An introduction to the organization, its environment and human resource management

Paul Smith, Gary Rees

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Human resource management (HRM) takes place within the context of both the internal organization and the wider external environment. The concept of 'the organization' has changed remarkably over recent times, primarily as a results of changes to working practices, the advancement of technology and changing global trends and globalization. Organizational structures have moved away from traditional forms to encompass more 'virtual' types and 'networked' forms, often resulting in highly complex configurational designs. It is important to understand how the organization interacts with its environment and how the environment acts on the organization. While an organization might be viewed as an entity, or a unit, it has, by definition, to interact with something else, be it customers, suppliers, shareholders or other stakeholders, forming what can be termed an 'open system.' In addition to this is the need for organizations to sustain themselves in, arguably, an increasing competitive environment, leading to an increased focus on strategy and strategic thinking in order to enhance competitiveness.

The drive for organizations to act more strategically enhances the focus on strategic human resource management, which is the core emphasis of all the content presented in this textbook. Thus, for example, the continuing adoption of the Ulrich Business Partner model (see Chapter 4) by Western organizations impacts on the way that the human resource function operates in both an inward- and outward-facing manner.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategic Human Resource Management
Subtitle of host publicationAn International Perspective
EditorsGary Rees, Paul Smith
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9781529755947
ISBN (Print)9781529740790, 9781529740783
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


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