Two of the most widely adopted models of human resource management are the hard and soft versions. These are based on opposing views of human nature and managerial control strategies. The hard model is based on notions of tight strategic control, and an economic model of man according to Theory X, while the soft model is based on control through commitment and Theory Y. We argue that because these assumptions are so divergent, they cannot both properly be incorporated within a single model of human resource management. Eight in‐depth case‐studies were carried out, involving questionnaires, interviews and focus groups in order to find out whether organizations were practising either form of HRM. We found that no pure examples of either form existed. The paper concludes that the rhetoric adopted by the companies frequently embraces the tenets of the soft, commitment model, while the reality experienced by employees is more concerned with strategic control, similar to the hard model. This distinction between rhetoric and reality needs to be taken into account in conceptualizations of human resource management.
Journal of Management Studies – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1997
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud