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Subject In search for the authentic human in HRM
Asmund W Born & Per Darmer, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Outline The general HRM literature seem to be so fixed on human resources in general and how to manage them as efficiently as possible in particular that the H of HRM seems to be nothing else but a connotation of the resources managers are to manage. Since the human resources are the most important assets of the corporation. Meaning that those corporations capable of managing the important assets in the most efficient way will eventually be those that gain the competitive advantages and survive in the long run.
    The purposes of the paper are to understand what the authentic human is within HRM and what it implies for studying HRM. To gain such an understanding the paper draws upon the theories of Sennett (1998), Giddens (1991) and Baumann (2003) and discusses what modernity and man becomes in these different views, which reveals a road from the "death of the authentic collective" to a preoccupation with the authentic individual to a focus on the authentic choice, where both the collective and the individual are virtual. By making the choice an authentic one technologies and practices influence the choice, but still it is a choice made by man (humans) and to discuss technologies and practices and how they influence the authentic choice of man, and how they are simultaneously influenced by that choice as well. Thereby, making networks of technologies and practices important for understanding the authentic choice. The discussion draws upon, challenges and develops the depth metaphor of Townley (1998).
Source Paper presented at the 5th conference on human resource development research and practice across Europe: International, comparative and cross-cultural dimensions of HRD. University of Limerick, 27-28 May 2004 (Abstract; full paper incl. in CD-ROM).
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