Human Resources Notes

Topics: Labour economics, Management, Strategic management Pages: 9 (1389 words) Published: July 25, 2013
The HRM Models

← There are a good number of models that have been postulated by various scholars to describe the HRM concept.

← However, as shall be seen these various models either fall under the soft or the hard approach of HRM.

The Harvard Model

← The Harvard Model was postulated by Beer et al (1984) at Harvard University.

← The authors of the model also coined it the map of HRM territory.

← The Harvard model acknowledges the existence of multiple stakeholders within the organization.

← These multiple stakeholders include shareholders various groups of employees, government and the community at large.

← The recognition of the legitimacy of these multiple stakeholders renders this model a neo - pluralist model.

← This model emphasizes more on the human/soft side of HRM.

← Basically this is because this model emphasizes more on the fact that employees like any other shareholder are equally important in influencing organizational outcomes.

← In fact the interest of the various groups must be fused and factored in the creation of HRM strategies and ultimately the creation of business strategies.

Source : Beer et al (1984 : 16)

← A critical analysis of the model shows that it is deeply rooted in the human relations tradition.

← Employee influence is recognised through people motivation and the development of an organization culture based on mutual trust and team work.

← The factors above must be factored into the HR strategy which is premised on employee influences, HR flows, reward system etc.

← The outcomes from such a set up are soft in nature as they include high congruence, commitment, competencies etc.

← The achievement of the crucial HR outcomes has got an impact on long term consequences, increased productivity, organizational effectiveness which will in turn influence shareholder interests and situational factors hence making it a cycle.

← It is thus important to note that the Harvard model is premised on the belief that it is the organization’s human resources that give competitive advantage through treating them as assets and not costs.

The Michigan/Matching Model

← The Michigan model was propounded by Fombrun Tichy and Devanna (1984) at the Michigan Business School.

← They also named this model a matching model of HRM.

← Precisely, the matching aspect of this model demonstrates that the model is inclined towards the harder side of HRM.

← This is because the matching model emphaizes more on “tight fit” between the HR strategy and the buisness strategy.

← NB It demands that available human resources must be matched with jobs in the organization.

← The HR strategy must be highly calculative in terms of the quantity of the human resources required to achieve the objectives enshrined in the business strategy.

← Business strategy takes the central stage in this model hence human resources are taken like any other resource which must be fully utilised together with the other resoruces to achieve organizational objectives.

← (Evans and Lorange, 1989) argue that the Michigan model is based on the “product market logic” which demands that to gain high profits labour must be obtained cheaply, used sparingly, developed and exploited fully.

The Matching Model of HRM

Devanna (1984)

← The point of departure in the Michigan Model is the pre-eminence and pre-dominance of a business strategy, which must strictly be achieved by the available resources regardless of whether, they are able to do so or not.

← In fact the business strategy must be achieved through minimum labour costs enhanced by structural re-organization, Performance...
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