Compare analysis of the hard and soft philosophies, HR Management

Compare analysis of the 'Hard' and 'Soft' philosophies

Hard and soft HRM are two modes of administration opposing. typical for the two trend are used in American and Japanese corporation . the difference between the two trends are presented in the following table:

Hard HRM ( American corporation)

Soft  HRM ( Japanese corporation)

  • focus on the productivity of work and the organization is considered as a production system. The role of humans in this system is only a small part in the great machine, or in other words, just a productivity tool
  • Sees people as an unwelcome cost


  • management method: determine the workforce needs of business and recruitment and management




  • features:

-          number of employees short-term changes, depending on production plans

-          1 way communication, from the top down

-          power concentrated in a few people


-          recruit a sufficient number of people needed and pay wages to retain them

-          evaluate employees based on the report, or the assessment of management

-          style of leadership: autocratic


  • Focuses on the needs of employees, consider them as valuable assets, a source of competitive advantage




  • Sees people as those who can add value to the business
  • management method: understand the needs of employees - their roles, rewards, motivation ... create favorable conditions for staff promoting their capabilities, develop their employees skills, interests
  • features:

-          number of employee are stable, long-term workforce

-          two-way communication, regular

-          empowering employees, encouraging them to take responsibility

-          Competitive salary and encourage bonuses for employees




-          style of leadership: democracy


In hard HRM , employees are treated as a resource, aim to pay them as low as possible, they need to be controlled, Employees one of the key resources of organizations - should be used effectively in order to achieve organizational goals. 

Karen Legge (1998) defined the 'hard' model of HRM as a process emphasizing: 'the close integration of human resource policies with business strategy which regards employees as a resource to be managed in the same rational way as any other resource being exploited for maximum return'.

Focus on productivity, hard HRM approach to treat human beings as tools of production, in contrast, the modern school administrators interested in more people. The soft version of HRM sees employees as 'valued assets and as a source of competitive advantage through their commitment, adaptability and high level of skills and performance'.

The source for the soft version of HRM is the study of Professor Elton Mayo. In 1927, Elton Mayo, a professor of teaching and research engineering at the University Road Harvard, started studying at the plant of Western Electric's Hawthorne Work to understand motive prompted workers at the plant level achievement high. He noticed that a flesh and blood human, can not be treated as inanimate machines, and the more they should not impose a system without regard to their needs. He believed that productivity was directly related to job satisfaction and that the output of people will be high if they like their co-workers and are given pleasant supervision.

In 1989, Storey described the soft version of HRM 'treating employees as valued assets, a source of competitive advantage through their commitment, adaptability and high quality'.

 The soft version of HRM been used widely in Asian countries, where people respect the word 'moral', especially, in Japan with major corporations such as Toyota, Honda, Suzuki etc.

After World War 2, Japan was quick to restore the economy and create magic development managers make the American West and the amazing. It is the result of a unique management approach, focused on continuous improvement process, noting the comments of the workers, encouraging discovery issues arising in order to promptly resolve problems that make the stick, employee loyalty, and increase labor productivity.

After the economic crisis, natural disasters, and most recently the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan, people see the human spirit in Japanese.

Posted Date: 3/11/2013 5:07:07 AM | Location : United States

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