Universalism in SHRM

Universalist approach in SHRM while taking into consideration all aspects influencing human resources, focuses on the aspects of the same that can improve work productivity overall (Albrecht et al., 2015). The Universalist approach can include administrative and management paradigms, and a determination of best practices (Al-Emadi & Schwabenland, 2015). The Universalist approach look at HR from a human capital standpoint and for this reason, evaluates ways of optimizing employee productivity. 

Interfacing HR best practices with an organization’s strategy takes into consideration the fulfillment of factors such as employee productivity, talent management and flexibility at the workplace. Employee productivity for example involves more than remuneration (Albrecht et al., 2015). Because of medical-related incidences and the attendant liabilities, organizations today take the health of their employees seriously. Equally, the normalization of flexibility can enhance the employees’ productivity because flexibility creates an environment that shows employers value the former’s contributions to the organization. 

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One of the benefits of the best practice approach is its isolation and prioritization of fundamental productivity indicators. Practices such as research, and development, security, employee compensation, training and teamwork (Al-Emadi & Schwabenland, 2015). Underpinning the Universal approach’s isolation of certain practices is it enables managers align practices with the organization’s strategies. Consequently, the Universalist approach regards best practices as being adjunct to an organization’s strategic objectives. By isolating which practices further the realization of an organization’s strategies, managers use the Universalist approach to determine the deployment of an organization’s resources. 

The best practice approach limits the evaluation of how prioritized and non-prioritized practices interact to bring about performance excellence (Al-Emadi & Schwabenland, 2015). Consequently, although the best practice approach does make for a linear evaluation of some aspects of HRM, it does so at the expense of a consideration of how best practices integrate with other organizational functions (Albrecht et al., 2015). Specifically, the linear evaluation specific HR practices makes a holistic investigation of all HR practices difficult because the former prioritizes certain HR practices at the expense of all possible practices.


Albrecht, S. L., Bakker, A. B., Gruman, J. A., Macey, W. H., & Saks, A. M. (2015). Employee engagement, human resource management practices and competitive advantage: An integrated approach. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance 2(1), 1-50. Al-Emadi, A. A. Q., & Schwabenland, C. (2015). An investigation into SHRM perspectives effectiveness: A comparative study. International Journal of Management and Business Studies 5(3), 180-188.

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