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Contemporary analysis of the model employer: is there a new ideal?

Gibb, S. (2004) Contemporary analysis of the model employer: is there a new ideal? International Journal of Human Resource Management, 4 (3). pp. 288-296. ISSN 0958-5192

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A singular ideal of the model employer can be seen to have shaped Human Resource Management (HRM), in the Anglo-American social and organisational contexts, in the past. In a period of change, and new conditions, redefinitions of what makes a model employer are prompting contemporary studies. Whether these identify a new ideal or not is the issue. On the one hand, these do have elements of a common agenda of concerns, suggesting a new ideal for employers to attain. But they also have differences, with competing or contradictory emphases in defining what a model employer is, and what HRM involves. A review of the factors associated with being a ''model employer'' is presented. This suggests tensions between a socially oriented and an organisationally oriented understanding of change in HRM. The theoretical framework of Social Construction is suggested as a way of understanding and engaging with these tensions as new models of good employers are evolved.