Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology

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Volume 61 Issue 1 (March 1988), Pages 1-112

Strategic human resource management in the UK computer supplier industry (pages 25-42)

Technological, economic and market forces are causing organizations to make radical changes in both their strategy and human resource management (HRM). This study examines the impact of change on computer supplier firms using interviews with 11 personnel directors and executives and three industry experts, supported by secondary evidence. In response to strategic change firms are pursuing four streams of HRM activity: the management of culture; the development of skills; productivity improvements by the integration of roles, tasks and skills; and improving the quality of managerial processes and customer service. Firms are trying to match their HRM and strategy by developing rudimentary human resource plans, focusing the skills of employees on ‘niche’ markets, and setting up employment policies for a core group of flexible employees. A number of difficulties in HRM are emerging, however, including a lack of strategic management, organizational difficulties in managing across functions, personal and cultural problems in attempting to create the necessary synergy of skills in core functions, and a potential lack of internal consultancy skills in the personnel function. It is concluded that successful change will only be achieved by addressing these four problems simultaneously.

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