that it identifies and classifies important environmental influences on HRM. Hendry and Pettigrew's research focused on mapping the context, identifying an inner (organizational) context and an external (wider environment) context and exploring how HRM adapted to changes in context. 2.3.6.The resource-based model The resource-based model draws attention to the strategic value of the workforce and to the issues of workplace learning. Thus it appears to embrace a 'soft' view of human resource management. The genesis of the resource-based model can be traced back to Selznick (1957) who suggested that work organizations each possess 'distinctive competence' that enables them to outperform their competitors. Putting it in terms of simple SWOT analysis, the matching model emphasized the strategic significance of external 'Opportunities' and 'Threats', the resource-based perspective emphasizes the strategic importance of internal 'Strengths' and 'Weaknesses'. This model suggests that work organizations achieve sustainable competitive advantages by 'implementing strategies that exploit their internal strengths, through responding to environmental opportunities, while neutralizing external threats and avoiding internal weaknesses. Four characteristics of resources and capabilities are important in sustaining competitive advantage: value, rarity, inimitability and non-substitutability. From this perspective, the collective learning in the workplace by managers and non-managers, especially how to coordinate workers' diverse knowledge and skills and integrate diverse information technology, is a strategic asset that rivals find difficult to replicate. Limitations with the resource-based model One problem is that the term itself, 'resource-based' appears to mean different things to different authors. The definitions range from narrow specific interpretations to very broad descriptions and are 'sometimes tautological; resources are defined as firm strengths, and firm strengths are then defined as strategic resources; capability is defined in terms of competence, and competence is then defined in terms of capability' Its perspective omits the dynamics of workplace trade unionism in the strategic equation. However, writers typically recognize the importance of workers' contribution to the labour process, knowledge and skills, synergy, proactive leadership, encouraging innovation and stimulating learning processes.
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