This research framed some aspects of two huge areas of research, namely the areas of human resources
and of innovation management in one framework and built a model in which the role of the HR department could be considered as central and even critical in innovation management. In terms of a research question, this thesis explores to what extent HR policies and HR specialists’ role is considered as critical for the success of BPR implementation. Surprisingly, the literature on BPR didn’t touch on the theme of a specific role that would be played by the HR function during the introduction of BPR. In particular, although there was interesting research making a good case for the necessity to effectively manage HR, none of the studies mentioned the importance of the role of HR practitioners specifically as catalysts of change or as strategic partners during implementation of BPR. Also, none of the case studies of companies that have implemented BPR revealed any kind of relationships that could have existed between the HR function and the BPR project team and that could have enhanced the effectiveness of BPR implementation. Therefore, the
interest and the originality of this research is to try to fill this gap in the literature and analyze what might be the role of the HR function and what kind of interactions it might have with line managers
for a better implementation of BPR. The literature review brought about some possible
answers, and five propositions were formulated highlighting these potential roles and relationships. The main proposition stipulates that for a successful implementation of BPR, the role played by the HR department could be considered critical. The four other propositions presented the main elements of this role. In particular, the HR department should be implementing innovative HRM
practices. It should also act as a “change agent” and be considered as a “strategic partner.” The last proposition considered that the HR department should operate in close partnership with other functions and line managers for increased effectiveness in change adoption. These propositions were explored in two large Lebanese banks that had recently implemented BPR projects. From the findings, it was possible to provide the following answer to the research question: The HR department might play a critical role during implementation of BPR to the extent that it has the capability to play the role of “change agent” and also but to a minor extent, it is an innovative department and is strategically involved in the business with managers at all hierarchical levels.
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