improve business performance, organising focused human resource knowledge, through networks or centres, and leaders or experts within business divisions (Kamoche 2001).
The experiences of top firms such as DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, United Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM have been studied and revealed in various reports and studies. What were previously ingenious practices are currently described as contemporary practices and developments in the strategic repositioning and restructuring of the human resource function (Tyson 2006). Business organisations that are unsuccessful in restructuring their human resource function with the changing economic climate end up with disjointed strategies for human management. They are incapable of developing and implementing innovative human-management approaches that acquire competitive leverage (Kraut, Korman & London 1999). They incur greater costs for offering human resource services. Several companies declare they adopt the latest human resource strategy but are not up till now ‘walking the talk’ (Kraut et al. 1999: 62).
Reforms in human resources are motivated by the necessities of the changing economic climate. IBM, which is considered as the creator of the ‘new approach’, had as its main goal a decrease in the total costs of offering human resource services by roughly $40 million per annum (Tyson 2006). Otis Elevator, component of United Technologies, looked for means to reinforce its international business strategy and thus cutback costs and drive growth. Sun Microsystems looked for means to improve recruitment, selection and retention of highly skilled employees vital for business expansion (Tyson 2006).
Companies are dealing with a challenging and multifaceted variety of stimuli for change in order to predict and maximise opportunities in the competitive economy. Their responses are reconceptualising the framework for human resources management (Sisson & Storey 2000). Companies consider these