Academic theory Of HRM

The goal of human resource management is to help an organization to meet strategic goals by attracting, and maintaining employees and also to manage them successfully. The key word here perhaps is “fit”, i.e. a HRM approach seeks to make sure a fit between the management of an organization’s employees, and the in general strategic direction of the company. The essential premise of the academic theory of HRM is that humans are not machines. Therefore we need to have an interdisciplinary examination of people in the workplace. Fields such as psychology, industrial engineering, industrial and organizational psychology, industrial relations, sociology, and critical theories, postmodernism, post-structuralism play a most important role. Many colleges and universities offer bachelor and master degrees in Human Resources Management. One extensively used scheme to describe the role of HRM, developed by Dave Ulrich, defines 4 fields for the HRM function:

  • Strategic business partner
  • Change agent
  • Employee champion
  • Administration

However, many HR functions these days fight to get beyond the roles of administration and employee champion, and are seen rather more reactive than deliberately proactive partners for the top management. In addition, HR organizations also have the complexity in proving how their activities and processes add value to the company. Only in the recent years HR scholars and HR professionals are focusing to develop models that can measure if HR adds value.

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