Which institutions have had the most impact over the past 20 years on shaping the HR profession as we know it today? Alison Thomas gives a countdown
1. The Internet
Profile: The Internet has taken the workplace by storm at a speed which leaves many gasping for breath. It is helping to drive the move towards outsourcing and opens up channels of communication undreamt of a few years ago. Employees can manage their own development plans, managers can disseminate information and obtain rapid feedback on issues of the day. E-learning brings training to the desktop and video conferencing allows people to network with colleagues around the globe. From recruitment to pensions it impacts on the entire employee life cycle and relieves managers of administrative tasks. What better opportunity for HR to redefine its role and move into the boardroom?
2. Harvard Business School
Profile: No top 20 would be complete without Harvard, which has turned out more business leaders than any other business school in the world. Despite its formidable reputation in the area of strategy - who has not heard of Michael Porter? - it does not have as distinctive a voice in human resource management as US rivals Wharton or Cornell. On the other hand, Harvard Business Review is the ultimate business publication and has featured countless ground-breaking articles by the world's most distinguished scholars.
Alumni: No fewer than 60,000 business executives in more than 130 countries. Many head up leading organisations such as Levi Strauss and Intuit or have founded start-up companies.
Where? US: Boston, Massachusetts http://www.hbs.edu/
3. Industrial Society
Profile: The Industrial Society has been driven for the past 80 years by one consistent goal - to create a better workplace. It went into decline during the market-driven 1980s and although the 1990s saw it consolidate its role as a serious training body it is only now regaining its status as an influential campaigner. Over the past year it has re-invented itself with Will Hutton at the helm. It has created two new domains - Policy and Futures -