In this article I will be explaining the two main types of HR types, soft HR and hard HR. This is helpful for Business Studies A- Level students for their BUSS3 exams and business people alike. This article will also cover the advantages and disadvantages of soft HR and soft HR.
Soft HR iswhere a company looks at their employees as the most valuable resource. They are seen as individuals and their needs are catered for.
Advantages of Soft HRM
- It can help a business build a reputation for being a ‘good’ employer. Good employees seek to offer their employees diverse and interesting jobs and the opportunity to develop their skills. The pay and conditions on offer are attractive and the employer ensures that employees receive regular training to hone their skills and enhance promotion prospects.
- A soft HR management strategy can improve knowledge management within a business.
- A soft HR strategy may also develop a more creative workforce.
Disadvantages of Soft HRM
- The expense for the firm can be very high as they need to pay out for training etc to build motivation and allow the employees to have the flexibility they require.
- Decision making can become far harder as everyone needs to be consulted, this can result in loss of business opportunities which could lead to possible profit for the company.
Hard HR is where a company treats their employees purely as a resource in order to obtain efficiency and profit, the wants and needs of the employees are not taken into consideration as much as in soft HR.
Advantages of Hard HRM
- It makes it easier for a company to adapt the size and composition of their workforce to match the needs of their customers.
- It can result in lower costs, especially in the short-term. Uses employees with lower skill levels.
- Allows managers to retain control over the workforce and to direct operations as they wish.
Disadvantages of Hard HRM
- Level of labour turnover might be very high.
- Employees may be demotivated by this ‘hard’ approach to employment.
Example Of Companies With Soft HRM
Examples Of Companies With Hard HRM
Thank you for reading this article, I hope it has helped you in one way or another.
This article has been written by Joe Black of Review Cosmos.
Human resource management: A critical approach
David G. Collings and Geoffrey Wood
Despite almost two decades of debate in the mainstream literature around the nature of human resource management (HRM), its intellectual boundaries and its application in practice, the field continues to be dogged by a number of theoretical and practical limitations. This book is intended to provide students with a relatively advanced and critical discussion of the key debates and themes around HRM as it is conceptualized and operationalized in the early part of the twenty-first century. Thus the current contribution is intended to be in the tradition of Storey (2007) and Legge (1995) and aims to provide students with a well-grounded and…show more content…
In other words, soft HRM is about trying to encourage firms to be ‘nicer’ to their people, on the basis that such ‘niceness’ is likely to translate into greater commitment and productivity, and hence, even more profits.
Soft HRM stands in contrast with the hard variant. Hard HRM is generally associated with the Michigan School (Forbrun et al., 1984). Its emphasis is on the use of human resource (HR) systems to ‘drive’ the attainment of the strategic objectives of the organizations (Forbrun et al., 1984). While soft HRM emphasizes the human element of HRM, the emphasis of the hard approach is very much on the resource as a means of maximizing shareholder value over the short term. The duty of managers is quite simply to make money for owners, and a focus on other issues such as employee rights is simply a distraction: rather, by focusing on returns, the organization will perform most efficiently, which ultimately is in the interests of all.
It has been argued that, in the tradition of Taylorism and Fordism, employees are viewed as a factor of production that should be rationally managed and deployed in quantitative and calculative terms in line with business strategy (Tyson and Fell, 1986; Storey, 1992). However, rather different to classic Taylorism or Fordism, job security in the new hard HRM is seen as an unnecessary luxury, whilst pay rates are to be kept