In today's intensely competitive and global marketplace, maintaining a competitive advantage by becoming a low cost leader or a differentiator puts a heavy premium on having a highly committed or competent workforce. Competitive advantage lies not just in differentiating a product or service or in becoming the low cost leader but in also being able to tap the company's special skills or core competencies and rapidly respond to customer's needs and competitor's moves. In other words competitive advantage lies in management's ability to consolidate corporate-wide technologies and production skills into competencies that empower individual businesses to adapt quickly to changing opportunities.
In a growing number of organizations human
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identifying and analyzing external opportunities and threats that may be crucial to the company's success. Similarly HR management is in a unique position to supply competitive intelligence that may be useful in the strategic planning process. HR also participates in the strategy formulation process by supplying information regarding the company's internal strengths and weaknesses. The strengths and weaknesses of a company's human resources can have a determining effect on the viability of the firm's strategic options.
By design the perspective demands that HR managers become strategic partners in business operations playing prospective roles rather than being passive administrators reacting to the requirements of other business functions. Strategic HR managers need a change in their mindset from seeing themselves as relationship managers to resource managers knowing how to utilize the full potential of their human resources.
The new breed of HR managers need to understand and know how to measure the monetary impact of their actions, so as to be able to demonstrate the value added contributions of their functions. HR professionals become strategic partners when they participate in the process of defining business strategy, when they ask questions that move strategy to action and when they design HR practices that align with the business strategy. By fulfilling this role, HR professionals increase the capacity of a business to execute its strategies.