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Human Resource Management Essay Sample

Human Resource Management Free Essay Example

HRM, or Human Resources Management, as a rule is regarded as the coherent and efficient process of workforce management within the corporation. This process comprises  few crucial types of activity. The first is initial and absolutely obligatory step. It includes the process of attracting certain type of employees which are potentially appropriate for the position. The next step involves subsequent choice on the basis of set criteria and selective principles of the company policy. There are also stages which comprise such activities as training process (coaching helps form a future professional), and process of proper assessment (one increases the employee’s relevance and correspondence to the position). Finally, the last step involves rewarding the most prominent and promising staff.

Moreover, Human Resources Management deals with such crucial aspects of corporate functioning as organizational, leadership, and also corporate culture. Therefore, it is quite obvious that the phenomenon of HRM presents a miscellaneous essence. Moreover, it comprises numerous dimensions, different models, and diverse perspectives, especially in the current course of time.

The concept of Human Resources Management is constantly evolving and developing. The HRM improvement results consequently in the emergence of new models, theories, and methods. For example, there are two of the most widely adopted models in the current scope of human resource management. These models present the opposition and are called hard and soft versions of HRM.

The models are actually based on the views concerning such phenomena as human nature and strategies of managerial control. They are absolutely different and even dramatically opposite. The hard version of HRM appears to be based on the conception of tight strategic control and business performing criteria. The presented economic model of a man, according to the hard version of HRM, is worked out in the correspondence to Theory X. The soft model of HRM comprises the following crucial aspects: control through commitment and Theory Y. Consequently, the soft model tends to signify the parallel concern for workers’ outcomes (Truss, Gratton, Hope-Hailey, McGovern, & Stiles, 2003).

The introduction of these two models appears to be obligatory as the majority of overall HRM assumptions are very divergent and controversial. There is no possibility for them to be incorporated properly and efficiently within a single version of the phenomenon of human resource management in the current course of time.

The Michigan model presents a hard and minimum humanistic approach to the concept of Human Resources Management, and its subsequent implementation into practice. Though, the model is as famous as the one that fits the modern HRM perspective perfectly. It is based on the following crucial aspects: “employees are resources in the same way as any other business resource. People have to be managed in a similar manner to equipment and raw materials. They must be obtained as cheaply as possible, used sparingly, and developed and exploited as much as possible” (Price, 2011).

There have been numerous studies and investigations performed within the scope of the Human Resources Management models, their similarities, stark differences, and peculiarities. Consequently, the researchers have made the following conclusion: “We found that no pure examples of either form existed” (Truss et al., 2003). Therefore, the majority of the corporations – both newly coined and experienced ones – tend to blend the advantages and perspectives of hard and soft versions of Human Resources Management. Subsequently, the success depends upon the proper, timely and absolutely relevant unity of all the aspects and points.

There are different perspectives and angles within the scope of HRM. For examples, it appears to be quite topical in regard to the phenomenon of Human Resources Management from a discourse perspective. A concept of discourse tends to be presented by the significant role and crucial functions of the language, and its subsequent impact on the reality and development. The direct as well as indirect functions of the language predetermine the level of potential efficiency and future results of any venture. Therefore, it is considered to be the following tendency: talking is doing, conversation leads unequivocally to the actions, and consequently – to results (Poole, 1999). As a rule, the more discussions and dialogues are involved in the course of the development of Human Resources Management, the more new ideas and innovative approaches tend to appear. Subsequently, they will be implemented in the corporate working process.

The distinction points of the two models of HRM in the scope of discourse and the overall conception involve a lot of essential areas. These are recruitment and selecting process; the course of proper learning and relevant development of the talent; planning of human resource’s activity and provision of contracts; solid guarantee of fair treatment and potentially available equal opportunities. One more area of HRM comprises managing diversity and provision of proper and relevant motivation for the employees. It is targeted at the consequent improvement of their currently available performance. Furthermore, there are such essential areas as counseling of the staff;  talent management as well as dealing with the level of wellbeing of employees; management and control of such processes as salary and remuneration of the staff; health and safety management and provision; provision of proper level of discipline as well as dealing with grievances and cases of dismissal. Management of negotiation and redundancy; encouraging engagement and involvement of the employees in essential ventures and innovative activity; monitoring and constant improving of corporate ethics and responsibility; management of the current level of employees’ knowledge are also among the essential areas.  Moreover, change management is crucial and currently very promising area of HRM as well as management cross-cultural issues or international HRM (“Introducing Human,” n.d.).

The major requirements for the proper, relevant, and sufficient functioning of Human Resources Management may be viewed from two different perspectives. These perspectives are considered to present the basis for the presented models of current HRM; soft and hard ones.

The first perspective deals with the following business scheme: the primacy of corporate needs and targets may be interpreted as acquisition, deployment and consequent dispensation of the human resources in strict accordance with the current corporate plans. Therefore, human resources in the course of implementation of the given perspective are regarded in the same terms as other types of resources. Little concern is as a rule observed in direct correspondence with the needs of corporate human resources. Moreover, the emphasis is usually put exclusively on quantitative aspects. Thus, this perspective is corresponded to the model of hard Human Resources Management.

Another perspective is described in the following way: “In order to gain a competitive advantage through the workforce, regardless of whether they are full- or part-time, temporary or contract staff, all potential must be nurtured and developed, and programmes that pay due notice to knowledge about the behavioural aspects of people at work are developed” (“Introducing Human,” n.d.). As a result, the perspective may be unequivocally corresponded to the soft model of Human Resources Management.

Consequently, two models of Human Resources Management form the opposition that is based on the several crucially distinctive elements which tend to predetermine the essence and the scope of involvement of every HRM model.

These most essential and influential elements are as follows: the dual basis of hard HRM is formed of linkage between performance appraisal and performance related payment. Meanwhile, the principal elements in the scope of soft model of Human Resources Management are as follows: “developmental and facilitating managerial behaviour” (McKenna & Beech, 2008).

The phenomenon of Human Resources Management tends to develop and alter within the current course of time. This tendency obviously and sufficiently impacts the scope of innovations and alterations within the issue of HRM in the modern society. It is influenced by diverse aspects and factors, for example, by social and cultural factors as well as by economic aspect. Therefore, the phenomenon of Human Resources Management is to be regarded both in diachronic and synchronic approaches (Beardwell & Claydon, 2007). The reason is that synchrony reveals the current and most innovative picture of the HRM. Meanwhile, diachronic approach demonstrates the origins and the background of the whole phenomenon.

The contemporary analysis of the Human Resources Management phenomenon appears to reveal more profound and relevant concern for the soft model of HRM. This model comprises such crucial and obligatory elements as mutual respect, common goals, common and mutual consequences and results, mutual assistance, and mutual comprehension as well. These aspects tend to form currently relevant and appropriate management of the corporate human resources and their consequent corporate microclimate within the company. Besides, these factors directly influence the relationship within the corporate staff. Therefore, the HR’s concern is really essential and even often crucial as it predetermines to certain extent the conditions of the working employees – both moral and physical. In its turn, the employees’ condition predetermines the level of final corporate efficiency. The soft model regards the corporate human resources as linked, closely interconnected and subsequently capable of mutual impact. This factor clarifies the success. It also proves effectiveness of the soft model and the essence of its principal priority concerning employees’ personal and overall corporate outcomes.

Though, from the perspective of change, the hard model of Human Resources Management is effective. It even establishes appropriate conditions for the company to be adequately organized. The hard model of the HRM presents direct orientation towards the efficient productivity and relevant outcomes of the corporate activity. Though, this model does not adopt the proper positive attitude about the employees of the company. They are considered to be some kind of resources necessary for the process of production just as well as all the other types of resources and materials. The latter are properly and timely utilized in order to achieve certain results.

Therefore, both models present the ambiguous and dual essence of the concept of Human Resources Management. They seem to reveal the set of qualities of the concept in general, though perhaps “at various stages of their development” (McKenna & Beech, 2008).

The book Human Resources Management: A Concise Analysis by McKenna and Beech (2008) also maintains the position of HRM as the concept of hologram with divergent or even quite contradictory traits. These contradictions subsequently form the peculiarities and ambiguous sides of the process of implementation of any model into practice.

The hard model of HRM is often regarded as the strategic one (Kane, Crawford, & Grant). The reason is it as follows: this model tends to be directly predetermined by the current business strategy and based on the rational manner of management. Its advantage appears to be the opportunity to perform the cost minimization within the corporate policy targeted at the optimization and improvement of the efficiency level with the reduction of costs at the same time.

Kane, Crawford, & Grant emphasize as well the weird tendency that has been recently observed: the refined and exclusive model of HRM without any additional elements or, on the contrary, with some extra features form the opposite model, may be attributed to rare “excellent, or exemplar” leading companies in the current course of time. All the others corporations still use a certain model on the partial, reactive or ad-hoc basis. This profound disconnection between the theoretical background and consequent translation it directly into practice with subsequent results or their absence, companies often fail to follow certain strategy or method even in case it is sufficiently grounded and persuasively proved. As a consequence, the blend of the HRM models appears to be functioning within contemporary corporations.

One more currently discussed dilemma comprises the following suggestion: the employees appear to be clearly experiencing exploitation in terms of the hard HRM model implementation. On the other hand, the soft HRM model tends to take the employees into account, though the opponents of this HRM version put the emphasis on the excessive freedom as well as excessive costs the corporation experiences. They present this model of Human Resources Management as the unity of low level of performance and high level of financial expenses (Kane, Crawford, & Grant, 1999). The costs in terms of hard HRM model are not always that low. Hence, the human resources often require replacement and new professional employees as not every person is ready for such a “hard” approach in the workplace.

Thus, the two models of Human Resources Management appear to present dual essence of the concept itself. These models emphasize the obvious necessity to distinguish between the major elements and potential consequences of each one.