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According to Storey HRM is about beliefs and assumptions, strategic qualities, the role of managers and key levers. In his words the definition of HRM is mainly about policies, which are now identified as ‘high commitment management’ or ‘high-performance work system’.
‘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, p.5)
The new HRM model
1)Beliefs and Assumptions
That is the human resource which gives the competitive age.
That the aim should not be mere compliance of rules,but employee commitment.
That therefore the employees should be very carefully selected and developed.
Because of the above factors HR decision are of strategic importance.
Top management involvement is necessary.
HR policies should be integrated into the business strategy- stemming from it and even contributing to it.
3)Critical role of managers
Because HR practice is necessary to the core activities of business, it is too important to be left to personnel specialists alone.
Line managers are closely involved as both deliverers and drivers of HR policies.
Much greater attention is paid to the management of managers themselves.
Managing cultures is more important than managing procedures or systems.
Integrated action on selection, communication, training, reward and development.
Restructuring and job redesign to allow devolved responsibility and empowerment.
(Source: Storey 2007, p.9)
Now, compared to definition of Storey, a much broader definition is provided by Boxall and Purcell. ‘HRM includes anything and everything associated with the management of employment relationships in the firm. We do not associate HRM solely with a high-commitment model of labour management or with any particular ideology or style management.(Boxall and Percell 2000, p.184)
For Torrington et al (2008, p6), the term HRM can be used in two ways and they name them as ‘HRM mar 1’ and ‘HRM mark 2’.HRM mark 1 is a more general term which describes activities, traditionally known as ‘Personnel Management’. The second way to describe HRM as a distinctive approach and provides philosophy about how to carry out ‘people oriented organisational activities’.
Guest(1987), identified ‘stereotypical’ features, differentiating HRM mark 1(Personeel management tradition) and HRM mark 2(Distinctive HR tradition).The features of personnel management include short term, ad hoc time perspective; a pluralist, collective approach to managing employment relation; bureaucratic, centralised, organisational structures; and cost minimisation evaluation criteria. The distinctive HR tradition is largely integrated with line management. Its features include: a long-term, strategic time perspective; a unitary, individual approach to managing employment relations; more organic devolved, flexible organisational structures; and maximum utilisation of human resource.
From personnel management to HRM: a summary (Source-David Farnham,2010)
The Personnel management tradition
The human resource management tradition
Operated by employer’s need to treat people fairly within organisation
Driven by employer’s need of gaining advantage in marketplace.
Operated in somewhat stable market situation
Operates within competitive markets
Focuses on strong administrative purpose to manage people
Emphasises on strong strategic purpose to manage people
Short term with an ad hoc perspective
Long term with a strategic time perspective
Adopts a Pluralist frame of reference to organisation and people management
Adopts unitary frame of reference to organisation and people management
Negotiates with Unions, wherever they are recognised
Manages employees individually rather than collectively
Delivered, monitored and policed by personnel specialists
Delivered by HR managers/professionals in partnership with line managers
Interestingly, Torrington et al, divides the change of personnel management to contemporary HR in six different periods. First, period of evolution of personnel management to HRM in UK is described as ‘social justice’ by Torrington et al. This period could be seen at limited scale in very few enlightened employers, who promoted employee welfare by trying to ameliorate working conditions and avoiding conflicts in industrial relations. Second, in the first half of twentieth century, ‘humane bureaucracy’, which was prompted by managerial practitioners and observers, such as Taylor(1911), Fayol(1916) and Mayo(1933) came to the fore of management practices. Third, personnel and industrial managers fostered ‘negotiated consent’ in response to rising trade unions in 1960s.During this period, the managers tried to contain union power by use of collective agreement and representative system. Fourth, during late 1960s, the focus was to provide organisation through personnel specialists, which was done by creating career paths, providing opportunities of personal growth and workforce planning. Fifth, the recent HRM period emphasises on performance management, control, monitoring, planning, flexibility and employees as individuals, originated and started to rise in English speaking countries throughout the period of 1980-2000. The final and sixth period according to observers like Bach(2005, pp 28-9), is a time of ‘new HR’. Driven by demands of employers, of gaining advantage in competitive market, this period can be define as ‘new trajectory’ in response to significant long-term trends in business contexts.
The HR profession map: It is useful to conclude the introduction of HR with the profession map of CIPD(Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development).The map is the result of in depth-interviews of senior practitioners, taken by CIPD, during their research across economic sector of UK in 2008-09.The main four issues that stood out are as follows:
The profession map covers both behavioural and technical elements of professional competence required for being a HR professional.
The map tells HR managers what to do, how to do and what they need to know about different professional areas and behaviours to achieve professional competency.
Area of expertise is not organised by organisation structure, job levels or roles, but by professional competence.
The breadth and depth of the HR profession covers small to large organisations, fundamental to ‘sophisticated’ practices, local to global levels, corporations to consultancies, charities to public services and traditional to progressive activities.
Based on CIPD profession map, one can easily conclude that there has been a major shift in focus of HR. The focus of HR profession has shifted from helping line managers and managing people to ensuring that organisation has the capability to deliver or achieve its aim today and in the future.So, the HR profession map, in short, places HRM at the heart of promoting improved performance, the effective managing of people at work and sustainable capability.
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