The soft approach appears to be the better option considering the human ability to change and adapt, but as we will see, it cannot be used alone to manage human resources. We need to integrate approaches and find a multidisciplinary approach to dealing with people. How much of people management depends on theory and how much cannot be measured "In theory, practice and in the workplace experience, though people appear to be of central concern, the rich, warm, unpredictable face of humanity are all too clearly absent."
Perhaps the most difficult question to answer is whether people are better lead or managed. Do people respond better when encouraged by a leader or when they are managed To begin with, it is necessary to understand what human resource management is and how it works. Every business runs on resources and the one resource that it cannot function without, is its staff. Human resource management is therefore about getting the most out of staff members (Human Resource Management Guide). Human resource management also, however, includes deciding which individuals are better suited to which position as well as conducting sufficient research to determine the best placement of individuals (McNamara 2008). We can now determine what has to be done with regards to human resource management, but there are two ways of going about this: we can either look at the humanistic approach or at the objective 'hard' approach. ...
Two schools of thought were developed with hard and soft theories in mind: Harvard and Michigan. Harvard follows the soft model more closely while Michigan is based on the soft model. The normative model seeks to consolidate both the strategic management of the business as well as the interpretive model which is considered soft (Gill: 3). The problem here is that according to Gill (1999) "there are problems in the integration of HRM policy with business strategy and evidence indicates that HRM is more ad hoc than strategic."(Gill 1999: 3). In this case, one cannot assume that what is good for he business is necessarily good for the employee (Gill 1999: 3).
The hard model would therefore focus on the employee as a resource, assuming that whatever causes the business to soar, will automatically uplift the employee (Gill 1999: 4). The intuitive problem is that humans are not controllable and they are not constant. Human's cannot be 'paid off' or compensated with more pay without regarding emotions or feelings even though this is a simple solution to a complex issue. In Gill and Meyer (2007) it was ascertained that outsourcing of certain business portions yielded dramatic results (Gill and Meyer 2007: 4). These results were not necessarily good ones, in the sense that businesses no longer had to employ people to do the jobs they could outsource, leading to job-losses and retrenchment. Despite this, there has to be an increase in individual 'soft' model relationships with employees if the employee numbers are smaller (Gill and Meyer 2007: 4-5). According to Gill and Meyer too, human resource management has to "manage the simultaneous pursuit of soft and