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Where's the ‘Human’ in Human Resource Management?

Managing Work in the 21st Century

By Michael Gold and Chris Smith

Published

Sep 6, 2022

Page count

480 pages

ISBN

978-1529213805

Dimensions

240 x 172 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Sep 6, 2022

Page count

480 pages

ISBN

978-1529213799

Dimensions

240 x 172 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Sep 6, 2022

Page count

480 pages

ISBN

978-1529213812

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Where's the ‘Human’ in Human Resource Management?

We all have to work to pay the bills – but what influence do we really have over our pay and working conditions? The emergence of the global economy, digital technologies, mass migration, gig work and zero hours contracts have catapulted this question to the forefront of Human Resources Management (HRM). So how can we keep the ‘human’ in human resource management when faced by these pressures?

This book adopts a critical approach to today’s major workplace challenges. It turns traditional HRM on its head by placing workers’ perspectives towards the workplace alongside those of managers to create an HRM textbook for the 21st century. Written by two experienced and research-active authors, the book:

• covers key issues that are overlooked in many textbooks, including the ‘new’ unitarism, corporate social responsibility and the challenges of Artificial Intelligence;

• adopts a critical approach that will relate more to students who don’t wish to become traditional managers;

• includes current examples and case studies from the world of work and business that will bring the subject to life.

This is a comprehensive one-stop resource for students and lecturers alike.

"This is a highly stimulating book that provides structured knowledge about HRM, but at the same time makes academics and practitioners think outside of the box. The analyses and practical examples cover the core topics of HR strategy, as well as issues that are too seldom dealt with in textbooks, such as workplace conflicts or the potential and dangers of new technologies like artificial intelligence and HR analytics." Martin Krzywdzinski, WZB Berlin Social Science Center

"This is a thought-provoking textbook with interesting real-life examples, enriched by the authors’ insightful analysis of the key trends in human resource management. It highlights the importance of the human aspect of human resource management amidst ever innovative ways of labour control and persistent pursuit of productivity. It is a highly valuable text for everyone who practises or experiences human resource management." Fang Lee Cooke, Monash University

"An attractive mix of traditional topics, contemporary cases and innovative content that places HRM into its wider context. This textbook will be a valuable resource for students and tutors." Paul Thompson, University of Stirling

"This is an innovative and refreshing new HRM textbook which takes the point of view of workers who experience HRM rather than that of managers who are trying to implement it." Adrian Wilkinson, Griffith University

"At last, an open-eyed and honest account of human resource management in contemporary society! This book dismantles the false binary between HRM and employment relations, which prevails in so many business schools, and shows why a sociological analysis of control and conflict in the employment relationship is essential. Gold and Smith provide a stylish and authoritative account, arguing that HRM is fundamentally shaped by labour cost and productivity pressures. The book threads through all the big contemporary issues of global labour market trends, digital technologies and inequalities, and also explores changing attitudes towards worker engagement, home working and fulfilling work. The stimulating company examples of HR practice provide further urgent and compelling reasons for students and practitioners to try to put the human back into HRM before it is too late!" Damien Grimshaw, King's College London

"Tired of reading the same old HRM textbooks written in the 20th century? Then Where's the ‘Human’ in Human Resource Management? will be a thoroughly exciting and refreshing read. This book provides a bang up-to-date, provocative and passionate account of what is happening in the contemporary workplace. This is essential reading for students who want to better understand their place and future in the world of work." Huw Thomas, University of Bristol

"A timely and fresh approach to understanding the management of the human resource in today’s world. It is rigorously argued, meticulously researched and accessibly written, with principles illuminated in practical application. An excellent, essential text." Jean Jenkins, Cardiff University

"Where is the ‘Human’ in Human Resource Management makes a unique and vital contribution to understanding how HRM is experienced rather than just delivered. This theoretically sophisticated but accessible textbook provides insights essential for students’ understanding of the contemporary workplace." Abigail Marks, Newcastle University

Michael Gold is Professor of Comparative Employment Relations at Royal Holloway University of London. His work focuses on employee participation, self-employment and industrial relations theory as well as on employment policies across the member states of the EU.

Chris Smith is Professor of Organization Studies and Comparative Management at Royal Holloway University of London. His interests are in labour process theory, knowledge transfer through the transnational firm, comparative analysis of work and employment, and professional labour.

Introduction: Where’s the ‘human’ in human resource management?

Part 1: Where we’ve been…

Chapter 1: What’s HRM really about?

Chapter 2: What’s so special about HR strategy?

Chapter 3: The employment relationship

Chapter 4: Conflict and resistance at work

Chapter 5: Societal contexts and global trends

Chapter 6: Trade unions

Chapter 7: Management styles

Part 2: Where we’re heading…

Chapter 8: The ‘new’ unitarism

Chapter 9: Flexible working

Chapter 10: Services and aesthetic and emotional labour

Chapter 11: Migrant workers

Chapter 12: Corporate social responsibility

Part 3: What all this means for HRM

Chapter 13: Recruitment and social networks

Chapter 14: Diversity and discrimination

Chapter 15: Pay and rewards

Chapter 16: Employee participation and involvement

Chapter 17: Training and development

Chapter 18: Work-life balance

Chapter 19: Artificial intelligence and HR analytics (with Yu Zheng)

Chapter 20: Summary and conclusions

List of films about HRM

Case studies

1.Poor corporate governance: the case of Boohoo Leicester contractor factories

2.Trade unions: company versus country in the case of Ryanair

3.Working in the gig economy

4.Homeworking and employee surveillance

5.Migrant workers: reviewing the ‘good worker’ rhetoric

6.Cultural matching, recruitment and selection: what are the ethical issues?

7.Artificial intelligence: the end of bias, or just the start of a new set of biases?

8.Recruitment, promotion and racial discrimination in the Metropolitan Police Service

9.Unilever and a reduction in the working week

10.Lorry driver shortages

Glossary of key concepts

Bibliography and references