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CAHRS White Papers

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The CAHRS White Paper Series is a direct result of the interaction between ILR’s world-class faculty members and students who comprise Cornell’s acclaimed undergraduate and graduate programs and is funded by CAHRS with support from its corporate partners. This series highlights results of the latest research to partner firms and the public at no charge.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 19
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    HR Career Development in the Face of HR Transformation
    Serbin, Jeff; Williams, Sabrina (2019-12)
    [Excerpt] As HR transformation continues, many of the foundational experiences in a traditional HR career path are either no longer needed or look very different today. Transformation often takes the form of advancements in software and analytics, expansion of shared service centers, and an evolution of the HR Generalist role. Considering the ongoing transformation of the HR function, this research sought to answer the question: How are companies approaching career development? More specifically, (1) which skill areas are the focus of development, (2) by what methods are companies developing their HR function, and (3) are companies measuring the effectiveness of their development efforts?
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    The Future of Work
    Le, Brianna; Mourikes, Dimitra; Roy, Sudip (2020-06)
    A host of technological, sociodemographic, and economic shifts are shaping the future of work. For example, technological advancement presents crucial implications for work and workers, and sociodemographic and economic changes have the potential to radically alter the social contract between employers and employees. These changes will have a significant impact on the way work is done in the future, the skills and capabilities required in the future workforce to meet these changing needs, and critical ways in which organizations must be redesigned to prepare for a new future. This report will summarize key trends that companies should be aware of when thinking about and preparing for the future of work as well as highlight key imperatives and skills that HR should focus on to prepare the workforce of tomorrow. These trends emerged from a review of several research-based consulting reports, and findings from organizations such as the International Labor Organization, World Economic Forum, and Cornell’s Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS). More specifically, the report will propose a new framework that combines macro-level themes (i.e. external factors that will shape the nature of work in the future, specifically technology, demographic changes, globalization, and economic changes); micro-level trends (i.e. changes expected at work at an organizational level, specifically the changing social contract, implications of technology on work and workers; and the need to redesign tomorrow’s organization), and implications for the Human Resources function.
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    Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being at Work: The Role of the Manager
    Jordan, Tiffany; Mladenovic, Nate (2021-01)
    [Excerpt] Burnout can become that much more common when collective stress affects all employees. And the benefits of community may be all the more fleeting when employees are working from home indefinitely. This unprecedented time presents both a challenge and an opportunity to companies who are concerned with mental health. As such, it is imperative to better understand how organizations can promote the mental health of their employees.
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    Future of Remote Work in the Time of COVID-19
    Jung, Hae-Song; Silva, Ralf (2021-01)
    This research paper has a particular focus on illuminating how companies shifted their remote-work related attitudes and strategies as a result of their learnings from the pandemic. We have gathered these insights to help organizations navigate some of the same remote-work-related uncertainties, and to make more nuanced and informed decisions on the future of remote work.
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    CAHRS Partners' Implementation of Artificial Intelligence
    Lee, Hannah; Lee, Soyeon; Tarpey, Michaela (2018-06-01)
    [Excerpt] The ideas and uses for Artificial Intelligence (AI) are abundant, and each business is seemingly ripe for disruption, including HR. As the hype surrounding AI continues to be championed by popular press, we began our research in order to determine whether the press’ biased view that AI was here and ready to implement was accurate. We found that in reality, AI programs were far behind the progress discussed, as the software was slower, more expensive, and there was a general lack of amalgamation throughout the industry. From there, we asked CAHRS partners to tell us where AI was used in their company, and how it helped them deliver HR differently. Our research focused on how AI technology will disrupt, change, or bolster the HR function, specifically in Talent Acquisition and Learning and Development (L&D) spaces. We found our CAHRS partners dove into AI, and represented three key points along a spectrum of AI implementation. Of the 59 participants at 32 companies, 26% are Observers, 48% are Explorers, and 26% are Implementers. Observers were companies that did not believe AI fits with their strategy, and therefore do not intend to implement AI right now. Explorers are companies that have begun to actively explore AI through industry research, vendor exploration, and piloting AI and machine learning (ML) technologies. Implementers are companies that have either built in house or worked with an external vendor to implement an AI or machine learning technology. The CAHRS partners represented such a wide range along this spectrum because there are no best practices for AI implementation. However, each of our partners that leveraged AI understood the tool, while also understanding their business needs, people, and technology, which allowed them to utilize AI technology.
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    Virtual Teams: Work/Life Challenges - Keeping Remote Employees Engaged
    Sundin, Kirsten (2010-01-01)
    Remotely located employees are quickly becoming a norm in the modern workplace in response to evidence that telecommuters save on costs and produce more efficiently. There are many intangible benefits also felt with the increasing prevalence of remote employees. Telecommuters are more satisfied with their work/life balance and report lower rates of job burnout. Though there are also many well-identified setbacks remotely located managers and employees may face. Employers see the most success with telecommuting by first recruiting the people best fit to fill these remote roles. However, the process of developing remote employees is a process that requires constant monitoring. The purpose of this paper is to identify the best practices being used by companies to keep remote employees engaged while simultaneously avoiding burnout.
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    Challenges and Interventions in Monitoring and Evaluating Virtual Team Performance
    Fitzpatrick, Rex (2010-01-01)
    With the increasingly global nature of our economy, heightened complexity of jobs, emphasis on enterprise agility, and an increase of American telecommuters (approximately 17.2 million in 2008 compared to 12.4 million in 2006* (“Telework Trendlines,” 2009), many companies have adopted distributed, or “virtual”, teams into their organizational structures to successfully operate in changing business conditions. Research suggests that the implementation of virtual teams can provide organizations with many potential benefits—remote working options to greater attract and retain employees (Cascio, 2000), enhanced project decision quality stemming from the firm’s ability to place the best individuals together on a team regardless of geographical location (Lipnack & Stamps, 1999), closer contact to customers worldwide (Solomon, 2001), along with a host of others. However, the benefits afforded by virtual teams are also coupled with many challenges—such as effectively monitoring and evaluating virtual team performance. This paper aims to provide insight into what current research has identified as the major roadblocks in monitoring and evaluating virtual team performance, along with research-derived recommendations regarding how to improve upon these challenges.
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    Virtual Leadership: Required Competencies for Effective Leaders
    Johnson, Kurt (2010-01-01)
    There are countless books, articles, and resources available which attempt to identify the competencies and qualities of effective leaders. Traditionally, leaders have been at the center of a community, be it work, church, or social groups. In these communities, face-to-face meetings and close personal interaction have dominated the way leaders interact with their members. However, with the advent of the internet and the host of communication tools that followed, teams today are becoming increasingly dispersed and diverse. Studies are now being done to understand how leadership has or should evolve in order to meet the changing needs and demands of these new and different communities. Some argue that leadership in the virtual environment is simpler as fewer tools are available to virtual leaders. Others may argue that access to fewer tools makes virtual leadership more complex and challenging than traditional leadership. This paper will explore leadership in virtual settings and how it’s changing as more teams move away from traditional team environments. I’ll review the responsibilities and roles of virtual leaders in an effort to better highlight the core competencies needed in today’s virtual settings. I’ll also look at competencies required of global virtual leaders and I’ll address how these competencies can be cultivated to ensure leaders are more effective in leading teams in these new environments.
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    The HR Function in 2021: Models & Competencies
    Kelly, Chris; Rapp, Katie (2017-10-01)
    [Excerpt] The findings of this research project are based on interviews with 57 Human Resources (HR) leaders across 44 national and international companies within 10 industries ranging from manufacturing to financial services. Interviews lasted approximately 45 minutes and strove to answer the following question: “what are the key future competencies for the HR Business Partner (HRBP) role? How should these competencies be developed?” The interviews included questions addressing the topics of future of work trends, HR operating models, the HRBP role, and HRBP career development.
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    Social Movements and HR: The Impact of #MeToo
    Boyle, David; Cucchiara, Amanda (2018-12-01)
    [Excerpt] Considering the increased societal attention given to sexual harassment and assault, and the wide range of reactions to #MeToo, we wanted to know how companies are reacting, whether they are changing their policies and practices, and whether the societal movement is impacting company culture. The highlights of our study show opportunities in culture, leadership, policy and reporting formulation, and training practices. During our study, we also found innovative practices that could be replicated across companies. Lastly, we have included a self-assessment tool to measure progress in addressing sexual harassment and assault within an organization