Human Resource Management: Key Concepts and Skills
Publication Year: 1994
This major textbook meets the clear need for a substantial but accessible introduction to the practice of human resource management (HRM) within the context of relevant theory and current debates. In a discussion that ranges from the strategic and policy aspects of HRM to the day-to-day processes of employee management, the author identifies and explores key concepts and skills. Distinctive features of the book include: a focus on issues of direct relevance to all line managers, not just to human resource specialists; a combination of a knowledge-based approach with a practical introduction to the most important skills; numerous examples, encapsulating concepts and techniques in clear tables, and a teaching appendix of discuss
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- The Impact of Human Resource Management
- A Personal View of HRM
- The Plan of the Book
- Chapter 1: Competitive Strategy and Human Resource Management
- The Origins of Human Resource Management
- Adverse Implications for the Personnel Function?
- In what Sense Strategic?
- The Competitiveness-Human Resource Debate in America
- Beyond the Debate in the USA
- Will One-Way become Two-Way?
- Chapter 2: Organizational Culture and Change
- The Definition and Elements of Culture
- The HRM Dimension
- Organization Culture: Types, Strength and National Setting
- Studying and Measuring Organizational Culture
- Cultural and Organizational Change
- New Plants and Organizational Culture
- Seeking Turnaround in an Established Organization
- HRM and Organizational Change
- Chapter 3: The Selection Decision
- Planning for Recruitment
- Assessing the Selection Process
- The Interview: Limitations and Possible Changes
- Psychological Testing: The Answer?
- Management Assessment Centres
- Overall Effectiveness and Strategic Selection
- Chapter 4: Appraising Employees
- The Concerns and Problems of Appraisal
- Approaches to Appraisal Interviewing
- Improving the Process of Appraisals
- Developments in Appraisal
- Appendix: Employee Counselling
- Approaches to Counselling
- The Counselling Interview
- Concerns about Counselling
- Chapter 5: Reward and Compensation Systems
- A Larger Perspective on Compensation and Reward Systems
- Performance-Related Pay
- Profit-Sharing, Employee Shareholding and Gain-Sharing Schemes
- Pay for Knowledge Schemes
- Harmonizing Terms and Conditions of Employment
- Chapter 6: Career Management and Development
- Individual Career Stages
- The Organizational Perspective on Careers
- The Matching Process
- A Brief Note on Some Emerging Career Issues
- Career Mentoring Programmes
- Looking for the International Manager
- Chapter 7: Employee-Management Communications
- The Growth of Communication Arrangements in Britain
- Team Briefing
- Employee Attitude Surveys
- Chapter 8: Employee Participation, Small Group Activities and Team Working
- Quality Circles
- Beyond Quality Circles and into TQM
- Team Working on the Shopfloor
- Beyond the Shopfloor Work Teams
- Chapter 9: Squaring the Circle?
- The ‘Quality’ of the Human Resource Management Literature
- Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations and Trade Unions
- International Human Resource Management
- A Final Personal Note
© P. B. Beaumont 1993
First published 1993, Reprinted 1994 (twice)
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission in writing from the Publishers.
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British Library Cataloguing in Publication data
Beaumont, P. B.
Human Resource Management: Key Concepts and Skills
ISBN 0-8039-8815-X pbk
Library of Congress catalog card number 93-85035
Typeset by Megaron, Cardiff, South Wales
Printed in Great Britain by The Cromwell Press Ltd, Broughton Gifford, Melksham, Wiltshire
To Pat, our respective parents and, of course, Piers[Page vi]
Over recent years I have worked closely with Andrzej Huczynski on a number of in-company HRM teaching and training programmes. This has been both an interesting and pleasurable experience and I am grateful for all he has taught me in the course of this work, much of which is reflected in the content and approach of this book. A number of particularly helpful discussions with Tom Kochan are also gratefully acknowledged. Thanks also go to the numerous organizational members who were so willing to discuss with me a variety of HRM issues and items which I have drawn on to provide much of the illustrative material presented here. Feedback from a number of students in both Britain and the United States has been particularly helpful in getting much of the material here into its final form. Finally, I am, as always, grateful to my long-suffering secretary, Eithne Johnstone, for her tolerance, good humour and efficiency in dealing with my numerous requests for just one more final revision.
The table on pages 20–1 is reprinted from Randall S. Schuler and Susan E. Jackson, ‘Linking Competitive Strategies with Human Resource Management Practices’, Academy of Management Executive, 1 (3), August 1987, pp. 209–13; by permission of the Academy of Management Executive. The table on pages 39–42 is reprinted by permission of Harvard Business Review, ‘From Control to Commitment in the Workplace’, by Richard F. Walton (March-April 1985); copyright © 1985 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College; all rights reserved. The table on pages 134–5 is reprinted from David W. Lacey, Robert J. Lee and Lawrence J. Wallace, ‘Training and Development’, in Kendrith M. Rowland and Gerald R. Ferris (eds.), Personnel Management; copyright © 1982; by permission of Allyn and Bacon. The table on pages 169–70 is compiled from information taken from IDS Study No. 462, Employee Attitude Surveys, July 1990; it is reprinted by permission of Incomes Data Services.[Page xii]
Appendix: Teaching Material[Page 218]
I have found the following questions useful for exam and essay questions and for providing a focus for classroom discussions.
- Is HRM a good thing or bad thing from the point of view of the personnel management function of individual organizations? (Chapter 1)
- Should Britain pursue a low-wage competitive strategy? (Chapter 1)
- What is the essence of ‘corporate culture’ and how might management seek to change it in an individual organization? (Chapter 2)
- ‘Corporate culture is such an elusive term that it has no practical implications for management seeking to bring about organizational change.’ Discuss. (Chapter 2)
- What are the major weaknesses of interviews in the selection of employees? How can such weaknesses be overcome? (Chapter 3)
- Given the relative success of assessment centres, why don't more organizations use these for selection purposes? (Chapter 3)
- Can and should performance appraisal interviews be a completely objective exercise? (Chapter 4)
- How can the process of employee appraisals be improved? (Chapter 4)
- What are the leading characteristics or features of a good counselling interview? (Chapter 4 Appendix)
- ‘Performance-related pay is the obvious means of stimulating good on-the-job performance.’ Discuss. (Chapter 5)
- Performance-related pay arrangements can be variously based on the individual employee, groups of employees or the organization as a whole. Which of these is the most suitable for adoption in most organizations? (Chapter 5) [Page 219]
- ‘The good international manager is born not made.’ Discuss. (Chapter 6)
- What are the potential benefits and costs of a formal mentoring programme for career development purposes? (Chapter 6)
- ‘If employees value face-to-face communication concerning their working environment then there is no substitute for team briefing.’ Discuss. (Chapter 7)
- ‘Employee attitude surveys generate little real information as employees only tell you what they think you want to hear.’ Discuss. (Chapter 7)
- Can organizations usefully build on the lessons of experience with quality circles? (Chapter 8)
- Are team working arrangements the wave of the future? (Chapter 8)
The following assignment has proved useful in introducing students to the general subject area and providing line managers with more knowledge of what is happening in their own HRM department. It also provides useful feedback to the teacher (e.g. the thumbnail sketches set in Box 1.1 came from this source).
Recent years have witnessed a great deal of discussion of what is, or should be, happening to the personnel management (human resource) function in individual organizations. Specifically, has the function gained or lost ground, relative to other functions, in terms of resources, influence, status and power in organizations? The basic purpose of the assignment is to document what has happened (if anything) to the PM/HRM function in your organization in recent times (say the last five years). Ideally you should concentrate on your particular workplace, but if you work for a multi-established organization you may want to take on board the nature and influence of developments in the larger organizations.
The basic structure
In essence the assignment should consist of four sections:
- A short introductory section designed to familiarize the reader with the nature of your organization. The material covered here should include size of the organization, industry, competitive strategy, recent levels of performance, etc.[Page 220]
- The subjective views of individuals in the PM/HRM function, and at least one other functional area of management, as to the extent and nature of any change in the function in recent years.
- Any objective indicators of change. For example, changed numbers in the function, title or job description changes, changed reporting relationships, new priorities, etc.
- The major reasons for any observed changes. Changes in labour market conditions, union influence and government legislation are frequently mentioned in this regard. However, there may be other important influences, such as a change in the nature of competitive strategy or a change in the priorities of senior management.
In addition to the Harvard Business School case studies there are more and more books of case studies appearing; it is also pleasing to see that some of the more recent case study books are looking beyond the manufacturing sector and some even have an increasingly international flavour. Some of the cases in the books by S. Tyson and A. Kakabadse (eds.) (Cases in Human Resource Management, Heinemann, London, 1987), D. Winstanley and J. Woodall (Case Studies in Personnel, IPM, London, 1992), A. Mulvie and M. McDougall (Human Resource Management in Practice, Chartwell-Bratt, Bromley, 1990), and S. Vickerstaff (Human Resource Management in Europe, Chapman and Hall, London, 1992) have proved especially useful.