Essay on Beer Et Al’s (1984) Harvard Model of Hrm Notes.

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Human resource management: A critical approach
David G. Collings and Geoffrey Wood
Despite almost two decades of debate in the mainstream literature around the nature of human resource management (HRM), its intellectual boundaries and its application in practice, the field continues to be dogged by a number of theoretical and practical limitations. This book is intended to provide students with a relatively advanced and critical discussion of the key debates and themes around HRM as it is conceptualized and operationalized in the early part of the twenty-first century. Thus the current contribution is intended to be in the tradition of Storey (2007) and Legge (1995) and aims to provide students with a well-grounded and
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In other words, soft HRM is about trying to encourage firms to be ‘nicer’ to their people, on the basis that such ‘niceness’ is likely to translate into greater commitment and productivity, and hence, even more profits.
Soft HRM stands in contrast with the hard variant. Hard HRM is generally associated with the Michigan School (Forbrun et al., 1984). Its emphasis is on the use of human resource (HR) systems to ‘drive’ the attainment of the strategic objectives of the organizations (Forbrun et al., 1984). While soft HRM emphasizes the human element of HRM, the emphasis of the hard approach is very much on the resource as a means of maximizing shareholder value over the short term. The duty of managers is quite simply to make money for owners, and a focus on other issues such as employee rights is simply a distraction: rather, by focusing on returns, the organization will perform most efficiently, which ultimately is in the interests of all.
It has been argued that, in the tradition of Taylorism and Fordism, employees are viewed as a factor of production that should be rationally managed and deployed in quantitative and calculative terms in line with business strategy (Tyson and Fell, 1986; Storey, 1992). However, rather different to classic Taylorism or Fordism, job security in the new hard HRM is seen as an unnecessary luxury, whilst pay rates are to be kept

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