The Practice of Strategic Human Resource Management

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Formulating and implementing HR Strategies

•There is typically no single HR strategy in a firm, although research conducted showed that a number of the firms we contacted did have an overall strategic approach within which there were specific HR strategies •Business strategy maybe an important influence on HR strategy but it is only one of the several factors and the relationship is not unilinear. •Implicit in the mix of factors that influence the shape of HR strategies is a set of historical compromises and trade-offs from shareholders. •HR strategy can influence as well as can be influenced by business strategy. In reality however HR strategies are more likely to flow from business strategies that will be dominated by product/market and financial considerations. But there is still room for HR to make a useful, essential contribution at the stage when business strategies are conceived, for example, by focusing on resource issues.

The Development Process

The process of developing HR strategies involves generating strategic HRM options and then making appropriate strategic choices. These choices should

•Relate to but also anticipate the needs of the business
•Be congruent with the present or desired culture of the organization •Have the capacity to change the character and direction of the business •Equip the organization to deal effectively with the external pressures and demands affecting it •Focus on areas of critical need

•Focus on fundamental questions as "What is constraining us?" or "What is stopping us from delivering business results?" •Be founded on detailed analysis and study and not just wishful thinking •Incorporate the experienced and collective judgement of top management •Anticipate the problems of implementation if managers are not committed to the strategy and or lack the skills to play their part. •Anticipate any problems that might arise because of the hostility or interference of employees or trade unions •Ensure...
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