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Amer Siddique Imran Ashraf LITERATURE REVIEW STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 1. Introduction. People have long been considered an integral resource of the organizations. This conception however was formed over a period of time with the management philosophy undergoing various transitions. Traditionally, all the activities concerning the workforce of any organization was referred to as Personnel Management, a term that was evolved in the early 1960s. Personnel Management was more administrative in nature with the managers mostly playing the roles of mediators and catering to the needs of the workforce while performing duties of staffing, payroll and administrative tasks etc. Personnel management includes tasks that are conventionally more traditional and routine. Furthermore, the management of the workforce was considered as a sideline function of the organization. When it came to motivators, personnel management only took into consideration rewards such as compensation and bonuses etc. Personnel management was actually restrictive in its role as it only catered to the functional aspects of the workforce management. It used to give more importance to the norms, cultures and established practices (Bach, 2009). 2. With the advent of more resource focused organizations, there was also a change in the management philosophy in terms of putting people first and considering them an integral part of maximizing ?Return on Investment? on the resources of the organization. This form of human resource management that emerged in the 1980s ensures fulfillment of management objectives along with making sure that the needs and requirements of the human resource are being met. In contrast to personnel management, human resource management goes beyond the administrative tasks and takes an approach so as to comprehend how the management would make the resources provide maximum contribution to the success of the organization. ...read more.


An organization?s business strategy is shaped considering all such and other factors. In such a dynamic environment, HR has to adopt practices involving changes in its ?Roles? to enhance the performance of organization and create sustainable competitive advantage. There is no universal model for SHRM, organizations have been modifying their structures and practices aimed at achieving optimal performance levels. These changes differ widely from one organization to the other as each one operates under a specific and peculiar environment. The identification of ?HRM? as a critical for integration of business strategy with people management has exposed HR professionals to new role demands and professional challenges (Cadwell, 2003). Being a ?weak occupational group?, HR professionals face challenges that relate to role ambiguities (Friedson, 1993). These include ?Powerlessness? specially at strategic level, Inability to prevent encroachment through managerial interventions, Inability to quantify outcomes or contribution of personnel function and Being in the middle of conflicting interests of the management and employees. Under these challenging circumstances surrounding the transformation of HR practices into SHRM, a number of studies have been undertaken to understand its true essence. 9. In the early 1990s, Storey conducted an empirical study on changes in HR practices in the United Kingdom and proposed a fourfold typology of personal roles, Advisors, Handmaidens (Service Providers), Regulators and Change Makers through a case based research into 15 leading UK firms and public sector organizations. However, within a decade, significant changes in the nature of four personnel roles suggested by Storey started emerging. This led to a prescriptive model by Ulrich giving a US perspective through Human Resource Champions-1997. ...read more.


Degree of participation in decision making. (3) Degree of responsibility for implementation of policy decisions. (4) Combining regulatory role with regard to people management and advisory role for business partners. (5) Interaction with line managers, either direct or through business partners. (6) Do they have a reactive or proactive role. d. Business Partners. In simplest of terms, HR Advisor to a business unit is called a Business Partner. The primary duty of business partner is to work with managers to build a framework of to help them manage their workforce (Andrew Mayo, 2005). Due to diverse nature of activities, a good business partner should be an analyst, a facilitator, a friend, a project manager and a consultant simultaneously. There are certain essential characteristics of a Business Partner, which include:- (1) Its role should be aligned with the organizational business. (2) Its tasks should flow from organizational needs. (3) Should be able to work in close harmony with other business colleagues. (4) Should be able to contribute strategically. 16. Conclusion. Despite immense transformation in HR functions from Personnel Management to Strategic Human Resource Management, management professionals are still facing serious challenges as to how to improve HR functions and its image. There are no role models to be applied universally, organizations and HR professionals are experimenting with a mix of role/structure changes, devolution for optimizing its performance. While a right mix of these aspects could be extremely beneficial for a particular organization, others would require to discover what works best for them. In view of the complexities of the contemporary business and competitive environment this process of experimentation is likely to continue for a while till universally accepted models and practices are evolved. ...read more.

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