Research Preview: Concrete vs. Abstract HCM: A New Way for Organizations to Look at HCM

Research Preview - Concrete vs. Abstract HCM A New Way for Organizations to Look at HCM - ThumbnailThere are two hemispheres to human capital management (HCM). Much as the left brain is logical and mathematical and the right one emotional and creative, one hemisphere of HCM is concrete, whereas the other is abstract. To be successful, you need both. In the concrete hemisphere are all the elements of HCM that make HR a cost center and most of today’s financially quantifiable value. In the abstract hemisphere is everything that inspires most to enter the HCM profession in the first place. Though some are more apparently the playground of one hemisphere or the other, in their expression, most domains of HCM have abstract and concrete elements to them. Organizations must recognize and acknowledge that there is much intrinsic value to approaching HCM abstractly. The return on a dedication to doing so is survival.

Research Overview

3Sixty Insights recently published a research note on the areas of inquiry the HCM practice plans to pursue in the coming months. The first and current research initiative for the HCM practice at 3Sixty Insights is an investigation of the concrete and abstract elements and aspects of HCM. Through interviews with end-users of HCM technology and vendors of it, 3Sixty Insights’ goal is to explore the many potential permutations of concrete and abstract HCM. Of interest is how much concrete and how much abstract HCM factors into the rationale that organizations use to develop successful business cases for HCM deployment. Several questions are guiding this analysis:

  • Where is the delineation between Concrete vs. Abstract aspects of HCM?
  • In evaluating solutions for HCM technology, what abstract and concrete aspects of them are the most important to building a business case?
  • In buying decisions, how do concrete and abstract HCM factor into the approaches to building agreement among internal stakeholders in finance, IT, line of business, and the executive suite?
  • Of the benefits found in abstract HCM, are there any that are financially quantifiable?
  • Are concrete HCM’s benefits solely direct, or are some resistant to financial measurement?
  • What are the innovative ways organizations have managed to quantify the seemingly unquantifiable when it comes to employees’ feelings?
  • What will concrete and abstract HCM look like in five years and beyond, and will they become less distinguishable?

View and download the full research preview here: 3Sixty Insights – Concrete vs Abstract HCM – Research Preview


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