: HRM – From Function to Strategic Partner


The journal article Human Resource Management – From Function to Strategic Partner by Todericiu Ramona and Şerban Anca explores the change of human resource management from being a simple function of the organization to being a strategic business partner. Organizations are continually finding it essential to integrate HRM in the strategic planning of the company’s progress. This recognition makes strategic human resource management a vital part of the company’s executive. Integration of the human resource department in strategic planning is therefore becoming continously important for the long-term development of the company.

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The main purpose of this article

The report identifies the importance of HRM in the company as a strategic partner. It also investigates the role of human resource managers in the growth of their area to ensure maximum contribution. The article argues that human resource managers can be more fruitful to the human resource department if they are able to prove their contribution to the long-term goals and objectives of their company. To this end, they should track the contribution of individual workers and the department as a whole through continuous assessment.

The report also serves to identify means through which the department’s contribution to the company’s strategic plan can be maximized. Among those methods suggested is their involvement in the decision making process by the invitation of the human resource manager into the executive. This way, the human resource manager is able to set limits that are both productive for the company and attainable for the workforce. The contribution of the human resource department will also be more likely focused on the company’s goals and objectives.

The key question

Ramona and Anca try to learn whether or not there are ways in which human resource management can be improved and integrated in the company to ensure more positive contribution to the overall company growth. They also try to identify skills that are necessary to ensure that human resource runs parallel to the objectives and aims of the company.
The most important information

The most important information in this article is that the integration of the human resource department in the company strategic plan is vital for growth. Human Resource managers are however expected to perform better if they are human resource professionals who possess management experience. This way, they will try to be more proactive in the strategic plan of the company and will fit better in the company executive. By doing this, the human resource professionals will be at a better position, not to just fight for the workforce, but also, to participate in the company’s strategic plan.

The main points of view

According to the author, the human resource department serves as the link between the workforce and the executive. This part is best played if the human resource managers are integrated into the executive to ensure they are thoroughly aware of the roles they can serve to ensure maximum contribution.

Schuller (1992), defines strategic human resource management as the sum of all activities that influence the behavior of all personnel in their contribution to the overall strategic needs of an organization. Wright and McMahna (1992) have referred to it as the pattern of arranged human resource formats and exercises that are proposed to empower the business to attain its objectives. Recently, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and development has defined it as the design in which the management of the workforce offers a framework for them to support the long-term development in terms of objectives, goals, and outcomes. These three definitions show an evolving strategic human resource management and which is steadily gaining acceptance and popularity.

The key concepts

Companies continually understand the important role that the human resource department can play if it is aligned to executive. To take advantage of this realization, companies see the need to involve the human resource in planning and execution activities of the company. To improve on the delivery of human resource department, the human resource managers are being equipped with both management and business skills to ensure more efficiency and pragmatism.

For human resource to be termed as strategic, it must possess certain qualities. First, it should be focused on the future needs of the company. Second, it must have a broad impact on the business rather than impact on a particular area. Third, it should be able to provide the company with a prolonged competitive advantage. Fourth, it should contribute a sizeable percentage towards the overall income and gains of the business. Finally, it should possess an obvious impact on the corporate goals of the organization.

The contribution of the strategic human resource management in company development usually occurs in different fields. It has however been noted that the human resource manager’s inclusion in the executive often occurs on input basis. The human resource manager is, for example, regularly consulted on the best options of strategic action. The executives of most company do not embrace his inclusion as that of a full partner in corporate strategy (Barney & Wright, 1997).

The main conclusions

The article concludes that while human resource is continually being embraced as a partner in the execution of the strategic plan of most organization, they remain shunned in the overall development of those goals and objectives. For more pronounced contribution from human resource, they should be involved in the overall process.


Barney, J., & Wright, P. (1997). On becoming a strategic partner: The role of human resources in gaining competitive advantage.

Ramona, T., & Anca, Ş. (2013). HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT – FROM FUNCTION TO STRATEGIC PARTNER. Annals Of The University Of Oradea, Economic Science Series, 22(2), 631-638.

Schuler, R.S., (1992) Strategic human resource management: linking people with the needs of the business. Organizational Dynamics. Vol 21, No 1. Pp.18-32.

Sullivan, J. (2004). Rethinking strategic HR (1st ed.). Chicago, Ill.: Wolters Kluwer.

Wright, P.M. and McMahan, G.C. (1992) Theoretical perspectives for SHRM. Journal of Management. March. Pp. 215-247.

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