The Harvard map of HRM

A large part of this section in Human Resource Management, 4th edition is devoted to the Harvard ‘map’ of HRM. This is probably the most seminal model of HRM and has had a major influence on academic debate on the subject.

‘We noted that the Harvard Business School generated one of the most influential models of HRM. The Harvard interpretation sees employees as resources. However, they are viewed as being fundamentally different from other resources – they cannot be managed in the same way. The stress is on people as human resources. The Harvard approach recognizes an element of mutuality in all businesses, a concept with parallels in Japanese people management, as we observed earlier. Employees are significant stakeholders in an organization. They have their own needs and concerns along with other groups such as shareholders and customers.’

The Harvard Map or model outlines four HR policy areas:

1. Human resource flows – recruitment, selection, placement, promotion, appraisal and assessment, promtion, termination, etc.
2. Reward systems – pay systems, motivation, etc.
3. Employee influence – delegated levels of authority, responsibility, power
4. Work systems – definition/design of work and alignment of people.

Which in turn lead to the ‘four C’s’ or HR policies that have to be achieved:
>> Commitment
>> Congruence
>> Competence
>> Cost effectiveness

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