Organization today, by necessity have become more focused on exploiting sources of competitive advantage in the face of rapid environmental, technological and global economic changes. According to Pfeffer (1994:14), as other sources of competitive success have become less important, what remains a crucial, differentiating factor is the organization, its employees and how they work. Additionally, he states that the current recognition among strategic management researchers is that sustained competitive advantage arises more from a firms internal resource endowments and resource deployments particularly its human capital that are imperfectly imitable than from a firm’s product market position. These “people” issues used to be the sole responsibility of personnel departments. However, recent research such as that by Fernie, Metcalf, and Woodland (1994) in the United Kingdom using data from a nationally representative sample of workplaces suggests that specialist personnel functions appear to detract from both economic and industrial relations performance rather than enhance it.
"Emergence of Strategic Human Resource Management Historical Perspective,"
Academic Leadership Journal: Vol. 7
, Article 16.
Available at: http://scholars.fhsu.edu/alj/vol7/iss1/16