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Driven by dynamic competitive conditions, an increasing number of firms are experimenting with new, and what they hope will be, more dynamic organizational forms. This development has opened up exciting theoretical and empirical venues for students of leadership, business strategy, organizational theory, and the like. One domain that has yet to catch the wave, however, is strategic human resource management (SHRM). In an effort to catch up, we here draw on the dynamic organization (DO) and human resource strategy (HRS) literatures to delineate both a process for uncovering and the key features of a carefully crafted HRS for DOs. The logic is as follows. DOs compete through marketplace agility. Marketplace agility requires that employees at all levels engage in proactive, adaptive, and generative behaviors, bolstered by a supportive mindset. Under the right conditions, the essential mindset and behaviors, although highly dynamic, are fostered by a HRS centered on a relatively small number of dialectical, yet paradoxically stable, guiding principles and anchored in a supportive organizational infrastructure. This line of reasoning, however, rests on a rather modest empirical base and, thus, is offered less as a definitive statement than as a spur for much needed additional research.


Suggested Citation
Dyer, L. & Shafer, R. A. (2003). Dynamic organizations: Achieving marketplace and organizational agility with people (CAHRS Working Paper #03-04). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.