Organizational Dynamics

Volume 44, Issue 3, July–September 2015, Pages 236-242
Organizational Dynamics

Learning from practice: how HR analytics avoids being a management fad

Under a Creative Commons license
open access


Human resource (HR) analytics is touted to have the potential to bring great value to general managers’ and HR leaders’ decision-making on human and organization capital by supplementing intuition and experience with evidence. Yet, it currently risks becoming another management fad, because HR analytics has too often taken an “inside-out,” HR-centric, and academic approach being governed by a Center-of-Expertise (CoE) distant from the business. A shift towards an “outside-in” approach with a focus on actionable, high-impact analytics is needed. This development is accelerated by technology, which is rapidly consolidating the analytics landscape. This shift enables HR analytics to be taken out of HR and become part of existing end-to-end business analytics, where human resources is just one element in the value chains analyzed. This leads to more business relevant findings and impactful interventions, as illustrated in two cases.

Thomas Rasmussen is vice president, HR data & analytics, at Royal Dutch Shell and has previously led HR analytics at A.P. Moller-Maersk. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and his main interest is bridging management science with practical application. (Royal Dutch Shell, Carel van Bylandtlaan 16, 2596 JM, The Hague, The Netherlands, tel.: +31703774716, e-mail: [email protected]).

Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Professor of Business at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. He has published over 25 books and 200 articles on leadership, organization, and human resources. His work demonstrates how organizations create value for employees, customers, and investors. (Rensis Likert Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, 701 Tappan St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234, tel.: +1 (734) 764-1817, e-mail: [email protected] [email protected]).


Tel.: +1 (734) 764-1817.

View Abstract