Strategic HRM: Too Important for an Insular Approach

Wayne F. Cascio
Human Resource Management, Volume 54, Issue 3, May/June 2015, Pp. 423–426

Strategic human resource management (SHRM) is the choice, alignment, and integration of an organization’s HRM system so its human capital resources most effectively contribute to strategic business objectives. Kaufman’s review (this issue) of four books in the field revealed key differences in two areas: the intended audience (academics and general managers versus researchers only) and orientation (the use of field observer and participant observation methods versus ivory tower scientism). Overemphasis on the latter produces research that is relevant only to academics and that is not used in organizations. I argue, as have others, that in addition to rigor, a successful scientific discipline must prove itself relevant to the society in which it is embedded. Hence, the objectives of SHRM should be twofold: to influence academic thinking and conceptualizing, but also to alter the way managers set priorities and make decisions. To do that, researchers have to work directly with managers. The challenge is to create models that reflect a broader view of performance as well as more complete taxonomies of internal and external factors that help shape business and HR strategies. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.