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Workshop 15 (Half Day)

Business and HRM Strategy: Aligning Policies
and Making it Happen

Jack Militello
University of St. Thomas

John Delery
University of Arkansas

Most business scholars and HR practitioners agree that an organization’s HRM policies and practices must support its marketplace activities. In fact, over the past decade the focus on HRM strategy development in the context of business partnership and change leadership has received as much attention as administrative and employee advocate activities within the HR function. However, both case studies and empirical research have indicated that it is far easier to ascribe a strategic role to the HR function and design an HRM strategy on paper than achieve a fully integrated system of business and HRM policies and practices.


This Workshop will integrate three topics dealing with the synergy of business and HRM policies and practices. In the initial segment, the presenters will describe approaches for framing an organization’s business design that lead rationally to specific HRM policies and practices. A specific approach, "core/risk analysis," will be discussed in detail. The second segment will present state-of-the-art information relative to HRM systems (i.e., bundles of policies and practices that form coherent gestalts within an organization affecting both specific employee behavior and overall organizational effectiveness). In the final segment, a model for aligning competitive strategy and HRM policy and practices will be presented and reviewed in detail. Within each segment of the Workshop, participants will be provided with measurements and encouraged to apply the assessment to their own firms as a learning experience.

John E. Delery is an Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business Administration at the University of Arkansas. He received his Ph.D. in Management from Texas A&M University. His current research interests include the strategic management of human resources, the structure of human resources management systems, and the selection interview. Specifically, he is interested in how the management of human resources influences organizational performance and profitability. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

John has published articles in the Academy of Management Journal, Human Resource Management Review, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, and the International Journal of Selection and Assessment. He serves on the editorial board of Quality Management Journal and has served as an ad hoc reviewer for the Academy of Management Journal, Human Resource Management Review, and Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Personnel Psychology.

Jack Militello is an Associate Professor of Management at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is also a Principal with Pinnacle Consulting Group in Eagan, Minnesota. He holds a Ph.D. in Business and Applied Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado and a B.A. in Philosophy from Boston College. Before entering the academic and consulting fields, he enjoyed 10 years of business experience, including 5 with the Consolidated Rail Corporation in Philadelphia where has was involved in organizational restructuring. He now teaches strategic planning and business policy at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Jack’s recent research and publications focus on issues of strategy and business design. During 20 years of consulting he has worked with over 50 organizations from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors.

Coordinator: Mick Sheppeck, University of St. Thomas

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