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Now, people might say there is nothing wrong with that, but those are the facts. Senior cabin crew based at Gatwick also doing long haul earn far less than the figures above, as do Eurofleet cabin staff who do short haul to the European continent. Beyond the broader economic issues (can BA continue to pay at rates well above the market norm?) there is also a question of fairness. It might mean some tough answers, but shouldn't the pay pot be more equally distributed?
Thanks for all your comments last week and I hope that has cleared up any misunderstandings. I am still very interested in people's thoughts on ways forward for BA and how Willie Walsh, BA's chief executive, can dig the company out of the economic hole they find themselves in.
But HRM has an ethical dimension which means that it must also be concerned with the
rights and needs of people in organizations through the exercise of social responsibility.
Dyer and Holder (1998) analysed management's HR goals under the headings of contribution
(what kind of employee behaviour is expected?), composition (what headcount, staffi ng ratio
and skill mix?), competence (what general level of ability is desired?) and commitment (what
level of employee attachment and identifi cation?).
organizational culture, that human resources are valuable and a source of
competitive advantage, that they may be tapped most effectively by mutually
consistent policies that promote commitment and which, as a consequence,
foster a willingness in employees to act fl exibly in the interests of the 'adaptive
organization's' pursuit of excellence. (Legge, 1989)
Human resource management is a distinctive approach to employment management
which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic deployment
of a highly committed and capable workforce, using an integrated array of
cultural, structural and personnel techniques. (Storey, 1995)
HRM is: 'The management of work and people towards desired ends.' (Boxall et
HRM is concerned with how organizations manage their workforce (Grimshaw
and Rubery, 2007)
6 Human Resource Management
HRM policy goals, David Guest (1987, 1989a, 1989b, 1991)
1. Strategic integration: the ability of the organization to integrate HRM
issues into its strategic plans, ensure that the various aspects of HRM
cohere, and provide for line managers to incorporate an HRM perspective
into their decision making.
2. High commitment: behavioural commitment to pursue agreed goals, and attitudinal
commitment refl ected in a strong identifi cation with the enterprise.
3. High quality: this refers to all aspects of managerial behaviour that bear
directly on the quality of goods and services provided, including the management
of employees and investment in high quality employees.
4. Flexibility: functional fl exibility and the existence of an adaptable organization
structure with the capacity to manage innovation.
The policy goals for HRM identifi ed by Caldwell (2004) included managing people as assets
that are fundamental to the competitive advantage of the organization, aligning HRM policies
with business policies and corporate strategy, and developing a close fi t of HR policies, procedures
and systems with one another.
Theories of HRM
The practice of HRM is underpinned by a number of theories. The categories of HRM theory
listed by Guest (1997) and Boselie et al (2005) are listed below.
Theories of HRM, David Guest (1997)
1. Strategic theories - in the UK the implicit but untested hypothesis is that
good fi t (between HR practice and the internal and external context) will
be associated with superior performance. In the United States the focus has
been more on classifying types of HR strategy. The hypothesis is that fi rms
that have a fi t between business strategy, structure and HRM policy will
have superior performance.
2. Descriptive theories - these either list areas of HR policy and outcomes
(Beer et al, 1984) or adopt a systems approach, describing the relationships
between levels (Kochan et al, 1986). They are largely non-prescriptive.
3. Normative theories - these are normative in the sense that they establish a
norm or standard pattern in the form of prescribed best practice. These
take a considerable risk in implying 'one best way'.
The Practice of Human Resource Management 7
Characteristics of HRM
HRM was regarded by Storey (1989) as a 'set of interrelated policies with an ideological and philosophical
underpinning'. He listed four aspects that constitute the meaningful version of HRM:
1. a particular constellation of beliefs and assumptions;
2. a strategic thrust informing decisions about people management;
3. the central involvement of line managers; and
4. reliance upon a set of 'levers' to shape the employment relationship.
As Boselie et al (2005) explained, HRM:
responds accurately and effectively to the organization's environment and complements
other organizational systems (cf contingency theory) and delivers 'added value' through
the strategic development of the organization's rare, inimitable and non-substitutable
resources, embodied - literally - in its staff (cf the resource-based view).
The characteristics of HRM are that it is diverse, strategic and commitment-oriented, adopts a
unitary rather than pluralist viewpoint, is founded on the belief that people should be treated
as assets and is a management-driven activity. HRM tends to focus on business values although
there is a growing body of opinion (eg Guest, 2002) that it has also to be concerned with
employee-centred outcomes. In its fully developed form, HRM functions as a system. As
Schuler (1992) indicated, HRM links, integrates and coheres.