What is critical human resource management research? Discuss aims, approaches and selected results
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CANDIDATE NUMBER 0704042 Year: 2 Course Code MN2071 Course Tutor: Dr Axel Haunschild Assignment No.: 1 Degree Title: Management Question No. & Title: 5 What is critical human resource management research? Discuss aims, approaches and selected results. (1750 words) This essay will provide a detailed definition of critical human resource management, by comparing and contrasting it with the generic definition of human resource management and also with strategic human resource management. The essay will also show the aims, approaches and selected results of the implementation of this program. Human resource management can be defined as 'the management of the employment relationship and the indeterminacies in the employment contract' (Legge:2005). Strategic human resource management is about how the employment relationships for all employees can be achieved in such a way as to contribute optimally to the organisation's goal achievement. 'There is confusion over the differentiation between human resource management and strategic human resource management. Some writers see the two terms as synonymous, whilst others consider there to be differences'.(Legge:2005) If strategy is defined as a fundamental set of choices about the ends and means of an organisation, and viability and sustained competitive advantage as the firms primary strategic aims, Boxall and Purcell argue
By analysing the acclaimed benefits of lean production in the form of flexibility, quality with control and team working, the researchers Garrahan and Stewart redefined these as actually causing labour intensification, management with control and peer surveillance. 'Toyota production system (TPS) or its alternative title Lean Production is a management philosophy focusing on reduction of the seven wastes to improve overall customer value by improving transportation, inventory, motion, waiting time, over production, processing itself and defective products. Toyota was able to greatly reduce leadtime and cost using the TPS, while improving quality at the same time. This enabled it to become one of the ten largest companies in the world. The TPS is a classic example of the Kaizen-Japanese for "change for the better" or "improvement", the English translation is "continuous improvement" or "continual improvement.") approach to productivity improvement. Due to this stellar success of the production philosophy many of these methods have been copied by other manufacturing companies'. www.wikipedia.org In relation to critical human resource management, propnenets of lean production or TPS argue that 'the cognitive inputs of shop floor employees and reverse the Tayloristic separartion of conception and execution, so that 'work smarter, not harder' with incresead autonomy and empowerment'.(Legge 2005)
The selected results of critical HRM can be seen as more of a pseudo empowerment based on attitudinal shaping, rather than actually encouraging and implementing the opinions of workers by management. The advent of Japanese management systems has, however highlighted the impact of this approach on the employment relationship. Whether sustainable or not in the west, the Japanese large firms emphasis on developing individual employees along particular job paths while undertaking to provide continuous employment throughout the normal working life of the individual has at least provided a model in which the employer seeks to maximize employment opportunities. The above has been a concise analysis of critical human resources. As a critique of strategic human resources, 'if the introduction of best practice HR could meet the goals of all stakeholders within the business equally, the implementation of such practices would not be problematic. However, it is unlikely that would be the case, particularly within a short termist driven economy, where the majority of organizations are looking primarily to increase return on share holder value.'(Haunschild:2005) However, if the employees interests are compromised in the process how can these be termed best practices.
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