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Human Resource Management ->C the new era?

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Human Resource Management - the new era? --- by Raymond 1. Introduction "Far from indicating a new era of humane people-orientated employment management, the primary purpose of the rhetoric of HRM might be to provide a legitimate managerial ideology to facilitate the intensification of work." This argument firstly appears in the review article by Tom Keenoy for the book New Perspectives on Human Resource Management, which is edited by John Storey in 1989. This argument can be separated into three sub-arguments: 1. What is Human Resource Management, what is Personnel Management (the model before HRM)? How comes PM evolved to be HRM in the UK? 2.Does the HRM rhetoric provide to be the legitimate managerial ideology? And what are the outcomes of HRM, rhetoric in specific? 3. Can the rhetoric of HRM indicate the coming of the new era of humane people-oriented employment management? 2. Argument 1: Evolution from PM to HRM 2.1 Personnel Management The term of Human Resource Management (HRM) appeared in UK at the end of the 1980s (for example, Hendry and Pettigrew, 19861, Guest 19872). Before it, the employment management model was Personnel Management (PM). As described in Jucius (19753), the normative model? of Personnel Management is ... concerned with the field of management which has to do with planning, organizing, directing and controlling the functions of procuring, developing, maintaining and utilizing a labor force... and in Sisson (19894), ... as a system of employment regulation: the ways in which people in work organizations are selected, appraised, trained, paid, disciplined, and so on... From both definitions, it appears that personnel management holds some common functions such as selecting, developing, rewarding, directing employees, and highlights the primary theme - regulation and discipline. 2.2 Driven forces of the evolution from PM to HRM Recession The 1980/81 recession forced employers to rethink their employee relation policies. Attempts to support the business strategy of change to improve competitiveness, greater efficiency and reorganization. ...read more.


Brewster and Smith (19909) in their survey of a cross-section of organizations found that a little over 70 per cent claimed to have a formal HRM strategy and half the heads of the function contributed to the development of corporate strategy. Companies such as British Airways and Rank Xerox, in their different ways, have achieved significant changes in culture, with HR considerations playing a central role. Other exemplar companies, some of the well-established companies such as Marks and Spencer, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Jaguar Cars, ICI, BP and Shell have been introducing significant changes in their HR strategy coincidentally with, and often as stimulus to, shifts in culture. (Guest 199210) Through the research concerning the nature of commitment and trust in contemporary organizations (Beardwell and Holden 1997), the findings in these genuine HRM are clear and highlight the importance of self-development and career opportunities, involvement and communication, and the establishment of just and fair HR practices in the creation of high-commitment workforces. HRM could be seen as a rhetoric intended to reach other legitimate HR goals: re-construct the motivation to work, re-legitimize managerial authority in the employment relationship, formulate and integrate HR strategy, decentralize the degree of policy, and increase employee commitment to the organization or a better trained workforce. 4. Argument 3: a new era of humane people-oriented employment management? 4.1 Definition and reality limitations In comparing HRM and PM, HRM is 'more rhetoric than reality' (Keenoy 1993). As illustrated from above section, there is little difference between the normative models of PM and HRM (Legg 1989). Besides that, the management activities, in terms of reality approach, are all focusing on selecting, recruiting, performance evaluating, and awarding. Rhetoric may be that of people centered but reality is cost reduction of hard HR. By 1980, over 90 per cent of companies were using some form of budgetary control and financial performance indicators Armstrong (1987). Labeled as financial control companies, they tend to be primarily driven by the short-term imperatives of 'bottom-line' criteria. ...read more.


9 Brewster, C. and Smith, C. (1990) Corporate strategy: a no go area for personnel? Personnel Management, July, 36-40 10 David Guest, HRM in the UK, in Brian Towers (eds), (1992) The Handbook of Human Resource Management, Blackwell, 11 Miller, P. (1989) Strategic industrial relations and human resource management - distinction, definition and recognition. Journal of Management Studies, 24(4), 347-61 12 Marginson, P., Edwards, P.K., (1988) Beyond the Workplace: managing industrial relations in the multi-establishment enterprise. Oxford: Blackwell. 13 Guest D. (1991) Personnel management: the end of orthodoxy? British Journal of Industrial Relations. 29(2), 149-75 14 Hendry, C. and Pettigrew, A. (1990) Human Resource Management, an agenda for the 1990s, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 1(1), 17-43 15 Guest D. (1992) Employee Commitment and Control, in J. Hartley and G.Stephenson (eds) The Psychology of Employment Relations, Oxford, Blackwell 111-35 16. Lynda Gratton, Veronica Hope Hailey, Philip Stiles, and Gatherine Truss (1999) Strategic human resource management : corporate rhetoric and human reality, Oxford University Press 17. Schein E. (1986) Organizational Culture and Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 18. Ken Starkey and Alan McKinlay, HRM and Personnel Management: Ford, in Handbook of human resource management / edited by Brian Towers (1992). Blackwell 19. John Storey (editor), (1989) New perspectives on human resource management, London Rutledge 20. Christopher Mabey, Graeme Salaman and John Storey, (1998) Strategic human resource management : a reader, The Open University, 21. Karen Legge, (1995) Human resource management : rhetoric and realities. Macmillan Press Ltd. 22. Ariane Hegewisch and Chris Brewster. (1993) European developments in human resource management, Cranfield University. 23. Shaun Tyson, Peter Lawrence, Philippe Poirson, Luigi Manzolini, (1993) Human resource management in Europe Ceferi Soler Vecente 24. Incomes Data Service, Institute of Personnel Management, (1992) : Personnel management and the single European market 25. Maureen Minehan, What the Future Holds for HR, HR Magazine March 1997, 28 Nov. 2002, http://www.shrm.org/hrmagazine/articles/0397fut.htm 26. Alan Price, Introduction to Human Resource Management - Adopting HRM around the world, 26 Nov.2002, http://www.hrmguide.co.uk/hrm/chap1/ch1-links5.htm 27. TUC report, Human Resource Guide, London worst region in the UK for unemployment, 2 Dec. 2002, http://www.hrmguide.co.uk/jobmarket/regional_unemployment.htm ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 ...read more.

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