Paul Sparrow, chair of one of the streams at the HRcoreLAB³ ,  together with Martin Hird & Cary Cooper have written a book on “Do we need HR?“.

Written by a leading team of authors, Do We Need HR? explores the position of HR, asking pivotal questions such as: does making HR a separate business function still make sense? Should HR return to a narrower personnel role? Should key areas like talent management be relocated to leadership and management units outside of HR?

The authors present a picture of what new lean HR structures might look like, arguing that in the tough current environment, HR could be facing diffusion or even disintegration as a result of new types of organizational design, business knowledge, and cross functional networks. Drawing upon exclusive research and interviews with HR directors, this expert team examines the challenges facing HR departments and provides actionable advice for managers contemplating the nature of HR in their own organizations.


“… This book asks a challenging question at a critical time for the HR function and profession – a time where the ‘people agenda’ has never been more important. Good people management is also good business management, and HR has the opportunity to step up and really establish its value and long term role. The authors take a long hard look at the structures and models of HR, challenges some of the ordained thinking, and propose ways in which HR needs to reposition itself to add value and really impact business performance. Something all HR practitioners, and indeed business leaders, should read”. Peter Cheese, Chief Executive CIPD

“… In this important and provocative book the authors – with precision and wisdom – show how current business issues (like innovation and customer centricity) can be addressed. They challenge outdated thinking and frameworks and describe what it would take for HR to be a worthy and credible partner to the CEO and CFO. A must read for anyone determined to make a difference and to build their competence and hone their judgement”. Lynda Gratton, Professor of Practice, London Business School.

 “…. A fresh look at this indispensable function… The importance of managing people has never been greater but the reputation and influence of the HR function continues to decline. Do We Need HR? tells us how that function can become as important as the problems it addresses…. HR practitioners have struggled for decades to understand what their priorities should be. Do We Need HR provides a new and clear answer that can rebuild the importance of that function.” Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor of Management and Director, Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Do we need HR? Not unless it adds value. This is not easy to demonstrate, for there are many ways to define “value”. To assess any of them, there must be a tight linkage between HR processes and business strategy. Fortunately, the authors provide lots of thought-provoking questions, practical examples, and sound advice to address that fundamental issue”. Wayne F. Cascio, Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado, and Robert H. Reynolds Chair in Global Leadership

 ”…This book does a giant service to the HR profession arguing for its continued and unabated relevance. Written by distinguished authors from the Centre for Performance Led HR at Lancaster University it summarises a wealth of knowledge on HR and performance. I recommend it as an ideal book for advanced undergraduate, masters and executive programmes..” Patrick Flood,  Dublin City University Business School

Some of this issues will be discussed and adressed during the sessions at the HRcoreLAB³ , be sure to check all the details and join over 250 +  delegates during this two-day event in Barcelona.

See you soon!