Guest’s model of HRM

Based on Human Resource Management, 4th edition, by Alan Price

David Guest’s (1989, 1997) model of HRM has 6 dimensions of analysis:

>> HRM strategy
>> HRM practices
>> HRM outcomes
>> Behaviour outcomes
>> Performance outcomes
>> Financial outcomes

The model is prescriptive in the sense that it is based on the assumption that HRM is distinctively different from traditional personnel management (rooted in strategic management, etc.).

It is idealistic, implicitly embodying the belief that fundamental elements of the HRM approach (essentially those of the Harvard map) such as commitment have a direct relationship with valued business consequences.

However, Guest has acknowledged that the concept of commitment is ‘messy’ and that the relationship between commitment and high performance is (or, perhaps, was – given the age of this material) difficult to establish. It also employs a ‘flow’ approach, seeing strategy underpinning practice, leading to a variety of desired outcomes.

Like its American predecessors, this UK model is unitarist (tying employee behaviour and commitment into the goals of strategic management) and lukewarm on the value of trade unions. The employee relationship is viewed as one between the individual and the organization.

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