The Wall Street Journal reports today on some firms that have chosen to abolish (or never create) human resource departments. Is that a wise move? On balance, I would say that it is a risky move to operate without an HR group. I understand the rationale for some of these firms who choose to eliminate the function. They want line managers to take more responsibility for talent management duties. They don't want leaders in the company shunning key people management responsibilities off to the human resource department. Some firms also become frustrated with the bureaucratic procedures that emanate from some HR departments. It is true that departments of all kinds begin to take initiatives and create processes simply to justify their existence. However, I would argue that eliminating the HR department is a giant overreaction. It is also risky. Companies can find themselves in legal hot water because line managers do not have specific expertise on people management issues. The article is worth a read, but I wouldn't want to emulate the extreme actions of some of the firms featured in it.