Strategic Hrm

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Critically examine the potential role(s) of HR and HR professionals in contemporary organisations.

John Storey defined human resource management (HRM) as “…a distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through a strategic deployment of a highly committed capable workforce, using an integrated array of cultural, structural and personnel techniques” (Storey 1995, citied in Billsberry et al 2005). Using Storey’s definition as a starting point this essay will break down the way in which HRM has developed to become a part of business strategy. To assess the role of HRM professionals within a company this essay will look at the relationship between the use of human resources (HR) and the performance and success of an organisation. Focusing on popular models of HRM that are widely used, and seeing how HR policies are connected to performance. Though there are no definitive studies to show that there is a direct link between HRM and performance in a company, this essay will use examples and theories to show that there is a strong link between them. Human resource specialists are no longer just seen as personnel managers looking after solely administrative tasks, their role in and understanding of organisational strategies has allowed the profession to excel and become an integral part of the business structure. HRM professionals now work with managers to plan and control strategy implementation within a workforce. This shift in the role of HR professionals has occurred over the last twenty years or so where there has been a shift to focus more on recruitment, selection and training of staff to increase performance and effectively increase the profitability of a company. This can be summarised by Guest et al, “greater use of HRM is associated with lower labour turnover and higher profit per employee but not higher productivity” (Guest et al 2003, pg. 291).

The remit of HRM is yet to be specifically defined however using...
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