Recently, the strategic role of the HR field and linkages between business and Hr strategy have been the subject of extensive discussion. Jim walker (1980), with his classic book on Human resource planning, was the first writer to suggest considering the corporate business strategy while developing and executing HR plans. Since then, in just over a greater of a century, a plethora of research, theory and cases examining research on aligning HR policies and practices with business strategies has become the focus of management studies (Wright et al 2005).
Strategic HRM: The field of HRM has under gone significant changes in scope, functions and activities over the years, with the rise in professional maturity in the field; Personnel management has become HRM, which in recent years has become strategic HRM. Strategic HRM is the explicit link HRM has with the strategic management process of the organization. Strategic HRM is viewed as strategic as it involves the managerial personnel of the organization and regards: People as the single most important asset of the organization" (Poole & Jenkins, 1990). It is proactive in its approach to people. It seeks to enhance organizational performance, employee needs and societal well being. The key difference therefore between traditional and strategic concepts with extent to which management of HR is integrated into the strategic decision making processes that direct organizational efforts towards coping with the environment (Guest, 1990). Strategic HRM practitioners are now considering human resources to be a major source of competitive advantage and a growing body of research supports this view (Arthur 1994; Guest, 1997; Tyson, 1997; Wright et al. 2005; Youndt et al. 1996). SHRM theory is based upon the recognition that organizations can become more effective, if their human resources are managed with HR policies and practices, which can help the right number of people, acquire the appropriate behaviors, the needed HR competencies and the feasible levels of work motivation. The relevant external and internal environment or components of the organizations and the relevant stakeholders are thus important to the practice of strategic HRM (Schuler & Jackson 1999).
The 1980's and the 1990's have witnessed a great deal of emphasis being placed on a strategic implementation of the HRM policies and practices all over the world. Shift in strategic HRM perspective have changes the orientation of HR managers world over. The last two decades saw major shift in people management approaches and practices as SHRM becomes more proactive in approach, people oriented, and people as investment, key player in competitive advantage and integrated role in company's goals and planning. The fields of HRM, HRD and organizational development (OD) have converged into the new strategic HRM. As Ruona and Gibson (2004) remarked "Twenty-first-century strategic HRM lay more emphasis on increased centrality of people for organizational success, importance of whole systems and integrated solutions in strategic alignment and impact and lastly, has a tremendous capacity for change".
The concept of HRM has generated a lot of attention from researchers since it first emerged in the 1980's. The