Human Resource Management Paradigm

Human Resource Management Paradigm


Chapter 1
Human Resource Management Phenomenon


This chapter introduces you to the human resource management (HRM) paradigm. HRM is defined and the tenets of the various HRM models are explained. The central importance of the nature of the employment relationship to HRM is explained, and the chapter draws attention to four aspects: economic, legal, social and psychological. Emphasis is given to understanding competing normative HRM models rather than to practical HRM activities. Evidence of the extensiveness of HRM is also provided. You may wish to refer back throughout your HRM course to Figure 1.3 that provides a framework for introducing the other chapters in the book.

Chapter objectives

After studying this chapter, you should be able to:

Evaluate the development of HRM.

Explain the central features of the contract in the employment relationship

Summarize the key HRM functions

Explain the theoretical issues surrounding the HRM debate

Compare and contrast personnel management and HRM as approaches to managing employment relations

Explain the different approaches to studying HRM



The shift from orthodox personnel management to HRM is explained in terms of global economic developments. The ‘first wave’ critiques of HRM, represented by John Storey’s seminal book, New Perspectives on Human Resource Management (1989), introduces students to the debate on the many contradictions associated with the HRM model. The ‘second wave’ critiques focus on outcomes, restructured organizational forms and relationships. Recent events have exposed traditional underlying tensions and paradoxes in managing the employment relationship.

The history of human resource management

The development of personnel management is linked to post-Second World War government economic policies...

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