Monday, 19 October 2015

Models of Human Resource Management

The Human Resource Management model contain all human resource activities. When these activities are discharged effectively, they will result in a competent and willing workforce who will help realize organizational goals. There is another variable in HR models - environment. It may be stated that the Human Resource function does not operate in vacuum. It is influenced by several internal and external forces like economic, technological, political, legal, organizational and professional conditions.
They provide an analytical framework for studying HRM ( for example, situational factors, stakeholders, strategic choice levels, competence).
They legitimize certain HRM practices; a key issue here being the distinctiveness of HRM practices: "It is not the presence of selection or training but a distinctive approach to selection or training that matters."
They provide a characterization of HRM that establishes variables and relationship to be researched.
They serve as a heuristic device -  something to help us discover and understand the world of explaining the nature and significance of key HR practices.
Following are major HRM Models:
·         Matching Model of Fombrun, Tichy & Devanna
·         The Harvard Model
·         The Guest Model
·         The Warwick Model

1.   Matching Model of Fombrun, Tichy & Devanna:
This model held that HR system and the organizational structure should be managed in a way that is congruent with organizational strategy. Main focus was on the four functions of HRM i.e. selection, appraisal, development and rewards and their inter relatedness.

This is the first and very simple model that serves as a heuristic framework for explaining the nature and significance of the key HR activities. But it is incomplete as it focuses only on four functions and ignores all environmental and contingency factors that impact HR functions.

2.    The Harvard Model:
The harvard model claims to be comprehensive in as much as it seeks to comprise six critical components of HRM. The dimensions included in the model are: stakeholders interests, situational factors, HRM policy choices, HR outcomes and long term consequences.
The Stakeholders interests recognize the importance of 'trade offs' between the interests of the owner and those of employees. Trade offs also exists among other interest groups. But this is the challenge of HR manager, who needs to balance the interests of all stakeholders.
The Situational Factors influence management's choice of HR strategy. the contingent factors included in the model include work force characteristics, management philosophy, labour market, task, technology and laws and social values.
HRM Policy Choices emphasize the management's decisions and actions in terms of HRM can be fully appreciated only if it is recognised that they result from an interaction between constraints and choices. This model outlines four HR Policy areas:
Employee Influence - delegated levels of authority, responsibility, power etc.
HR Flows - recruitment, selection, promotion, appraisal, termination etc.
Reward System - Pay system, motivation etc.
Work System - design of work and alignment of people
These HRM policy choices lead to 4 Cs of HR Policy Outcomes, that have to be achieved:
Cost Effectiveness

Beer et al (1984)  proposed that long term Consequences  both benefits and costs of HR policies should be evaluated at three levels: Individual, Organizational and Societal. These in turn should be analyzed using the 4 Cs.
The Feedback Loop is the sixth component of the Harvard Model. as was stated above, situational factors influence HRM policy and choices, and are influenced by long-term consequences. Similarly, stakeholders interests influence HRM policy choices, and in turn, are impacted by long-term consequences (see Figure)

3.    The Guest Model:
It was developed by David Guest in 1997 and claims to be much superior to other models. This model claims that the HR manager has specific strategies to begin with, which demand certain practices and when executed, will result in outcomes. These outcomes include behavioral, performance and financial related. (See Above Figure).

The model emphasizes the logical sequence of six components i.e. HR strategy, HR practices, HR outcomes, Behavioral outcomes, Performance outcomes and Financial outcomes. Looking inversely, financial results depend on employee performance, which in turn is the result of action oriented employee behaviors. Behavioral outcome are the result of employee commitment, quality and flexibility, which in turn are impacted by Hr practices. HR practices need to be in turn with HR strategies which are invariably aligned with organizational strategies.

4.    The Warwick Model:
This model was developed by two researchers, Hendry and Pettigrew of university of Warwick (hence the name Warwick model). Like other models, the Warwick proposition centres around five elements (See Figure):
Outer Context (macro environmental forces)
Inner Context (firm specific or micro environmental forces)
Business Strategy Content
HRM Context
HRM Content
This model takes cognizance of business strategy and HR practices (as the Guest Model), the external and internal context (unlike the Guest Model), in which these activities take place, and the process by which such changes take place, including interactions between changes in both context and content. the strength of the model is that it identifies and classifies important environmental influences on HRM. It maps the connection between the external and environmental factors and explores how HRM adapts to changes in the context. Obviously, those organisations achieving an alignment between the external and internal contexts will achieve performance and growth.


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