strategic human resource management verses human resource management


Organizations differ depending on their capabilities and resources. Regardless of the resources that a specific entity has, the concept of strategy plays a very essential role in company growth and expansion This is because it is through the strategy that organizations are capable of achieving sustainable or firm competitive advantage. The term strategy as applied in both corporate and human resource management goes beyond the aspect of competitive advantage. It, therefore, means specific, obtainable, and measurable plans that can be developed by company stakeholders. Here, these measurable plans could aim at linking the subordinates so that they can be in the position to achieve desired targets. Since the concept of strategy is wide, the research focuses on demonstrating its integration in human resource management.

Even though many people in societies confuse strategic human resource management (SHRM) with human resource management (HRM), the two phenomena are totally different. According to studies, SHRM refers to a management function that aligns human resource management practices, programmes, and polices with corporate strategies (Delery & Roumpi, 2017). The core intention of this function is to ensure that organizations achieve their objectives without experiencing complexities. It does so by improving the entire business operations while maintaining organization culture. This culture can be associated with research, development, or innovation that could be of greater significance in enabling business enterprises to gain sustainable competitive advantage.

There are various benefits that an organization can gain as a result of developing and implementing the managerial function of strategic human resource management. One of these benefits is related to job satisfaction. Just like customers in marketing management, employee needs and wants are catered by this management function. It is very hard for business operations to prosper when employees are not happy about remuneration and other employment benefits. SHRM exists to ensure that all issues related to employees are resolved towards maximum production. Therefore, employees will perform their responsibilities effectively since their satisfaction is of greater focus. Job and increased customer satisfaction are as a result of strategic human resource management. This means that customers and employees are valued as the cored resources that assist organizations in achieving maximum production.  Not only does SHRM is linked to organization production but also acts as an effective approach towards managing employees.

On the other side, human resource management (HRM) refers to the systematic way of managing employees or human resources. The article of Fundamentals of Human Resource Management also defines HRM is the practice that organizations develop and implements towards maximizing the manner at which employees perform (Noe et al., 2018). This is one of the strategies that business enterprises can adopt to become more productive and efficient. For instance, human resource management (HRM) has a wide variety of policies and principles that an entity can use in order to oversee the personnel. It is essential to demonstrate that this does not work in Isolation with organizational systems and policies. For this reason, HRM entails all the possible ways that can assist business enterprises in managing the skilled workforce.

There are several activities that are associated with the concept of human resource management (HRM).  Some of these human-oriented practices entail but are not limited to industrial relations, performance appraisal, recruiting, development and training, health as well as safety. If organizations can effectively consider these activities, then Stewart & Brown (2019) argues that human resource practices and policies can be adjusted to facilitate corporate strategies. For organizations to adopt these effectively, there is a need for skilled manpower described as a human resource manager. This skilled professional is entitled to functions such as overseeing change, evaluation, managing employee relationships, monitoring, maintaining, developing, staffing, and planning.

Having clearly defined the meaning and importance of SHRM and HRM concepts, it is essential to highlight some of the key differences between the two. The core difference is based on the objective between SHRM and HRM. Strategic human resource management (SHRM) aims at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of employees towards enabling business enterprises to achieve their desired targets or goals. According to studies, some of the essential activities that can add value as long as SHRM is involved in organizational goals are employee retention, motivation, compensation, promotion, training, selection, and appraisal (Armstrong, 2016). On the other hand, HRM aims at employee compensation after an appropriate selection. This means that employees are entitled to employment benefits because of participating in organizational practices or operations.

Another difference between SHRM and HRM is related to governance and leadership. When it comes to strategic human resource management (SHRM), managers in all departments are coordinating employees and the operations they do. It is essential to demonstrate that this kind of governance is applicable to all managers who are involved in the daily operations of employees. These managers can be in strategic positions or any other department that is of greater significance in assisting the organizations in achieving organizational targets. In strategic HRM, the human resource manager acts as an imitator. This means that he or she is always seeking for the transformational category of leadership. On the other side of HRM, only the human resource department is responsible for employee coordination. When it comes to leadership, the human resource manager acts as a change follower. For this reason, he or she is capable of responding to changes through the transactional approach of leadership.

In addition, it becomes hard for the organization to prosper without appropriate strategies. Managers have to make vital decisions on matters regarding critical operations. The scope of decisions is another factor that can be used to differentiate strategic human resource management (SHRM) from human resource management (HRM). In SHRM, for instance, decisions related to the issues of employees are always proactive. Delery & Roumpi, 2017) establishes that a proactive strategy of decision making allows human resource experts to anticipate core issues during employee training and staffing level. It is through effective anticipation that a human resource manager(s) can develop strategies for constant production. On the other side of HRM, decisions are reactive in nature. The reactive model, therefore, takes an immediate effect of responding to issues. This means that human resource issues are responded to as soon as they occur. If the organization experience low production as a result of poor employee training, for instance, then the human resource department utilizes its resources and efforts in developing effective solutions.

Organizations have different resources that are of greater significance when it comes to the attainment of goals. However, employees are termed as the core element that assists business enterprises in delivering their promises to customers. The manner at which employees are treated can be used as a dimension to demonstrate key differences between SHRM and HRM. Ideally, human resources are considered as a business partner in SHRM. Some studies believe argue that partnership does not only involve employers and employees but also as well (Bailey et al., 2018). Since human resources are perceived as internal customers in SHRM, they are handled with great care and respect. On the other side, the concept of human resource management considers human resources as ‘hired people or workers’. The consequences of this consideration are intense due to limited care and respect. Organizational performance seems to poor since there is no appropriate mechanism of motivation.

Just like the way the customer relationship management approach is used to maintain the relationships between customers and marketers, organizations may decide to adopt other approaches towards achieving sustainable performance and competitive advantage. However, the category of approach to be adopted depends on the type of concept implemented by the organization. For the managerial concept of SHRM to be successful, business enterprises ought to consider the integration approach. This approach aims at aligning the core business strategies with developed human resources practices for the organization. It is through effective alignment that corporate targets can be achieved without the organization facing challenges. On the other side of human resource management (HRM), business enterprises must follow the fragmentation approach. Here, the organization is forced to develop and implement management guidelines while overseeing human resources or employee.

In most cases, organizations fail in achieving corporate targets because of increased costs of operations. Not only does cost becomes the only factor that makes organizations lose their ambitions also a waste of resources and time. For instance, human resource managers waste a lot of time while supervising or controlling employees. The challenge of time wastage has been eliminated by the strategic human resource management function (SHRM). According to Armstrong (2016), it is through management guidelines or principles that human resource experts have eliminated the aspect of stringent control. The rationale behind the absence of stringent control is that rules associated with the management of manpower are lenient. While in human resource management (HRM), managers are exercise stringent control over the employees through supervision, monitoring, and other managerial activities.

In conclusion, organizations should always evaluate the capabilities and establish a strategic approach or function they develop and implement. If business enterprises agree to go with strategic human resource management (SHRM), then are several elements they should know. Such key elements entail a proactive style of decision making, integration approach, responsibility (departmental managers), employee treatment (business partner), no stringent control (management guidelines), and objective (efficiency and effectiveness of employees). On the other hand of human resource management (HRM), managers should consider critical elements like a reactive style of decision making, fragmentation approach, responsibility (human resource department), employee treatment (hired workers), presence of stringent control, and overall objective (employee compensation and selection).