Nadler and Tushman define congruence or fit as "the degree to which the needs, demands, goals, objectives and/or structure of one component are consistent with the needs, demands, goals, objectives, and/or structure of another component" (1980: 40). In contrast, Sanchez defines flexibility as "a firm's abilities to respond to various demands from dynamic competitive environments" (1995: 138). Flexibility provides organizations with the ability to modify current practices in response to non-transient changes in the environment (Wright & Snell 1998). At first glance, it might appear that the desirability of strategic fit and the need for organizational flexibility conflict. Indeed, the relationship between fit and flexibility in the context of strategic HRM is not well understood, and little agreement exists regarding the definitions and the value of each (Wright & Snell 1998).
The birth of the field of "Strategic Human Resource Management" (Strategic HRM) arguably took place less than 20 years ago with an article titled "Human Resources Management: A Strategic Perspective" (Devanna, Fombrum, & Tichy 1981). In such a short time, however, an explosion has occurred in writing and research on Strategic HRM (Wright 1998). ...Show more