Strategic Human Resource Management – A Guide to Action

Strategic HRMsm.gifStrategic Human Resource Management – A Guide to Action
Author: Michael Armstrong
Price: £25
Publisher: Kogan Page
Pages: 167
ISBN: 0-7494-4511-4

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Human resource management (HRM) is a broad and often inexact subject at the best of times, but add the word ‘strategic’ and the confusion can really set in.

It’s not that strategic HRM isn’t an important and growing subject area. It’s just that the demands and culture of each organisation mean that, in practice, implementation can be very different from theory. To be effective, practitioners need to draw on not only a detailed and experiential-based knowledge of the subject, but also on a wide range of commercial considerations.

This means that as a topic on a generalist business studies course, strategic HRM is often the least understood module by a long way. Worse still, dedicated HR courses generate specialists that can struggle to integrate with an organisation’s true commercial pressures.

This extensively updated third edition goes a long way towards recognising these challenges. Giving a comprehensive review of the major theories, Michael Armstrong illustrates the varying ways these are implemented with some simple but clear real-world examples.

At just 167 pages, it is an approachable size, and a thorough, if not ageing, reference section makes it easy to follow up with further reading. Structured very much as a reference book, it will be useful to students struggling with a detailed case study, or practitioners eager to implement the best for their organisation.

At £25, it does seem quite expensive for a slim, soft-back textbook, but its directness and clarity may be worth the expense in time-saving alone. Armstrong is a much respected author in this field, and, although the cover claim of “a guide to action” is perhaps a little optimistic, this is, as expected, a concise, accessible and useful review of a tricky subject.

Useful? 5 stars

Well-written? 5 stars

Practical? 5 stars

Inspirational? 3 stars

Value for money? 3 stars

Overall 4 stars

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