Human Resources Management Model

Discusses and compares the “hard model” and the “soft model” in HR management theory.

The growth of the concept of a strategic approach to managing people can be attributed to rapid environmental changes that have taken place over the last two decades. This paper first examines the dichotomy between two human resource management approaches to overall employee management. It then examines the difficulties in implementing the current management model into modern companies. The two models examined are the “hard model” of human resource management and the soft model that has replaced it in most modern organizations, especially in the services and technology sectors. The paper includes a graph and table.

Table of Contents
The Dichotomy Between Soft and Hard Models of Human Resource Management
Divergence and Rigidity Within Soft and Hard Models of Human Resource Management
Human Nature and the Employee
The Language and Reality of New Careers
Implications for Establishing the New Career Paradigm
“Soft HRM models focus on empowering employees and management to take charge of the organization, to continually learn and grow in their jobs as well as in their careers and to be willing to take risks and be innovative in their approach to their jobs. It has become almost part and parcel with today’s new information and services based economy, where older centralized command and control type management would be too unwieldy to respond to the demands of the new market place. The second effect of companies adopting the soft HRM approach is the narrowing of organizational structure. Where previously older organizations have had a vertical, highly compartmentalized management structure, those companies who have adopted the soft approach or those who start off with it, see their management structure become narrower and more responsibility for decision making rests in the hands of the employees and frontline management.”