This model for organizing the human resource function was developed by the influential US academic, David Ulrich. Ulrich suggested that in large organizations, the (previously integrated) HR function should be divided into three segments. Shared service activities should be concentrated in a call-centre with supporting intranet to provide administrative and basic support functions to the remainder of the business. Business partners, in contrast, are individuals or small teams who work closely with the managers of business units on key initiatives and change management. Finally, centres of expertise exist as repositories of key technical knowledge on resourcing, reward, employment relations, etc. and can develop policy while providing support to business units and to shared services. At the apex of the three-legged model, according to Ulrich, should be a small, corporate HR team that is responsible for the function as a whole and provides strategic direction. [See HR roles.]
Subjects: Human Resource Management.