In today's intensely competitive and global marketplace, maintaining a competitive advantage by becoming a low cost leader or a differentiator puts a heavy premium on having a highly committed or competitive advantage lies not just in differentiating a product or service or in becoming the low cost leader but in also being able to tap the company's special skills or core competencies and rapidly respond to customer's needs and competitor's moves. In other words, competitive advantage lies in management's ability to consolidate corporate-wide technologies and production skills into competencies that empower individual businesses to adapt quickly to changing opportunities.
In a growing number of organizations human resources are now viewed as a source of competitive advantage. There is greater recognition that distinctive competencies anre obtained through highly developed employee skills, distinctive organization cultures, management processes and systems. This is in contrast to the traditional emphasis on transferable resources such as equipment.
Increasingly it is being recognized that competitive advantage can be obtained with a high quality workforce that enables organizations to complete on the basis of market responsiveness, product and service quality, differentiated products and technological innovation.
Strategic human resource management has been defined as "the pattern of planned human resource deployments and activities intended to enable an organization to achieve its goals" (Wright & McMahan, 1992). Strategic Human Resources means accepting the HR function as a strategic partner in the formulation of the company's strategies as well as in the implementation of those strategies through HR activities such as recruiting, selecting, training and rewarding personnel. Whereas strategic HR recognizes HR's partnership role in the strategizing process, the term HR Strategies refers to specific HR courses of action the company plans to pursuer to achieve its aims. HR management can play a role in environmental scanning i.e. identifying and analyzing...