Essays

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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Rebuilding Trust in the Financial Services Industry: Lessons for Human Resource Professionals

March 14, 2014

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and CEO of TIAA-CREF, delivered the Lewis H. Durland Memorial Lecture at the ILR School last October. Hosted by Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, Ferguson’s lecture, entitled “Rebuilding Trust in the Financial Services Industry: The Way Forward,” highlighted a number of weaknesses concerning internal corporate governance that […]

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The NLRB’s Social Media Guidelines a Lose-Lose: Why the NLRB’s Stance on Social Media Fails to Fully Address Employer’s Concerns and Dilutes Employee Protections

November 3, 2013

Introduction The expanding use of both personal and professional social media sites has resulted in its growing impact in the workplace. Recently, many examples have emerged where an individual’s use of social media for communicating frustrations or sharing personal information resulted in significant conflict between the individual and their employer.[i] Employment actions arising from an […]

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Change Management and Organizational Effectiveness for the HR Professional

October 14, 2013

Introduction Hostess Brands, an American company established in the 1930s, specialized in baked goods including the long established Twinkies, Ho Ho’s, and Wonder Bread.  In November of 2012, Hostess management filed for bankruptcy, blaming the unions and workforce for the financial fiasco. While the organized workforce’s unwillingness to bend to management’s demands may have been […]

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