The Chief HR Officer: Defining the New Role of Human Resource Leaders
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More About This Title The Chief HR Officer: Defining the New Role of Human Resource Leaders


Patrick M. Wright, Ph.d., is the William J. Conaty GE Professor of Strategic Human Resources in the School of ILR at Cornell University. He teaches and conducts research in the area of strategic human resource management, with a particular focus on how HR practices, the HR function, and HR leaders can affect firm performance.

The National Academy of Human Resources (NAHR) is an honorific organization where individuals and institutions of distinction in human resources are recognized for professional achievement by election as "Fellows of the NAHR." In addition, NAHR furthers the HR profession through the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) Academy and other philanthropic and educational activities. For more information visit

Copublished with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world's largest association devoted to human resource management. The Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, and more than 575 affiliated chapters. Visit


The Authors.

Chapter 1 “The Evolving Chief Human Resource Officer Role” (Patrick Wright, Paul McKinnon, Richard Antoine, Libby Sartain, John Boudreau, and Dave Pace).

Part 1 Today's Chief Human Resource Officer.

Chapter 2 “Perform! Don't Run!” (J. Randall McDonald).

Chapter 3 “The Art and Science of the CHRO Role: Tales of a Chief Human Resource Officer” (Eva Sage-Gavin).

Chapter 4 “ETC” (Richard L. Antoine).

Chapter 5 “Roles and Challenges of the CHRO: Results of the Cornell/CAHRS Survey” (Patrick Wright and Mark Stewart).

Part 2 The CHRO as Strategic Advisor and Talent Architect.

Chapter 6 “Leadership and Employee Engagement: A Positive Synergy at Caterpillar” (Sid Banwart).

Chapter 7 “Four Steps to World Class Talent” (L. Kevin Cox).

Chapter 8 “Retooling HR: How Proven Business Models Offer Untapped Potential for Strategic Talent Management Decisions” (John Boudreau).

Chapter 9 “The CHRO as Cultural Champion” (Mike Davis).

Chapter 10 “When Crisis Calls” (Laurie Siegel).

Chapter 11 “Doing HR’s Business with the Government” (Ian Ziskin).

Part 3 The CHRO as Counselor/Confidante/Coach.

Chapter 12 “Who do you Really Work For?” (Dave Pace).

Chapter 13 “Coaching and Counseling the CEO” (Elease Wright).

Chapter 14 “Forging Effective Relationships with your Boss and Colleagues” (Pamela Kimmet).

Chapter 15 “What do you Stand For?” (Libby Sartain).

Chapter 16 “Great Leader or Just a CEO? Insights on CEOs from the Perspective of Chief Human Resource Officers” (Patrick Wright and L. Kevin Cox).

Part 4 The CHRO as Liaison to the Board of Directors.

Chapter 17 “Working with the Board of Directors” (Bill Rosner).

Chapter 18 CHRO’s and Boards: A Missing Link” (Ed Lawler).

Chapter 19 “The Role of the Chief Human Resource Officer in Managing Executive Compensation” (Charlie Tharp).

Chapter 20 “How to be a High-Performing CHRO in the Executive Compensation Arena” (Ursula Fairbairn).

Part 5 The CHRO as Leader of the HR Function.

Chapter 21 “Making a Difference in the First 100 Days” (Ken Carrig).

Chapter 22 “Delivering Results with a Global HR Team” (Hugh Mitchell).

Chapter 23 “Experiences as a New CHRO in a New Industry” (Mirian Graddick-Weir).

Chapter 24 “Designing an Integrated HR Function: What the CHRO Needs to Know” (Amy Kates, John Boudreau, and Jay Galbraith).

Chapter 25 “HR for Impact” (Sandy Ogg).

Part 6 Characteristics of Today's CHRO

Chapter 26 “Preparing CHROs to Exceed CEO Expectations” (Dave Ulrich and Ellie Filler).

Chapter 27 “Delivering Global Talent in a High Velocity World: What CEOs Look for in a CHRO” (James Bagley).

Chapter 28 “What Does Today’s CHRO Look Like? Demographic Characteristics of CHROs at the World’s Largest Companies.” (Patrick Wright and Mark Stewart).

Chapter 29 “Bringing It All Together: The Four Knows of the CHRO.” (Patrick M. Wright).