Evolution of the concept of Human Resources Management (HRM)

Many British scientists have also contributed to the development of the original American concept of Human Resource Management (HRM).

Below is a more detailed description of the ideas of many authors.

David Guest

Based on the Harvard model, Guest (Guest, 1987, 1989a, 1989b, 1991) has enriched its formulation with the four objectives of Human Resources Management (HRM), the applicability of which he has proposed to be tested in practice. Reference: “Development of the Human Resources Management (HRM) concept“,

1. Strategic integration – the ability of organizations to combine the tasks of HRM with their strategic plans, achieving full internal coherence of various aspects of HRM, as well as providing line managers the opportunity to implement elements of the HRM system in the process of taking of decisions. Reference: “Objectives of Human Resources Management (HRM)“,

2. High degree of attachment – behavioral attachment to the process of achieving the agreed goals and the established attachment expressed in the clear identification of employees with the company.

3. High level of quality – this goal extends to those aspects of managerial behavior that are directly related to improving the quality of products and services provided by the company, including personnel management and investment to improve the quality of work of workers. Reference: “Human resources management concept“,

4. Flexibility – functional flexibility and the presence of an adaptive organizational structure capable of managing innovation.

Gest suggests that the driving force of HRM is:

“Striving to gain a competitive advantage in the market through the provision of high-quality goods and services, competitive and highly efficient pricing policy, as well as the company’s ability to innovate and manage change in response to market changes or breakthroughs. in the field of research and development ”.

The author believes that HRM reflects, firstly, unitarian values ​​in the sense that they imply some serious and inevitable disagreements between management and workers, and secondly, individualistic values ​​that prefer the worker-organization relationship rather than the type of group or representative systems. Reference: “Get a Human Resources Manager certificate with a good training course”,

According to Gest, much more has been “attributed” to the concept of HRM, while it is limited by the impact of the directive rather than the behavior.

Karen Legge

Legge (1989) in the wording below has tried to summarize the different notions of HRM.

“HRM policy principles must be consistent with strategic business planning and serve to strengthen the appropriate (or change the inappropriate) organizational culture, characterized by attitude towards human resources, values ​​in general, and a source of competitive advantage in particular.

The most effective use of HRM policy can be achieved through the mutual coordination of its elements, which should help to strengthen attachment and, consequently, strengthen the desire of workers to act flexibly in the interests of an “adaptive company, striving for perfection. Reference: “How to make a Human Resources plan for our organization”,

In 1998, Legge defined the “hard” model of HRM as a process focused on the close integration of HR policy with the organizational strategy focused on the use of human resources in such a rational way that management is carried out of all other resources from which the organization seeks to maximize profits.

On the contrary, the flexible approach to HRM is based on the attitude towards the worker as “valuable capital and at the same time a source of competitive advantage formed at the expense of attachment, flexibility, high qualification, and high labor productivity”.

According to Legge, HRM is based on three key points: First, flexibility in all its manifestations; second, principles for the formation of teams of delegated authority and empathy; and third, management of the cultural sphere. Reference: “Human resource management plan in project management practices”,

Chris Hendry and Andrew Pettigrew

Hendry and Pettigrew (1990), deliberately downplaying the prescribed nature of the Harvard model, emphasize the importance of its analytical elements.

According to Boxall (1992), such an approach justifiably avoids the definite definition of HRM as the only correct form and contributes to the not accelerated and more sound analytical development of this model.

The authors claim that “the qualitative description of the structure and the processes of strategy formation in complex organizations, with the due understanding of the analytical concepts, is a fundamental factor of HRM”

Hendry and Pettigrew believe that the role of HRM, as a new direction of development, is to make a qualitative turn in the industry: solutions ”. Reference: “Methods for human resources and personnel management“,

The authors also note that “from the very beginning, the concept of HRM has been characterized by offering an attractive verbal form to describe visual changes, while hiding bottlenecks – orientation, scale, structure, and direction – the existing model of personnel management.”.

John Purcell

Purcell (1993) states that “the formation of HRM is both a cause and a consequence of the significant concentration of power in the hands of managers” and the widespread use “if not in practice, then in the language of HRM – a combination of intuitive attractiveness of this concept for managers and, more importantly, the backlash of turbulence in commodity and financial markets ”. Reference: “Example of Human Resources plan of an IT / Software company”,

The author argues that HRM is nothing more than reaffirming the prerogatives of managers.

According to Purcell, HRM policies and practices are implemented in companies to break with the past and are often associated with such words as “attachment”, “competence”, “delegated authority”, “flexibility”, “culture”, and “efficiency”. , “Evaluation”, “remuneration”, “teamwork”, “empathy”, “cooperation”, “harmony”, “quality”, and “training”. In fact, “the danger of HRM being perceived as the best in modern management practice lies in stereotypical views of the past and idealization of the future.” Reference: “Human resources policies in the field of social protection”,

Kate Sison

Sisson (1990) has identified four main features that are increasingly associated with HRM:

1. The importance of coordinating the principles of personnel policy, both among themselves and with business planning in general, is emphasized.

2. Functional managers are relieved of the duties (or tasks) of personnel management.

3. The focus shifts from the field of relations between managers and trade unions to the field of relations between managers and workers, in other words, from collectivism to individualism.

4. Emphasis is placed on the importance of attachment and initiative on the part of employees at the same time as managers learn new roles of “helpers”, “inspirers”, and “driving force”.

John Story

Storey (1989) thinks that HRM should be seen as “a set of interrelated principles with ideological and philosophical justifications.” It identifies four aspects that make up the substantive version of HRM:

1. A certain set of beliefs and assumptions.

2. Decisions in the field of people management, which are in information dependent on the choice of strategic direction.

3. Key role and involvement of line managers.

4. A set of levers for the formation of labor relations, radically different from the procedural and regulatory levers for management, typical of the system of classical industrial relations.

The author clarifies: “It is accepted that HRM can supplement all the shortcomings of personnel management.”

The development of HR functions is recognized as one of the key areas of business in which training and development are becoming increasingly important:

“The performance of this function and the responsibility for the results are directly related to the line managers; its goal is not just to reach the consent of the workers to perform the assigned tasks, but to pursue ambitious plans for the formation of attachment in the workers.

Story devotes a place at the strategic level to HRM policy-making and emphasizes that the main feature of this company is the internal coherence of all elements of the system.