HR Management - Assignment Example

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Invariably, it is linked to other sectors of management such as information technology, accounting finance, as well as production and management. The main goal of HRM is to maximize the…
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Instrumental (hard) and humanistic (soft) HRM practices Instrumental (hard) and humanistic (soft) HRM practices Introduction HumanResource Management (HRM) is the area of management that deals with people. Invariably, it is linked to other sectors of management such as information technology, accounting finance, as well as production and management. The main goal of HRM is to maximize the productivity of people within an organization. Thus, HRM is a very essential and significant part of organizational success. It contains a number of areas that include HRM manpower planning, selection, recruitment and job analysis. There are also other related areas such as compensation and benefits, contract negotiations, and performance evaluations. According to Wilcox and Lowry it is the reframing and repositioning of HRM practices as the businesses strategic partner that makes employees the important economic resources (2006, pp. 50-64).
There are two major views and perspectives when it comes to Human Resource Management. These are the instrumental or hard practices and the humanistic or soft practices. Instrumental practices focus on the quantitative and strategic approaches towards people management. In this case, it mainly provides a highlight of the economic value of human resources. It focuses on how these resources are important in maximizing the performance of the organization (Lee-Ross & Pryce 2010, p. 66). As such, they can be used to provide a firm’s competitive advantage. It is these HRM practices that can be aligned with the other activities in the business and strategies of the organization to promote some of the other additional practices such as restructuring, outsourcing and downsizing, which are considered to be strategic actions. The instrumental or hard HRM practices include labor legislations. On the other hand, the humanistic or soft HRM practices are those that include functions of organizational development, management of conflicts, and education of human resource, organizational culture, leadership development and components that contribute in building of relationships. They are more employee-centered and put into account the humanness within employees as it considers them to be proactive contributors to the firm (Harris, Wijesinghe & McKenzie 2010, p. 129). It makes more emphasis on the need for commitment, job satisfaction, motivation, trust and knowledge. In this sense, it helps in the enhancement of the level of employee engagement, development, participation and autonomy in addition to the participation in decision making activities and collaboration.
Between these two kinds of HRM practices it is the humanistic or soft practices that are considered the most effective in terms of performance management since unlike the instrumental or hard approaches. This is because they not only focus on the employee but overall organizational activities. They are able to align policies and strategies in HRM with the strategic intentions of the organization. However, it has an added advantage in that it realizes that the recognition of the competitive advantage within the firm can be achieved through the value of its people and their contributions within the firm (Harris, Wijesinghe & McKenzie 2010, p. 134).
It can be clearly shown through its ability to be integrated within the overall strategic functions within the organization. In particular, the humanistic or soft HRM approaches have a more holistic approach towards development and management than the instrumental or hard approach. It is able to enable frontline staff to take part in quality culture of empowerment, trust and engagement.
Managers should always try to globally manage their HRM practices in order to simply go further than adapt effective strategies from one culture to the other. The introduction of Western HRM practices has reflected the instrumental view of the people hence proven ineffective. There is thus need to integrate different approaches through the use of soft HRM approaches.
Harris, Howard, Wijesinghe, Gayathri, & McKenzie, Stephen, 2011. The Heart of the Good Institution: Virtue Ethics as a Framework for Responsible Management. Dordrecht : Springer.
Jackson, Terence, 2002. International HRM: a cross-cultural approach. London: SAGE.
Lee-Ross, Darren, & Pryce, Josephine, 2010. Human Resources and Tourism. New York: Channel view publications.
Wilcox, Tracy & Lowry, Diannah. 2000. Beyond resourcefulness: casual workers and the human centered organization. Business and professional Ethics Journal, 19 (3 & 4), 29-54. Read More
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