Sabbatical Post – Doing the Basics

HRM received bad press recently with many commentators questioning its value to organisations. The resignation of the HR Director of the BBC has raised questions over the efficacy of the discipline. Why the resignation of one person should spark calls for a review of the area or even questions over the feminsation of HR is anyone's guess. But harm us it has and we need to think hard about how we got here and more importantly how we are going to get away from this negative spotlight. This is important for all of us as we go through the 'Ulrichisation' of the profession - a time of great change. But it's also important not least women, because HR has been one of the areas where women have succeeded most in achieving management positions. Last week in this blog I suggested that academics and Continue reading here [...]

Sabbatical Post – The ADDIE Model, Practitioners and Academics Living Apart

Having crossed over the line between HRM practice and academia I am conscious more than ever of how these two communities live very much apart. I'm sure the way it's supposed to work is that the practice 'surfaces' its concerns and the academia takes up the challenge ultimately informing practice of what its concerns should  be. Or something like that. However, during my time as a practitioner I never felt assisted by Irish academics helping me to understand my challenges as a manager and now that I'm in academia I'm often puzzled at how oblivious Practice is regarding the work that is going on in Irish universities. A good example of this is the ADDIE model. This model is a staple approach to identifying training needs and implementing and evaluating training. Developed (perhaps) by the Continue reading here [...]

A balanced view: when working from home doesn’t work

Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer has come under attack in recent months after she made changes to Yahoo employees' work-from-home arrangements. Women and parental rights advocates hotly contested the imposition to have to come into the office to work. Teleworking (working from home) policies and practices have been taken up by many organisations in the public and private sector, and for many employees it has has led to a better work/life balance. Why waste time on a long commute to work if you can get the job done from home and connect with work via computer, internet and mobile devices? However, on the other hand, Marissa Mayer may be on to something. In practice working from home often means no fixed end time to the working day, with home and work chores overlapping and blurring throughout the Continue reading here [...]

Gender equality in the workplace: The need to walk the talk

John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco, the multinational networking organisation, has admitted that while he has always considered himself sensitive to gender issues in the workplace, he hasn't 'walked the talk' with regards to taking leadership in ensuring gender equality, development and promotion in the organisation. To improve this going forward, he has asked his top managers to develop and implement women-focused initiatives. Only one quarter of the organisation's employees and top executives are women, which has led Chambers to confess that Cisco's existing gender equality and development policies and practices haven't worked. He suggests that, subconsciously, without realising it, we go about our day to day work with gender stereotypes and biases, which we don't even realise are placing Continue reading here [...]

What does spirituality have to do with sustainable economic development?

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When I reviewed Eric Amblin’s An Ecology of Happiness for the London School of Economics Review of Books last week, one short section of that excellent text struck me as particular interesting.  The penultimate chapter (titled “When Poor Countries Set an … Continue reading

Leaders as they could/should be….

Leadership and management training which separates the training from the specific context of the organisation is being called into question. Indeed a CIPD report proclaims that the era of "sheep-dip leadership and management training are over", now replaced by training programmes which are aligned with the specific organisation's values, corporate culture and strategy. The CIPD Perspectives on Leadership in 2012 report propounds the requirement of a new type of leadership in contemporary times in order to get the maximum results from the human capital in the organisation through a balanced emphasis on positive work cultures which support creativity, autonomy and an ethical mindset. Relational leadership, values-based leadership (both underlining the importance of a high quality relationship Continue reading here [...]

Funding for Humanitarian Relief

Humanitarian aid is being stretched. Millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa are living with conflict and its legacy; natural disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan have the power to disrupt and sometimes even paralyse economic and social infrastructure; recovery and reconstruction remain uneven following large-scale conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan; and political turmoil is escalating in parts of the Middle East and North Africa. In many instances the people already affected by crises face additional threats, their livelihoods made more insecure by the effects of climate change and the vagaries of the global economy. The international humanitarian response to these needs reached US$16.7 billion in 2010. If this preliminary, partial estimate proves to be accurate Continue reading here [...]

The Humanitarian Urban Risk Divide

An earthquake can bring hospitals, schools and homes tumbling down with unspeakably tragic consequences. A volcano can throw city airports into chaos. Flood waters can turn well-kept streets into detritus-strewn canals. The drug trade can turn an inner city into a war zone.An epidemic can spread rapidly through a crowded slum. As the pendulum of human development swings increasingly away from the countryside to the city, we see that rapid urbanization and population growth are combining to create enormous new challenges for the humanitarian community and pushing us out of our comfort zone to deal with a strange new urban world. When it comes to the impact of natural disasters, well-run cities can be among the safest places on earth. They can also be the best places to raise a family, for schooling, Continue reading here [...]