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Universalism in Human Resource Management Is Dead - Research Paper Example

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This paper tells that the field of HRM has been experiencing exponential growth across the globe and becoming popular among companies, especially since the 1980s. This can be attributed to the realization of the contribution of human resource to the success of firms in different industries…
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Universalism in Human Resource Management Is Dead
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Download file to see previous pages The last twenty five years have witnessed the field of human resource undergo huge changes in a bid to make it a scientific discipline with its own theories, assumptions and strategies. These developments led to the introduction of HRM in the MBA curriculum, leading to the discipline becoming a major part of business strategy development (Budhwar and Khatri, 2001). Questions began to emerge however regarding the nature of human resource management as a discipline with many scholars and businesses criticizing it for lacking in credible theoretical foundations. This led to development of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM), a subfield of Human resource management that focuses on integrating the process of strategic management in to the field of human resource management. This led to development of three main theoretical perspectives or approaches in the discipline, namely universalistic, contingency and configurational approaches. The universalistic approach in Human resource management outlines the best practices in the field with the objective of encouraging application of those practices by companies and businesses across the globe and from different industries (Goodman & Truss, 2004). This perspective highlights the fact that there are some HRM practices that are certainly better than others. Companies should therefore focus on adopting these best strategies for their own success in implementation of their Human Resource Management strategies. Among some of the practices identified by the proponents of the universalistic Human resources perspective include seven strategies namely selective hiring, employment security, extensive hiring, self-management teams, extensive training, reduction of differences in status, information sharing and high salaries and wages based on the company’s performance. Universalists in Human Resource management believe that these strategies should be applied universally by all companies and that they are bound to lead to great success (Balogun, 2006). Another reason why Universalists promote the application of universal best practices is rooted in the scientific belief that the relationship between dependent and independent variable is always the same universally. It therefore does not matter where the industry is located of in which industry it is, since the relationship between human resource and success of the company is the same universally. In the second approach, the Contingency perspective, the application of Human Resource policies by any company must be consistent with the other policies and functions of the company. This perspective lays great emphasis on aligning HRM policies with company strategies based on the ‘best fit’ policy (Lewin, & Peters, 2006). The best fit policy posits that there are some Human resource policies that will fit better with the strategic functions and goals of the company. The company should therefore implement only those HR policies that better fit or merge with their general company strategies, policies and functions. Human Resource policies should be able to relate well with the companies lifecycle in order for them to be successful. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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