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Human Resource Management 2nd Edition


Author: Greg L. Stewart

Publisher: Wiley


Publish Date: September 22, 2010

ISBN-10: 470530499

Pages: 624

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

The last few years have been difficult for many businesses. The worst economic recession in over 50 years has forced many companies to rethink the way they do business. Only the best survive in such an environment. But what helps some companies survive, and even thrive, in difficult times? What gives these organizations an advantage over their competitors? One answer emphasizes the benefit of having the right people as members of the organization. It is often said that “the people make the place,” which tells us that employees are the most important asset of any organization. Practices that help obtain and motivate employees are the core focus of human resource management, which is the field of study presented in this textbook.

As you read this book, we hope you will agree that human resource management is an exciting field of study. In order to make ideas and concepts come to life, we include a number of examples from real companies that illustrate how effective human resource management is helping companies achieve success, even in difficult times. Each chapter explains how an organization can increase its effectiveness by improving its processes for hiring and motivating top-performing employees. We also specifically link human resource practices to competitive strategies. This linkage is critical, as it shows how a company can use human resource management to gain a competitive advantage over other companies.


The field of human resource management has evolved a great deal during the past decade. Today, many practitioners and researchers argue that human resource management should extend beyond its traditional focus on legal compliance and adopt a more strategic perspective for managing employees. Perhaps more importantly, successful organizations are taking a more strategic approach to managing people. Many human resource textbooks have added material to reflect some of this change, but most books still lack a consistent strategic framework—even though this framework is rapidly becoming the norm within the field.

We have written Human Resource Management: Linking Strategy to Practice, Second Edition in order to more fully develop and integrate the strategic perspective. Throughout the book, we emphasize the theme that organizations excel when they have consistent human resource practices that align with their strategic direction. We begin by establishing a strategic framework that illustrates how different approaches to human resource management fit with basic competitive strategies. We then integrate this strategic perspective into our discussion of traditional human resource practices, such as work design, staffing, performance management, training, compensation, and labor relations. At the same time, we clearly illustrate how these specific human resource practices help increase organizational effectiveness.

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