Hrm from the Content and Process Points of View

Topics: Scientific method, Perception, Goal Pages: 5 (1633 words) Published: October 31, 2012
Managing Change & Human resources2012-2013
Module 3|
Assignment 4a|
Group 15s0202452 Michaël Attos0200107LeonDeters  s0200611DeniHadzic  s1361813Lars Kopss1362771Simon Therings1366076 Thomas Walter Management and GovernanceBusiness AdministrationA.Bos-Nehles| |

Enschede OCT 12, 2012|

Explain the differences in considering HRM from the content and process points of view. Why one should study HRM as a process?

Bowen and Ostroff (2004) are introducing a framework for an HRM system which can enhance firm performance by encouraging employees to adapt certain behaviors that are aligned with the interests of the organization. They thereby focus rather on the process point of view than on the content approach.

Content practices include a certain set of HRM practices (universalistic approach) which are usually applied individually and in order to achieve an organizational goal by building up task relevant skills and motivations for specific directions. In the best case scenario the content practices are aligned with the strategic goals and values of a company.

Whereas process practices focuses on helping employees understand the company’s goals by providing the necessary information why a company’s HRM is executing certain measures. Hereby the employees discover the company’s intention behind the HRM practices. By doing so employees can figure out the suitable work response and can form a collective sense what is expected from them. Bottom line Bowen and Ostroff (2004) suggest that both, HRM content and process must be considered to facilitate the linkage between strategic HRM and firm performance. However, in our opinion the process approach is by far more sophisticated and worth studying in terms of employee productivity than the content one. HRM as a process seems to be more transformational and bottom up compared to the content approach where practices are dictated and the aims are not always visible. Employees are able to see the whole picture of a company and know where their work output is fitting in resulting in a higher motivation. Moreover every employee perceives HRM practices differently. The process approach gives them the opportunity to make individually sense of this practice. In addition the provided transparency increases the trust of employees and common understanding of firm’s goals. Consequences are fewer arguments since there is not much discrepancy of employees’ work perception which also leads to a “strong situation” (Mischel, 1973, 1977) or “strong climate” (Schneider, Salvaggio, & Subirats, 2002) which are terms that are revisited by Bowen and Ostroff (2004) in explaining the concept of HRM system strength.

Explain the concept of HRM system strength and its relevance for the HRM research.

The HRM system strength is a concept that tries to achieve the surfacing of an intended organizational climate by creating a strong situation/ climate reaching employee consensus in terms of firm’s HRM actions (policies, practices, goals). Strong situations/climates appear when situations/ practices are perceived uniform leading to low variance whereas weak situations/climates appear when situations/ practices are perceived ambiguous leading to a high variance. The relevance of HRM system strength for HRM research is justified by the fact that employees need specific, non ambiguous information in order to burgeon and fully live up to their potential. In addition the approach tries to address the problem that every employee perceives climates idiosyncratic by creating a strong situation and therefore a strong HRM system.

Explain the main theoretical and methodological ideas of the research by Sanders et al (2012). To which extent are the hypotheses in this empirical study confirmed? Be critical of what the authors suggest and account for. Do you agree? Why?

The research done by Sanders et. al tries to validate the findings of Bowen and Ostroff (2004) that...
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