search for the authentic human in HRM
W Born & Per Darmer, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
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).
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).