Best Fit Best Practice Factor in HRM strategy
Human resource management strategies are the plans that organizations put in place to help in managing people, organizational structure, development and training. The plans help in ascertaining how people’s skill fit into an organization’s mission, vision and objectives.
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The HRM of an organization is focused on recruiting and retaining the best talent there is to ensure the organization achieves its goals as defined by the overall business strategy (Purcell, 2008, p.45).
Perhaps one of the most critical elements in HRM is the “best fit” and “best practice” factor. This factor is used to capture the important relationship that there is between HRM strategy and overall corporate strategy.
Through the “best fit” and “best practice” approach, HRM strategy on recruitment and selection, reward and recognition, learning, training and development will be geared towards achieving overall corporate objectives. The paper will focus on the different views and debates that analyze the workings of the best-fit best practices strategy in HRM management.
Different debates and viewpoints exist on the adoption and effectiveness of the “best fit” and “best practice” approach in HRM strategy management (Marchington, M et al, 2002, p. 67). The argument is that firms are likely to experience an improvement in performance if best HRM management practices are implemented. The most likely method to achieve the above is to identify a practice that best suits an organization.
Its importance is then highlighted by HR department who in turn will sell it to the employees while seeking high-level commitment. Once adopted, the effectiveness will measured and the HR may reward the champions of the practice. The main advantage of best practice approach is that they are mostly straight forward (Armstrong, 2006, p. 109). There are established rules governing HR functions and little polishing is needed.
It simply follows tradition. The main disadvantage however is that HR may experience difficulties when if need arises to go beyond the straightforward practices. As far as uniformity is concerned, “best practice” exhibits great diversity. There is always a danger of the practice becoming an end it itself effectively putting company goals and interest at stake.
The characteristics of the best practice model can be summed as flexibility in working in teams, two-way information regarding communication, recruitment, fair appraisal and reward, all-inclusive decision making and emphasis is in individual learning and development.
Proponents of the best-fit model argue that the strategy is more effective when in matched with the business environment where it’s applied. The approach entails two elements; external fit and internal elements element.
The external fit deals with the operations and marketing strategy. The two strategies highlight linking of the competitive strategy to the overall business (Shields, 2007, p. 123). In other words the competitive strategy is linked with the HR [practices and employee behaviors. The only demerit associated with this external fit element is the possibility of overlooking the interest of the employees
Internal fit on the other hand focuses on coherency of HR policies and practices. Proportionality of the practices to the organization is important in every development stage. Best-fit practices emphasizes on consistency on practices, employees and time.
According to Armstrong (2006, p. 139), best fit practices ensure HR strategies suit different circumstances of an organization. Additionally they ensure the above is in tandem with the culture, processes of operation and the external environment of the organization.
On the other hand best practice approach is based on the speculation of the existence of an exact set of human resources that are applicable in any context of an organization for performance improvement and delivery on the set objectives (Shields 2007, p. 89). According to (Armstrong & Baron, 2002, p. 23), best practice over relies on the existence of a set of HRM practices that will be applied to an organization to increase performance.
Many scholars are however of the opinion that best fit approach is better able to help an organization deliver on it objectives compared to best practice approach. Its therefpo0re better suited to go along with the guest model of HRM management where recruitment and hiring is focused on retaining employees that can cope up with the organization’s dynamics.
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Armstrong, M. (2006). A handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. New York: Kogan Page Publishers.
Armstrong, M & Baron, A. (2002).Strategic HRM: The key to improved business performance. London: Developing Practice.
Marchington, M et al. (2002). People Management and Development: Human Resource Management at Work. London: Chattered Institute of Personnel and Development Publishing.
Purcell, J. (2008). People Management and Performance. New York: Routledge.
Shields, J. (2007). Managing Employee Performance and Reward: Concepts, Practices, Strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.