Moral Aspects of Human Resource Management (HRM)

Despite all the statements of the proponents of Human Resources Management (HRM), they can be criticized for using alternative and complex forms of “control of methods of subordination” in attempts to justify the need to build workers’ attachment to the needs. and the company. Thus, Legge, (Legge, 1989) emphasizes:

By emphasizing “strong culture”, HRM is theoretically able to achieve cohesion in the workforce, albeit without the concomitant dilemma of creating potential dysfunctional solidarity.

“Strong culture” is aimed at uniting workers based on a set of values ​​shared by them, sanctioned by managers (“quality”, “service”, “innovation”, etc.), which implies an identification of workers’ interests with those of employers.

Such changes – through the management of culture – strengthen the intention to exercise autonomy “responsibly”, ie. in the interests of management ”. Reference: “Effective Human Resources managers successfully perform leadership functions“,

Legge (1989) summarized her concerns about the moral side of human resource management:

“As workers are used as a means to an end in the face of fierce competition and a shortage of resources, unfortunately, some of them will inevitably lose. The majority may suffer losses.

For these people, a flexible approach to human resource management is just an illusion, at the same time when a firm approach materializes in unpleasant events in their lives. ”

The author argues that managers use Human Resource Management for their interests, considering employees as a means to achieve their goals.

Many scientists accuse Human Resource Management of manipulation. As Willmott (1993) points out, HRMs are in themselves a form of heightened control.

This approach preaches the consideration of the interests of all stakeholders, but in practice behind the beautiful words is the exploitation of workers. Some authors call HRM “The Wolf in the Lamb’s Skin” (Keenoy, 1990a).

They note that executives of companies aiming to implement HRM are transforming the principle “what is good for General Motors is good for America” ​​into another – “what is good for the company, arranges (or is obliged to arrange) ) all who work in it. In other words, like the apple of the day, Human Resource Management will be useful to you.

Such managers may be partly right, though not always, and usually use their propaganda power and persuasiveness to persuade people to accept values ​​that may be alien to them and that may be contrary to their interests. Reference: “Human resource management (HRM) as a theory“,

The main accusation leveled at Human Resources Management is that this approach views workers only as a means to an end.

Proponents of HRM, however, believe that if a company exists to achieve its goals (which is true), and if these goals can only be achieved with the help of people (which is also true), then a clear, natural aspiration is created in managers to achieve affection and efficiency using their subordinates.

Such a desire did not arise only now, in connection with the emergence of HRM, it existed in the good old days of personnel management, until the birth of HRM. Reference: “Personnel management styles in Human Resource Departments”,

It is equally important to understand how management views people as a goal and what management plans to receive in return. Reference: “Human Resource Planning in organizations“,

By the way, the HRM philosophy can become a positive guiding force in choosing the right approaches to managing people, for example, on the principle of mutual attachment.

Inconsistency of Human Resource Management (HRM) criticism

According to Guest (Guest, 1999), the criticism of Human Resources Management (HRM) is evolving in two contradictory directions. Reference: “Functions of the conflicts in organizations and Human Resources Management department“,

The first was formulated by Legge (1995, 1998) and states that although managerial terminology is concerned with improving the situation of workers, in practice everything is different.

For Keenoy (1997), it remains a mystery how, under the pressure of outright and stunning “dislike” of HRM critics, it has managed to secure such influence and institutional support. ” Reference: “HR management in HR departments and organizations: psychological problems“,

Other authors categorically state that HRM simply does not work. For example, Scott (1994) believes that both workers and employers are captive to their history, which makes it difficult to critically rethink the traditional orientation of opposition to each other.

Reference: “Types of conflicts in organizations: Human Resources Managers challenged“,

Reference: “Development of the Human Resources Management (HRM) concept“,

Reference: “Conflict Management in Human Resources Management“,

Reference: “Evolution of the concept of Human Resources Management (HRM)“,

Reference: “Objectives of Human Resources Management (HRM)“,

Upon closer examination, the two above-mentioned statements contradict each other. In the words of Guest (Guest, 1989b):

“It is not logical to simultaneously assess HRM as a real threat (although it is unclear what exactly it threatens), deserving of serious critical analysis, and at the same time to state that this model is not practical or ineffective.”


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