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Human Resource Management Critical Review

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Human Resources
Wordcount: 3502 words Published: 2nd Jan 2018

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Human Resource Management is concerned with the way in which associations coordinate their individuals (Redman and Wilkinson 2001: 1). It wrappings a very broad kind of notions, improvement, and procedures for coordinating and accelerating attachments and production in organizations. However, much of this is admonished for engaged in concept but not in practice. Due to the gigantic scale of the human asset management concept, this period paper mostly aspires to converse about this contention with quotation to a key and topical up to designated day facet of HRM, the strategic human asset management.

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Literature Review

More recently, human asset management has consumed its wideness of study after the staple concerns of recruitment, assortment, educating pay and appraisal, etc. in exact, one stream of study, strategic human asset management (SHRM) has emerged as being highly influential in this esteem (Wilkinson A et al., 2001:10). SHRM points that an organization's human asset assets are probably the sole source of sustainable comparable for instance and much of the work in this locality arises from the resource-based concept (RBT) of the firm (Barney, 1991, 1995). The resource-based concept presents conceptual foundation for asserting that HR assets are key to firms' comparable and relation advantage. Miller argue that operational linkages between the enterprise design and the standard in the main heading of employees are the key, or in his sayings, the 'fit of HRM with the strategic impel of the organizations' (Wilkinson A et al., 2001:10) and he presents his delineation of SHRM:

Those deductions and undertakings which disquiet the management of employees at all degrees in the enterprise and which are administered in the main heading of conceiving and sustaining comparable advantage. (Miller, 1987:352) Theorists address HRM as being intensified, unified and propelled by strategy:

A strategic orientation is a vital constituent in human asset management. It presents the structure interior which a ordered approach can be developed to the creation and setting up of HRM values, designs and practices. [...] The aim of strategic human asset management is to double-check that the heritage, procedure and structure of the association, and the worth, firm pledge and motivation of its employees, assists absolutely to the accomplishment of enterprise objective. (Armstrong M., 1992:47)

The disquiet with design, which emphasizes on integrating standard with organizational design, taking a long-term viewpoint and asset other than cost (see Cheyne A, Lecturer comments, week 1/2003), distinguishes HRM from one-by-one management. It is claimed that one-by-one management is substaintially reactive, whereas HRM, exemplified by design, is proactive. For instance, Guest differentiates customary one-by-one management from HRM 'by virtue of the way in which the preceding disregarded, but the last cited adopts strategy' (1993:213). SHRM takes a proactive way in the main heading of the competitiveness and effectiveness of the association other than of reactive day-to-day oriented one-by-one management.

Strategic literatures stress the central asset of a enterprise as the source of comparable for instance, which can be maintained by the following aspects:

  • They should add worth to the association activities
  • They should be uncommon, unique
  • They should be incapable to be refurbished by technology
  • The affray should have adversity in making a replicate them / nonimitable
  • These criteria of HRM appear in the pattern of adeptness, know-how and experience (Storey 1995: 4)

The assumption of a close attachment between enterprise design and HRM values is founded on contingency concept, which keeps that HRM values are selected as claimed by the kind of comparable design taken up by businesses. Contingency concept (Miles and Snow, 1984; Porter, 1985; Schuler and Jackson, 1987a) notifies us, HRM designs should be gelled with accurate enterprise comparable designs if they are to boost association performance. The concept of "fit'' facilitates the close linkage between HRM designs and enterprise designs in alignment to help hold and motivate employees. A firm applying HRM practices that increase employee demeanour dependable with its enterprise design is proficient to complete better production (Delery and Doty, 1996).

In supplement, the proposal of the 'fit' assists enterprises to coordinate their assets more competently, in alignment that they can decline operational allegations and answer competently to environmental restraints and new possibilities (Bird and Beechler, 1995). Therefore, creative linkage between enterprise designs and HRM designs may well reinforce organizational performance.

Competitive design proposes a sequence of methodical and affiliated deductions that give a enterprise a comparable advantage relative to other enterprises (Schuler and Jackson, 1987a; Dowling and Schuler, 1990). The idea of enterprise comparable design arises mostly from Porter's (1980, 1985) classifications of generic strategies: cost administration, differentiation, and focus. And Miles and Snow (1984) classified enterprise designs into three types: protector, prospector, and analyzer. Schuler and Jackson (1987a) utilised the time span trivially distinct from that of Porter to classify enterprise comparable designs into three types: cost decline, breakthrough, and worth enhancement. They furthermore identify distinct kinds of employee demeanour and HRM values, which are fitted to each comparable strategy.

Firstly, cost-reduction design embraces reinforcing comparable for instance by decreasing the allegations of items or services. This design boosts yield effectiveness and declines charges through utilising new know-how, expanding the dimensions of yield, or re-organizing yield procedure, whereby a enterprise can launch its items or services at a lesser cost in alignment to gain more market shares. Secondly, breakthrough design stress the development of items or services, which are exclusive, nonimitable or distinct from those of the competition. Finally, the aim of worth enhancement design is to complete accomplishment by providing a worth that excels that of other items or services. Honda in Ohio presents a good instance of how comparable advantage can be profited by high-quality items (Schuler and Jackson, 1987a).

Critical Analysis

However, it is strong to identify the attachment between human asset management and design and it appears to be easier in concept than in practice. Marginson et al. (1998) found out that 80 per century of older managers in HRM claimed that they have general HRM designs but twosome of can explain what the designs are! In effect, both academics and practitioners have found out it hard to appreciate the implication of strategic human asset management in practice.

Hendry (1994b) acknowledges that design is the better theme in HRM but furthermore a misread idea and 'the viewpoint writers on HRM offer on design is often slick and requiring in sophistication' (1994b: 2) Perhaps the adversity is aggregated by requiring of case enquiries, which endow us have a insight look into the design in practice. For practitioner part, the stress of SHRM in concept has administered to large interest from older management assembly but proceed incorrect to fit the lower-level managers. We will converse about this in the subsequent part of the article.

In minutia, just like Guest (1987) explained in his publication, human asset design may only unproblematic in the flawless position and Price (1997) concludes that:

It should take position interior a purpose- assembled up to designated day place, a green locality position utilising care absolutely selected 'green' labour. Such stuff would have no preceding know-how of the business in which the enterprise purposes and therefore would be untarnished by an 'undesirable' evolved subculture. They would not be hide-bound by customary but outmoded ways of doing things.

  1. The association desires highly professional management, preferably Japanese and American.
  2. Employees should be allocated intrinsically giving work other than uninteresting reasons for which pay is the sole motivation.
  3. Workers should have security of paid work and not be absolutely in concern of mislaying their jobs.


Guest acknowledges that these position are strong to complete in present because most associations have pre-existing workers, organisations and equipment that will not be discarded. They express with them with patterns of power and behaviors, which may be resisting to the HR philosophy.

In supplement, the formalities of strategic conceiving are gigantic distinct accurate to distinct enterprises and the items emerge to be the completed thing to have one. Some associations develop a comprehensive some 100 years slips item while some use an unwritten guidance. However, neat theoretical improvement with successive sayings of enquiry, alternate and implementation are seldom glimpsed in practice. On the other hand, many older managers articulate the enterprise goals to their employees by the target affirmation, liking this present can lead to a high firm pledge from every one-by-one in the enterprise, since high firm pledge is glimpsed to be crucial for comparable edge. To some span, such standard does work for the target affirmation notifies the employees the essence of what an association is about: why it inhabits, what kind of enterprise it suggests to be, and who its suggested customers are etc. However, it has to accept that many associations develop a target affirmation only because it is the completed thing to have one. The target affirmation is locked into the company's first-order designs and these are foremost deductions on its long-term aspires and the scope of its undertakings (Purcell 1995: 67)

The foremost characteristics of strategic HRM is its integration with enterprise design, the notion being that HR values and practices should support the goals of a enterprise (Redman and Wilkinson, 2002). Storey's study (1992) concludes that such integration is uncommon in British organizations. His task intensified on 40 large utilising associations and committed 350 meetings with managers at all degrees, in which approximately 80% were line and general managers. He settled that: 'human asset management kind designs had been "bolted on" to the embedded system' (Storey, 1992). The management change was very slow and hesitant process. There emerged to be need of integration between paid work practices, both one-by-one and collective, and broader enterprise strategy.


In deduction, while it works well in concept surrounding the theme of SHRM, human asset management seems to be inapt in practice. Based on the concern overhead, we have to accept that strategic human asset conceiving, which presents a structure for HR obligations over a time span, has its foundation on sensible conceiving but in present employees managers have a kind of adversities in appreciating and applying the strategy. Some of the adversities individuals face encompass developing new designs, restructuring, changing and holding for new skills. And more adversities reach from heritage and behavioural change and so on. Strategic human asset management stress numbers, quantitative affirmations, mind-set, demeanour and firm pledge while standards harder 'matching' types of HRM (Price 1997: 184), but the implementation is inapt particularly when the responsibilities overtake to the line managers.

In present, there are both goal and individual constituents pertaining to line managers and supervisors that lead to some blocks and obstacles to the integration between HRM design and association design and the implementation of strategy. In abstract, it is equitable to state that human asset management concept works well in concept but not in practice.

In newest years, the locality of Human Resource Management has moved to address not only micro but furthermore macro relationships. The micro aim, evolving from evolved psychology, emphasized human asset values and their leverage on individuals. This aim was concerned solely with such deductions as job acceptance and employee participation. The macro aim moves the degree of enquiry from the one-by-one to the organization.

Diversity Orientation: А Configurational ViewDiversity becomes significant organizational goal and diversity management becomes particularly salient because of the natural inclination in the main heading of homogeneity in organizations. Schneider's (1987) Attraction-Selection-Attrition hypothesis (ASA) suggests that associations are inclined to apply, vessel for charter, and hold alike types of people. (Ellis, 1994, 79-110) Thus, diversity orientation serves as such means and should lead to amplified diversity.

Diversity comprises expressing distinct backgrounds, heritage, and generations into the equal organization. This kind of perspectives can foster creativity. On the other hand, this kind of perspectives evolves inefficiencies in that diverse assemblies need circulated comprehending, probably making attachment slow and laborious. Thus, we propose that environments and designs that demand breakthrough and creative responses will benefit more from diversity than those environments that need efficiency. (Ellis, 1994, 79-110)One origin that configurations stay crucial for fostering diversity is founded upon concept termed "social traps" or communal dilemmas .

These tricks begin when an try to address adversity more distant exacerbates the adversity through unintentional consequences. For instance, work/family program conceived to provide flexibility to employees could lead to pledge at odds production evaluations for those employees who avail themselves of the program. Likewise, an affirmative undertaking program may conceive communal knack through resentment from white males who appear procedural injustice (Thomas, 1990, 107-117).

Diversity orientation mitigates the communal knack adversity by conceiving an natural natural environment where clear, unambiguous pointers are dispatched contemplating diversity. For instance, associations may bypass an affirmative undertaking communal knack by combining it with diversity educating that incorporates designs to absolutely integrate all employees into the organizational culture. Training can conceive an insight of these tricks and provide designs for talking to the underlying issues. Compensation and work conceive affairs may furthermore help bypass communal traps. The unequal circulation of work or buys fosters an one-by-one orientation and assists to individuals engaged competitively other than cooperatively. Thus, work conceive in support of diversity would are inclined in the main heading of symmetry in employee aid and outcomes.

Further, Barry and Bateman (1996) argue that dispersed order enhances the organization's skill to conclusion communal tricks that hinder diversity advancement. Organizations with assemblies and work association with dispersed deduction making would are inclined to enhance diversity by circulating order and power all through the organization. Thus, one-by-one values directed in an identity-blind natural natural environment will more anticipated conceive communal traps. А diversity orientation, on the other hand, will propel clear, unambiguous pointer that all employees and their aid are valued.

Training and development, work conceive, staffing and reimbursement comprise the foremost constituents of diversity orientation. However, these constituents can function individually at cross causes or in concert. А firm may have little or no aim on diversity with esteem to educating and development and high degree of diversity aim with esteem to work design.

Although many enterprises continue to use these four dimensions of diversity individually, we have argued that configuration of these four practices will work simultaneously to enhance diversity. (Thomas, 1990, 107-117) Thus, multiplicative attachment inhabits in alignment that enterprises that have complementary configured educating and development, work conceive, staffing and reimbursement interventions will have important diversity orientation.

This attachment evolves from the minutia that diversity is convoluted incident that yearns unchanging reinforcement. Larkey (1996) distinuishes an flawless diversity climate as increasing pluralism and circulated ideas. Barry and Bateman (1996) argue that diversity communal tricks are nested and enlist locked-in demeanour over degrees of analysis. Thus, values and practices that reside all through the human asset design may have communal knack attributes when analyzed independently. However, diversity orientation leaps the knack by conceiving an organizational security snare to foster and increase heritage diversity.

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For instance, The UK Instruments has diversity orientation (Thomas, 1990, 107-117). The company's Diversity Network of over 20 diversity designs embraces such characteristics as diversity forums and coalitions. (Thomas, 1990, 107-117) The enterprise furthermore has enterprise and enterprise degree diversity managers. The strategic administration of the enterprise incorporates diversity. Specific diversity designs encompass using, educating and development of kept protected class constituents and employee accolades for accomplishing excellence in boosting diversity. The Diversity Network manifestly serves as the key constituent altering one-by-one diversity programs into diversity orientation.

  • References

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    Bach, 2000, unnamed article, quoted in M. Marchington and A.Wilkinson (2002), People Management and Development: Human resource management at work, 2nd ed, Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Cromwell Press. pp 235.

    Barney, J. (1991) 'Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage', Journal of Management, 17 (1): 99-120

    Barney, J.B. (1995) 'looking inside for competitive advantage', Academy of Management Executive, 9 (4): 49-61

    Bird, A. and Beechler, S. (1995), ``Links between business and transnational human resource

    Cheyne A, Lecturer notes, week 1/2003

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    Cunningham and Hyman, 1995 unnamed article, quoted in M. Marchington and A.Wilkinson (2002), People Management and Development: Human resource management at work, 2nd ed, Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Cromwell Press. pp 236.

    Delery, J.E. and Doty, D.H. (1996), ``Modes of theorizing in strategic human resource

    Dowling, P. and Schuler, R. (1990), ``Human resource management'', in Blanpian, R. (Ed.),

    Guest, D. (1987) 'Human resource management and industrial relations', Journal of Management Studies, 24 (5): 503-21

    Guest, D. (1993) 'Current perspectives on human resource management in the United Kingdom', in C. Brewster (ed) Current Trent in Human Resource Management in Europ, Kogan Page

    Hendry, C. (1994b) 'Developing a human resource strategy: a case study in organizational process', paper presented at the Strategic Direction of Human Resource Management Conference, Nottingham Trent University, 14-15 December.

    Legge, K. (1995a) 'Human resource management: a critical analysis', in J. Storey (ed.) Human Resource Management: A Critical Text, Routledge.

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    Marchington, M. and Wilkinson, A. (2002), People Management and Development: Human resource management at work, 2nd ed, Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Cromwell Press.

    Marginson, P., Edwards, P., Martin, R., Purcell, J. and Sisson, K. (1988) Beyond the Workplace: Managing Industrial Relations in the Multi-establishment Enterprise, Blackwell.

    Miles, R.E. and Snow, C.C. (1984), ``Designing strategic human resource systems'', Organization Dynamics, Vol. 13, pp. 36-52.

    R.R. Thomas, "From Affirmative Action To Affirming Diversity," Harvard Business Review, (1990), 107-117.


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