Strategic human resource management replaced by tactical cost and risk management

Press Releases

22 Feb 2016

Thoughts for the dayWith economic forecasts uncertain, strategic human resource management is being replaced by tactical cost and risk management. Researchers at the Institute for Employment Studies have found HR directors are waiting to confirm their budgets for the year and workforce planning is going quarterly.

In response, the Institute has published a collection of articles urging organisations to consider both general and strategic HR issues, as well as particular challenges, including a detailed description of this year’s gender pay reporting requirement and how to maximise the benefits.

This compilation of bite-sized essays by leading thinkers confronts and expands on existing thinking, plans, and practices in HR and employment. Has HR sold out on employees and its ethical soul? Where does and should HR stand on whistleblowing? How do we address the abysmal record of organisations in implementing change successfully? Why is performance management underperforming and what should we do about it? Should we really be so obsessed with generational differences? Profits and purpose, which wins out, can they be combined?

It will help HR leaders think about, plan for, and deal with these ‘known and unknown unknowns’, challenging modern fads, reinforcing some long-standing truths and offering original and practical insights.

Duncan Brown, Head of HR Consultancy at the Institute, comments:

‘In times of continuing uncertainty we felt it was vital to offer HR leaders, from IES’s unique position on the research/practice boundaries, a set of evidence-based essays to inform and challenge their thinking and practices.

‘Market and economic challenges, cost pressures, flat-lining engagement levels and failed restructurings all present serious challenges to HR functions. But they also provide tremendous opportunities to put into practice the business-impacting ambitions many have been pursuing for the last 20 years.’

The chapters in this year’s IES Perspectives on HR include:

  • The me and we generations: the impact of intergenerational differences in the workplace
  • What’s the point? the importance of meaningful work
  • Gender pay gap reporting: important, undesirable or irrelevant?
  • Performance management, a tale of two practices?
  • Swimming against the tide: getting whistleblowers on board
  • From consultation to co-production: high involvement change
  • Can values add value?
  • Ethical leadership

Thoughts for the day: IES Perspectives on HR 2016 can be downloaded free at


Notes to editor

Duncan Brown, Head of HR Consultancy, is available for interview and individual comment and articles on the IES perspectives topics.

The Institute for Employment Studies is the UK’s leading independent centre for research and evidence-based consultancy in employment, labour market and human resource policy and practice. It is apolitical and not-for-profit, its activities being funded through research and consultancy commissions, and from its corporate membership programme. The Institute aims to improve employment policy in the UK and internationally by carrying out authoritative research of practical relevance to policy makers and those responsible for implementing policy programmes and initiatives.


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