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Beyond HR: The New Science of Human Capital [Hardcover]

by John W. Boudreau, Peter M. Ramstad
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 19, 2007 142210415X 978-1422104156 0
Is your talent strategy a unique competitive advantage? As competition for top talent increases, companies must recognize that decisions about talent and its organization can have a significant strategic impact.

Beyond HR shows how organizations can uncover distinctive talent contributions, strategically differentiate their HR practices and metrics, and more optimally allocate talent to create value. Illustrations from companies such as Disney, Boeing, and Corning describe a new decision science called Talentship, that reveals opportunities by identifying strategy pivot points and the optimal talent and organization decisions that address them.

A unique framework helps readers identify their own distinctive strategic pivot points and connect them to talent decisions, showing how today’s “HR” can evolve to fulfill its potential as a source of strategic advantage.

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Beyond HR: The New Science of Human Capital + The Differentiated Workforce: Transforming Talent into Strategic Impact + The HR Scorecard: Linking People, Strategy, and Performance
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Editorial Reviews


“…provides a solid framework to help HR professionals move their careers, and organizations, in the right direction.” (Canadian HR Reporter 2007-10-08)

From the Back Cover

Does your talent strategy give your organization a unique advantage? It had better-because the competition is heating up. How to leave rival companies scrambling? Think more strategically about your company’s number-one resource: its people. Do so, and you improve the quality of every decision that hinges on human capital-no matter where in your organization such decisions are made.

In Beyond HR: The New Science of Human capital, John Boudreau and Peter Ramstad show you how to do this through a new decisions science-talentship. Through talentship, you move far beyond merely reactive mind-set of planning and budgeting for headcount and hiring and retaining talent. You take a strategic approach to talent by asking savvier questions, including:

  • Do we know where our pivotal talent is in the organization?
  • Do we invest differentially in our most pivotal-or do we use the “peanut butter” approach, spreading investments evenly across the entire company?
  • Where does our business strategy require that our talent pools would have to change the most?
  • If we changed our strategic goals, which of our talent pools would have to change the most?
  • Using examples from companies as wide-ranging as Disney, Boeing, SAS, Starbucks, and Corning, the authors reveal how HR professionals can extend their influence by making talent decisions strategically. And they draw on leading research in strategy, economics, and organizational theory to provide a compelling new vision for HR’s role in the future.

    The payoff for smarter choices about human capital? You extend your focus from the quality of your talent decisions. You accelerate the maturing of the human resource profession from a practice to a decisions science. And you enable your HR function to realize its true potential as a key source of strategic advantage for your firm.

    Product Details

    • Hardcover: 272 pages
    • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (June 19, 2007)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 142210415X
    • ISBN-13: 978-1422104156
    • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
    • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    More About the Author

    John W. Boudreau, Ph.D., Professor and Research Director at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business and Center for Effective Organizations, is recognized worldwide for breakthrough research on the bridge between superior human capital, talent and sustainable competitive advantage. Dr. Boudreau consults and conducts executive development with companies worldwide that seek to maximize their employees' effectiveness by discovering the specific strategic bottom-line impact of superior people and human capital strategies.

    His recent books include Beyond HR: The New Science of Human Capital, with Peter M. Ramstad, published by Harvard Business School publishing, in 2007, and Investing in People, with Wayne F. Cascio, published by Pearson, in 2008, Achieving Strategic Excellence in Human Resource Management, with Edward Lawler (Stanford University Press, 2009. His latest book is Retooling HR: Using Proven Business Tools to Make Better Decisions about Talent, published in July 2010 by Harvard Business School Publishing.

    Dr. Boudreau has published more than 50 books and articles. Dr. Boudreau's large-scale research studies and focused field research addresses the future of the global HR profession, HR measurement and analytics, decision-based HR, executive mobility, HR information systems and organizational staffing and development. His scholarly research is published in Management Science, Academy of Management Executive, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Asia-Pacific Human Resource Management, Human Resource Management, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Human Relations, Industrial Relations, and Journal of Human Resources Costing and Accounting. Features on his work have appeared in Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Fast Company and Business Week, among others.

    Professor Boudreau was the first Visiting Director of Sun Microsystems' unique Research and Development Laboratory for Human Capital. He co-authored a best-selling textbook on human resource management that reached its eight edition including Chinese, Czech, Spanish and other translations. His research received the Academy of Management's Organizational Behavior New Concept and Human Resource Scholarly Contribution awards. He received the 2009 Chairman's Award from the International Association for Human Resources Information Management (IHRIM) for lifetime achievement in human resource information management.

    The recipient of the General Mills Award for teaching innovations at Cornell University, Dr. Boudreau founded the Central Europe Human Resource Education Initiative, connecting American HR professionals and academic researchers with faculty and students in the Czech and Slovak Republics. A strong proponent of corporate/academic partnerships, Dr. Boudreau helped to establish and then directed the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS), at Cornell University, where he was a professor for over 20 years, before his current position as Research Director for the Center for Effective Organizations, at the University of Southern California.

    Dr. Boudreau is a strategic advisor to a wide range of organizations, including early-stage companies, global corporations, government and military agencies, and non-profit organizations. His consulting and research clients include American Express, Asian Development Bank, Avon, Baxter Healthcare, Boeing, Bristol-Myers, Citigroup, Corning, Dell, Electronic Arts, Frito-Lay, Gap, GE, The Hartford, HP, Mattel, Merck, Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, Novartis, Pfizer, PepsiCo, Shell International, Royal Bank of Canada, ScotiaBank, Sun, TriWest Health, Towers-Watson, Unilever, United Technologies, Unisys, the United Nations, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, The World Bank, and Williams-Sonoma. He is an invited contributor to executive programs with IMD, Wharton, Harvard and Cornell University.

    Professor Boudreau is a Fellow and Foundation Trustee of the National Academy of Human Resources. He has served as a member of the board of advisors the Human Resource Planning Society and WorldatWork. He chaired the Advisory Board of the California Strategic HR Partnership, a silicon-valley HR executive consortium, and served as an advisor to the Saratoga Institute, a global source of human capital benchmarking and performance measures. He has been elected to the executive committees of the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

    Dr. Boudreau holds an undergraduate degree in business from New Mexico State University, and a Masters degree in Management and Ph.D. in industrial relations from Purdue University's Krannert School of Management.

    Customer Reviews

    4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars How to transform HR into a strategic weapon December 4, 2007
    John W. Boudreau and Peter M. Ramstad say that companies need to transform their human resource (HR) function into a strategic resource, and compete for talent using HR as a "decision science." The tactical skill they call "talentship" is a management approach that enables firms to understand the strategic nature of their employee base and to build value through the way they handle people. Using their human capital decision-making framework ("HC BRidge") and examples from companies as diverse as Disney, McDonalds, Boeing and Williams-Sonoma, they explain that leaders inside and outside of HR must be aware of their competitive talent "pivot points." Though on the dry side, this targeted book will give you a more energetic vision of what HR can become. We recommend it to HR professionals who want a practical, actionable framework for implementing talent-oriented ideas.
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    11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    Applies business discipline to traditional HR functions in innovative ways, following a framework that lets you focus on managing pivotal talent in your organization. How to work through the logic layer and analyze your organization's business strategy to gain talent insights, before ever looking at a metric. If you think attrition metrics are valuable, your eyes will be opened to the vast possibilities you're not yet seeing. Beyond HR is the inevitable future, the question is whether you'll be leading, following, or left behind.
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    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Must read October 23, 2007
    This book will change your thinking about managing "human resources." It's a must read for anyone making decisions that involve or impact people in an organization. The framework provides a very practical and usable tool to guide organizational decisions aimed at creating value through people, and the real world examples bring the framework to life. Again, anyone faced with managing human capital -- HRM professionals, organizational leaders, line managers, and consultants -- would benefit from reading this book.
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