QUESTION 1: What does Strategic HR mean? In Chapter 1, we talk about the role HR plays within todays organizations. Its logical is it not? Today, the most valuable asset a company can have is its employees! Years ago while pursuing our MBAs, we took courses in Inventory Management, Production, and Plant Operations. But then twenty years ago our economy was based upon manufacturing and a companys production capacity and inventory were of prime importance. Today, were in the information age and employees, especially creative employees with innovative ideas and technological skills, are paramount. Twenty years ago, an HRM was little more than an administrator, someone to process the application form and ensure the new employees beneficiary form was completed correctly. Today, HRMs are strategic partners in every thriving business enterprise developing policies and programs to support the mission of the business enterprise. Be sure to read and understand the information presented in Table 2.1 on pages 3 and 4 of your text. In your own words, discuss what it means to be a strategic business partner. Why is it important for the HR strategy to be aligned with the business strategy? What skills are important for HR managers to have to be able to effectively add strategic value to the organization? Don’t forget to read over and then respond to a colleague’s ideas. Be sure to include citations from at least two sources you used to develop your responses! QUESTION 2: Thoughts about HR Functions in todays world The field of human resource management has changed significantly over the past several decades. Make note of the HR functions identified in the readings and reflect carefully on the responsibilities of todays HRMs. From your reading, as well as your own observations and/or experience (if applicable), please describe how the human resource function has changed over the last decade or so. Do you anticipate any further changes to the human resource management role in the near or distant future? If so, please explain your rationale. Once youve posted your thoughts, take the time to respond to a colleagues ideas.