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INTRODUCTION

As we enter the new era of an advanced high-tech environment, the business world is also entering into an era of fierce competition noticed by takeovers and mergers. This illuminates the type of dynamic and complex business environment that companies have to face. The rapid change in the environment reminds us that, for a business to survive, it has to focus on its core competencies and discover in order to keep ahead of the competitors. The field of Strategic Human Resource Management has evolved mainly in accordance to the fact that human resources need to be managed strategically for the firm to enjoy sustainable competitive advantage over competition. Several scholars have noted that managing people is tedious than managing technology or capital. Firms that learn how to manage their human resources well would have an advantage over others in long run since acquiring and deploying human resources effectively and efficiently is difficult and takes longer time. (Wright et al., 1994).

DEFINITION AND MEANING OF STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (SHRM)

The concept of strategic human resources management has been defined by various authorities and schools of thought. Its definition and relationship with other aspects of business planning and strategy is not absolute and opinion varies between writers. However, some of the most plausible definitions of this concept include the following:

Strategic Human Resource Management is an approach to making decisions on the intentions of the organization concerning people-essential components of the organization`s business strategy. It is about the relationship between HRM and Strategic management in the organization. Strategic HRM refers to the overall direction the organization wishes to pursue in achieving its objectives through people. It defines the organization’s intentions and plans on how its business goals should be achieved through people. It is based on three propositions: first, that human capital is a major source of competitive advantage; second, that it is people who implement the strategic plan; and, third, that a systematic approach should be adopted to defining where the organization wants to go and how it should get there.

Huslid refers to SHRM as an approach that reflects how the aims of the organization will be acquired through people by means of human resource strategies and combined human resource practices and policies. He further discusses that SHRM is also based on viewing the people of the organization as a strategic element for the acquirement of competitive benefit (Huslid, 2003). Kaplan and Hurd (2002) also went ahead and defined SHRM as a collection of tasks and processes shared jointly by line managers and human resources to solve business issues based on people. Leug (2003) defines strategic human resource management as a focus on the actions that vary/differentiate the organization from its competitors. Following contribution from various schools of thought this study has summarized SHRM as the linking of human resources with strategic goals and objectives in order to improve business performance and develop organizational culture that foster innovation, flexibility and competitive advantage. In an organization SHRM means accepting and involving the HR function as a strategic partner in the formulation and implementation of the company's strategies through HR activities such as recruiting, selecting, training and rewarding personnel. HOW SHRM DIFFERS FROM HRM

In the last two decades there has been an increasing awareness that HR functions were like an island unto itself with softer people-centered values far away from the hard world of real business. In order to justify its own existence, HR functions had to be seen as more intimately connected with the strategy and day to day running of the business side of the enterprise. Many writers in the late 1980s started clamoring for a more strategic approach to the management...
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