By Michael Armstrong

ISBN-10: 0749446315

ISBN-13: 9780749446314

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Extra resources for A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice 10th Edition

Example text

There are many models, and practices within different organizations are diverse, often only corresponding to the conceptual version of HRM in a few respects. Hendry and Pettigrew (1990) play down the prescriptive element of the HRM model and extend the analytical elements. As pointed out by Boxall (1992), such an approach rightly avoids labelling HRM as a single form and advances more slowly by proceeding more analytically. It is argued by Hendry and Pettigrew that ‘better descriptions of structures and strategy-making in complex organizations, and of frameworks for understanding them, are an essential underpinning for HRM’.

The second question is the most important one. It is not enough to justify HRM by proving that it is a good thing. What counts is what can be done to ensure that it is a good thing. This is the ‘black box’ mentioned by Purcell et al (2003) that lies between intentions and outcomes. Ulrich (1997a) has pointed out that: ‘HR practices seem to matter; logic says it is so; survey findings confirm it. Direct relationships between investment and attention to HR practices are often fuzzy, however, and vary according to the population sampled and the measures used’.

3. Responses affecting people The responses to the increased use of technology and to economic and competitive pressures have changed the nature of people management in a number of ways. These include slimmer and flatter organization structures in which cross-functional operations and teamworking have become more important, more flexible working patterns, total quality and lean production initiatives, and the decentralization and devolvement of decision-making. The challenge to HRM Ulrich (1998) suggests that environmental and contextual changes present a number of competitive challenges to organizations that mean that HR has to be involved in helping to build new capabilities.

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