Human Resources

Development of the concept of Human Resources Management (HRM)

The Human Resources Management (HRM) we know today has a long history and has undergone a major evolution.

The basic philosophy of the “flexible approach to human resource management (HRM)” is based in part on the work of D. McGregor (McGregor, 1960), who, in the words of Trass (Truss, 1999), actually used such characteristics in his terminology. as “hard” and “soft” to describe the form of managerial control.

According to Walton (1985), the essence of McGregor’s theory X is to describe the management model of “control”, and his theory Y emphasizes the importance of combining organizational goals and individual needs of workers based on the principle of mutual involvement. Reference: “Hard and Flexible approach to Human Resource Management”,

In the process of developing the concept of Human Resource Management there are three main stages:

1. Initial ideas developed by American authors in the ’80s.
2. Further development of ideas by British authors
3. Introduction of the Conformity Model and Harvard Model concepts


One of the first definitions of the concept of HRM was proposed by the Michigan School (Fomblun et al, 1984).

They suggested that Human Resource Management (HRM) and the management of the organizational structure should be consistent with the organizational strategy (hence the name “compliance model”). Reference: “Human Resource Management for Certified HR Managers“,

The authors further explained that the human resources cycle consists of four types of processes or functions performed by each organization, namely:

1. Selection – search for optimal compliance of human resources for different types of work.

2. Evaluation – performance management.

3. Remuneration: “the remuneration system is the least effective and correctly used management tool of those used to increase the efficiency of the company”.

Remuneration should be based on both short-term and long-term performance of employees, taking into account the fact that “the company must work in the present to succeed in the future”

4. Formation of highly effective associates.


Another group of founding fathers of the HRM concept is the Harvard School, led by Beer and co-authors (Beer et al, 1984). At the heart of this approach is the belief that the problems of traditional personnel management can only be solved by:

“Full awareness of senior managers about the desired degree of involvement of employees in the organizational process and the necessary conditions for their training and development and what principles and methods of HRD can help achieve these goals.

No fundamental ideology or strategic vision of the factors conditioned by the activity of the managers of the Jfa senior unit, HRM risks remaining only a set of uncoordinated actions of the people, each of which will be guided by its usual practice “. Reference: For Certified Human Resources Manager: The Internal Environment for HR Management ,

Beer and his colleagues believe that “today, solving many problems requires a broader, comprehensive and strategic perspective on the company’s human resources.”

These problems lead to the realization of the need for “a special approach to people management – a long-term approach, as well as the need to see people as potential assets and not as variable costs”.

It was these authors who were the first to formulate the postulate that HRM should be a function of line managers.

The authors also note that “the field of Human Resource Management (HRM) includes all management decisions and actions that affect the nature of the relationship between the organization and its employees – human resources.”

The Harvard School gives HRM two distinctive features: 1) line managers are given more responsibility for working to align organizational strategy with personnel policy; 2) the human resources department is guided by a mission to create such a policy that would determine the development of the internally integrated system of human resources.

Expanding the context of Human Resources Management (HRM) to include aspects of “strengthening the influence of employees” and improving the organizational strategy and the proposal to combine commodity market factors with socio-cultural factors;

Emphasis on the leading role of active strategic choice, not subject to situational or external influence.

Evolution of the concept of Human Resource Management (HRM)

British scientists are also contributing to the development of the original American concept of Human Resource Management. Below is a more detailed description of the ideas of many authors.

David Hest

Based on the Harvard model, Hest (Guest, 1987, 1989a, 1989b, 1991) enriched it by formulating four HRM objectives, the applicability of which he proposed to test in practice.

1. Strategic integration – the ability of the organization to combine the tasks of HRM with its strategic plans, achieving full internal coherence of various aspects of HRM, as well as allowing line managers to implement elements of the HRM system in the process of making their decisions.

2. High degree of attachment – behavioral attachment to the process of realization of the agreed goals and the desired attachment, expressed in the clear identification of employees in the company.

3. Flexibility – functional flexibility and the presence of an adaptive organizational structure capable of managing innovation.

Hest believes that the driving force behind Human Resource Management (HRM) is:

“The pursuit of competitive advantage in the market through the provision of high-quality goods and services, a competitive and highly effective pricing policy, as well as the company’s ability to innovate and manage change quickly in response to market changes or breakthroughs in research and development “.

Karen Lege

Legge (1989) in the wording below attempts to summarize the different notions of Human Resource Management (HRM).

“Human Resource Management (HRM) policy principles must be consistent with strategic business planning and services to strengthen an appropriate (or change inappropriate) organizational culture, characterized by human resources, values ​​, and general The most effective use of Human Resource Management policy can be achieved through the mutual coordination of its elements, which should help to strengthen the attachment and, as a consequence, to strengthen the desire of employees to act flexibly in the interests of the “adaptive company striving for perfection.”

In 1998 Legge (1989) defines the “hard” model of HRM as a process focused “on the close integration of HR policy in the field of HR with the organizational strategy focused on the use of human resources in such a rational way as the management of any other resources from which the organization seeks to maximize profits “.

Conversely, the flexible approach to Human Resource Management has based on the treatment of employees as “valuable capital and at the same time a source of competitive advantage formed at the expense of attachment, flexibility, higher qualifications, and higher labor productivity”.

John Purcell

Purcell (1993) states that “the formation of Human Resource Management (HRM) is both a cause and a consequence of a significant concentration of power in the hands of managers” and the widespread “if not in practice, then in the language of HRM are a combination of the intuitive appeal of this concept to managers and, more importantly, responsible response to the turbulence of commodity and financial markets.”

The author argues that Human Resource Management (HRM) is nothing more than reaffirming the prerogatives of managers.

According to Purcell, HRM policies and practices are implemented in companies to break with the past and are often associated with such words as “attachment”, “competence,” delegation of power “,” flexibility “,” culture “,” efficiency “. , “evaluation”, “remuneration”, “teamwork”, “empathy”, “cooperation”, “harmony”, “quality” and “training”. practice lies in stereotypical views of the past and idealization of the future. “

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