About facts, fiction and forces in Human Resource Management

Piet Bolwijn, Ted Kumpe

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When building competitive advantage the actions of successful firms influence and actually change market demands. This complex interaction between firms and markets leads to an evolutionary process, during which companies – by a process of organizational learning – pass through evolutionary phases of efficiency, quality, flexibility and innovativeness, in that order. Just as technology is the driving force in the evolution, customers are the deciding force and, last but not least, employees are the decisive force. Fundamental strategic changes, effecting structure as well as culture of organizations, and which have taken place at practically all major organizations, are characteristic of the evolutionary process. This paper shows that the disappointing results of many such strategic changes must be sought in insufficient involvement of, and insufficient changes in Human Resource Management. Also, the challenges posed to both top-management and HRM to remedy such failures are described.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-172
Number of pages12
JournalHuman systems management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Competitive advantage
  • Evolution
  • Flexibility
  • Human Resource Management
  • Innovativeness
  • Management philosophy
  • Market demands
  • Quality

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