HR business partners: yes please or no thanks?

A paper from 'HR in a disordered world: IES Perspectives on HR 2015'

Reilly P | HR Network Paper 110 | Institute for Employment Studies | Mar 2015

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Business partners are one of the Ulrich model’s most endemic manifestations, seen as integral to the running of business units and providing strategic advice and support to maximise performance. However, all too often various pressures on business partners result in a failure to be sufficiently strategic, the tendency to be drawn into low added value activities and becoming too associated with the business unit in which they sit and less willing to toe the HR line. The popularity of the role can also make it harder to find people of the right calibre. These are partly problems of role definition but also of line interface; devolution to the line has proved harder than anticipated. As a result, there is a real tension between strategic contribution and operational support which organisations have not yet resolved.

This paper was originally published in HR in a disordered world: IES Perspectives on HR 2015