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What Is Human Resource Strategy Essay

2953 words - 12 pages

What is Human Resource Strategy HRS In your view is it a process an outcome or
“What is Human Resource Strategy (HRS)? In your view is it a process, an outcome or a set of activities?”

This essay will rely on a review of literature and may include:

A rationale for the: (i) emergence of HRS, (ii) the value of HRS, (iii) some discussion of differing approaches to HRS, (iv) some discussion of HRS strategy types (hard v soft), (v) the concept of fit and other issues which you wish to include based on your reading, (vi) including your conclusion, with your definition of HRS.


Schuler and Walker (1990) define Human Resource Strategy (HRS) as “a set of processes and activities jointly shared by human resources and line managers to solve business-related problems”. I believe this definition assists on tackling the above question. However, Bamberger and Meshoulam “Conceptualise human resource strategy as an outcome: the pattern of decisions regarding the policies and practices associated with the HR system” (Bamberger & Meshoulam, 2000: p15). In my view, HRS is a set of ‘processes and activities’ that when implemented, result in an outcome.
In aim to justify this statement by discussing the topic of human resource strategy in relation to the sub-headings listed above. By examining the reasons or ‘rationale’ for the emergence of human resource strategies in the modern business environment, the value, various strategy approaches, types and the concept of fit, I believe I can underline the importance of a well devised HRS to any overall business strategy or plan.

(i) Emergence of Human Resource Strategies

Modern businesses and the economic environments in which they operate are very different from the organizations and economies examined by Chandler in his studies of ‘managerial capitalism’ (late 19th Century through to the 1970s). The development of technology, and the creation of global economies have resulted in a significant increase in efficient and effective competition within all industries operating in market economies. Firms con longer rely on competing aggressively simply on the reliable favorites of achieving economies of scale and creating ‘barriers to entry’ within their markets etc.

Firms have become more market orientated as opposed to production focused (as highlighted by our recent study of Waterford), and this is part of the growth of the tertiary sector in modern business.

The growth of tertiary sector activity in the global dynamic environment has resulted in people (staff) or human resources, as a factor of production, becoming the most important part of this ‘production’ process. However managing people or ‘human resources’ is much more complicated than managing equipment for example, however does allow for much more scope and varying ideologies and techniques.

It is for these reasons that organisations are focusing on human resources as “Companies everywhere are changing the way they manage in order to...

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