The new multifaceted collaborative organizational forms result in new challenges because of increasing collaboration, innovation and mutual interdependence. Apart from joint purpose and values, coordination is likely, from the point of view of human resource management (HRM), to be an important means to ensure that the involved actors are achieving the full potential. The aim of this paper is to present a design for the human resource (HR) function in a collaborative community of firms, the most recent community-based organizational form. The paper examines the role, structure, and activities of the HR function within the collaborative community organizational design. The empirical foundation for this study is based on interviews and archival data of the two cases of Blade.org (USA) and the Kalundborg Symbiosis (Denmark). The findings indicate that the primary roles that a shared and centralized HR group should carry out are facilitation and support, especially organizing and managing inter-organization teams that work on joint projects. A shared HR function can effectively initiate interfirm team work, locate and activate the right people and provide the necessary support for these teams. Governance and control should only be undertaken to the extent of providing common guidelines.
Collaborative community of firms; Human resource management; Design and role of HR; HRM
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4th International Workshop on Organizational Design 2010