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Aligning Performance: The End of Personnel and the Beginning of Guided Skilled Performance


  • David H. Tobey
  • Philip G. Benson


For almost twenty years researchers have predicted the end of personnel as HRM practices increasingly became a line management function. However, while useful for describing shifts in human resource responsibilities, this practice-based view obscures the fundamental strategic reason for this shift – executive demands for effective means to manage performance. This paper contributes a new approach for HRM that may better predict which current practices will be most successful and suggests the characteristics of new practices that may be developed using an example of goal-setting and performance appraisal. The theory includes a model of human performance based on recent advances in cognitive neuroscience that suggests HRM may fulfill a strategic role by reestablishing its core competence as specialists in industrial psychology who create systems for guiding skilled performance. We conclude by proposing a measure that assesses the link between performance and customer perceived value across the value chain, thereby demonstrating the return on investment in human resources.

Suggested Citation

  • David H. Tobey & Philip G. Benson, 2009. "Aligning Performance: The End of Personnel and the Beginning of Guided Skilled Performance," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 20(1), pages 70-89.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:doi_10.1688/1861-9908_mrev_2009_1_tobey

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    SHRM; cognitive neuroscience; performance management;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation


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