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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

HRM comprises of a set of activities (recruitment and selection, training, reward, performance management, etc.) related to the management of people. It is often posited that because people are a key source of competitive advantage, such activities should be seen as central to organizational success. However, the HR function in most organizations is typically administrative in character, and seen as a cost to be minimized. Normative models of HRM that stress HR’s strategic dimension are rarely adopted in practice. This chapter seeks to explain why this is. It argues that five powerful forces constrain the role of HR: continued scepticism over their performance effects when put into practice; the history of the HR function and the expectations, skills and competencies of HR professionals that follow from that history; the impact of competing narratives; the impact of globalization and financialization logics; and societal rules and norms.

Keywords: HRM, performance, HR function, HR professionals, management of people

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