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Managing the human

HRM research has historically either been focused on the way HRM directly contributes to company profit and short-term organizational goal achievement (so-called Hard HRM), or on how HRM could contribute to creating long-term collaborative regimes (so-called Soft HRM) that develop the quality of working life and the long-term viability of the organization. In other words, HRM practices have traditionally departed from a managerial perspective, which leaves out other stakeholder interests than the management or owners.

Beyond happy families and authenticity: Back to work organisation and mundaneness in the critique of ‘authenticating’ management programs


In current HRM practice, ‘fun’ initiatives are becoming widespread (Ford et al., 2003; Schoeneman, 2006) and maintaining a focus on individual health and spirituality has increasingly been embraced as a legitimate way to develop and manage human resources (Lips-Wiersma and Mills, 2014; Grawitch et al., 2006; Nash, 2003). Regardless of the specific program offered, the general idea is to encourage employees to become ‘whole human beings’, while simultaneously enhancing organizational productivity.

'Managing the human' in 21st century organizations: Developing a critical and performative research agenda for HRM-studies


In Alvin Gouldner’s Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy (Gouldner, 1954) the interaction between workers and management in a gypsum mine is studied following what he saw as an attempt to introduce an efficiency and accountability oriented bureaucratic management. The reason why this classic study is relevant to frame a 21st century special issue on managing the human is the lucid way that Gouldner shows, inspired by Weber and Marx, how the relations between workers and managers develop in unpredictable ways.

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