Human Resource Management works well in theory but not in practice. Discuss.

Essay by LYZQIUniversity, Bachelor'sB, July 2004

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Human Resource Management works well in theory but not in practice. Discuss.

Human Resource Management is concerned with the way in which organizations manage their people (Redman and Wilkinson 2001: 1). It covers a wide range of ideas, approaches, and techniques for managing and improving relationships and performance in organizations. However, much of this is criticized for working in theory but not in practice. Due to the vast scale of the human resource management theory, this essay mainly aims to discuss this argument with reference to a key and topical contemporary aspect of HRM, the strategic human resource management.

Strategic Human Resource Management Theory Review

More recently, human resource management has expended its breadth of study beyond the staple concerns of recruitment, selection, training reward and appraisal, etc. in particular, one stream of research, strategic human resource management (SHRM) has emerged as being highly influential in this respect (Wilkinson A et al.,

2001:10). SHRM points that an organization's human resource assets are potentially the sole source of sustainable competitive edge and much of the work in this area stems from the resource-based theory (RBT) of the firm (Barney, 1991, 1995). The resource-based theory provides conceptual basis for asserting that HR resources are key to firms' competitive and comparative advantage. Miller argue that operational linkages between the business strategy and the policy towards employees are the key, or in his words, the 'fit of HRM with the strategic thrust of the organizations' (Wilkinson A et al., 2001:10) and he gives his definition of SHRM:

Those decisions and actions which concern the management of employees at all levels in the business and which are directed towards creating and sustaining competitive advantage. (Miller, 1987:352)

Theorists regard HRM as being focused, unified and driven by strategy:

A strategic orientation is a vital ingredient in...