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The state of human resource management in practice: Evidence from employes' views of HRM systems and staff

Gibb, S. (2001) The state of human resource management in practice: Evidence from employes' views of HRM systems and staff. Employee Relations, 23 (4). pp. 318-336. ISSN 0142-5455

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Abstract

Recent research exploring a range of arguments about trends in human resource management (HRM) provides contrasting evidence in evaluating the state of HRM. Methods using either fit with "best practice" or fit with contingencies as ways of evaluating the state of HRM have been foremost. Investigating the employees "point of view" has been proposed as an alternative in some recent studies. The research reported here is based on this alternative method. It describes employees views of HRM in their organisations based on a survey of 2,632 employees in 73 companies. The findings are that employees report areas of strength in HRM that include training and development, rewards, and levels of personal motivation. Employees also rate the performance of HR staff highly across a range of services. Noticeable areas of weakness in HRM, in employees' estimations, exist in the management of staffing levels, aspects of recruitment and retention, communication, and with levels of morale in the organisation as a whole. These findings justify a mixed but overall positive picture of the state of HRM. The problems of analysing employee views of HRM in this type of study, to address arguments with evidence, are considered in conclusion.