HRM Explained
Home ] Up ] Contents Page ] Search Page ] Feedback Page ] Sumbit a Site ]

Buy This Site!



Web-Site Visitor Statistics

Reader Offers

Coming Soon 



Back to HRM Main Menu


HRM stands for Human Resource Management. Where the common focus of traditional industrial relations was based on a 'them and us' scenarios, where there is a distinct lack of cooperation between the employer and employee interest groups.

There are a lot of different views on how HRM first came about, some observers state that it was a natural progression from motivational studies, some state that it was from the works of Drucker in the 1950's others state that it was just good personnel management.

HRM came to prominence during the 1980's when it became apparent that traditional management styles could no longer remain in an ever changing business environment. Out went the traditional focus of management, in came the concept of the evolving business needing evolving strategies.

HRM is all about the need to utilise employees as the most vital resource of any business, and how they must be used to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Back to Top


Hendry & Pettigrew (1986) suggest that HRM has a strategic edge which needs to properly implemented. They suggest that to achieve strategic HRM, four areas need to be adhered to:

'(a) the use of planning, (b) a coherent approach to the design and management of personnel systems, based on an employment policy and manpower strategy, (c) matching HRM activities and policies to some explicit business strategy, (d) seeing the people of the organisation as a 'strategic resource' for achieving 'competitive advantage'' 

Guest (1989) offers an interesting insight into the differences between HRM and the traditional industrial relations systems:

'A production model where the central role of the personnel department was to support continuity of production by ensuring that staff were in place and that a clear and consistent set of industrial relations guidelines were operated  .... A human resource model reflecting a people orientated focus throughout the organisation, including respect for the individual, full utilisation of individual abilities and sophisticated policies for employee involvement'

Back to Top


Most HRM models suggest the following approaches were common in HRM policies during the 1980-90's:

  • VISION - There needs to be a strong focus from the top to reform the standard industrial relations system.
  • COMMITMENT - Using motivational approaches to getting the best commitment towards work from employees. Review the work of Taylor, Maslow, etc.
  • AGILE STRUCTURES - Redesign organisation structures to become as flexible as possible. The whole ethos is about enthusing employees to tackle a wide variety of roles, of developing group dynamics all with the specific goal of enhanced efficiency and productivity.
  • APPRAISAL - Effective HRM systems need appraisal schemes to see both how the process is working as well as discuss with individual employees, their performance analysing areas which they excel in and require further training.
  • REBRANDING - Often the old Personnel departments were re-named as HRM departments, and promoted to the workforce as a caring part of the company.
Back to Top


HRM must encompass:

  • Recruitment of the business employees, either internally or externally.
  • Ensuring the working environment is safe and secure.
  • Ensure all employees are given equal opportunities and discrimination will not exist in any shape, size or form in the business.
  • Rewarding employees with appropriate pay structures, pensions, etc.
  • Developing employees to both progressively develop themselves as well as enhance their working capabilities to improve business performance.
  • Carry out the standard employee-employer relationships as in industrial relations - negotiate wages, ensure a clean an safe environment, etc.
  • Offer good employee development schemes, allow all employees to gain better training and use that training to good use within the business.
  • Promote a two way relationship between the employer and employees. There needs to be a very paternalistic approach promoted to the employees in the sense that the employee understands that the employer is caring out about their needs, in addition to this the employees should reflect that they by working more efficiently, will make the business more prosperous and their jobs more secure.

Back to Top

Back to HRM Main Menu

(c)  Est 08/00 - Last Updated 28/05//2001