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[Excerpt] Our understanding of the strategic role and impact of human resources (HR) has evolved considerably over the past several years. One of the most salient changes is that HR is now viewed—for the most part—as a strategically central function rather than an administrative cost center. Indeed, as human capital concerns top the list of the industry’s most vexing and challenging issues (e.g., Enz, 2001, 2004), much more attention has been given to the ways in which the HR function can support a company’s competitive position and add real value to business-level decision making and problem solving. However, while we have learned a great deal about the role of human capital and its importance in helping firms achieve their objectives, we have a long way to go before specific prescriptions can be offered. In this chapter, I will begin by discussing and analyzing the information that was presented in Chapter 27 and the accompanying chapters. I will then describe some of the key gaps in the extant literature and then offer suggestions for advancing research in this area and the implications for HR practice. I hope to stimulate additional debate and inquiry that will motivate academics and business leaders to continue to examine the HR function and identify new methods for leveraging this important business function.


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© SAGE. Final version published as: Tracey, J. B. (2010). Commentary: Human resources strategy in the hospitality industry: Where do we go from here? In C. Enz (Ed.), The Cornell School of Hotel Administration handbook of applied hospitality strategy (pp. 493-499). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publishing. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.