Human Resource Management
Free Business and Tech Magazines and eBooks
Custom Search

The Discourse of HRM

Based on Human Resource Management, 4th edition, by Alan Price

HRM has been addressed by a number of writers from a 'discourse' perspective. Discourse involves language, but language is not neutral: it has power. By saying, you are doing. Thus the talk of HRM is not just words, it is also action. The proponents of this view have latched on to the frequently-quoted dichotomy of 'rhetoric and reality' as a particular matter of concern. According to Poole (1999:302):

"A discursive analysis would involve an analysis of the situations that provoked the discourse of HRM, the consequences to which it gives rise, the practical field in which it is deployed, who is accorded the right to speak, the institutional sites from which discourse derives its legitimation, the position in which it places its subjects, what is recognised as valid, and who has access to the discourse ..."

The theoretical underpinning of this approach comes from the work of Foucault and Barbara Townley has been a significant exponent of his postmodernist notions in her analyses of HRM.

But is postmodernist discourse analysis on the way out? In the second edition of Human Resource Management, Rhetorics and Realities Karen Legge (2004:3) states that:

  • "...the discussion of HRM as a post-modern/postmodern phenomenon ... has now a slightly passe´ feel. Postmodernism, in a similar manner to managerial consultancy fashions ... has fallen somewhat out of fashion in the analysis of HRM."
  • "With some honourable exceptions (for example, Keenoy, 1999; Special Issue, Organization, 1999), there has been a retreat from postmodernist approaches to HRM, although some discourse analysis, largely from a critical theory perspective, lingers on ..."
More articles in this section

HRM Textbooks

Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management, 4th edition
by Alan Price
 Covers all the key aspects of HRM. Available from:
Amazon.co.uk - UK pounds
Amazon.de - Euros
Amazon.fr - Euros
Amazon.it - Euros
Amazon.com - US dollars
Amazon.ca - Can dollars

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management
 Shortened version of Human Resource Management - concise analysis for non-specialists and one-semester courses.
More information and prices from:
Amazon.co.uk - UK pounds
Amazon.de - Euros
Amazon.fr - Euros
Amazon.it - Euros
Amazon.com - US dollars
Amazon.ca - Can dollars


HRM Guide makes minimal use of cookies, including some placed to facilitate features such as Google Search. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to the use of cookies. Learn more here

HRM Guide Updates
Custom Search
  Contact  HRM Guide Privacy Policy
Copyright © 1997-2017 Alan Price and HRM Guide Network contributors. All rights reserved.