Human resource management, in the simplest sense, can be defined as “getting things done through people.” This function of management has been in place throughout the history of mankind yet it is irrefutable that this function has evolved to incorporate significant developments. With these revolutions, the focus shifted from how “get things done through people” to “getting people to do things” for the company’s utmost benefit. This signals an alteration of the management perception of the human resource. Nowadays, there is a global recognition of the crucial role played by employees in attaining the goals of an organization as well as the responsibility of management to harness the full potential of its workforce. This suggests the increasing role of the human resource department of becoming more involved and participating in the strategy-making of the firm.
The importance of human resource can never be overstated. John Purcell further highlighted the importance of employees in his research which emphasized the huge role played by the company’s workforce as “strategic partners.” This research strongly supports the high economist viewpoint of Grant (2002: 219) of “aligning employees with organizational goals.” Schuler and Jackson (1987) gave a more precise description of how management should “align” their workforce to support the company crafted strategy. Their conclusion was:
If management chooses a competitive strategy of differentiation through product innovation, this would call for high levels of creative, risk-orientated and cooperative behaviour.