What Are the Different Types of Strategic Human Resource Management Models?

D. Nelson

Professionals who work in human resource departments are usually responsible for creating positive work environments for employees. They participate in recruiting processes, develop benefits packages, negotiate salaries, and make sure that all employees feel that they are valued by employers and motivated to do their best work. Strategic human resource management models often describe the ways in which human resource departments are organized and how decisions are made. Models convey guidelines for how employees communicate with one another and with management, how they are compensated, and how an organization develops its priorities and values. Some of the most common are control-based and commitment-based models.

Commitment-based models are often viewed as the supervisor working alongside the employees, instead of simply handing down decisions.
Commitment-based models are often viewed as the supervisor working alongside the employees, instead of simply handing down decisions.

The primary kinds of models are based on similar concepts. For instance, in all models, it is necessary that analyses of environment, goals, and strengths of an organization and of a department are continual. In other words, evaluating the effectiveness of a model should be ongoing throughout a human resource department's operations. Likewise, a successful model should encourage all human resource employees to do their best and to uphold company standards of quality and fair treatment.

When strategic human resource management models are control-based, departments tend to have top-down management structures. In most cases, human resource departments have leads or high level managers who are responsible for communicating with executives and dictating to human resource employees regarding how they should act in upholding standards and policies. High level human resource managers might delegate tasks to their workers and reward them based on their performances. While employees usually have the ability to provide feedback in control-based models, they often must go through managers first and often have limited influence.

Commitment-based models, on the other hand, also have leaders, but they might act more as facilitators than high level managers. Instead of dictating how employees should behave, leaders in these models create modes or venues for employee communication. Instead of being top-down, this kind of strategic model can be visualized as flat, as employees are given equal say and are free to discuss their visions and ideas for an organization and human resource department.

When strategic models are commitment-based, department leaders' decisions are almost always for the benefit of the employees. In control-based models, managers make final decisions based on executive policies, even if they open themselves to criticism. Commitment-based models, on the other hand, require department leaders to put the content, motivation, and success of their employees as top priorities.

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Discussion Comments


Thanks for the write ups. Please can you interpret this question for me? It is suggested that managing people in a global business environment is both dynamic and complex.

Briefly discuss how strategic thinking may be connected to human resource management, and then evaluate the nature and challenges of managing people in international business contexts.

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