During the period between 1960 and 1980, the role of people in the workplace was understood as personnel management or administration. Little thought during this time was given to recruitment and limited investment was made into its development. Labour was viewed as plentiful and dispensable and most firm's policy regarding labour was one of 'hire and fire' as the need arises, and 'train' only if absolutely necessary. (Reader 2005)
During the 1980's however, it was recognised that because the business world was changing, the role of Human Resource Management, as it became known must change too. Human resources departments have evolved from 'mechanical' agents to a hugely important part of the structure of a company working to develop a highly skilled, well-motivated workforce who are now expected to 'add value' to the organisation, rather than simply incur cost as it was deemed 20 years ago. (Aghazadeh 2003)
The Nature of Strategy
Although it is difficult to define strategy, the general consensus of opinion, explained most simply by Thomas (1996) is that it is an approach to forming a plan of action for the future, specifically identifying what needs doing and how it will be achieved.
This author states that the aim of this is to create competitive advantage and improve organisational performance.
According to Foot and Hook (2005) corporate strategy is concerned with the overall direction which a company will follow. There are differing schools of thought regarding approach to formulation of strategy however it is widely accepted, that most successful business' employ some kind of strategic planning to their business activity.
The 'rationalist' strategic approach to obtaining competitive advantage and improving long term organisational performance relies on information collected as to what factors will have an influence on the business and its successes. This usually takes the...