David Collings and Geoffrey Wood in their book “Human Resource Management” discussed that HRM has become so well established from time to time. The role of personnel management compared to HRM might seem old-fashioned. There are some critiques around human resource management, however, that might rigger questions as to whether an organisation is more of an academic pastime or utility in practice. Some of the criticisms as defined by Collings are presented below:
Knowledge and skills of linking human resource strategy with business strategy are taken for granted. This task is housed in the human resource department whose staff is not necessarily trained in strategic business management. This casts doubts on the ability to establish the link on HR as a strategic department to ensure business flow.
The doctrine that human resource managers should be seen by fellow managers as partners in business might be wishful thinking rather than what actually happens in practice. In reality, however, human resource managers are treated by other managers as a ‘second class citizen’, whose role is more of a supplier of company personnel.
The assumption that a human resource manager takes the role of a partner in business implies that he/she should be on the side of the management and hence employees should represent themselves. This scenario increases employees’ feeling of isolation and neglect, which can give rise to conflicts and disputes.
The assumption that a human resource manager should be a generalist and at the same time be able to handle specific human resource functions, leaves much to be desired with regards to the type of training suitable and efficient in human resource functions.
The use of business strategies like teamwork, 360 degrees appraisal, and performance-based pay increase, as well as the use of subjective value judgement about individuals, might instead de-motivate some employees and trigger counter disruptive behaviours including rent-seeking or ‘just please the boss’ attitude.