Hrm Can Be a Key Source of Competitive Advantage for an Organisation. However, with This Comes Role Changes and New Challenges for the Hr Professional. Critically Discuss

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The use of human resource management in organisations has certainly evolved over the past decades. It has been described as a key source of competitive advantage for an organisation and there are many reasons and examples of this. However human resource management has had many role changes thus meaning new challenges for the human resource professionals. This essay will discuss these role changes and new challenges in regards to how they have been dealt with in order to achieve competitive advantage for organisations.
According to Cronk et al (1994:2) “human resources are the people including their skills, knowledge and abilities, who comprise an organisation”. Human resource management refers to the “policies, practices, and systems
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According to one HR professional “one of the biggest misconceptions is that it is all warm and fuzzy communications with the workers. Or that it is creative and involved in making a more congenial atmosphere for people at work. Actually it is both of those some of the time, but most of the time it is a big mountain of paperwork which calls on a myriad of skills besides the ‘people’ type. It is law, accounting, philosophy, and logic as well as psychology, spirituality, tolerance, and humility” (Noe et al, 2006:12).
Human resource management in the past was said to be about systematic and bureaucratic control, “however, today it is more and more becoming an integral part of the strategic response to change and a very important facet of attempts by management to carve out competitive advantage” (Macklin & Jenkins, 2007:1).
Competitive advantage occurs when “an organisation is implementing a strategy that has not been adopted by its current or potential competitors” (Dictionary of Human Resource Management, 2001:50). According to Sparrow et al (1994:271-279) they identified major groupings of HRM policies and practices “as leading to competitive advantage which were: organisational culture, including empowerment and management, where the issues were seen to be measuring and motivating customer service, quality, innovation and risk-taking behaviour; resourcing; which covered recruitment,

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