human resource management

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Human resource management (HRM) involves the effective management of people to achieve organisational goals. In line with Boxall and Purcell (2003), Kostopoulos, Spanos and Prastacos assert that the Resource Based View of the firm (RBV) centres on how firms attain and sustain advantage over competitors by putting together distinctive 'bundles' of resources. This view has given legitimacy to human relations claims that people are strategically essential to firm success (Wright, Dunford & Snell, 2001). RBV asserts that bundle of resources should be rare, valuable, costly to imitate and the organisation capable and organised to exploit the resources, for them to lead to sustainable competitive advantage. According to Stone, (1998, p.4) HRM is the productive use of people in achieving an organisation’s sustainable competitive advantage and other strategic business goals, and satisfaction of individual employee needs.

Underlying human resource management (HRM) are the assumptions of unitarism and pluralism. Unitarism is the ideology that management and workforce are working together towards the same goals for the good of the organisation. The organisation is perceived to be one big family and management and their staff share common objectives, interests and purposes. The unitarism perspective is paternalistic in that loyalty is expected of employees. In contrast, pluralism acknowledges that an organisation is made up of various and divergent groups that have different requirements, and demands; and that it is essential that compromises are achieved.

The concept of HRM is described to have two forms, hard and soft (Truss, Gratton, Hope-Hailey, McGovern & Styles,). The soft approach to HRM suggests that employees are valued resources, ...

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