Sociology

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Chapter summaries

Part one: The arena of contemporary human resource management 1 The nature of contemporary HRM
2 Corporate strategy and strategic HRM
3 Human resource management and performance
Part two: The micro context of human resource management
4 Work and work systems
5 Organizational culture and HRM
Part three: Employee resourcing
6 Workforce planning and talent management
7 Recruitment and selecting employees
Part four: Employee performance and development
8 Performance management and appraisal
9 Learning and human resource development
10 Leadership and management development
Part five: The employment relationship
11 Reward management
12 Industrial relations
13 Employee relations and involvement
14 Health and safety management
Part six: The global context of human resource management
15 International human resource management
16 Recession, sustainability, trust: the crisis of HRM

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Chapter 1: The nature of contemporary HRM
• In this introductory chapter, we have emphasized the importance of managing people, individually and collectively, over other ‘factor inputs’. We have examined the history of HRM and emphasized that since its introduction it has been highly controversial. The HRM phenomenon has been portrayed as a historical outcome of rising neo-liberalism ideology, closely associated with the political era of Thatcherism. • We have conceptualized HRM as a strategic approach, one that seeks to leverage people’s capabilities and commitment with the goal of enhancing performance and dignity in and at work. These HRM goals are accomplished by a set of integrated employment policies, programmes and practices within an organizational and societal context. The HRM approach as conceptualized here we suggest constitutes critical HRM (CHRM), extending the analysis of HRM outcomes beyond performance to include equality, dignity, and social justice. • To show the multiple meanings of the term ‘human resource management’, we have examined five theoretical models. We have discussed whether HRM now represents a new orthodoxy. Certainly, the language is different. • We have explained that tensions are omnipresent. These include tensions between profitability and cost effectiveness and employee security; between employer control and employee commitment; and between managerial autonomy and employee dignity. Throughout this book, we illustrate and explain some of these tensions and inevitable paradoxes to encourage a deeper understanding of HR-related issues. • Finally, workplace scholars use a variety of theoretical frames of reference or paradigms - here the focus has been on structural functionalism, conflict and feminist paradigms - to organize how they understand and conduct research into HRM. top

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Chapter 2: Corporate strategy and strategic HRM
• This chapter has examined different levels of strategic management, defining strategic management as a ‘pattern of decisions and actions’ undertaken by the upper echelon of the company. • Strategic decisions are concerned with change and the achievement of superior performance, and they involve strategic choices. In multidivisional companies, strategy formulation takes place at three levels – corporate, business and functional – to form a hierarchy of strategic decision-making. Corporate and business-level strategies, as well as environmental pressures, dictate the choice of HR policies and practices. • Strategic management plans at corporate level and business level provide the context within which HR plans are developed and implemented. These HR plans provide a map for managers to follow in order to fulfil the core responsibilities of the HR function, which involves managing employee assignments, competencies, behaviours and motivation. These prime responsibilities of the HR function constitute the...
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