Lancaster Univer-sity has opened a centre to boost business performance with £1.1 billion in private funding for the next five years.
The Centre for Performance-Led Human Resources will work with up to 15 companies, including Royal Mail, Vodafone and McDonald's, offering them bespoke consultancy to improve their organisations and help them cope with changes in business models.
Paul Sparrow, centre director and professor of international human resource management, said: "As time goes by we will work with international research units and hope to expand to 12 or 15 companies."
The centre will focus on human resources in business and on employee performance. It will work with human resources directors on strategic projects.
Projects include research to develop business models to improve organisational agility, engaging performance to improve productiv-ity, chief HR officer skills, personalised HR, talent management, innovation and world-class customer service. One will consider what a world-class HR strategy should look like and how to measure it.
Cary Cooper, an organisational psychologist at Lancaster, said the centre would be the first in the UK to research and support the role of HR in business performance at board level.