Human Resources Management

Critically discus the models of theorizing in Human Resources Management A Model is a simple description of a system or structure that is used to help people understand similar systems or structures on the other hand a theory is a set of ideas that intend to explain something about life or world especially one that has not yet been proved to be true. Looking at the models of theorizing in Human Resources Management, it would be observed that models provide legitimization of certain human resource practices and significantly explain the nature and significance of some key Human Resources practices as applied today.

They also establish variables and provide analytical framework for understanding Human Resources Management. Hard and Soft model A key concept is that of Hard and Soft Human Resources Management: Storey (1989) has distinguished between hard and soft forms of Human Resources Management, typified by the Michigan and Harvard models respectively. ‘Hard’ Human Resources Management focuses on the resource side of human resources. It emphasizes costs in the form of ‘headcounts’ and places control firmly in the hands of management.

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Their role is to manage numbers effectively, keeping the workforce closely matched with requirements in terms of both bodies and behaviour. ‘Soft’ HRM, on the other hand, stresses the ‘human’ aspects of HRM. Its concerns are with communication and motivation. People are led rather than managed. They are involved in determining and realizing strategic objectives. ‘ Also it characterizes Human Resources Management as a mixture of, narrative, instruction and logical conclusion. It gives minor details in the Human Resources Management scene of various functions of the organization.

Amongst others is that of Fombrun, Tichy and Devanna which emphasize the coherence and interactions among all the Human Resources Management practices. It provides an explanation on the cycle with which HRM centers itself on i. e. selection, performance appraisal, recruitment , training and development rewards and motivation that improve the way organizations develop. This model is very narrow as it does not explain the HRM strategies and policies because it ignores the interests of the stakeholders, the situational facts and opinion of strategic choice.

It really does not match the expresses of rationality of internal HR polities and external business strategies (Kotler, 1996). Harvard model Harvard model of Human Resource Management is a soft model of human resource management that encourages employee commitment through employee influence, HR flow, reward and work systems. * Employee influence: This refers to how managers disperse their power and authority throughout the organisation while ensuring that the organizational goals are met. * The human resource flow: This refers to issues of recruitment, selection, development and ending the contract for the people in the organisation.

The model argues that managers must work together to ensure that the right people are in the right place at the right time. * Rewards systems: These are concerned with how employees are rewarded for their work. They include monetary reward such as pay, bonuses and profit sharing, and non-monetary rewards such as holidays and insurance. They are also concerned with intrinsic rewards such as job fulfillment and empowerment, which help to maintain a motivated and productive workforce. It recommends that employees are involved in the design of the reward system, while managers must ensure it is consistent with the organization’s goals.

Work systems: This refers to the organisation of work to ensure that it is efficient and productive and, again, can meet the organization’s goals. Work systems need to ensure that the communication channels work and the correct technology is in place at the various levels of the organisation. The human resource system forms one part of the Harvard model and cannot be considered without taking into account stakeholder interests, situational factors, HR outcomes and the long-term consequences of decisions. Stakeholder interests: This refers to shareholders who have a financial interest in the business.

These range from the management, who need to ensure that organisational goals are met, to employee groups, either formal or informal. Externally, the government also has an interest in how organisation operate; this includes legislation to ensure that people are protected and to monitor how the organisation contributes to the economy. Often in communities where one type of organisation is a major employer, the community may also have a stake in the organisation.

This was the case in the 1980s when, with the demise of the coal mines and manufacturing industries, many communities were destroyed as people moved away to find work. Unions may also have an interest in the organisation and, although many unions lost their power after the 1980s, workers still have the right to belong to a union and employers have a duty to recognise this. * Situational factors: These include the characteristics of the workforce, which in turn include labour markets, union representation, laws and societal values. Questions need to be asked such as: Who are they? Where do they come from?

What is the culture? The business environment also needs to be considered, such as the economic conditions, strategic issues as to the direction of the organisation, and the management philosophy that drives the organisation. The technology and work systems also need to be taken into account to ensure that the workers can be effective. These lead to the HRM policy choices of employee influence, human resource flow, reward systems and work systems. * HR outcomes: These follow on from the HRM policy choices and are concerned with commitment, competence, congruence and cost-effectiveness.

Managers need to ask: ‘How can we gain commitment from our workers to enable the achievement of organisational goals? How can we ensure we have a trained and competent workforce who is able to perform productively? How can we sustain congruence; in other words, ensure that our workers are compatible with the management style and will fit in with other employees? ’ Finally, how can managers ensure they are cost-effective while maintaining employee satisfaction? * Long-term consequences: These follow on from HRM policy and outcomes and refer to individual well-being.

Will the outcomes ensure that individuals are looked after and their needs considered? Will the organisation still be able to be effective and compete or provide a service in the external market? How will the HR outcome satisfy the wider needs of society and the community as a whole? Managing diversity is another important issue for managers today, which is why HR managers need to be aware, not only of legislation, but also how it can affect the morale of employees. Managing for diversity ensures that all employees can feel valued as part of the organisation.

An example of this is illustrated in the ‘Managing diversity’ box. The soft view of HRM proposed by the Harvard model recognises the importance of people and that stakeholder interests are more likely to be met if HR policy choices and outcomes ensure the long-term consequences of individual well-being, which impact on societal wellbeing and increase organisational effectiveness.

The Harvard model suggests that organisations that encourage employee influence in decision-making are likely to be more effective provided they are consistent with organisational goals. t explains the HR outcomes in terms of competence , cost-effectiveness and commitment, the organization, the interests of the stakeholders, the stakeholders who include community unions , the government and employee groups the HRM choices of policies like employee influence , HRM resource flow and reward system Situational factors like workforce uniqueness , business strategies and conditions , labor market unions and laws and societal values and the long term consequences on the individual ‘s as well as the being of the society .

The Harvard system has categorized the inputs and outcomes at the organization and society level. Unlike the Fombrun, Tichy and Devanna model there is no consistent theoretical foundation to determine the relationship between HR inputs and performance outcomes, Harvard model is incorporated and most commonly analytical . The choice of policies is mostly influenced by group interests and situational factors. It’s possibly one way of communication which only recognizes or major choices (Ulrich 1996).