Human Resource Management

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Maps and models of HRM

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

Maps and models of HRM

This section begins with a discussion of various approaches to HRM, including Keenoy's hologram comparison and Sisson's 4 main features of HRM models. A key concept is that of Hard and Soft HRM:

'Storey (1989) has distinguished between hard and soft forms of HRM, typified by the Michigan and Harvard models respectively. 'Hard' HRM focuses on the resource side of human resources. It emphasizes costs in the form of 'headcounts' and places control firmly in the hands of management. Their role is to manage numbers effectively, keeping the workforce closely matched with requirements in terms of both bodies and behaviour. 'Soft' HRM, on the other hand, stresses the 'human' aspects of HRM. Its concerns are with communication and motivation. People are led rather than managed. They are involved in determining and realizing strategic objectives.'

Human Resource Management, 4th edition goes on to consider the views of Guest and Legge and then discusses the classification of HRM models. Three American perspectives on HRM are provided from the work of Fitz-Enz, Ulrich and Pfeffer.

Points to consider

* A fundamental element of most rhetorical accounts of HRM is that one of the distinctive features of human resource management (as opposed to personnel management) is that it is 'holistic'. In other words it is concerned with the 'big picture' and the way that different aspects of people management fit together.

* Comparing different typologies of HRM can be difficult because they do not use the same underlying logic. But does that mean that individual typologies are not of value?

* Each of these commentators is a 'management guru' to some extent. They have been particularly influential in the USA in the last decade. Fitz-Enz is, perhaps, the least well-known but has been instrumental in developing the notion that HR initiatives and their results can (should?) be measured.

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