The concept of HRM emerges in the USA in the 1980's. The term has been used before for over fifty years as an alternative name for personnel management. It is then not a new concept; it is a rethink of approaches toward the management of people. HRM took on a new connotation significantly different from traditional personnel management. It was identified with a strategic approach, linking the management of people to the achievement of business objectives. One definition could be
'a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisation's most valued assets - the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of its objectives' (See Armstrong 2000 p.6)
HRM is then a philosophy of people management based on the belief that human resources are uniquely important to sustained business.
Nowadays, organizations are facing increasing competition and therefore are faced with issues on how gaining competitive advantages.
Externally, measures such as mergers, acquisitions etc can be taken. Internally, managing the organisation of work and people more effectively could be one way. Organisations are evolving in a competitive and changing environment and other factors can affect the way of managing people.
It is then interesting to ask how effective are 'cultural' and 'ideological' perspective in helping to understand the distinct features of national people management practices, the USA and Japan being used as examples.
1. People management practices in the USA and in Japan
The American system is characterised by a strong own individual development and performance. It leads most of the managing practices. American companies focus selection systems on assessing an individual's technical skills, with structured interviews. They also focus on job description, specification and evaluation methods to define jobs. Individual can apply to high position job from the beginning if they think they have...