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Role of HRM in Sustainable Organizational Development

The human resource strategies should be properly incorporated to bring the organizational success and attain the developmental goals. However, sustainable competitive advantage and effective human resource management are the key indicators of organizational performance (Youndt, 1996). The interrelation between strategic planning and overall strategy of the organization is significantly recognized as an important matter.  

Keywords: HRM, Human Resources, Recruitment, Organizational Development, Sustainability.




Abstract 2

Introduction: 4

Sustainability in OD.. 4

HRM: 6

Important Strategies in HRM... 7

Conclusion: 11

References. 13




The human resources has been increasingly recognized as the most important asset of the organization and the focus of organizational development will change continuously.  Gone are the days where only exclusively planning for resources that appear on the financial statement. Proper planning of incorporation of human resource management is a necessary condition for the overall development of the organization. Here, the human resource management is a medium to implement the business strategies (Armstrong, 1994). Systematic and self-motivated fashion is the essence of aggressive human resource and organizational development strategies (Boxall, 1996). Organizational objectives should be fulfilled by anticipating the changes within the employee framework (Nankervis, 1993). The process of HRM is often critical for the strategic objectives for the organization. The HRM acts as an aid if changes in the ‘human resources department’ can be estimated, and effectively managed including the senior level employees. On the other hand, the association between general organizational planning and HRM is mostly reliant on the perception of both HRM and senior management as the employees can make a contribution to corporate success. The companies are required to be aware of the vitalness of the human resources as the organization will integrate HRM with strategic plan (Sen, 2000).

Sustainability in OD

Sustainability in the organizational Development has been a topic of great research and reflected in the area of HRM for a long time. However the link between sustainability and HRM issues seems to have been acknowledged only recently. Here different approaches have been developed by sustainable HRM strategies, in order to identify the benefit of the opinion, along with the conventional human resource strategies, which help in achieving a Sustainable development (Ehnert, 2006). Sustainability is now a day a developing approach, endorsing the utility of human and economic resources in order to improve the economy, and the world in a segregated way for providing the assistance towards present and future generations. Sustainable development is defined as the "development which fulfills the present requirements without compromising the future generation capability relating to fulfillment of their own needs” (Dunn, 1995)

Human Resources Management (HRM) is the function within an organization concentrating on the recruitment and selection, along with effectively Managing and giving direction to the employees of the organization. HRM is an organizational department where transactions and issues relate to the employee payroll, rewards and recognition, recruitment, promotions, organization development, security, performance management, employee enthusiasm, employee satisfaction, admin, along with training and development. It is described by many organizations as the mixture of conventionally administrative personnel functions, performance management, employee relations and resource planning. It can also be viewed in a more comprehensive manner and seen as admin activities which are associated with development, recruitment and selection, induction, training and development, performance appraisal, enthusiasm and compensation (Storey, 1992).

The above definition is typically conventional as per HRM researches, but the global statement of sustainability has related the two concepts in order to form a sustainable human resource management which will serve as a stepping stone, or a propeller for economic development in order to target the sustainability declaration. Sustainable human resource management is a conceptual approach oriented long-term and activities aimed at creating a socially responsible and economically appropriate HRM strategy which will benefit the organization in the long run. It signifies that due to the difference of opinions of different directors and different strategies and experience, the inconsistencies remain particularly where the change of managers has been often in an organization. This will result in change in approaches, where the requirement is for a sustainable HRM strategy in order to create beneficial approach in managing organizational assets and to achieve organizational performance.

By definition, sustainability in HRM refers to the process of adopting approached that aim at cost effective recruitment, selection and operation of employees (Thom, 2004). Sustainability in HRM is thus recognized as a traverse functional task. It is basically a method for evading pointless organizational development circumstances as these strategies frequently demand the involvement of employees. For long term sustainability of organizational development, HR development and considering the sustainability in the goals of the organization’s goals, strategies and culture, the issue of supply of highly qualified and enthusiastic employees is a long-term (Thom, 2004). The three main task is classified as being important to sustainable human resource management.


Human resource management is a distinctive approach for management in order to achieve competitive advantage through strategy deployment by using a highly committed and capable workforce through integrated array of cultural, structural and personal techniques (Shumen, 2009). Robbins and Judge (2009) established five key concepts; which are basics of HRM, they include motivation, discipline, conflict management, recruitment and training and development. Similarly, five functional areas of the human resource management are described by Storey (1992) and these are as follows: staffing, rewards, employee development, employee’s maintenance, and employee’s relation.

Human resource management strategy is the identification process of the organization’s strategic as well as development goals and also the application of these goals on the basis of employment practices and procedures (Sung, 2005). Evaluating the strategies of organizations which utilize the human resource and also those that do not can their effectiveness in organizational development effectively shows the importance of SHRM. Numerous studies and reports have signified that the development of an organizational strategy for HRM is favorable for the entire organization and the implementation of proper strategies is highly important for the organization. The overall competitive objectives of the company are included by the strategic objectives and the formation of which is identified with the organization’s operation goals. By taking into consideration the external analysis of the industrial and economic factors and an internal analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and human resources, the organization is able to plan an effective organizational strategy, with a major contribution from HRM (Sung, 2005).

Important Strategies in HRM

Human resource strategy and corporate strategy should be integrated to develop strategic harmony between HRM and the business plan (Armstrong, 1994). Some strategies of the human resource management which evaluate the human capital needs, employee selection and development ensure better performance of the employees. If a firm is able to create a highly productive workforce through effective HR management programs, then they will gain a competitive advantage. Thus, it gives an advantage to the organization that rival companies may find difficult to imitate, and as a result, it will lead to an effective growth in market share and the profitability of the organization. The HRM practices are not entirely influencing the success or failure of an organization and thus they will be a critical factor. However large number of organizations is now using HRM Strategies in order to support the long term organizational development strategies. In a recent study it was observed that 33% of those organizations which frequently develop official business plans have a substantial contribution of the HR department (Compton, 1993). There have been plethora of changes at workplace specifically related to enterprise bargaining (Parker, 2000). In this new economy, the expertise of each employee is regarded as a living asset and thus contributing to the overall strategic planning of HRM. HRM also has an ethical role to play as it deals with the issues of the people. The necessity of fairness and justice will probably influence the HR management. The contribution of HRM towards the overall strategic planning within the organization and any ethical issues related to the personnel and the business will be significant. The principled administration of HR is dependant on a proper execution of HRM and organisation’s strategy. Ideally, it is believed that human resource management has to be strategic in order to be ethical. Within strategic HRM, a basic department is Recruitment. The requirements of the department are determined by the staffing needs and strategies of the organization. Hence, it becomes necessary for the organization to develop a strategic approach towards the recruitment process. HR management group carriers out the strategic examination of needs of the organization. This will enable them to determine the type of candidate required for a particular job role. The choice of right individual is of immense importance in fulfilling the overall strategic plan of the organization. The inability in recruiting the right candidate for the right job, has a negative effective on the performance of the entire organization. (Boxall, 1996 ). Recruitment strategies should translate into selection requirements. It can be effectively achieved by job analysis. Hence, it evualtes the impact of strategic change i.e. evaluation of what employee do and how will they do. The job description will identify the modifications regarding the qualifications and specify the important qualities required by that employee (Sen, 2000). Training and development is another area of HRM that can contribute to the corporate strategy. In order to keep up with the changing needs of HR requirements, effective training is required to make certain that the ability and understanding of the candidate is as per requirement. Improvements in the external and internal environments manipulate the strategic development of the organization, in a way in which the stagnant bunch of abilities of the employee skills will often be inadequate (Parker, 2000). Additionally, training can also assist to communicate the opportunities and the strategy of the company. As per Karl Albrecht;s model, it is said that the the methods of education, training and development plays a vital role in order to help the employees realize the needs of the market and the consumers it also helps them clearly understand the goals and the development plans of the organization. Nevertheless, there are a few restrictions to this principle. Foremost, it requires significant number of qualified candidates in search of work. A lack of qualified candidates considerably restricts the possibility of finding the right employees for the organization. The organization should also be capable of providing sufficient economic and administrative support to the various HRM practices such recruitment, training, etc outlined above.

HR practices should be constructed in a way in which they takes into considerayion the strategic planning including cost leadership, differentiation, training and development. In order words, it should be poiwerful combination of internal and external factors (Boxall, 1996). The fit concept integrating the human resource management with the overall strategic objectives of the organization. Success of the organization is established by an external strategy between organizational resources and internal and external influences and thus by implementing an internal organizational strategy.

For sustainable organizational development it is important for an organization to implement organizational strategies with an external and an internal focus (Youndt, 2006). The focus on external factors refers to their relationship with the trends in the industries, and other management groups, internally they are in the best position to analyze the attitudes and potential of the employees. The implementation of planned strategies has significant consequence for the HR department. The ethnicity, tactical objectives, human resources strategy and management behavior all influence the employee of the organization (Collins, 1987). Sustainable development is only achievable when the higher authorities of the organization has a clear understanding of future path, and are capable to successfully correspond the same to their employees (Dunn, 1995). The explanation is necessary regarding the objectives and manner. Effective communication is essential for HRM in order to contribute constructively towards the overall strategy, and also to the accomplishment of the strategic objectives (Collins, 1987). It is necessary to integrate the HR management with other strategies, problems are going to be encountered; the diversity of strategic processes, levels and styles. If HRM policy is developed independently by each strategic business unit within the organization then it may be difficult to focus on the strategic needs of the firm. If the strategic needs not been clearly defined and there is a lack of expressing organizational strategies, then it becomes complicated to implement a corresponding HRM strategy. The strategy formulation process is complex as a broad range of external factors affecting the sustainability of the organization. Thus, it is usually difficult to develop corporate strategy as compared to HR strategy.

Some of the HR practices commonly used in organizations are:

Employee retention: It is one of the key strategies adopted by managers. In employee retention, the employees are given a better culture and salary package to retain employees.

Training: Training employees about the latest trends as per industry is a key HR practice. The training sessions should be conducted frequently in an organization.


Overall, it can be stated that people are vital in order to provide a competitive edge to an organization. The significant contribution of strategic planning towards the overall strategic plan ensures that the company has the right type of people with the required skills, and they are managed productively (Compton, 1993). HRM can add to the overall sustainability of the organization by influencing the internal and external factors of the organization, by realizing the role of the HR department in sustainability of organizational development, using effective HR strategies to create a extremely useful employee base, supporting the development of the organized corporate plan, planning and starting recruitment and selection process, implementing training and development programs thus help achieving sustainability between organizational development and the capabilities of the employee. All human resource practices need to be linked to the competitive strategy.

Sustainbility has provided with a new approach to manage thoughts. The explanation is necessary for the emergence of sustainability in organizations from socially responsible to economically rational perspectives. The analysis of this paper has been done on human resource management, taking it as a possible perspective that can impact on the success of sustainability in organizational development, creating an awareness for long-term  benefits from HR strategies on  the organizational development.

HRM when combined with overall strategic plan helps the organization to retain a flexible workforce which ultimately helps to starengthen the business. This flexibility can only be achieved with the involvement of human resource management to the overall strategic development plan.

Thus addition, the paper made several recommendations on sustainable HRM practices. The paper has also proposed the importance of HRM in organizational development. Thus the role of these HRM strategies contributes significantly towards the sustainability of organizational development.






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