Strategic Human Resource Management and Its Role

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Executive summary

Due to the various changes in the global arena, the qualifications of workforce have been altered so as to fit into the business strategies of the organizations. Because of this change, the field of human resource management is currently perceived more strategic in relation to academic literature as well as in practice. In relation to the current revolution, the human resource departments have become more important as well as a strategic player in the process of running an organization. In the contemporary society HRM is no longer perceived as a strategic partner in the processes of running the company by being integrated into the strategy of the business.


Human resource management is the process of evaluating the needs of the organization’s human resources as well as identifying the required people to meet those needs. The human resource department acts as a link between the employees and the management maintaining the employment and safety laws by observing the practices that may differ with the federal regulations that the employers authorize. The human resource management is therefore crucial in the performance of an organization since it works towards the success of the organization. This report explores to explain the different ways in which an organization can view the relationship between the organization, capital and workers by considering how human resource management operates in the context (Anthony and Kacmar 2009, p. 24).

Theoretical perspectives in HR

The HRM plays a vital role in the operations of an organization which is discussed in the theoretical perspectives of contingency, universalistic and configuration. The contingency theory looks at how the human resource policies can fit into the business strategies so as to achieve the success of the organization. It proposes that for a firm to be successful the policies of HR must be inconsistent with the business strategy. While the universalistic perspective implies that business strategies and human resource policies depend on one another for the company to run successfully. The configuration perspective on the other hand looks at how the internal and external environments can fit into the business strategy as well as the human resource strategy. These perspectives led to the introduction of strategic human resource management which aims at integrating the human resource management strategy into the business strategy by adapting the HRM practices at all levels of the organization’s operations (Baird and Meshoulam 2008, pp. 10).

Strategic human resource management

In the twenty first century the act of fitting the human resource strategy into the mission, vision and strategy of an organization is widely accepted. Several changes take place in an organization when it experiences growth and development. For one lo understand the changes that take place when an organization grows he or she must also understand the changes that take place in the management of human resource. In the research that was conducted it was realized that employees for the most important part of an organization that determines the success of the organization. This indicates that the decisions employees make as well as the behaviour they engage in contributes to the outcome of the company’s operations (Anthony and Kacmar 2009, p. 46).

The issue of monitoring of workers in an organization is one of the vital functions and has encouraged the development and growth of talent and performance in an organization at large and it has proved that human resource department is important in the functioning of any firm in this modern society. The well trained and maintained human resource team is no longer perceived as supportive as it was by the HRM in the early 1950s but it is now perceived as a strategic role in an organization. This has been the case simply because the competitive advantage that was previously sought in the external environment is no longer the same case in the present times because it merge within the organization and more specifically from the HR ones (Beatty, and Schneier 2010, P. 4).

The research discloses that an organization can only gain a competitive edge in the market by having a unique human resource because the issue of technology, natural resources and economies of scale can easily be copied but it is hard to imitate the human resource of another company (Andersen, Cooper and Zhu 2007, p. 8). For those organizations that operate in the international business it is advisable that they maintain their employees as they are the people who can make the organization gain a competitive edge in the market.

Technological innovation, uncertainty and demographic changes are some of the factors that can affect human resource strategy hence affecting the overall operations of an organization since the human resource strategy depend on the business strategy of an organization and vice versa. Human resource planners have therefore learned the language and techniques of strategic planning by promoting a more strategic thinking among the employees as a way of extending the functions of personnel beyond the limits of the traditional perspective of the personnel management (Baird and Meshoulam, 2008: 14).

In the research it was noticed that human resource can make various contributions to the strategy as well as the strategic planning of an organization in various ways. For instance, the issue of performance appraisal, training and staffing of the human resource enables managers to implement the firm’s strategic plan which in return aids in the success of the organization. Human resource planning uses the mentioned systems to help in the process of linking the strategic management and the business strategy of a firm. The strategic HRM dwells on two factors that differentiate it from the traditional human resource management. First, it is the vertical view where the HRM links the HR practices with the management strategic processes of an organization as well as the horizontal view where it human resource practices are intended to integrate as well as offer support to one another (Chang, and Huang, 2005:18).


In the current operations of an organization, HR workers have to be directly supportive of the planning and management of policies for day to day functions of the firm. Employees in a firm should therefore be regarded as consultants as well as business partners in the operations of the firm and not as subordinates for the organization be be competitive in the market place. It is therefore desirable to integrate HRM and business so as to create a broader range of solution to the organizational problems which might be complicated. These will also create a room for financial, technological as well as human resources to be considered when setting the goals of an organization and when overseeing the implementation of the strategies to achieve the set goals (Andersen, Cooper and Zhu 2007, p. 10). This will limit the issue of subordinating the employees when making changes in the strategies of an organization since human resources staff is the key asset of a firm that creates competence and a competitive edge for the company to excel in its operations.


Andersen, K., Cooper, B and Zhu, C. 2007, ‘The Effect of SHRM Practices on Perceived Financial Performance: Some Initial Evidence From Australia’, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 168-179.

Anthony, W and Kacmar, K. M. 2009, Strategic Human Resource Management, The Dryden Press, USA.

Baird, L and Meshoulam, I 2008, ‘Managing Two Fits of Strategic Human Resource Management’, Academy of Management, Vol.13, no.1, pp. 116-128.

Beatty, W and Schneier, C. E 2010, ‘New HR Roles to Impact Organizational Performance: From Partners to Players’, Human Resources Management, Vol 2, no. 6 pp. 29-36.

Chang, W and Huang, T 2005, ‘Relationship between Strategic Human Resource Management and Firm Performance’, International Journal of Manpower, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 434-474.

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