Strategic HRM


Strategic HRM (Strategic Human Resource Management)  refers to Human Resources that are consistent and in line with the organization’s objectives;  According to Purcell, strategic HRM is focused on actions which differentiate the business from its competitors.

It is the method of aligning the organization’s strategy and human resource management to ensure goals are being met. Strategic HRM has an emphasis on the importance of Human Resources and the employees working within the organization; organizations that focus on strategic HRM usually have a Human Resources representative advising executives, they may also use Human Resources Business Partners. 

It is believed that strategic Human Resources Management is more of a good idea in theory but challenging to implement on an organizational level. 

Models in Strategic Human Resources management

Four main models have been identified in strategic HRM. Below are the models that have been identified:

1. The Warwick Model

This model was formed by 2 individuals from the University of Warwick; this model is propositioned around five main elements; which are the following:

  • The HRM  Content 
  • The HRM Context 
  • Inner Context 
  • Business Strategy Content

2. Harvard Model

 This model believes to be comprehensive,  in as much as it pursues to compromise six critical elements; the dimensions within this model include the following: situational factors, HRM policy choices and stakeholders. Situational factors have a certain level of influence on the management’s choice of HR strategy; the contingent factors involve: labor market, technology and laws, social values and workforce analysis. 

HRM policy choices focus on management’s actions and decisions, in regards to Human Resources Management; which means that it can only be appreciated in full if it is recognised that they result from an interaction between choices and constraints. This model mainly highlights four HR policy areas:

  • Work system (the alignment of individuals and the design of work)
  • Employee influence (the delegated levels of  power, authority and responsibility)
  • HR Flows (termination, promotion, selection and recruitment)
  • Reward system (motivation and pay system)

 The interest of stakeholders helps to recognise how important trade offs are in relation to the interests of employees and the owner. Trade offs are also in existence among other interest groups. This is however the HR manager’s challenge, who has the tasks to balance the interests of all the stakeholders involved.

3. The Fombrun Model

This model believes that the organizational structure and the HR system must be managed in a congruent manner with organizational strategy. The main focus of this model is on four functions of Human Resources Management: appraisal, selection, development and rewards. 

4. The Guest Model

This model was developed by David Guest back 1997; the model believes in the fact that the HR Manager possesses a set number of strategies to start with; which has a demand of certain practices and they should be executed. 

This model emphasizes on the logical consequence of six components:

  • HR practices 
  • Behavioral consequences 
  • Financial outcomes 
  • Performance outcomes
  • HR strategy
  • HR outcomes
Part of speech:
Use in a sentence:
Using strategic HRM might be the way forward.
Strategic HRM