HR is changing. Not surprisingly, the trends that are driving this are similar to those driving change in the business world as a whole.
Organizations are being forced to adapt, as a wave of disruptive technologies—artificial intelligence (AI), automation, big data analytics, and robotics—offer the potential for a more focused strategy to harness business value.
A more coherent, value-oriented strategy for HR teams within a firm is thus needed, as the sector needs to become more than a humdrum of paperwork and workforce regulation—there have even been calls to split HR down the middle, having it at the confluence of an old-school, traditional stream of thought, and a modern, fast-flowing river of data and analytics.
Dana Minbaeva, professor of strategic and global HR management at Copenhagen Business School—ranked among the top 100 business schools in the Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings 2018—is harnessing this potential on her course, aiming to create the next generation of data-savvy HR leaders.
Big data analytics brings along with it “a quest for more simplicity, less complexity, more innovation, and more customer orientation,” she says, as it is made more possible to objectively analyze a company’s workforce performance.
That directly shapes the way strategic and global HR management is taught on the Copenhagen MBA, as Dana taps more into human resources in terms of human capital, as businesses nowadays need managers who know how to generate value from their workforce.
“I talk a lot about strategic implementation and the value that human capital has for a company, and how to use it to achieve a sustained, competitive advantage,” she explains.
On the Copenhagen MBA she handpicks selective topics—from HR capital, talent management, performance management, and pay compensation—that are linked to the increasingly proximal relationship between HR and line managers.
“The relations are changing,” Dana admits, “in the old days a line manager needed to sit down and have a face-to-face meeting with their HR business partner.
But new developments in data analytics mean that questions around staffing numbers, workplace productivity, staff retention and turnover, can now be answered by an algorithm that provides hard, objective evidence for line managers.