A stakeholder's perspective on human resource management

Journal of Business Ethics 87 (1):31 - 43 (2009)
In order to understand the system wherein human resource management practices are determined by the interactions of a complex system of actors, it is necessary to have a conceptual framework of analysis. In this respect, the works of scholars (Mitroff, 1983, Stakeholders of the Organizational Mind, Jessey-Bass; Freeman, 1984, Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, Pitman) concerning stakeholder theory opened new perspectives in management theory. An organisation is understood as being part of a politico-economic system of stakeholders who interact and influence management practices. Each stakeholder tries to optimise and protect his interests (Frooman, 1999, Academy of Management Review 24, 191–205; Savage et al., 1991, Academy of Management Executive 5(2), 61–75). The framework of stakeholder analysis enables escape from a purely instrumental approach to HRM, and avoids reducing our understanding of conflicts within companies to mere antagonism between employees and their employers. It enables us to point out the existence of other stakeholders in the relationship. Notably, it allows for the incorporation into management theory of actors from the sphere of politics (president of the republic, government, national elected representatives – deputies and senators – and locally elected representatives – mayors and regional councillors, etc.) as well as their dependent administrations. All these actors are considered to be stakeholders who define the legal framework of firm management and guarantee the application of these laws.
Keywords human resource management  industrial restructuring  political alliances  stakeholder theory
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-008-9868-z
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