What Is Human Resource Management

Topics: Strategic management, Human resource management, Human resources Pages: 12 (3948 words) Published: August 23, 2013
1.0 Introduction

Human resource management can be defined as “the effective use of human resources in an organization through the management of people-related activities.” (Harvard Extension School, 2013) According to Boxall (2007), “HRM is the management of work and people towards desired ends.” Human Resource Management (HRM) is the core function of all organizations. It ensures that’s companies have the necessary talent required to operate effectively. Strategic HRM according to Ulrich(1997), p.89, states “SHRM is a process of linking HR practices to business strategies.” So from the above definitions it can be seen that SHRM contains HRM but SHRM is at a higher level. Also it must be noted if there is HR in an organization; it doesn’t mean there is strategic human resource management. According to Mayo(1997) “ SHRM is the alignment of the human resources function to the overall core business objectives.” This advanced level to the traditional HR; can be a more effective tool in showing and guiding its employees the strategic objectives and aims of the organization in which they are employed. Business partnering according to (Cipd.com 2013) “is a process whereby HR professionals work closely with business leaders and or line managers to achieve shared organisational objectives, in particular designing and implementing HR systems and processes that support strategic business aims.” Meaning it is where attention is refocused on how HR is to achieve it aims in supporting line managers, aligning HR activities with the business and delivering efficient services.

In the past HR resided in the tactical level and was called personnel management which is today known as hard HRM. HR is a field that is constantly evolving and if HR is to be effective at the strategic level there needs to be adequate vertical integration as stated by Torrington and Hall Model. This model deals with vertical integration which is “HR driven”. It is where the strategy of the organization is conducted by the HR strategy. This concept of vertical integration goes hand in hand with the best fit approach to strategic HRM. The Best Fit promotes the best approach that is suited to the organization in terms of its resources, people, strategies and

environment. The best fit approach can be one of three strategies which are, innovation, quality and cost reduction, all which emphasizes the relationship between HR policies and the way to reach the company’s goals. There must also be horizontal integration where each department is driven to ensure that HR has a strategic element.   If HR is to be a true business partner at the strategic level, the Ulrich Model(1997) must be incorporated in the firm. As a business partner of the firm the human resource professional as a strategic partner must work with other managers in the organization which would result in value adding activities, which Ulrich states. Also stated to be a successful business partner and deliver organizational success, four ways were suggested for the individual to be competent in, these are as follows: * Strategic partner

* Change agent
* Employee champion
* Administrative expert

Figure 1 below shows the Ulrich Model (1997).

Figure 1 above shows the Ulrich Model.
Source: (e-hrminc.blogspot.com/. (2011). The Multiple-Role Model of HRM.Available: http://e-hrminc.blogspot.com/2011/04/multiple-role-model-of-hrm.html.)

The main function of the HR professional as a business partner is aligning HR and the business organization strategy, vice versa. Therefore it is essential for the HR professional to understand the businesses strategy.

Caldwell (2004) added to Ulrich’s model by introducing his view of the importance of the operational levels to be as equally important as the administrative and strategic level. Caldwell was very optimistic about human resource policy playing a strategic role in the organization. He believed that the HR role should be...

Bibliography: Anthony, P. W, Kacmar, M. K and Perrewe, L. P (2012) Human Resource Management: A strategic approach. 6th ed. Cengage Learning.
Effton, M, Gandossv, R. And Goldsmith, M. (2013) Human Resources in the 21st Century. Wiley
Mello, A.J. (2010) Strategic Human Resource Management. 3rd ed.Cengage Learning.
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