Recent Patterns of Change in the Management of the Employment Relationship in the UK

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In this context, it should be mentioned that Schuler et al. (1998, 159) there are a few issues that need to be taken into consideration when formulating the human resource strategy of a particular organizational environment: ‘a) the business structure, b) the legislative and employment relationship context, c) the patterns of HRM competence and decision-making and d) the national culture’. The above views are supported by Gooderham et al. (1999, 507) who stated that ‘despite their very different assumptions, both rational and institutional explanations of organizational structure and management practices predict similarity among firms that operate in the same industry within the context of a simple country’.On the other hand, Rowden (1999, 22) accepted that ‘the traditional HR functions of staffing, recruiting, compensation and benefits are losing ground to a new generation of value-added core HR functions that include career planning, executive development, training, succession planning and organization development’. However, it is not explained with accuracy by the above researcher if the above transition has been followed by other ‘supplementary’ transformations in the area of HRM. Also, the procedures followed for the instalment of the relevant HRM strategies are not precisely described. However, it can be assumed that the choice of the appropriate HRM strategy, in any case, will be based on the needs of the organization and the ‘potentials/ qualities’ of the employee.Regarding specifically the UK, it has been stated by Casey et al. (1999, 81) that ‘in many UK organizations flexibility has become synonymous with deregulation and the opportunity to cut labour costs. moreover, the danger of UK’s approach regarding the workplace is that there are a lot of high-performance models which the work organization and people management find difficult to adopt and operationalise’.The above assumptions are in accordance with the views of Scullion (1994, 86) who supported that only few British firms have a ‘qualified’ and effective ‘international top management team’ while a common problem in workplaces around Britain seems to be the ‘‘assessment of the knowledge, skills, and competencies that have been considered as necessary for the effective operation of the organization’.