The Cornell HR Review is a student-run HR publication that provides timely articles, essays, and executive commentary.

21st Century Human Resources: Employee Advocate, Business Partner, or Both?

February 11, 2015

The human resources (“HR”) field can be segmented into three eras. The first era developed in the late 19th century out of labor tensions as public concern grew due to the sometimes violent relations between employers and employees.[1] Some characterize HR’s beginning as a managerial function as well as a steward of the employee experience. […]

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Understanding ADR

January 21, 2015

This essay provides a concrete understanding of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by analyzing Owen Fiss’ article Against Settlement. Additionally, this essay provides insight regarding the role that the Human Resources (HR) function plays in the context of the dispute resolution process. Part I begins by introducing the concept of ADR. Part II provides an overview […]

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The Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Large Companies

December 24, 2014

The purpose of this paper is to explore how Fortune 500 companies have been affected by the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). More importantly, this paper will explore what strategies companies have adopted, and what the legislation means to the following stakeholders: company boards, executives, managers, employees, the Human Resource function, and the […]

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Workplace Wellness Programs: Are They Part of the Answer to the U.S.’s Growing Healthcare Crisis?

December 24, 2014

Of the $2.8 trillion that the United States has spent on healthcare in recent years, the majority of it (75%) is spent treating chronic disease. Chronic disease is “a long-standing condition that can be controlled but not cured… It is the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., which is 1.7 million lives […]

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Sacrificing Organizational Goals for Self-Preservation: Changing Course to Stay in Power at the University of Virginia: a Coalition Theory Perspective

November 30, 2014

For several weeks in the summer of 2012 the University of Virginia became the center of national media attention in America because of the forced resignation of the university’s first female president. Teresa Sullivan, a highly reputable academic administrator, had been hired as president in 2010 with a 5 year contract by the unanimous decision […]

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From Measurement to Ownership: the Evolution and Organizational Implications of Modern Performance Management

November 14, 2014

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Jim Collins, Good to Great At the core of performance management and human resources more generally is the idea that people make the difference in organizations. Research has shown time and time again that effective deployment of human capital is a key differentiator in business (Pfeffer, 1994; […]

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The Business Partner Balancing Act: An analysis of alternative employee advocacy practices in the modern HR function

October 31, 2014

The Rise of the Business Partner Over the past 15 years, human resource (HR) organizations shifted to “business-based HR” or “business partnering,” as firms adopted a three-legged HR functional design comprising shared services, centers of expertise and HR business partner roles.[1] This new structure offers a firm additional HR value by freeing the business partner […]

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Straddling the Line or Embracing the Dichotomy: HR’s Role as an Employee Advocate as Necessary to Remaining (or Becoming) a Business Partner

October 8, 2014

The HR function has evolved through the years (mostly in larger companies) from a purely clerical and employee relations nature to a function involved in developing organizational strategy and realizing business-wide goals. The evolution of the Australian nomenclature of the HR role clearly shows the transition that this function has experienced. In Australia people working […]

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Technology: A Leadership Perspective on Human Capital Strategy

September 30, 2014

The Cornell HR Review covered the keynote address at the Human Capital Association’s (HCA) 12th Annual Symposium. The theme for the 2014 Symposium was, “Technology: A Leadership Perspective on Human Capital Strategy.” The HCA is a student-run organization within Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson School of Management and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. […]

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Realizing the Potential of Strategic Human Resource Management: Employee Self-Advocacy in the Information Age

September 17, 2014

Human Resources has an identity crisis. The HR function is increasingly called upon to be a strategic business partner but this role is often in conflict with HR’s long-held identity as the firm’s employee advocate. Contemporary Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) initiatives seek to maximize human capital, align strategic fit throughout an organization and increase […]

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Privately Funded Family Medical Leave?

August 8, 2014

Executive Summary Women’s greater participation in the workplace spurred support for the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993.  Nonetheless, advocates have not gained what they desired the most:  a program of federally funded paid family medical leave and wage replacement.  American social insurance models that offer paid family leave through workers’ compensation benefits has been […]

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Throwing Out the Baby and Weighing the Bathwater: The Nonsense of Executive Compensation Oversight

May 7, 2014

Introduction CEO pay averages less than 2.5% of after-tax earnings of S&P 500 companies,[i] making it a rounding error on the corporate profit and loss statement (P&L), but it makes headlines and may be the one thing that rouses the passions of those otherwise uninvolved with the corporation.[ii]  It is axiomatic that any given issue […]

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