By Michael Armstrong, Stephen Taylor
From an the world over revered specialist on administration subject matters comes this absolutely revised 10th anniversary version of his vintage textbook.
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Additional resources for A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice
RESERVATIONS ABOUT HRM For some time HRM was a controversial topic, especially in academic circles. The main reservations have been that HRM promises more than it delivers and that its morality is suspect. HRM promises more than it can deliver Noon (1992) has commented that HRM has serious deficiencies as a theory: It is built with concepts and propositions, but the associated variables and hypotheses are not made explicit. It is too comprehensive… If HRM is labelled a ‘theory’ it raises expectations about its ability to describe and predict.
This point is also made powerfully by Reich (1991). But Davenport (1999) has some cautionary words about the asset-based content of human capital theory. He argues that workers should not be treated as passive assets to be bought, sold and replaced at the whim of their owners – increasingly, they actively control their own working lives. Workers, especially knowledge workers, may regard themselves as free agents who can choose how and where they invest their talents, time and energy. He suggests that the notion that companies own human assets as they own machines is unacceptable in principle and inapplicable in 36 ❚ Managing people practice; it short-changes people by placing them in the same category as plant and equipment.
The theory therefore underpins the philosophies of human resource management and human capital management. Human capital theory is associated with the resource-based view of the firm as developed by Barney (1991). This proposes that sustainable competitive advantage is attained when the firm has a human resource pool that cannot be imitated or substituted by its rivals. Boxall (1996) refers to this situation as one that confers ‘human capital advantage’. But he also notes (1996 and 1999), that a distinction should be made between ‘human capital advantage’ and ‘human process advantage’.
A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice by Michael Armstrong, Stephen Taylor