Emerging HR Practices

Advancing Impact and Status of HR

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Applying technology that ensures HR the driver of strategy

IPM 55th Annual Conference October 31 2011.
Resourcing the future- positioning Africa for success

Director and founder of OPD International Limited
OPD International Limited, PO Box 36656, Northcote Auckland, New Zealand
Phone: +6421909310 Email: info@opdcoach.com web: www.opdcoach.com

Paper presented to the Institute of People Management 55th Annual Convention October 31st 2011:


Human performance depends on the mind, human resources deal with the human performance. It follows that the roots of HR must be in social science, the science of people, which must include the science of mind. But social science is flawed, it lacks adequate base for insight into cause, knowledge, psychology, variables, and tools for theory construction.

The more insightful and apt our technology the more effectively we manage. Therefore we need better science from which we can deduce better theory leading to better technology enabling better management of human performance as a strategic factor in organisational results .

Ideas are the way we ‘see’ or ‘view’ a situation. Ideas are our personal ‘theory’ and are psychologically the same as a scientific theory, except that scientific theory is bound by tighter rules.

Underlying OPD theory is the re-conceptualisation of social science with clear definition of the intellectual base of HR, such as general theory of cause, general theory of psychology, general theory of knowledge, and clearly defined tools for social science theory creation and precise rules for the application of those tools.
When people use the OPD theory to ‘see’ the organisation, they are enabled to apply the technology derived from the theory (the OPD-SHRM system) to act more effectively and get better results. The data with clients validates the OPD theory as correct.

Current global state of HR

In all organisations human performance is a crucial strategic factor in results. But HR is frequently seen and a cost based compliance driven function, and is not seen as an equal contributor to organization success .
Global HR best practice is under review. While these practices have provided unquestionable improvement can more be done? Research shows number of problems.

• Team leaders find HR an admin chore that does not add value.
• HR activities are delivered in uncoordinated silos as “latest new initiative” with limited long term, sustainable results.
• Once team leaders lift ‘foot off the pedal’ performance slips back and plateaus.


Background fact: Globally there is no clear scientific and causal link between strategy and staff behaviour (including a definition of SHRM).

Proposition: If we had such a link team leaders could be guided to use it to achieve superior sustainable staff performance.

The problem

What exactly must HR Practitioners do to ensure full sustainable acceptance as the crucial partner in the rollout of strategy and in organisation success?

The re-conceptualization of social science

All systems exhibit outputs resulting from the operation of the internal mechanism within the system. Operation of the internal mechanism is called necessity. The use of variables and application of the principle of primary operations by W Ross Ashby enables conceptualisation of the mechanism of any system.
Conceptualisation of the mechanism in a system in relation to the system outputs is cause. Cause is not necessity it is our conceptualisation of the mechanisms hence is our conceptualisation or understanding of necessity.

This separation of cause and necessity is fully unique to this analysis. It is this understanding of cause and necessity and their separation that more than anything else is the foundation of the intellectual position of the re-conceptualisation of social science .

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