Publication Date

April 2002


This essay explains to managers and academics a new approach to human resource management, what I call “Bottom-Line Human Resource Management.” Bottom-line human resource management starts by positing clear organizational goals, and in this way differs from strategic human resource management, which starts with analysis of the organization’s human resource strategy.

Organizational goals are easily classified; managers cannot manage well unless they know which class of organization they are working in.

Not all decisions have right and wrong answers but some do. Managers will earn a seat at the table if they are able to make correct decisions in these cases and to ask correct questions the rest of the time. By embracing their organization’s goals, using sound decision criteria, and conveying their decisions in jargon-free English, managers will be valued partners.


Suggested Citation
Fields, G. S. (2002). In there or up front?: An introduction to bottom-line human resource management (CAHRS Working Paper #02-07). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.