Strategic HRM Assignment | Human Resource Management

Added on - 20 Sep 2019

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Strategic HRMThe role of strategic HRM in contributing to sustained competitive advantageLiterature ReviewDefining SHRMThe field of strategic HRM is in an evolving phase, but there is little agreement among variousscholars on a specific definition. SHRM has been linking the organization with its people andintegrates the HRM strategies into well-defined corporate strategies. The essential programs andplans addressing and solving all the fundamental strategic issues associated with humanresources management in any organization are termed as HR strategies (Schuler, 1992). Itprimarily focuses on the alignment of the HR practices, programs and policies of theorganization with strategic and corporate business unit strategies (Greer, 1995). The integrationof HR with its environment and business is the focal point of strategic HRM and believed tointegrate the business strategy with the HRM so as to contribute towards attaining an effectivemanagement of the human resources and improving the overall organizational performance(Holbeche, 1999; Schuler and Jackson, 2005). Further, the organizations are benefitted so as toachieve competitive advantage for the creation of unique HRM systems that cannot be easilyimitated (Huselid et al., 1997). The two prime aspects of SHRM include integration of corporateand business strategy and development of the HRM to their line managers rather than thepersonnel specialists. Integration has been defined by Brewster and Larsen (1992: 411–12) as theextent to which the issues concerning HRM are associated with the formulation of the businessstrategy whereas development can be considered as the extent to which the HRM practices aregiven responsibility to the line managers instead of the personnel specialists’.Models of SHRMHard Variant of HRMThe hard variant or the matching model of HRM aims to develop an appropriate human resourcesystem for characterizing the HRM strategies contributing towards the successfulimplementation of all the business strategies. However, the model has been successful inproviding an initial framework for further development of the strategic HRM. However, themodel has been criticized as it fails to consider the interests of the employees and is highlyprescriptive in nature due to all the assumptions being strongly unitarist in nature (Budhwar andDebrah, 2001). Therefore, this model considers HRM as reactive, passive and implementation-istfunction. According to Lengnick-Hall and Lengnick-Hall, 1988, the model fails significantly1
Strategic HRMwhile perceiving the potential for a reciprocal relationship among the organizational strategy andHR strategy. The model strives to make a tight-fit in the organization making it highly inflexibletowards the required changes and thereby making the organization a misfit in the dynamicbusiness environment. As it fails to consider the human aspect of HRM, it is termed as a hardmodel.The soft variant of HRMThe Harvard or the soft model is an analytical framework which stresses on the human aspectand focuses on the employee-employer relationship. The model focuses on the interests ofstakeholders and relates it to the objectives set by the management. The model focuses on theintegration of the employees along with the development of the enterprise. This model inculcatesthe employee influence, reward systems, human resource flows and work systems. The modelacknowledges the role of societal outcomes and therefore it provides a beneficial foundation forHRM analysis. But the model fails to explain the complex relationship between HRM andstrategic management (Guest, 2001).‘5-P model’ of SHRM‘5-P model’ of SHRM was developed by Schuler (1992), which melded over five HR activitiesnamely, policies, philosophies, practices, programs and processes which reflected the overallplan for the growth adaptability, survival, and profitability. The model was highly significant inexplaining the significance of the activities mentioned in the model for achieving the objectivesand goals of the organization along with interrelating the activities with the organization. Thismodel helped in linking the organizational strategy with the functional activities. The model,however, was over-prescriptive and hypothetical in nature. Further, the melding of HR activitieswith business needs are highly challenging as the linkages between the business needs, and HRactivities are found to be an exception in during un-agitated and non-turbulent times.According to various researchers, Budhwar, 2000a; 2000b, Budhwar and Sparrow, 1997 etc.,these models benefit the organization in integrating the corporate strategy with the HRM whichincludes, successful implementation of the corporate strategy, plethora of solutions in solvingorganizational problems that are highly complex, maintaining effective organizationalperformance and contributing to achieve all the perceived goals. These models also aim to ensure2
Strategic HRMthat all the financial, technical and human resources are provided with equal and highconsideration in order to set the objectives and evaluating all the implementation capabilities.This helps the organization to limit subordination and to further neglect the issues related tostrategic considerations thereby providing a long-term focus in the field of Human ResourceManagement and finally achieving the competitive advantage.ConclusionAll the models have their respective pros and cons but are overall efficient in linking theorganizational strategy and HR strategy. These models are beneficial in developing suitablehuman resource system that can also contribute to the efficient implementation of the variousbusiness strategies. These models can be sustainable in nature along with implementing theadditional strategy like talent acquisition for attracting best human talent, effective resourceallocation for maximizing the use of existing human resources to the right person, talentimprovement for maximizing the talents of the existing employees and finally cost reduction forreducing the personnel costs to the lowest value.Implementation of such policies will be beneficial in identifying and examining the HRstrategies so as to induce paternalism, high commitment, etc. which will help in enhancing thesignificant performance of the firm.3
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