Armstrong's Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice
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Armstrong's Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice

Michael Armstrong, Stephen Taylor

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eBook - ePub

Armstrong's Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice

Michael Armstrong, Stephen Taylor

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About This Book

Armstrong's Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice is the bestselling and definitive resource for HRM students and professionals, which helps readers to understand and implement HR in relation to the needs of the business. This book covers in-depth all of the areas essential to the HR function such as employment law, employee relations, learning and development, performance management and reward, as well as the HR skills needed to ensure professional success, including leadership, managing conflict, interviewing and using statistics. Illustrated throughout in full colour and with a range of pedagogical features to consolidate learning (e.g. source review boxes, key learning points, summaries and case studies from international organizations such as IBM, HSBC and Johnson and Johnson), this fully updated 15th edition includes new chapters on the HRM role of line managers, evidence-based HRM, e-HRM and the gender pay gap, further case studies and updated content covering the latest research and developments. Armstrong's Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice is aligned with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) profession map and standards and is suited to both professionals and students of both undergraduate degrees and the CIPD's level 5 and 7 professional qualifications. Online supporting resources include comprehensive handbooks for lecturers and students, lecture slides, all figures and tables, toolkits, and a literature review, glossary and bibliography.

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Kogan Page

Fundamentals of human resource management



HRM is about the management of people in order to achieve desired results.
The first chapter in this part of the handbook covers the conceptual basis of human resource management, including the various HRM models and the characteristics of an HR system. It also examines the case for a different approach to HRM through people management. The second chapter deals with the nature of strategic HRM. This is followed by a chapter on HR strategy that describes how the strategic HRM concept functions in practice. The following chapters deal with the associated concept of human capital manaement, the importance of the context in which HRM takes place, the ways in which HRM affects performance and the practice of international HRM.

Human resource management


Human resource management (HRM) is about how people are employed, managed and developed in organizations. HRM is delivered by means of the HR system, which operates within the framework provided by the HR architecture.
The term ‘human resources’ is controversial. Osterby and Coster (1992: 31) argued that it ‘reduces people to the same category of value as materials, money and technology – all resources, and resources are only valuable to the extent they can be exploited or leveraged into economic value.’ There has therefore been a move to replace ‘human resources’ with ‘people management’ and a proposal on what the latter could mean is made at the end of this chapter. But HRM is still the most commonly used term.
The chapter starts with a general discussion of the meaning of HRM and the issues involved in its practice, and continues with analyses of the meaning and development of HRM and reviews of HRM philosophy, goals and standards. The various models of HRM and its underpinning theories are then considered. The concept of HRM has sometimes been controversial and different perspectives about what it stands for and what it means are then examined. Next, the chapter contains a description of how an HR system within the framework of the HR architecture delivers HRM. It concludes with a discussion of the present state of HRM and its future in the form of a philosophy of people management.

HRM: meaning and issues

It is possible to produce a definition of HRM as set out below. But it is necessary to look more deeply into the meaning of HRM. This involves considering the issues concerned with the tension that can exist between the fundamental requirement on the one hand to help the organization to achieve its aims as a business or a public or voluntary sector body, and the need on the other hand to respect and promote the interests of the people working in the organization.

HRM defined

HRM was defined by Boxall and Purcell (2003: 1) as ‘all those activities associated with the management of employment relationships in the firm’. Boxall (2007: 13) noted that: ‘Human resources include the knowledge, skills, networks and energies of people and, underpinning them, their physical and emotional health, intellectual capabilities, personalities and motivations.’

HRM issues

The following fundamental issue facing HRM was raised by Chamorro-Premuzic.
However, HRM is not simply there to solve problems. It can be regarded as a philosophy about the ways in which people are managed at work that is underpinned by a number of theories relating to the behaviour of people and organizations. HRM aims to improve organizational effectiveness through people but it should also be concerned with the ethical dimension – how people should be treated in accordance with a set of moral values. An important point was made by Schneider.
However, as Keegan and Francis (2010: 873) noted, HR work is now ‘largely framed as a business issue’. The emphasis is on business alignment and strategic fit. These are important requirements but focusing on them can lead HR professionals to place insufficient emphasis on employee wellbeing when developing HR policy and practice.
A simplistic view of the business imperative – the often-expressed belief that the most important thing HR professionals should know about is ‘how the business makes money’ – permits little room for considering the rights and needs of employees as well as the other stakeholders. HRM should indeed aim to support the achievement of business goals but it should also aim to build relationships with the people employed in the organization based on fair dealing, trust, openness and personal fulfilment. A basis for doing this is provided by the concept of the employee experience as discussed in Chapter 30.

Table of contents

Citation styles for Armstrong's Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice
APA 6 Citation
Armstrong, M., & Taylor, S. (2020). Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice (15th ed.). Kogan Page. Retrieved from (Original work published 2020)
Chicago Citation
Armstrong, Michael, and Stephen Taylor. (2020) 2020. Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. 15th ed. Kogan Page.
Harvard Citation
Armstrong, M. and Taylor, S. (2020) Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. 15th edn. Kogan Page. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Armstrong, Michael, and Stephen Taylor. Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. 15th ed. Kogan Page, 2020. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.