Contrast and compare approaches to HRM within two diverse countries? Introduction
Human resource management (HRM) means the activities of management in the employment relationship (Boxall and Purcell, 2003). The use of strategic HRM in an organisation helps function with its various activities like training n development, motivation, recruitment, employee selection, leadership, communication and reach their milestones. HRM strategy helps an organisation to focus on its micro-strategic issues. It also helps to provide a robust and link between its various activities conducted in a HRM department (Beardwell, 2004). This essay will cover the importance of understanding HR practices of two diverse countries. The study of comparative HRM is necessary to build a bridge between two different cultures. For example UK there is high rate of part time jobs due to a wide range of social and economic reasons. On the other hand, part time jobs in other parts of Europe are comparatively less. To know these difference and to easy cross culture businesses comparative HRM is necessary. In the past half century with the rise in globalisation, international human resource management (IHRM) has gained popularity. However the study of international and comparative HRM is regarded as an expensive and time consuming research (Adler, 1984; Brewster et al, 1996; Tregaskis et al, 2003). Hyman, R 1999 says that cross broad expansion has created a need for the deep knowledge of IHRM to avoid complex business issues Models of HRM
In HRM, there is no specific approach or single way to implement it. HRM is a style of management which can be measured and defined or even compared against an ideal model. There are two approaches or models of HRM – soft Model and hard Model. Hard HRM emphasize the "resource" aspect of HRM, Legge refers to this as "Utilitarian Instrumentalism". The hard HRM model focuses on the critical integration of human resource policies, systems and activities with business strategy. The hard HRM model characterizes human resources as factor of production. This means that the human resource is not the only resource capable of turning the production into wealth. Human Resources are viewed as passive, to be provided and deployed as numbers and skills at the right price, rather than the source of creative energy (Legge, 1995, p.66-67). Hard HRM model requires calculations and deep thinking as required by any other branch of management. Thus it communicates through the tough language of business and economics. This emphasis on the quantitative, calculative and business-strategic aspects of managing the "headcount" has been termed human asset accounting (Storey, 1987). The hard HRM model is closely related to scientific management as it treats human resource which posses some skills/attributes that the firm requires. In contrast to hard HRM model, soft HRM model focuses on human relations rather than treating it as commodity. Soft HRM places an emphasis on "human" and is associated with the human relations school of Herzberg and McGregor (Storey, 1987). Legge refers to this as "Developmental Humanism" (Legge, 1995, p.66-67). The soft model approach treats employees as valued asset of firm which gives the firm a competitive advantage over others through employees professional skills, commitments, adaptability and performance. Employees are proactive rather than passive inputs into productive processes, capable of development, worthy of trust and collaboration which is achieved through participation (Legge, 1995, pp 66-67). The soft Model inspires employee’s resourcefulness by increasing employee commitment, participation and involvement. Walton (1985, p. 79) suggests that "a model that assumes low employee commitment and that is designed to produce reliable if not outstanding performance simply cannot match the standards of excellence set by world-class competitors" and discusses the choice that managers have between a strategy...
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