The present-day HRM approach refutes this fallacy and asserts the view that employees can rightly be considered as very valuable assets which are the major players in the achievement of organizational goals.
There has been a lot of controversy about the alignment of HRM practices and establishment of strategy with the goals of the organization (Caldwell R. 2004; Ulrich, 1997: 27). In theory, this sounds plausible, although in practice it requires a significant reorientation in the conventional remit of the personnel function. Ulrich has captured the scope of this new role when he argues that: 'HR professionals become strategic partners when they participate in the process of defining the business strategy, when they ask questions that move the strategy to action and when they design HR practices that align with the business' (1997: 27). Unfortunately, Ulrich is somewhat vague in describing how this 'role change' can be practically enacted and empirical evidence of the emergence of new strategic roles is often contradictory (Caldwell, 2003; CIPD, 2003; Gennard and Kelly, 1997).
One of the distinguishing characteristics of HRM is that it seeks to transform the often disparate array of policies associated with traditional personnel management into a strategically co-ordinated or 'integrated' set of policies and processes that improve organisational performance (Caldwell R. 2004). Where this has been achieved there is empirical evidence that organisational performance can improve (MacDuffie, 1995). Conversely, when HRM is unable to affirm its integrative ambition, it loses much of its significance as a distinctive approach to people management and becomes old-style personnel management: 'a collection of incidental techniques without much internal cohesion . . . a hodge podge' (Druker, 1961, quoted in Sisson, 1995: 87).
Main Functions of HRM
All the models of HRM, whether American or European, are based on the three basic functions of HRM which are Recruitment and Selection; Performance Evaluation/Management and Rewards Management & Career Growth. These are discussed in detail in the following text:
Recruitment & Selection
Human resources recruitment and selection decisions are widely regarded as some of the most important decisions made in organizations (Ferris et al 1999). Furthermore, a principal focus of staffing decisions is the employment interview, so it is appropriate to examine this decision-making tool with respect to influence and politics. Research has continued on how influence tactics in the employment interview affect interviewer decisions, following some of the suggestions for future research proposed by Ferris and Judge (1991). Kacmar, Delery, and Ferris (1992) conducted an investigation that was designed to assess the relative effectiveness of two types of influence tactics used by applicants on interviewer decisions. They found that interviewers gave higher ratings and recommendations for job offers to applicants who employed self-promotion tactics than those who used ingratiation-type tactics (Ferris et al 1999).
To illustrate this further, in a carefully conducted investigation, Stevens and Kristof (1995) reported evidence of