Although any manager would recognize the importance of “networking” in finding, developing, and retaining employees, human resource management traditionally has focused on individuals. In this chapter, the authors point out that core HR processes such as recruitment and hiring, training and development, performance management, and retention all depend on networks. They consider the importance of weak ties in matching employees with jobs and “structural holes” in promoting creativity. They urge managers to make the shift from an atomized view to a network view of human resources--from focusing on the “trees” to understanding the “forest.” They show that networks can boost efficiency and productivity by facilitating information sharing, attracting talent, and strengthening employees’ commitment to the firm. But networks may also pose risks such as “lift-outs,” in which a departing employee takes other workers in his or her network. The authors explore how managers need to understand the impact of networks and how to “manage” them.
From an Atomized to a Network Approach to Human Resources
Recruitment and Hiring: The Power of Weak Ties
Training and Development
Performance Management: Creativity Versus Implementation