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Human Resource Management Essay

1890 words - 8 pages

During the period between 1960 and 1980, the role of people in the workplace was understood as personnel management or administration. Little thought during this time was given to recruitment and limited investment was made into its development. Labour was viewed as plentiful and dispensable and most firm's policy regarding labour was one of 'hire and fire' as the need arises, and 'train' only if absolutely necessary. (Reader 2005)During the 1980's however, it was recognised that because the business world was changing, the role of Human Resource Management, as it became known must change too. Human resources departments have evolved from 'mechanical' agents to a hugely important part of the structure of a company working to develop a highly skilled, well-motivated workforce who are now expected to 'add value' to the organisation, rather than simply incur cost as it was deemed 20 years ago. (Aghazadeh 2003)The Nature of StrategyAlthough it is difficult to define strategy, the general consensus of opinion, explained most simply by Thomas (1996) is that it is an approach to forming a plan of action for the future, specifically identifying what needs doing and how it will be achieved. This author states that the aim of this is to create competitive advantage and improve organisational performance.Corporate StrategyAccording to Foot and Hook (2005) corporate strategy is concerned with the overall direction which a company will follow. There are differing schools of thought regarding approach to formulation of strategy however it is widely accepted, that most successful business' employ some kind of strategic planning to their business activity.The 'rationalist' strategic approach to obtaining competitive advantage and improving long term organisational performance relies on information collected as to what factors will have an influence on the business and its successes. This usually takes the form of a comprehensive evaluation of the external and internal factors which will affect business strategy. This is questioned by some theorists (Tyson 1997) as too rigid a framework by which to develop strategy and the view that a more 'emergent' approach which allows for flexibility and adaptation to absorb changes in the volatile market place, is more appropriate and more productive. The emergent approach suggests, that the Darwinian concept of evolution can be applied in terms of competitive advantage, in that whoever is quickest to adapt to a new environment will survive and prosper, and the slow will be eliminated. (Beardwell et al, 2004)Human Resource StrategySalaman (1992) & Tyson (1997, in Cooke, 2001) explain that human resource strategy is "typically concerned with devising ways of managing people which will assist in the achievement of organisational objectives."This is reiterated by Reader (2005) who explains that since the modernisation of attitude towards human resource management, the way in which 'the people' of the business are managed,...

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