Strategic HRM definition

Strategic HRM refers to HR that is co-ordinated and consistent with the overall business objectives in order to improve business performance. According to Purcell (1999), SHRM focuses on actions that differentiate the business from its competitors.

Strategic HRM emphasises the importance of HR – and the people in the business – to the success of an organisation. Businesses with an emphasis on strategic HRM may have an HR representative in the boardroom or advising/feeding back to senior executives, and may also make use of HR business partners.

Critics of strategic human resource management say that it is a good idea in theory but often hard to implement at the organisational level. Translating the organisation’s objectives and values into tangible initiatives that can be driven by the HR department is a complex problem underlying strategic HRM.

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