About the Centre

Founded in 2006, and running through to 2016, the Centre for Performance-Led HR brought together world-class academics to work with top HR directors from major corporations and the public sector to overcome the most pressing issues facing senior HR specialists.

We argue that the solutions to these performance-led challenges are cross-disciplinary, requiring us to create understandings that are informed by a range of new insights. The research agenda needed to reflect the new questions and performance challenges that were emerging. The practice agenda needed to be more reflective and insightful.

Our work

To understand these challenges, the Centre worked with an integrated and collaborative research model, taking a problem-based approach that enabled us to offer advice and solutions to tackle real-world HR problems in the current economic climate.

We aimed to:

  • Generate research data and insights of specific relevance and utility to HR functions
  • Help foster applied research based on new ideas and emerging trends that address real-world needs by engaging a broad range of stakeholders in the creation, interpretation and dissemination of knowledge
  • Provide a reflexive, evidence-based decision-making environment through which senior HR practitioners can lead their functions.
  • Disseminate such work through academic media and leading business media outlets, encouraging joint authorship

A research culture of partnership

The Centre moved away from traditional simple research contracts with business towards the development of a culture of deep engagement around the key business problems that those in HR functions have to face. We created a longitudinal set of over 300 interviews with a core of organisations tracking eight years of HR issues and thinking.

To enable this, we:

  • Worked with our sponsors on both generic and bespoke projects that provided unique content and innovative synthesis of existing research in the field of HR
  • Ensured that work was informed by developments in other academic fields that had a bearing on the performance and effectiveness of HR functions
  • Brokered research in ways that were relevant to practitioners and ensured that management fads were put into context
  • Provided thought-leadership (through ideas or connection with people) based upon insights from research networks and our own analysis 
  • Facilitated interventions and knowledge transfer 
  • Capitalised on the Centre's ongoing projects and company contacts in ways that informed the teaching and research activities at LUMS

A distinctive feature of Lancaster University Management School is that we draw important linkages between a number of our Centres and alliances, leveraging and developing knowledge across each.

For HR Directors, there were clear points of contact and mutual insight, for example, between our Centre for Performance-led HR and The Work Foundation Alliance, enabling links to the work of Professor Stephen Bevan and the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness.

Contact Us

For more information on the Centre's research and publications, please contact Centre Director Paul Sparrow or Centre Administrator Teresa Aldren.