CHAPTER 1 HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: GAINING A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Chapter Summary This chapter discusses the role of the Human Resource Management (HRM) function in the corporate effort to gain a competitive advantage. The chapter first discusses three current, competitive challenges: the global challenge, the challenge to meet stakeholders needs, and the high performance work system challenge. The chapter then moves to a discussion of specific HRM practices that play critical roles in determining companies’ success in meeting the challenges presented. The economic value of such practices is noted. Finally, the chapter closes with a discussion of the major topics to be covered in the rest of the text. Learning Objectives After studying this chapter, the student should be able to: 1. Discuss the roles and activities of a company’s human resource function. 2. Discuss the competitive challenges influencing U.S companies. 3. Discuss how human resource practices affect a company’s balanced scorecard. 4. Discuss what companies should do to be competitive in the global marketplace. 5. Identify the characteristics of the workforce and how they influence human resource management practices. 6. Discuss human resource practices that support high performance work systems. 7. Provide a brief description of human resource management practices.
1. Competitiveness is related to effectiveness—which is dependent on the satisfaction of corporate stakeholders. 2. Human Resource management (HRM) refers to policies, practices and systems that influence employees behaviors, attitudes and performance. 3. Effective HRM practices have been shown to relate to company performance by contributing to employee and customer satisfaction, innovation, productivity, and development of a favorable reputation in the community in which the firm is located. 4. The HRM contribution has only recently been recognized. B. What activities do HR departments perform?
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