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Understanding Human Resource Management

Autor:   •  March 21, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  2,261 Words (10 Pages)  •  513 Views

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Harvard Model of HRM: How an organiaztion can benefit from it        

Internal shortcomings of Harvard Model and how to overcome them        

Challenges Faced by HRM        





Human Resource Management is the function/department in an organization which deals with the “people” part of a company (DeCenzo and Robbins, 1996). Like all other resources used in an organization, humans (i.e. the employees) are also an asset of the company and as such it is the organizations job to properly utilize them to its goals. But at the same time it must also be noted that the Human Resource(HR) can’t be utilized in the same manner; they have to be catered for with great care in order to harness their fullest potential (Nankervis, Compton, Baird and Coffey, 2011, p.13). HRM is tasked with handling the following “four functions: staffing, training, development and motivation, and four activities; getting people, preparing them, stimulating them, and keeping them” (Ali, 2013). It is the purpose of the HRM models to effectively produce policies to efficiently carry out the aforementioned functions.

In this essay I will be mainly using the Harvard model (Beer, Spector, Lawrence, Quin Mills and Walton, 1984) to explain the purpose of HRM and how it helps improve employee commitment and organizational performance. I will also be introducing The Michigan model (Fombrun, Tichy and Devanna, 1984), the Warwick model (Hendry and Pettigrew, 1990) and the Strategic Human Resource Management model (Darwish, 2009) to complement my argumant and build on the Harvad model. I have chosen to concentrate on the Harvard model because it is one of the first models of HRM ever created and all the rest where either made because of it, as in the case of the Warwick model (Agyepong, Fugar and Tuuli, 2010), or as an extention of it ,as in the case of the SHRM (M. Wright, 1993).

Harvard Model of HRM: How an organiaztion can benefit from it

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Bree et al (1984) were of the opinion that rather than being regard as little more than a varriable cost, it was essential that the human resource of an organization be given a far more indepth considertation. Therefore they created what came to be known as the ‘Harvard Model’, Figure 1, in order to outline the relationship between the managers and the employees. This framework was created with the intention of striking a balance between best fit(context based) and best practice(generic HRM practices) in order to set the agenda for the HR. They started of by establising a link between the various stakeholders and the HRM policy/outcomes ; and then linked them with the wider context of the situational factors which effect both the stakeholder and the HRM policy. (Budhwar and Aryee, n.d., p.12) stated that this model can be described in relation to the following four policies; human resource flows, reward systems, employee influence, and works systems. They said that these are the tasks that must be carried out by the managers to develop and sustain mutual trust and improve HR performance so as to minimise costs and achieve individual well-being, organisational effectiveness and societal well-being. He also mentioned that it is partial to the soft model of HRM which tends to put equal priority on employee wellbeing as it does on organizational preformance (Radcliffe, 2005).


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