Strategically Integrated HRD

The second edition of Strategically Integrated HR Development claims to be a ‘hands-on resource’ that ‘showcases conceptual building blocks and practical tools’ which highlight the real power that HR could yield in an organisation.

Strategically Integrated HRD, Second edition
By Jerry W Gilley and Ann Maycunich
Publisher: Perseus Publishing
Pages: 320 Price: £24.99
Reviewed by Alan Rankin
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Its American authors divide the book into three main sections – HR philosophy, the redesign and repositioning of HR, and six transformational roles that support the development of HR.

The first two sections are rather baffling in their use of jargon, acronyms and complex strategic thinking, and I felt they revealed little that was new or radical. They simply reiterate, with a rather complex array of supporting diagrams, flow charts, models and checklists, what most HR practitioners should know already: that effective HR processes and practices are key to organisational success.

In the third section, we discover the six roles of ‘political navigators’, ‘strategists’, ‘change champions’, ‘organisation architects’, ‘performance engineers’ and ‘relationship builders’. However, 160 in-depth pages discussing and outlining these roles does little to actually explain what they are, or how they can best contribute to an organisation.

Unfortunately, the book failed to be especially ‘hands on’, offered few practical solutions, and did little to reinforce the positive contribution the function makes to non-believers.

The book is written in a text-book style, and is not easy to read. It is for the hardcore HR theorists, academics and jargonists with the commitment and perseverance to think deeply about and consider what is written rather than HR practitioners looking for some hints and tips as to how to improve their HR departments and processes with a ‘hands-on resource’.

While the book undoubtedly has some merit, it didn’t live up to what it claimed to be.

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Alan Rankin is an HR manager at Sellafield M&O Services, BNFL

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