Models of HRM

1. The hard and soft HRM models:
Storey distinguished between the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ versions of HRM. He wrote that: ‘The hard one emphasizes the quantitative, calculative and business-strategic aspects of managing human resources in as “rational” a way as for any other economic factor. By contrast, the soft version traces
its roots to the human-relations school; it emphasizes communication, motivation and leadership.’
However, it was pointed out by Keenoy that ‘hard and soft HRM are complementary rather than mutually exclusive practices’. Research in eight UK organizations by Truss indicated that the distinction between hard and soft HRM was not as precise as some commentators have implied. Their conclusions were as follows.

2. Contextual model of HRM:
The contextual model of HRM emphasizes the importance of environmental factors by including variables such as the influence of social, institutional and political forces that have been underestimated in other models. The latter, at best, consider the context as a contingency variable. The contextual approach is broader, integrating the human resource management system in the environment in which it is developed. According to Martin-Alcázar: ‘Context both conditions and is conditioned by the HRM strategy.’
A broader set of stakeholders is involved in the formulation and implementation of human resource strategies that is referred to by Schuler and Jackson as a ‘multiple stakeholder framework’. These stakeholders may be external as well as internal and both influence and are influenced by strategic decisions.

3. The matching model of HRM:
Fombrun proposed the ‘matching model’, which indicated that HR systems and the organization structure should be managed in a way that is congruent with organizational strategy. This point was made in their classic statement that: ‘The critical management task is to align the formal structure and human resource systems so that they drive the strategic objectives of the organization’. Thus they took the first steps towards the concept of strategic HRM.

4. European model of HRM:

Brewster described a European model of HRM as follows:
● environment – established legal framework;
● objectives – organizational objectives and social concern – people as a key resource;
● focus – cost/benefit ts analysis, also environment;
● relationship with employees – union and non-union;
● relationship with line managers – specialist/line liaison;
● role of HR specialist – specialist managers – ambiguity, tolerance, flexibility.

The main distinction between this model and what Brewster referred to as ‘the prescribed model’ was that the latter involves deregulation (no legal framework), no trade unions and a focus on organizational objectives but not on social concern.

As set out by Maybe the characteristics of the European model are:
● dialogue between social partners;
● emphasis on social responsibility;
● multicultural organizations;
● participation in decision-making;
● continuous learning.

5. The 5-p’s model of HRM:
Philosophy: Expressed in statements defining business values and culture. It expresses how to treat and value people.
Policies: Expressed as shared values and guidelines. Policies establish guidelines for action on people related business issues and HR programs.
Programs: Articulated as human resource strategy. These coordinate efforts to facilitate change to address major people related business issues.
Practices: For leadership managerial and operational role practices motivate needed role behaviors.
Processes: For the formulation and implementation of other activities these define how activities are carried out.

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