The financial crisis began in 2008 has given rise to the deterioration of global economics. An increasing number of firms had gone bankrupt while others are fighting for survival. A variety of aspects have great dominations on the fate of the firm, with human resource management being one of the most crucial principles. Human resource managers should resort to certain managements to impinge upon the firm. Be it Michigan Model or Harvard Model (which are also named as hard HARM and soft HARM), human resource managers can resort to these two mainstream managements to dispose the unman resources.
It had been widely debated that which practice can cater to the firms to survive the deterioration of global economics. Individually speaking, hard HARM is superior to soft HARM in the plight of financial crisis. This essay is revolving around the selection of HARM to benefit the firm, firstly by presenting how hard HARM differs from soft HARM, then the reasons and consequences of the usage of hard HARM, and lastly examining the hard HARM impact on HER managers and the firms. Hard HARM differs from soft HARM in various aspects.
These two propositions were academically developed by Harvard University in its MBA program in 985 and Michigan University in 1984. The ideas have been critically processed by Guest and Storey and Session in the late 1 sass. The Harvard model, drawing on human relations school, emphasized communications, team work and the utilizations of individual talents (Poole & Mansfield, 1994). The Michigan school is a more strategic approach with a Unitarian outlook, which endorses management’s views (Henry & Pettier, 1990).
The hard HARM values on the “resource” aspect of HARM, that is to say, it focus on the crucial importance of the close integration of human resource policies, yester and activities with business strategy. From this perspective human resources are largely a factor of production, an expense of doing business rather than the only resource capable of turning production in to wealth. Human Resources are viewed as passive, to be provided and deployed as numbers and skills at the right price, rather than the source of creative energy. ((Allege, 1 995) The soft HARM is on the opposite position.
It tends to focuses on treating employees as valuable assets and a source of competitive advantage through their commitment, adaptability and high quality skill and performance. Employees are proactive rather than passive inputs into productive processes, capable of development, worthy of trust and collaboration which is achieved through participation. In simple words, hard HARM views employees as the assets of the company, which can be sacrifice in accordance with the company strategies while soft HARM tends to encourage employees to gain their commitments. In the deterioration of global economics, HER managers had better apply the hard HARM.
The fierce situation is that various companies went bankrupt due to the cruel economic environment while other companies are also struggling or survival by lowing cost through the practice of firing employees. Once the companies emit the tendency, employees are sure to aware the essence that they should work harder to avoid being fired. The pressure basically has the same function of soft HARM if not better. Employees are motivated by themselves or the recession. They might even work hard than before to gain commitment which directly related to their livings.
On the contrast, hard HARM well demonstrate the top priority of the company for the time being, that is to survive in the recession by aligning human resource strategy with business treated. The second point is that even the most unsophisticated organization has issued its statement of “mission”, has declared commitment to direct communication with its “most valued asset” that is its employees, has experimented with quality circles, looked to performance related pay, brushed down its appraisal system, reconsidered its selection procedures and declared its commitment to training”.
It can be seen that, almost all organizations will display such kind of soft HARM. While the essence is that it full short of reality. (Bolton & Turnbuckle 1994) Some times, the firms tend to ever trust its ability that they make management approach which are devoid of content. Since the soft management is a long term oriented management approach, these methods may be forgotten. But the hard HARM lay emphasis on speed and efficient. If an approach is beyond reality, it can be re-planed quickly. Another point in which soft HARM inferior to hard HARM is that soft HARM appreciates all members’ creative thinking.
Creative thinking is vital in an organization, but not in the deterioration of global economics. It is a time consuming job and it also pose uncertainties to the organizations. While in an organization fighting for survival, it is more likely to accelerate the destruction other than to save it. On this point, hard HARM show a strict practice to ensure than employees do follow suit the guidance of the supervisors. It can not be denied that the application of soft HARM may display that employees are valued by the organizations, which help to build their self-confidence.
While in the recession of global economics, it means little to the company compared with survive. That is to say, soft HARM here contribute little to the situation. Hard HARM, though strict it is, help the organization to get rid of the plight. Application of the hard HARM is also a huge challenge for both HER managers and employees. HER managers should burden the stress that employees may complain about the cruel practice. As to the employees, they may compete with each other to survive. It may break the balance of working environment.
There is no doubt that the hard management will have a special impact on the HER managers and the organization, vice versa. For HER managers, they should try their best to fabricate a feasible blueprint for the firm. Under the management of hard HARM, employees strictly follow the instructions made by supervisors. A would-be hazard in the business strategy will give rise to the collapse of the firm doubtlessly. It is easier said than done to shoulder the responsibility. As to the organization, it is difficult to make a long term strategy.
Us opposing that during the period of deterioration, a firm should recruit certain people to contribute to the firm. These newly employed people may not fit the long term business strategy but just to act as the firemen. It comes to a problem that whether the firm should keep these “firemen” after the recession, which may be costly and wastefully. This just a comparative ass problem, more complicated ones can be the relationships with suppliers, customers and the firm image presented. Sometimes, the firm itself will influence the HARM.
A good example in point is that if a company holds a totally opposite culture to hard HARM will cause itself in the dilemma whether to impose a would-be effective practice or to follow the culture. So the firms will have influence on its business decisions not only the human resource managements. A firm must take its image In public in to consideration when applying some new principles. In conclusion, soft HARM can be seen as an indirect management approach which needs employees’ fully involvement in the organization while hard HARM can be seen as a direct management approach which is guided by supervisors.
In the recession of global economics, hard HARM seems to be more acceptable than soft HARM because it values on efficiency. Also, the deterioration plays part role of the soft HARM of motivating employees which make soft HARM useless in terms of motivation function. Some functions of soft HARM may go astray in the situation of depression of global economics. Obviously, the application of HARM and the organizations have interactions with each others. Hard HARM may break the balance of the working environment while the culture of a certain organization will weaken the function of hard HARM.
During the deterioration of global economics, an organization should adopt certain management approach to sun. ‘vive and hard HARM can be the effective one.