Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Strategic Human Resource Management

The website of GE mentions: “the relentless quest for progress has fueled 130 years of innovation. We believe that our people are our most powerful catalysts for growth and innovation”.  At Google, the HR team, has revolutionized HR the same way Google has revolutionized search engines. HR is seen as a business partner and all HR activities are integrated with overarching business strategies. The Walt Disney Company sticks to the philosophy that one can design and create the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality. Toyota is considered as an epitome of operational excellence. Behind Toyota’s secrets, is the strength of its highly capable people. All these examples are reflective of how people power can transform a company into a world-class enterprise.

The concept of strategic human resource management (SHRM) is essentially based on this principle of people power. SHRM is basically concerned with the integration of HRM with the strategic management process. Today, human resource is seen as potential contributors to the creation and realization of the organization’s goals. It is interesting to note that HR departments are now considered to be a potent powerhouse for strategic excellence.

Despite the increasing importance of SHRM, there is still a dearth of books in the area. Institutes offering management courses usually have a paper on Strategic Human Resource Management. However, most books either focus on traditional HRM or a few emerging texts that exist are primarily prescriptive in nature and do not focus on explaining the concepts and processes comprehensively. This makes the task of teachers and students quite challenging in terms of obtaining relevant and contextual matter. The current book fills a wide gap in the market.

The book is primarily intended for management students, teachers as well as practitioners. It can be used at various levels like undergraduate, post graduate, executive and PG diploma programmes in management. It will be of special interest to students of human resource management.

Every chapter in the book starts with a brief overview for clarity.  Learning objectives of each chapter are spelled out. An opening story sets the background. Content of each chapter is clearly and logically arranged and is supported with relevant exhibits and tables. Each chapter ends with a summary and discussion questions. Chapters are followed by a caselet intended to link the subject matter with real-world problems and situations. Each chapter features a news item box titled as ‘news grab’ to link the theoretical aspects with actual developments taking place.

Each chapter presents an anecdote from a story, fable or historical scripture to explain the far-reaching relevance of the idea. This lends value to the chapter and makes it interesting for the reader. Anecdotal short instances are cited from Alice in Wonderland, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Shakespeare’s works, leadership philosophy of Moses among others. The book is based not merely on theory but on evidence-based concepts. It uses examples, cases, illustrations, research and empirical data to acquaint the readers with the actual issues related to the corporate world.

The book introduces dozens of emerging topics, not generally discussed in conventional books on HRM. Some of these concepts are hyperarchy and velcro organizations; dejobbing and strategic job modeling; bodyshopping,  temping, boomerang hiring and moonlighting as recruitment options; reliability and validity issues in selection, learning, unlearning and relearning; career plateaus; variable pay and ESOPs; social media and HR; HR analytics; HRM measurement techniques etc.

This book takes up a discussion of strategic HR concepts which are relevant globally. Numerous examples are cited from a global perspective. Thus, the book has relevance for any country or region. More specifically, since the book primarily focuses on emerging markets like India, it could be of specific interest to readers in Asian countries. The book seeks to provide a detailed yet simplified view of concepts and practices. It serves two important purposes: to serve as an erudite source which is high on academic rigour while at the same time provide up-to-date information in a simple and readable form.

SHRM_front-coverAbout the Author:
Feza Tabassum Azmi teaches at the Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Management Studies and Research, Aligarh Muslim University, India.


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