HR departments are increasingly seen and managed as a business within a business. Like any business, the HR department must have a vision (or strategy) that defines where it is headed, a set of goals (objectives, outcomes, or deliverables) that focus the priorities for its work and investments, and an organization structure to allow HR to deliver on its vision and goals. We have discussed elsewhere the emerging vision of an HR department,which is, simply stated, to create value (Ulrich and Brockbank,2005).Value is created when stakeholders receive desired outcomes because the HR department designs and delivers the HR practices that stakeholders require.When HR does its work well, value is created for each HR stakeholder (Ulrich et al., 1999):
n employees have the right set of competencies and are committed to the organization and its goals;
n line managers have increased confidence that business strategies will be executed; n external customers buy more products or services resulting in greater loyalty and
customer share; n investor confidence leads to increases in market value through recognition of the
company’s growth prospects as measured by intangible shareholder value (Ulrich and Smallwood, 2003);
n communities in which organizations participate have more confidence in the organization’s ability to deliver on sustainability and other social responsibility agendas.