'There is a general reluctance to examine ways in which HRM can be integrated with and contribute to the overall direction of an organisation.'critically discuss

Essay by eamonnB, January 2005

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HRM integration with strategic management

A businesses strategic management decision-making process usually takes place at its top levels, with a strategic planning group consisting of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Financial Officer and Executive members. It is important to note that each component of the process involves people-related business issues. (Noe, R. et al 2003). With this in mind, it is essential that the HRM function is involved in each of the decision-making components. In recent years the most striking change in HRM's role is its growing importance in developing and implementing strategy. Traditionally, business strategy was incorporated in the role of the Operating / Line Managers. (Dessler, G. et al 1999). Human Resources Management is directed mainly at management needs for human resources (not necessarily employees) to be provided and deployed. There is greater emphasis on planning, monitoring, and control, rather than on problem-solving and mediation. It is totally identified with Management interests, being a general Management activity and is relatively distant from the workforce as a whole.

(Legge, K. 1995).

Golden argues that four levels of integration exist between the HRM function and the Strategic Management function - administrative linkage, one-way linkage, two-way linkage and integrative linkage. In administrative linkage the HRM's function is focused on day-to-day activities. The HRM Executive has no time or opportunity to take a strategic outlook toward HRM issues. In one-way linkage, the company's strategic business planning function develops the strategic plan and then informs the HRM function of the plan, thus constituting Strategic HRM - to design systems and or programs that implement the strategic plan. Two-way linkage allows for the consideration of HR issues during the strategy formulation process and the integrative linkage is dynamic and multifaceted, based on continuing rather than sequential interaction. (Noe, R. et al 2003).