Purpose – This paper aims to explore the role of human‐resource (HR) specialists as change agents and the competencies they need in order to execute this role. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the HR literature, the paper enumerates the skills that HR specialists should seek to acquire in order to make them more valuable members of their organizations' top teams during periods of change. Findings – The paper highlights the importance of culture management, effective relationship and communication skills, good human‐resource development practices, performance‐management skills, value‐chain knowledge, conflict‐management skills and the ability to use the latest information technology. Practical implications – The paper urges HR specialists to be actively involved in operational matters, so they can understand more fully the relevant issues and assist line managers in improving efficiency. Social implications – The paper explains how today's volatile business environment makes it more important than ever for HR people to be able to guide their organizations’ change‐management initiatives. Originality/value – The paper reveals ways in which HR specialists can play a more strategic role in their organizations.
Human Resource Management International Digest – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 16, 2012
Keywords: Organizational change; Change management; Human resource management; Strategy; Senior managers; Information technology; Organizational culture
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