The people in an organisation are considered to be one of the most valuable resources of today’s houses. Other resources such as trade names. merchandises. procedures. technological promotion. economic systems of graduated table can still supply a competitory advantage but an organisation’s human capital are more critical for its sustainability. The thought that an organisation’s Human Resource can play a strategic function in finding its success has led to the development of a field of research normally referred to as Strategic Human Resource Management.
The apprehension of the causal relationship between HR and organizational public presentation helps HR directors to plan policies that will convey away better operational efficiency to accomplish higher organisational public presentation. The outgrowth of ‘strategic’ HRM represents a paradigm displacement from the traditional HRM theoretical accounts. It is concerned more specifically with the relationship between HRM and the strategic context. ( Wood. Holman and Stride. 2006: 100 )
HR patterns are the chief tool which an administration can utilize to alter the pool of human capital every bit good as an effort to switch and aline organizational behaviors which leads to organizational success. The accomplishments. behavior and attitudes of employees must suit the strategic demands of the house in order for it to develop a competitory advantage. However. the remarkable focal point on the strategic involvements of an administration have been criticised by some who suggest that this may be to the hurt of the employees ( Van Buren. Greenwood and Sheehan. 2011: 209 ) There has been a steady growing over the last two decennaries of research literature around strategic HRM and harmonizing to Gooderham. Parry and Ringdal ( 2008: 2042 ) . this can be loosely divided into three chief sorts of theories – Universalistic. Contingency and Configurational.
Universalistic theories have an implicit in premise that there is a direct nexus between some human resource patterns and organizational public presentation across all administrations and under all conditions ( Lengnick-Hall. Lengnick-Hall. Andrade. and Drake. 2009: 68 ) and are concerned with ‘best practice’ .
Eventuality theories reject the cosmopolitan pertinence of human resource patterns. hence saying that the relationship between them and public presentation will differ depending on assorted external and internal factors and influences.
Configurational theories suggest that the impact of strategic HRM on organizational public presentation is dependent on the usage of an effectual combination of interrelated human resource patterns. This provides a utile model for closer scrutiny of the nexus between theory and pattern.
In relation to the universalistic theory. the current literature provides much empirical grounds for a direct and additive nexus between strategic HRM and a positive impact on organizational public presentation ( Boselie. Dietz and Boon. 2005: 67 ; Combs. Liu. Hall and Ketchen. 2006: 501 ; Katou and Budhwar. 2006: 1248 ; Stavrou. Brewster and Charalambous. 2010: 952 ) . In their survey of the retail industry. Chuang and Liao ( 2010: 185 ) concluded there was a clear nexus between strategic HRM and public presentation. They found that human resource patterns can ease a “climate of concern” for both clients and employees which later encourages employees to work good with their clients and colleagues which is indispensable in accomplishing higher degrees of market public presentation. However the specific ways in which human resource patterns impact on organizational results are non ever clear and their degree of impact has been capable to unfavorable judgment.
Whilst there is strong grounds to back up the position that cosmopolitan ‘best practices’ provide a strong foundation for strategic HRM. other factors need to be considered in order to accomplish a higher degree of public presentation. ( Lengnick-Hall. Lengnick-Hall. Andrade. and Drake. 2009: 68 ) . Despite the volume of grounds to propose the contrary. there is besides an increasing consensus in the current literature amongst research workers that human resource patterns themselves do non straight impact on public presentation. Alternatively. it is suggested that they simply influence resources. such as the human capital. or how employees behave. and it is these. instead than the patterns themselves. that later lead to public presentation. ( Katou and Budhwar. 2006: 1224 ) . The ability to act upon through strong leading plays an of import function in assisting employees to be cognizant of the sets of HR best patterns.
These best patterns need the support of top-level directors to follow them in the first topographic point. which in bend will greatly act upon the buy-in from the remainder of the employees in the organisation. If these so called ‘best practices’ are chiefly from the position of top direction and stockholders. while there is no room for employees’ voices to be heard. the theoretical facet of strategic HRM will non work. In their survey of public presentation and strategic HRM in Call Centres across the UK. Wood. Holman and Stride ( 2006: 120 ) found really limited support for the human resource-performance relationship and identified inconsistent consequences across patterns and public presentation.
Furthermore. in other research conducted by Hesketh and Fleetwood ( 2006: 678 ) . they conclude that “the empirical grounds for the being of an HRM–performance nexus is inconclusive” . In existent life. companies may necessitate to react to external force per unit areas which creates jobs of handling employees with consistence of intervention. particularly over clip and may do jobs of retaining good and loyal staff. Simply developing the appropriate HR patterns in theory will non be plenty because HR advantages besides depend on how these patterns are implemented on the land.
For illustration. an administration that focuses on the wellbeing of their employees in an economic recession or times of increased competition may be forced to make up one’s mind between committedness to employees and a demand to cut costs. restructure or lay-offs in order to remain solvent. Therefore. looking for a nexus between HR patterns and public presentation is a ineffectual attempt because the chief focal point demands to be on the relationship between policy. patterns. procedures. execution and public presentation. This is a immense attempt that is non easy and practically achieved in many administrations today.
In relation to the eventuality theory described by Gooderham. Parry and Ringdal ( 2008: 2042 ) . whereby the relationship between strategic HRM patterns and public presentation is said to change harmonizing to different external and internal factors and contextual variables. there is some support. Internal influences identified in the literature include factors such as engineering. construction and size of the administration and concern scheme. and external influences include factors such as the legal. societal and political environment ( Lengnick-Hall. Lengnick-Hall. Andrade. and Drake. 2009: 66 ) . For case. within Wal-Mart. those in charge of logistics have highly valuable and alone accomplishments. much more so than the mean gross revenues associate. On the other manus. at Nordstrom’s. because client service is of import. gross revenues associate accomplishments are more critical to the scheme than those of the logistics employees.
Indeed Godard ( 2010: 466 ) argues that a cardinal unfavorable judgment of the current research around strategic HRM patterns is its failure to pay sufficient systematic attending to these variables and to the impact that historical. institutional and socioeconomic conditions may hold had on human resource patterns over clip. Similarly. Hueslid and Becker ( 2001: 427 ) suggest that whilst the nature of work and administrations has undergone considerable alteration over the past two decennaries. the pattern of strategic HRM has changed much less and this failure to accommodate and be flexible has a direct impact on how good it works in pattern and how much influence it has on organizational public presentation.
Associating to this. Kim ( 2010: 42 ) asserts that understanding employees’ outlooks for their work environment is cardinal to developing successful human resource patterns including outlooks around virtue awards. publicity and calling development chances and organizational regulations. Critics of the eventuality theory attack. nevertheless. suggest that whilst the statements environing it construct a theoretical foundation that is more solid that that of the universalistic attack. the grounds of its effectivity in pattern does non make the same degree of statistical cogency. ( Martin-Alcazar. Romero-Fernandez and Sanchez-Gardey. 2005: 636 ) .
Finally. with respect to the 3rd theory proposed by Gooderham. Parry and Ringdal ( 2008: 2042 ) . there appears to be a strong grounds base of support in the current literature for configurational theory. This theory suggests that the impact of strategic HRM is dependent on the effectual combination of a scope of interconnected and multi-dimensional patterns that must work good with one another in order to accomplish positive public presentation results. In their survey of strategic HRM and organizational development in British fabrication houses. De Menezes. Wood and Gelade ( 2010: 468 ) . concur with this and argue that strategic HRM merely has the ability to accomplish multiple ends and higher organizational public presentation. when it is to the full integrated with other patterns.
Similarly. Boxall and Purcell ( 2000: 186 ) note that excessively frequently there remains a pronounced inclination in administrations to see human resource patterns as an terminal in themselves. instead than every bit built-in to the administration and they are hence are non suitably linked in to one another and to other direction patterns. which later impacts on how efficaciously they operate.
The function and accomplishments of human resource practicians has besides been the topic of much research in relation to what impact they have in doing strategic HRM work in pattern. Some observers suggest that in order for patterns to be effectual. practicians need to possess cardinal strategic accomplishments and nucleus abilities including a high degree of cognition about the concern and the environment in which it operates. organizational effectivity accomplishments. and conflict direction accomplishments ( Ingham. 2010: 32 ) . Furthermore. Van Buren. Greenwood and Sheehan ( 2011: 210 ) propose that the dichotomy of functions that human resource practicians have historically played. as both employer representatives and as employee advocators. has led to complications and may impact on how effectual human resource direction is in pattern.
They go on to propose that human resource directors face force per unit areas to underscore employer ends. and frequently this impacts negatively on their function of recommending for employee public assistance. and that they are constrained by demands of their directors and the organizational civilizations in which they operate. ( 2011: 211 ) . Related to this. another characteristic of the current literature is how human resource patterns are implemented and by whom within administrations. The grounds suggests that instead than being seen as a ‘specialist’ function. much of the work about human resource pattern is progressively being delegated to middle directors to implement. Critics of this attack suggest that these directors are non equipped with the indispensable accomplishments and clip needed to efficaciously implement strategic HRM.
Turning work loads and lifting outlooks of their functions have increased tensenesss within their place as in-between directors. with their perceptual experience that they do non hold the clip or resources to efficaciously pull off their staff ( McConville and Holden. 1999: 406 ) . In a survey of line director engagement in human resource pattern in the NHS. Currie and Proctor ( 2001: 53 ) found that line directors are of import to strategic alteration within the administration when given discretion to implement human resource schemes within their ain squads.
However. directors may non put the same value on strategic HRM. and directors are much more reactive than proactive. and are non likely to prioritize human resource issues unless any jobs associated with them become critical. Many directors in today’s administrations are more undertaking oriented because of the demands of multi-tasking. while ideally they should be passing most of their clip truly pull offing their staff and sections.
This may non be wholly their mistake because many administrations today are frequently dominated by cost-benefit analysis and speak a batch about tradeoffs instead than the emotional and mental wellbeing of their employees. Another cardinal characteristic of the literature is associated with the methodological challenges that exist in measuring to what extent strategic HRM theory plants in pattern. These challenges arise from the deficiency of a individual agreed definition or list of human resource patterns or systems to mensurate the relationship between strategic HRM and organizational public presentation ( Paauwe. 2009: 136 ) . The absence of this means that public presentation may merely be ascribed to the specific effects of individual intercessions instead than measured as a whole. It has been recognised that the development and rating of a more comprehensive theoretical account showing a causal nexus between strategic HRM and public presentation is needed.
( Huselid and Becker. 2011: 422 ) . Wright and McMahan ( 2011: 95 ) propose that there are three cardinal steps that exist whereby the effectivity of human capital and hence human resource patterns can be measured. These include: subjective steps such as employee perceptual experiences ; placeholder steps which are used as options where facets of pattern are hard to quantify ; and direct appraisals which involves mensurating touchable factors such as degrees of academic attainment of employees or productiveness. However. they acknowledge that these steps are non needfully easy to implement and that all pose challenges for those desiring to research and step the effectivity of human resource patterns. Others argue that any steps of the impact of strategic HRM and human resource patterns are at high hazard of prejudice and misunderstanding and any consequences associating to this should hence be treated with cautiousness ( Gardner and Wright. 2009: 68 ) .
The intent of this paper is non to disregard the importance of Strategic Human Resource Management theories and the benefits it brings to organisations’ competitory advantage. The surveies put in by many celebrated theoreticians seemed to demo that there is so a nexus between good executed Human Resource policies and schemes with organisational public presentation:
Table 1: Results of research on the nexus between HR and organisational public presentation. Beginning: Michael Armstrong ( 2006 ) . Strategic Human Resource Management: A Guide to Action. Kogan Page. London. p. 73-74
The current research literature provides a really assorted position of how good the theory of strategic HRM plants in pattern. Whilst some surveies provide converting grounds to indicate to a direct causal nexus with strategic HRM and high organizational public presentation. others provide every bit compelling grounds to propose that there is no nexus and in some instances. even a negative correlativity with good public presentation.
In add-on. many surveies suggest that there are a broad scope of variables which impact on how efficaciously the theory of strategic HRM translates into pattern. and which make it hard to distinguish the impact of strategic HRM from other direction activities. and other factors including internal and external organizational force per unit areas and drivers. the type and size of the administration. and the skill base and strategic arrangement of human resource direction related functions within the administration. It besides depends on whether the administration has the capableness and the skilled resources to pass on and implement the HR schemes across all degree in the administration.
For illustration. from top direction to section caputs or from line directors to serve staff every bit good as interactions between sections and employees. The issue is to boot debatable when combined with the deficiency of consensus on the steps to be used to measure the impact of strategic HRM on public presentation. A major challenge for Strategic Human Resource Management in the close hereafter is to is to set up a clear and consistent concept for organizational public presentation. Despite the strong theoretical evidences for believing that strategic HRM should be good for organizational public presentation. the grounds in pattern is equivocal. Strategic HRM is a complex and of all time germinating procedure and given the contending grounds and the deficiency of in agreement prosodies. the argument around whether or non strategic HRM plants in pattern will go on on. One facet of this argument. nevertheless. where at that place does look to be consensus. is around the demand for farther research in this country. and possibly merely with this. can the argument of all time be genuinely settled.
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