Good ideas going wrong

Far from being faddish, innovative HR can add value to an organization — when done right
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/09/2002

There are few HR problems for which some academic or consultant hasn’t devised a system or solution. New buzzwords are coined every few months. Yet according to HR experts, few organizations can truly be characterized as being innovative or embracing high performance HR programs.

“A lot of these things are viewed as gimmicks,” said Terry Wagar, a professor of HR at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. But there is a large and growing body of international research suggesting that on average, organizations doing high involvement HR will perform better, he said.

These HR concepts are referred to as high performance work practices, but other terms include high involvement work practices or more simply innovative HR. Examples include total quality management, job sharing, self-managing teams and job rotation.