The HR department's role in organisational performance

Research into how HR contributes to organisational performance is plentiful yet plagued by challenges. Alongside the 'black box' issue between HRM and performance, the time-lag effect and the range of performance indicators applied, the role of the HR department in this relationship is critical although often ignored. A longitudinal case study is presented here that focuses particularly on this issue, and shows a complex picture of improving HR department importance alongside high-level financial performance, but declining employee commitment and morale. The article suggests that the tensions between the rhetoric of HRM strategy, the grim reality of the employee experience and a lack of focus on human capital meant the outstanding financial performance was not sustainable in the longer term. The inherent conflict in serving both management and employees in process-and people-orientated roles is highlighted.

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [The HR department's role in organisational performance. Human Resource Management Journal 15, 3 p49-66 (2005)], which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions:



Work Title The HR department's role in organisational performance
Open Access
  1. Veronica Hope Hailey
  2. Elaine Farndale
  3. Catherine Truss
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Human Resource Management Journal
Publication Date August 24, 2006
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited September 11, 2023




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Author_Accepted_HRMJ_performance.pdf
  • Added Creator Veronica Hope Hailey
  • Added Creator Elaine Farndale
  • Added Creator Catherine Truss
  • Published
  • Updated Publication Date Show Changes
    Publication Date
    • 2005-12-01
    • 2006-08-24
  • Updated