The Distinguishing Features of Human Resource Management (HRM) in India Introduction
Over the years, the business environment has become more and more competitive with the growing number of technological advancements that has caused rapid globalisation of markets. In addition, according to Analoui, (1998), in this era of knowledge-based economies, the workforces of firms are seen as the key resources that enable them to gain competitive advantages over one another. Lado and Wilson (1994) also suggested that Human Resource Management (HRM) practices lead to sustained competitive advantage for firms over the long run. These notions evolving from various research have not only modernised the people management practices of developed countries like that of the UK and USA but has also led to dramatic developments of contemporary Human Resource Management (HRM) practices and systems in firms of many developing economies including that of India (Budhwar and Khatri, 2001). Shahnawaz and Juyal (2006), define Human Resource Management (HRM) as "management decision and practices that directly affects or influence the people, or human resources, who work for the organisation".
Thus, in reference to the context of India's current economic state, which has seen huge growth in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) made by the Multi National Corporations (MNCs) entering the different sectors of the economy, strategic Human Resource Management (HRM) systems have become fundamental for achieving long term success for businesses (Singh, 2004). This implies the need for firms of having effective Human Resource (HR) functions with regards to recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management, reward management etc. However, according to Jackson and Schuler, (1999, p; 22), the function of Human Resource Management (HRM) and the systems that it entails can be very specific to individual contexts as well as to individual cultures. This implies that cultural or national factors greatly influences the ways in which human resources are being managed in different countries across the globe. Thus, this essay aims to highlight the distinguishing features of various Human Resource Management (HRM) systems and practices which exist in India with reference to relevant academic literatures and also to practical examples drawn from various case studies to enable readers to gain valuable insights into the differences in people management practices that exist in India from the ones which are now being practiced in the developed economy of the western world like that of the UK. 2.0 The Various Human Resource Management (HRM) Systems within Firms in India Although, over the years, the Human Resource Management (HRM) practices in India have changed from the tradition model of personnel management, social, cultural, economic and political factors still endow a strong influence on the Human Resource Management (HRM) policies and practices employed by the majority of firms in India (Sodhi, 1994). For example, Tayeb, (2005, p; 80) reports that cultural factors such as large power distance still subject the Human Resource Management (HRM) systems to issues of hierarchy and bureaucracy. Such external factors affect the various functions of Human Resource Management (HRM) in many ways which distinguish these practices from those practiced across many firms in UK and elsewhere. These differences in practices have been highlighted below with reference to relevant examples extracted from various researches done on firms operating in India and in UK. Due to research constraints the main three components of the Human Resource Management (HRM) systems which include Recruitment and Selection, Training and Development and Performance and Reward Management have been discussed below. * Recruitment and Selection Systems
According to Marchington and Wilkinson (2005, p; 55), effective recruitment and selection systems play crucial roles towards the...
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