Learning Objectives • Explain what is meant by human resource management • Understand the relationship between human resource management and management • Describe the HR manager’s role • Understand the human resource management activities performed in organisations • Explain the meaning of strategy • Explain the meaning of strategic human resource management • Describe a strategic approach to human resource management • Appreciate the strategic challenges facing human resource management Chapter Outline This chapter introduces the concept of Human Resource Management (HRM) and its role within organisations. It is divided into several sections that describe the activities involved in HRM and the relationship between HRM and an organisation’s business strategy. The material contained in this chapter serves as the basis upon which the entire book is built.
What is Human Resource Management?
The focus of human resource management (HRM) is on managing people within the employer-employee relationship. It involves the productive use of people in achieving the organisation's strategic business objectives and the satisfaction of individual employee needs. HRM is a major contributor to the success of an enterprise because it is in a key position 'to affect customers, business results and ultimately shareholder value'. Ineffective HRM is a major barrier to employee satisfaction and organisation success.
HRM and Management
The purpose of HRM is to improve the productive contribution of people, and should therefore be related to all other aspects of management. There are two basic approaches to HRM: instrumental HRM - (or hard) approach that stresses the rational, quantitative and strategic aspects of managing human resources; and humanistic HRM - (or soft) approach that emphasises the integration of HR policies and practices with strategic business objectives, but recognises that competitive advantage is achieved by employees with