New Challenges for European Human Resource Management

By Chris Brewster; Wolfgang Mayrhofer et al. | Go to book overview

14
Human Resource Management in Australia: Towards a New Metaphor

Robin Kramar


INTRODUCTION

There are extensive reports of major changes in methods of management and employment policies throughout industrialised countries during the 1980s and the 1990s. Intense international competition and the internationalization of labour markets have reportedly encouraged innovations in the way work is organized and the way people are deployed and managed ( Sisson, 1989; Blyton and Turnbull, 1992; Storey, 1992; Sparrow et al., 1994; Kitay and Lansbury, 1995; Locke, et al., 1995; Centre for European Human Resource Management, 1997). It has been argued these changes constitute a new approach to the management of labour. This approach has been labelled ‘human resource management’ and it is said to have replaced a ‘personnel management’ and /or an industrial relations approach to management ( Mahoney and Deckop 1986; Dowling, 1990; Beaumont, 1991; Guest, 1991; Storey, 1992).

This chapter examines the extent to which the management of labour has changed in Australia during the 1980s and 1990s. It assesses whether these changes constitute a new approach to the management of labour and the degree to which the changes constitute an approach that is consistent with a HRM approach. The chapter also explores the factors which have encouraged these developments.


APPROACHES TO EMPLOYMENT MANAGEMENT

A number of models or typologies ( Tichy et al., 1982; Beer et al., 1984; Beer and Spector, 1985; Walton, 1985; Hendry and Pettigrew, 1986; Kochan et al., 1986; Purcell, 1987; Guest, 1991; Storey, 1992;

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