Essays on Fundamental Goals of Human Resource Management Literature review

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The paper "Fundamental Goals of Human Resource Management" is a good example of a literature review on human resources.   In creating viability for their firms, employers pursue both economic and social-political goals. The way those goals are pursued dictates the kind of Human Resource strategy a firm adopts. One of the important questions to consider when looking at Human Resource Management (HRM) is what employers seek by engaging in HRM and what their goals are. In addition, it is important to determine whether the goals they seek to relate to broader business goals.

According to Boxall (2007), the main economic goals employers have are cost efficiency and social legitimacy. Furthermore, he argues that in order to meet the social-political goals, employers need flexibility and autonomy for adapting to change. This paper uses contemporary challenges to discuss these four goals that employers seek to meet through the HRM practices they adopt. It shows how different firms adopt different HR strategies based on the kind of industries they exist in and the kind of competition they face. In addition, this discussion shows how employees need to strike a balance between social legitimacy and managerial autonomy in a bid to sustain productivity in a cost-effective way and sustain competitive advantage. Cost Efficiency Boxall (2007) posits that a firm’ s major economic objective is to have economic viability in the industry in which it competes.

This means that firms are concerned with getting labor productivity in the most cost-effective way of managing labor. Cost-effectiveness or cost-efficiency is described as “ the need for every firm to stabilize a production system that enables it to compete in its chosen market” (Boxall, 2007, p.

57). The author argues in a well-organized manner that each industry has its combination of production systems which involves different types of technology and work organizations. This means that there are different ways of producing products and services in each industry and the Human Resource (HR) practices or model in that firm should be designed in such a way that it supports the production dominant design.


Boxall, P. 2007, The Goals of HRM, in P. Boxall, J. Purcell and P. Wright Ed., The Oxford Handbook of Human Resource Management, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Boxall, P. and Purcell, J., 2003, Strategy and Human Resource Management, Palgrave Macmillan: New York.

Carroll, G. R. and Hannan, M. T., 1995, Organizations in Industry: Strategy, Structure, Selection. Oxford University Press, New York.

Gordad, J. and Delany, J. 2000, Reflections on the High Performance Paradigm’s Implications for Industrial Relations as a Field, Industrial and Labour Relations Review, Vol. 53, No. 3, pp. 482-502.

Gunnigle, P., Levelle, J., McDonnell, A and Morley, M., 2007, Managing HR in Multinational Companies in Ireland: Autonomy, Coordination and Control, Employment Relations Research Unit, University of Limerick.

Kallenberg, A., 2001, Organizing Flexibility: The Flexible Firm in a New Century, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 479-504.

Kochan, T. A., 2004, Restoring Trust in Human resource Management Profession, Asian Pacific Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 42, pp. 132-146.

Wirtz, J. and Heracleous, L., 2012, Singapore Airlines: Managing Human Resources for Cost Effective Service Excellence, Available online at:

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