Human Resource Management
Pub Date: 2016
ISBN 13: 978-1-9461351-1-7
Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing
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The textbook covers most of the main topics typically associated with HRM and includes a "linked" table of contents. The definition of HRM in Chapter read more
The textbook covers most of the main topics typically associated with HRM and includes a "linked" table of contents. The definition of HRM in Chapter 1 (“the process of employing people, training them, compensating them, developing policies relating to them, and developing strategies to retain them”) is used to set up most of the subsequent chapters in the text. But this definition is narrower and more basic than the implied definition of HRM according to Ulrich’s model presented in Chapter 2, in which a manager of HR needs to be a strategic partner, change agent, administrative and functional expert, human capital developer, and an employee advocate. I wish the text were organized to address the latter definition, as it would be more comprehensive and suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate level students interested in managing human resources and/or becoming HR managers. The depth of coverage varies for each topic. The information on compensation, for example, is quite detailed and interesting, but the information on selection tends to "mention" ideas rather than develop details. In Chapter 4, the section on job analysis seems peculiar. First, figure 4 provides a very simple process model (e.g., select the jobs to study, determine information needed, identify sources of data…), but then quickly introduces forms and questionnaires. Where are students of this course supposed to get the questionnaires? Then task vs. competency-based approaches are described, but there is no mention of worker-based job analysis approaches. If a competency approach focuses on KSAOs, is it still a job analysis? And why not use O*Net to help identify essential tasks of common jobs?
A lot of the information presented is general and most information is accurate, albeit dated in places. Some of the information provided is incorrect. For example, in the context of selection tests in Chapter 5, the author states, “Personality tests such as Meyers-Briggs and the “Big Five” personality factors may be measured and then compared with successful employee scores.” The Meyers Briggs measures personality style and preferences, not personality traits, and is not valid for use in selection. In other places, the presentation of information is peculiar and somewhat misleading, if not incorrect. For example, when presenting cognitive ability tests, the author writes, “A cognitive ability test measures intelligences, such as numerical ability and reasoning. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is an example of a cognitive ability test. It is important to note that some cognitive ability tests can have disparate impact. For example, in EEOC v. Ford Motor Co. and United Automobile Workers of America, African Americans were rejected from an apprentice program after taking a cognitive test known as the Apprenticeship Training Selection System (ATSS)1. The test showed significant disparate impact on African Americans, and it was then replaced by a different selection procedure, after costing Ford $8.55 million. Some sample test categories might include the following…” The SAT is considered as an entrance exam by some universities, and the ATSS showed disparate impact against African Americans. In fact, many if not most cognitive ability tests administered in the U.S., including the SAT, are associated with disparate impact. This is an important consideration, but is it part of the definition of what cognitive ability tests are? Why not have a separate paragraph about disparate impact in selection tests, which would include considering how interviews and various tests might create adverse impact? Another example where accuracy can be questioned is the statement “Most expatriates go through four phases of adjustment when they move overseas for an assignment.” (Chapter 14). A few studies have found some support for the culture shock model of adjustment, but several studies have found that this model is not very accurate. Further, expatriation is only one type of global assignment, and is not necessarily the most popular type of global work performed in organizations today. More recent research evidence would really help to update the material presented.
An HRM textbook can be difficult to keep up-to-date, and the author has done a good job in terms of the many laws and changes to HR systems that have occurred since the 1980s. That said, the underlying assumptions and research evidence for the different recommendations regarding key HR practices do not always reflect current thinking in the field. There is so much to cover and keep up-to-date, it might be helpful to have co-authors from different areas of expertise in the different HR functional areas work on this textbook. In addition, some of the actitivities seem dated. For example, in chapter 1 the exercise reads: "In a group of two to three people, research possible career paths in HRM and prepare a PowerPoint presentation to discuss your findings." In an online course (likely to use an online textbook), student teams are likely to use other, newer presentation technology and formats.
The language used throughout the book is professional and accessible, but sometimes the author assumes that little to no explanation is necessary for examples or key points. For example, I watched the Wendy’s 1989 training video (Chapter 8), but whatever the author implied was excellent about this training video was not obvious to me. The author states, “This excellent training video was used at Wendy’s to teach employees how to grill the perfect burger. Although the video is over twenty years old, the concepts used in it are still true today.” What concepts? Why is this video excellent?
The author writes, "this book is equally important to someone who wants to be an HR manager and to someone who will manage a business," but for the most part this book assumes that the reader is a student looking to begin a career as an HR manager. All of the information and cases put the reader in the role of an HR manager or consultant. For example, in chapter 1, "You have just been hired to work in the human resource department of a small company. You heard about the job through a conference you attended, put on by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)." Why would anyone not already pursuing a career in HRM attend a SHRM conference? For someone going into HR, some of the scenarios make it seem deceptively easy to change an organization's culture or people's attitudes towards, say, training or performance. In several places, key information is presented more like "do's and don'ts" advice than evidence-based guidelines. The overall format of the book is very consistent, with key concepts presented at the beginning and summary definitions and exercises presented at the end of each chapter. Some of these exercises and cases seem quite good and interesting.
This is a difficult criterion to evaluate because certain concepts and practices in HRM would be difficult to move around in a 100% modular fashion in a course. For example, job analysis and specification needs to come before recruitment, which logically precedes information on selection, training, and performance appraisal. Overall, this textbook does a fairly good job addressing so many different but related concepts and practices in separate chapters, and as such could probably be reorganized to some extent. One thing that could be improved, however, is the fact that in the first five chapters, the author often mentions that other topics will be covered later in the book. For example, several legal concepts are embedded in the material for different chapters, but sometimes this information seems "too little, too late" in that students may not have the opportunity to develop an overall understanding of the U.S. legal framework for employment. By the time they get to international HRM in Chapter 14, it may not be obvious why the managers in the case about operating in Peru were unable to anticipate cultural and legal differences.
The opening case for chapter 4, similar to the one used in the other chapters, seems to refer to a 50-employee company. Is the author recommending a job analysis for 50 employees? Wouldn’t employees in a smaller firm have more overlap between jobs? What about person-job fit or person-organization fit? Most of the opening chapter cases put the reader in the role of an HR manager in a small firm, but chapter 7 abruptly tells the reader to change roles to an “HR consultant.” The overall organization and flow of the chapters is clear.
The interface is ok. There aren't many images or figures. The figures are fairly small on the screen, and it would be good to have a "click to enlarge" link associated with some of them. Most of the video links return the message, "“Flash-embedded videos are no longer supported…but you can watch on YouTube.” The video on "Stereotypes and the Effect on Privilege" in chapter 3 is no longer available on YouTube.
The use of second person and especially second person commands adds a “preachy” tone. For example, “Make sure that job announcements aren’t posted only for your Facebook friends to see; post them in a variety of places to gain the largest and most diverse response.” Although the sentences are grammatically correct, it is not appropriate to change person and verb tense and voice so frequentialy within paragraphs. For example, “Once you have developed your recruitment plan, recruited people, and now have plenty of people to choose from, you can begin the selection process. The selection process refers to the steps involved in choosing people who have the right qualifications to fill a current or future job opening. Usually, managers and supervisors will be ultimately responsible for the hiring of individuals…”
I did not find this text to be insensitive or offensive. In chapter 3, the author perhaps approaches inclusiveness to a fault. multiculturalism is not defined, but focuses on inclusiveness, understanding, and respect, “looks at” unequal power and privilege, i.e., whether “advantages are based on a system in which one race, gender, and sexual orientation is predominant in setting societal rules and norms.” Although the author claims that “the idea of power and privilege is not about “white male bashing” but understanding our own stereotypes and systems of advantage so we can be more inclusive with our coworkers, employees, and managers.” Yet, in a U.S. business school classroom context, it is difficult to imagine that a white, heterosexual, male student won’t view this as some sort of intervention. At the end of the chapter, the focus on inclusiveness and respect seems to fade into the background: “Multiculturalism is a term that is similar to diversity, but it focuses on development of a greater understanding of how power in society can be unequal due to race, gender, sexual orientation, power, and privilege.” In the chapter on selection, a few of the example interview questions are confusing and may suggest an implicit bias. For example, “You can’t ask direct questions about marital status or ages of children. An alternative may be to ask, ‘Do you have any restrictions on your ability to travel, since this job requires 50 percent travel?’” This example made me pause, as it seems to imply that readers assume that a job candidate's willingness to travel is somehow connected to their marital status or family situation. Why is a question about travel an alternative to a question about marital/family status?
I appreciate and admire the effort that went into preparing this text, as I believe it is a tremendous endeavor in a rapidly changing field that functions in so many different ways in different types of organizations. The exercises and case examples are a strength and they reflect the author's commitment to students application of course concepts and their development of critical thinking skills.
The majority of the HRM topics included in most HRM textbooks. That being said there area few areas that were left out or could be elaborated upon: read more
The majority of the HRM topics included in most HRM textbooks. That being said there area few areas that were left out or could be elaborated upon: Equal Employment Opportunity should have an entire chapter devoted to it. Workforce, jobs, and job analysis should have an entire chapter devoted to it. Training & development were combined in one chapter and possibly should have a chapter devoted to each topic. Compensation & benefits were combined in one chapter and possibly should have a chapter devoted to each topic. There should be a chapter devoted to employee rights and responsibilities. A new release is probably due to discuss changes in healthcare, etc.
Content was accurately represented (just needs to be updated with most recent laws and regulations), error-free, and unbiased with good examples and links that support the content.
The most recent reference source noted was 2012 which is already 5 years old. A newer release would be good to make sure that recent changes in laws and regulations are covered such as with healthcare requirements.
The text was written so that students would easily be able to read and comprehend the material.
All chapters utilized consistent terminology, style and structure which makes it easy to follow.
It is consistent in that chapter concepts are introduced and further expanded upon, therefore, I see no disruption to the reader so yes the book's content has modularity.
I think the organization is for the most part good. However, equal employment opportunity should be covered early on and as I mentioned in #1 there are chapters that combine two important topics that should be in separate chapters, etc.
Some videos required additional login information that I was not able to view. For the most part the book's interface was good.
There were no grammatical errors that I found.
The content was written with no biases, it utilized good examples that were inclusive. I did not perceive anything to be insensitive or offensive.
I teach a senior undergraduate level HRM course and this course needs to cover the latest in rules and regulations which this text does not in some case. Therefore, I would not adopt this text for my course but it may be appropriate for lower level HRM courses.
The text covers most of the necessary material to support an introductory course in Human Resource Management for undergraduate business students. read more
The text covers most of the necessary material to support an introductory course in Human Resource Management for undergraduate business students. One topic that I don’t always see emphasized in textbooks that was included here was Retention of employees (Chapter 7) and Communication (Chapter 9) which I believe could be left out, since this is covered in lower division courses on organizational behavior and communication. The only thing I didn’t see that is included in the text I am currently using was a chapter on Job Design.
I didn’t see any accuracy issues, other than issues with the use of data and sources that are a few years old that may no longer be accurate. Details in the Relevance section.
I didn’t find all of the videos to be as helpful as I would have liked, and didn’t feel that they were tied in very well with the key points in the text (i.e. Dilbert Video in Chapter 1). Text uses data from 2010 census that should be updated (Figure 1.6). Generational differences article was from 2005. The book was primarily written to the potential HR Manager. I prefer a perspective that speaks to any potential/future manager in a way that holds each accountable for managing human resources, not looking to a formal HR Manager to do so. Sections on how to develop an HRM Plan, for example, would not be relevant to managers of other functions, even though the tasks in the HRM Plan might represent valuable work for any manager to perform.
I really like some of the examples and explanations of concepts. Section 3.2 does an especially good job of defining and illustrating issues of privilege that can be encountered in the workplace. Chapter 4 on Recruitment is also very clearly laid out and would be simple for students to follow. Good integration of motivational theories to help students think about various compensation plans in Chapter 5.
I found the style and structure of the text to be consistent.
The text could easily be aligned to a 10 week term or 15 week semester course, as the chapters can be assigned singly or in pairs to students and support classroom activities and projects. Chapters could also be assigned and used out of order.
I thought the flow of the text was fine. I can see following the flow of the chapters in a course, or changing the order of some of the chapters, and don’t see any issues with this in the design of the text.
Getting back to the text after watching a video required using the back button – it would be easy for students to be distracted by the additional videos offered, and not go back to their reading. There were also some links that required a user. i.d. and password that I wasn’t able to access (api.wistia.com . . .). There were also YouTube videos linked to the text that are no longer available (i.e. Chapter 3). Video in Chapter 4 on Top Interview Questions wanted viewer to click on Subscribe.
I saw only a few very minor grammatical errors that would not be distracting to students.
There was a very good chapter on Diversity and Multiculturalism (Chapter 3) and another on International HRM (Chapter 14) that were very good and added to the global relevance and cultural issues in organizations.
I think this is a great book, and could be an asset to a course in Human Resource Management for undergrad students. It is well written and provides clear, easily usable activities, exercises, and cases. My only issues are that there are some issues with some of the videos and quite a few of the resources need to be updated to ensure relevance.
The book includes all of the major HR functional areas and topics included in most HRM textbooks. To their credit, the author choose to include read more
The book includes all of the major HR functional areas and topics included in most HRM textbooks. To their credit, the author choose to include several additional sections (such as communication, management & leadership styles, and multiculturalism) that are not found in traditional HRM texts. There have been several key legislative changes which have impacted the field of HRM since the text's last update. Discussions surrounding the Affordable Care Act and recent changes to the FLSA should be added to subsequent releases. I was not able to locate an index or glossary per se, however, a list of references is provided at the end of each major topic.
I did not observe any inaccuracies in reading the text and the language used is objective and neutral.
The book is definitely arranged to make future updates relatively simple. In my earlier comments, I suggested several potential updates which could be (along with all others) seamlessly integrated into the existing work.
The author does an excellent job of keeping the text readable, particularly when addressing topics that can sometimes get bogged down in legalese and other jargon (we love or acronyms). The author introduces the language of HR in a way an everyday reader can interpret.
The text follows a general format throughout making it easy to navigate on all platforms.
In its current form, the text is reasonable modular. Chapters are broken into topics and these are referenced in the Table of Contents making navigation straightforward. Within each topic are various subtopics. These are arranged and blocked in manageable sizes for the reader. As a recommendation for improvement, the author may wish to consider revisiting the topics/subtopics. In many cases throughout the text, the number of subtopics under and topic heading are fairly large. It would benefit the reader to either have more topics with fewer subtopics, or to have subtopics referenced in the Table of Contents for easy navigation.
The topics are presented in a fairly standard fashion that mimics the flow of human capital through an organization. Many HR areas overlap, and I commend the author on the introduction of topics when necessary to fully explain a concept, while indicating the topic will be discussed in further detail later (see, for example, the treatment of EEOC concerns in Chapter 3 on Diversity & Multiculturalism and how it is revisited again in Chapters 4 and 5). This is a glaring omission in many other works, and it serves to make the concepts feel isolated and distinct when they are very much interrelated. Bravo!
I did not observe any issues with the interface or distortion. I will note that at least one video link I attempted to follow required login credentials and I was therefore not able to view it (see Chapter 2.2 "How Would You Handle This?).
I did not notice any grammatical errors in the book.
The text includes a chapter on the front end devoted to Diversity and Multiculturalism. I see this as an improvement over many texts that do not have a devoted chapter on the subject, or that "tuck it away" towards the end. Cultural sensitivity is an important issue in HR and General Management, and introducing the topic up front allows the reader to consider cultural issues throughout the remainder of the text. The author does a noticeably good job of selecting images and stories the reflect cultural diversity as well.
One of the more comprehensive (yet readable) HR textbooks I have encountered. Each chapter opens with a short vignette that puts the reader into a lifelike and highly probable scenario, engaging their interest in what's to come. This is a refreshing change over the traditional chapter opening highlighting a corporate operating lesson. Beyond the text, the book is embedded with external resources that are both interesting and relevant, improving the reader's overall experience. Each section is organized by learning objectives, chapters close with summaries and exercises... this book delivers everything a traditional textbook has to offer and then some!
The textbook covers some topics in depth, but leaves key elements out of other topic areas. For example, the section related to workforce planning read more
The textbook covers some topics in depth, but leaves key elements out of other topic areas. For example, the section related to workforce planning in chapter 2 does not completely cover supply and demand and does not discuss actions that can be taken to respond to anticipated surpluses and shortages. Background and reference checks were not covered in the chapter on selection. Employment laws were covered briefly in chapter 3 and interspersed throughout the text. It felt like a piecemeal approach. The textbook included complete chapters on employee communication, retention and motivation, and safety and health. These are topics I normally reference, but do not cover in depth in my course.
I did not find any inaccuracies. However, I found that in some places the author used different terminology than what is normally used by human resource management professionals.
The textbook was originally published around 2011 and key cases and laws are not included in the text. Many of the YouTube videos are available, but are dated.
The book provides good examples and cases to explore the concepts and terminology.
The book incorporates the practice of introducing a topic and then indicating that the topic will be explored further in later sections and chapters of the textbook. This practice would make it hard to assign chapters out of order.
The chapters are not organized in the order I normally teach the topics and topics are covered in more than one chapter. Compensation and benefits are discussed in the same chapter. Typically I use texts that include separate chapters for pay structure, incentive pay and benefits and I cover the topics in more depth.
The interface is fairly clean. Several of the videos required an access authentication code. However, most of the links to videos worked.
I did not find any problems with the grammar in the textbook.
I did not notice any insensitive or offensive examples or references in the text.
This book does not fit my needs. According to the preface, "competing books are focused on the academic part of HRM, which is necessary in a university or college setting. However, the goal with this book is not only to provide the necessary academic background information but also to present the material with a practitioner’s focus on both large and small businesses." I needed the book to go into more depth in some areas and include less information on other topics. The organization of the topics and the flow of the textbook also does not work with the way I teach my class. However, I will use this textbook as a source for my teaching. The text includes excellent cases, discussion questions, tables, videos, etc. that I can use to enhance the class.
The author covered the most commonly discussed topics that are found in HRM textbooks. Setting this textbook apart from others was the inclusion of a read more
The author covered the most commonly discussed topics that are found in HRM textbooks. Setting this textbook apart from others was the inclusion of a standalone chapter on communication. This is sensible since communication is critical to managing people. The inclusion of a section on workplace bullying and workplace violence is also timely and not commonly provided in detail to which the author presented. Also I was pleased to see a discussion on career development and succession planning these items are often missing from HRM textbooks. The author included discussion of SIGs, professional organizations, and conferences as a useful way for professionals to enhance their professional expertise and as a source for jobs. This is another discussion that is timely and well needed.
Based on the other HRM textbooks I have used, the author gives an accurate presentation of HRM. By using examples like the Fortune 500 Focus and links to resources that support the discussion, the author gives credibility to the content.
It can be taken into consideration that the time lapse between writing the content and the actual publication there may be more updated information available. I did not necessarily discover that in this text, although I did note the latest reference sources were 2012.
Clear and reader friendly.
The textbook was consistent in layout and presentation of content across all 14 chapters.
The author sectioned each chapter and assigned learning objectives for each section. This is a technique I have not encountered widely and sets this textbook apart from others. It also makes it easier to assign readings to students.Assigning learning objectives for each section allows students to self-check before moving on to the next section.
Organization and structure of the textbook was clear and easy to follow. In some places, the author highlighted or numbered items and this makes it easier for points to "jump out." It is often a challenge to encourage students to read--this technique may be more motivating.
Visually, the book was appealing and I did not note issues that would confuse the reader. The one thing I noted was the need to have spacing between paragraphs. There was not a distinguishable separation in most cases.
I encountered no grammatical errors.
Chapter 3 was devoted to topics of diversity and culture. This textbook presented a realistic discussion of diversity that is not encountered in most of the HRM textbooks I have used. The discussion of power and privilege was most needed. Most HRM textbooks omit this discussion. Instead other textbooks will present diversity from the perspective of "diversity is appreciated" but lack a discussion of cultural sensitivity. I also appreciate how the chapter addressed diversity training with an emphasis on power and privilege---this is an approach lacking (in general).
This book delivered what the author promised---a textbook that is practitioner focused. Human resource management is a course that needs a "how to" approach as well as a conceptual approach so that students can see how to perform tasks. I have used and read several HRM textbooks--this one is the most useful I have found. For example, the author described for students how to design training programs and how to make relevant. The author gave examples of types of issues that might be causing performance issues--this is particularly useful for students who have not been in management positions. These types of examples places the content into context. The author described how to design a performance appraisal system and how to write job descriptions. The author described practical examples of theory--for example instead of stating what a Theory X manager might do, the author gave an example. The "how to" approach and designing the textbook for the HRM practitioner is what makes this HRM textbook unique. The cases, scenarios, team activities, and video examples are what students need to make the concepts come to life.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: The Role of Human Resources
- Chapter 2: Developing and Implementing Strategic HRM Plans
- Chapter 3: Diversity and Multiculturalism
- Chapter 4: Recruitment
- Chapter 5: Selection
- Chapter 6: Compensation and Benefits
- Chapter 7: Retention and Motivation
- Chapter 8: Training and Development
- Chapter 9: Successful Employee Communication
- Chapter 10: Managing Employee Performance
- Chapter 11: Employee Assessment
- Chapter 12: Working with Labor Unions
- Chapter 13: Safety and Health at Work
- Chapter 14: International HRM
About the Book
Human Resource Management teaches HRM strategies and theories that any manager—not just those in HR—needs to know about recruiting, selecting, training, and compensating people.
Most students will be managing people at some point in their careers and not necessarily in a human resource management capacity. As businesses cut back, they may outsource HR duties to outside vendors. Or, in smaller businesses, the HR department is sometimes small or non-existent, and managers from other departments have to perform their own HRM. Therefore, teaching HRM from the perspective of a general manager, in addition to an HR manager, provides more relevance to students’ careers and will give them a competitive advantage in the workplace.
This text also provides practical applications of theory relevant to today’s workplace. You won’t find discussions about “posting vacancies on a job board” or “sending memos.” In the real world, HRM leverages technology in every aspect of the job—from online training modules to technology for better managing flex-time workers and telecommuters.
Consider how most companies have gone “paperless” with pay stubs by using software. While such technology has made HRM easier, it has also created a new set of challenges. For example, how does a manager actually implement a new pay system? Therefore, it’s important for students to understand what kinds of platforms exist in today’s workplace to enhance their effectiveness as future managers.
The conversational style of Human Resource Management engages students, while the academic rigor of its content provides them with the tools that any manager needs—whether they work in HR or a different department. PLUS it offers an array of supplements that gives them practice creating real HR documents and role-playing real HR scenarios. Add value to your students’ education, enhance the relevance of your curriculum, and make your students more employable by adopting this book for your HRM class. Read it now online today!
About the Contributors
Human Resource Management is adapted from a work produced by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution. This adapted edition is produced by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative.