Handbook of Research on Management Ideas and Panaceas
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Handbook of Research on Management Ideas and Panaceas

Adaptation and Context

Edited by Anders Örtenblad

Over time management ideas and panaceas have been presented alternately as quick fix cures for all corporate ills and the emperor’s new clothes, beset by flaws and problems. This Handbook provides a different approach, suggesting that management ideas and panaceas should not be either adopted or rejected outright, but gives guidance in the art of assessing and applying management ideas and panaceas to various situations and contexts.
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Chapter 8: The search for panaceas in Strategic Human Resource Management: a wrong turn for HRM research?

Paul Boselie and Chris Brewster


This chapter discusses the way that Human Resource Management and particularly Strategic HRM which is the in-company, financial outcome focused version, has become a panacea. It is assumed that by applying ‘good practice’ SHRM within the organization results will be improved. We draw on the previous literature, particularly the original ‘Harvard model’ of HRM to argue that this severely underestimates the impact of the environment, the importance of multiple stakeholders and the implications of a longer-term perspective. We suggest that attention to these issues will take us beyond SHRM to something that reflects the real world better, is more rewarding for researchers and more valuable for practitioners.

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