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.
Hard and Soft Models of Human Resource Management Essay
1547 WordsJan 28th, 20127 Pages
Human resource management has frequently been described as a concept with two distinct forms: soft and hard. These are diametrically opposed along a number of dimensions, and they have been used by many commentators as devices to categorize approaches to managing people according to developmental-humanist or utilitarian-instrumentalist principles (Legge 1995 b).
The terms have gained some currency although, from a theoretical point of view, the underlying conflicts and tensions contained within the models have not been sufficiently explored and, from a practical perspective, available empirical evidence would suggest that neither model accurately represents what is happening within organizations (Storey 1992; Wood 1995). This leads us to…show more content…
Guest (1987) and Storey (1992) in their definitions of soft and hard models of HRM view the key distinction as being whether the emphasis is placed on the human or the resource. Soft HRM is associated with the human relations movement, the utilization of individual talents, and McGregor's (1960) Theory Y perspective on individuals (developmental humanism). This has been equated with the concept of a 'high commitment work system' (Walton 1985b), 'which is aimed at eliciting a commitment so that behaviour is primarily self-regulated rather than controlled by sanctions and pressures external to the individual and relations within the organization are based on high levels of trust' (Wood 1996: 41). Soft HRM is also associated with the goals of flexibility and adaptability (which themselves are problematic concepts, as we shall see in more detail later), and implies that communication plays a central role in management (Storey and Sisson 1993).
Hard HRM, on the other hand, stresses 'the quantitative, calculative and business-strategic aspects of managing the "headcount resource" in as "rational" a way as for any other factor of production', as associated with a utilitarian-instrumentalist approach (Storey 1992: 29; see also Legge 1995 b). Hard HRM focuses on the importance of 'strategic fit', where human resource policies and practices are closely linked to the strategic objectives of the organization (external fit), and are coherent among