Davidson (cited in Stone 2011, p.36) argues that Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) demands HR professionals who are willing to accept responsibility for organisational performance outside HRM should ‘. . .bring their specialist HR functions more closely into alignment with corporate objectives and strategies’. Discuss.
Strategic Human Resource Management
Strategic Human Resource Management refers to the design and implementation of combination of practices that ensures the human capital of the organization contributes to the achievement of its business objective. The statement given for discussion stating that ‘‘HR professionals should start aligning their functions with corporate objectives’’ is very relevant in this regard. This is because the most important asset of an organization is its human capital because it is the human capital’s performance which determines majorly the organization’s performance. If an organization has a human capital which is better than the competitors in all the fields, then the organization is mostly going to succeed in the market. And it is the HR practices in the organization which has the influence or power to direct the employees’ performance and competency in the direction of organization’s goals. Some people argue that SHRM is a way to manage the human capital in an overall manner which includes catering to the strategic requirements as well as the routine requirements and thus the normal HRM is a subset of SHRM. On the other hand some experts say that SHRM is a step forward from the normal HRM which traditionally caters the operational and administrative requirements while SHRM is about catering the strategic requirements from HR perspective (Schuler & De Cieri 2003, pp. 717-764). However both thoughts believe that SHRM demands that the HR professionals should start aligning the long term people’s and organization’s issues such as structure, quality, culture, values, leadership, resource requirement rather than having short term issues centric approach.
The value of SHRM becomes even more at present where the market has high level of competition and globalization. SHRM can become a differentiating point and give competitive advantage to the organization in such a situation. Understanding the importance of the HR as being a strategic function for the organizations, many organizations across the world are now working towards aligning their HR functions with organizations strategy and objectives rather than just continuing with traditional HR functions which mostly include office work and routine work and doesn’t contribute to the organization in long term in achieving its objectives (Paul & Anantharaman 2010, pp. 1246-1248). In this essay an attempt will be made to understand the current approach of HR professionals towards HRM, why is it important that HR professionals start aligning their HR functions with organization’s strategy and long term objectives, the key strategic areas on which HR professionals must look at and how the organizations can align their HR practices with organizations objectives with examples from different organizations across the globe.