Laurence S. Fink

Considers the four foundations of exceptional human resource (HR) leadership – strong business acumen, trustworthy leadership, great HR expertise and cultural stewardship…

Abstract

Purpose

Considers the four foundations of exceptional human resource (HR) leadership – strong business acumen, trustworthy leadership, great HR expertise and cultural stewardship – that must be in place to meet current and future human resource challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

Considers the four foundations of exceptional HR leadership – strong business acumen, trustworthy leadership, great HR expertise and cultural stewardship – that must be in place to meet current and future human-resource challenges.

Findings

Advances the view that if one of the cornerstones is weak or ineffective, the ability of the HR leader and his or her team to be exceptional is greatly impaired.

Practical implications

Reveals how to take HR to the next level.

Social implications

Demonstrates how HR leaders can add value and improve the competitiveness of their enterprises.

Originality/value

Explains how HR can best overcome the challenges it faces in respect of talent gaps, process failures, compensation and benefits repositioning, workforce realignment, dealing with budget cuts and fiscal constraints, lack of front-line management buy-in, compliance, increased time constraints and the need to help with technological implementation, strategy execution and improving profitability.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Niamh O'Keeffe

The purpose of this article is to establish how HR professionals can help to accelerate the performance of senior leaders in the first 100 days.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to establish how HR professionals can help to accelerate the performance of senior leaders in the first 100 days.

Design/methodology/approach

The article begins with an appraisal of how many businesses approach the first 100 days, how resources are allocated and the scope to improve practices in these areas. Subsequently, the article outlines where HR can add value to the first 100 days process, while identifying what the challenges and pitfalls are for new leaders during those early days. The article concludes with an assessment of how to write and implement an effective 100‐day plan that can set the tone for an effective leadership transition, and a case study to outline how performance acceleration in the first 100 days can have an enterprise‐wide impact.

Findings

The article is clear that outside expertise and assistance in the first 100 days form a vital tool for HR practitioners. The case study sets out how the HR director at AppSense used experts in the first 100 days to accelerate the performance of the whole business as it faced the challenge presented by significant growth.

Practical implications

The article takes a practical, real‐world view on what is achievable internally, and where outside help needs to be brought in to ensure newly appointed leaders get off to an accelerated start. It is based on seven years' experience of First100 consultants working with senior business leaders in global corporations, with findings derived from the challenges and opportunities these leaders have encountered in their first 100 days.

Originality/value

The article takes a practical view on how HR professionals can help to improve new senior leaders' performance in the first 100 days, on what is achievable internally, and where outside help needs to be brought in.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2013

M.S. Rao

This paper aims to present a blueprint for HR leaders to excel as chief executives.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a blueprint for HR leaders to excel as chief executives.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper highlights some of the challenges that HR leaders encounter in their quest to succeed as a chief executive.

Findings

The paper emphasizes the need to acquire chief‐executive acumen by developing a particular mindset, toolset and skill set, among other things. It explains the importance of understanding other departments, including marketing, finance, operations, legal, IT and strategy.

Practical implications

The paper stresses the importance of entering into line organizations rather than staff organizations for quick career advancement for HR leaders.

Social implications

The paper illustrates the realities of leadership development, with examples of a wide range of successful leaders.

Originality/value

The paper closes the gap between theory and practice in the quest to become a good chief executive.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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