Where Next for HRM?

Rediscovering the heart and soul of people management

Marchington M | Working Paper 20 | Institute for Employment Studies | Nov 2008

Is HRM becoming too closely linked with organisational performance? Does the growing tendency to look up the hierarchy and seek to satisfy the needs of major power-brokers mean that too little time is spent looking at the rest of the organisation?

This working paper argues that HR needs to review the focus of its contribution to ensure that it retains distinctiveness and so adds real value.

The author reasons that HRM needs to reconsider its roots in people management and its unique selling point, which is based in a broader and more pluralistic definition of the subject.

This has major implications for the work of practitioners and academics. It requires a stronger focus on the end-results of HRM as well as its strategic formulation, and on identifying appropriate roles and measures that are more in tune with how HRM impacts on workers, as well as on product quality and customer service.

This paper was commissioned by IES as part of its Visiting Fellows scheme, marking the Institute's 40th anniversary.