“The Trouble With HRM” by Paul Thompson: Human Resource Management Issues

Human resource management (HRM) has always been an important area for the functioning of any enterprise. Recently, the situation in the area of recourse management has significantly worsened. Thus, numerous efforts are made to research the factors leading to such unpleasant outcomes and to develop strategies enabling improving the situation in this area. The article “The trouble with HRM” written by Paul Thompson will be considered in the following paper to specify the problems existing in the area of resource management currently, and to explore the methods offered by the author as a remedy for this situation. Generally, the article under consideration can be evaluated as a thorough piece of information important for developing new policies in the area of HRM and HR profession enabling more efficient work of the representatives of the occupation.

Speaking about a critical assessment of the article under consideration, it should be stated that it deals with organizational change issues and resistance to change in a direct way presenting thorough research on the related matters. In particular, according to Thompson (2011), the human resource management profession faces a crisis of trust and a loss of legitimacy in the eyes of its major stakeholders. The two-decade effort to develop a new ‘strategic human resource management (HR) role in organizations has failed to realize its promised potential of greater status, influence, and achievement.

With regards to these words, it is noteworthy to admit that the profession of HR does not make too much difference nowadays. The specialists of HR complain that the pressure from the top management of companies is so high that they are hardly able to fulfill their duties in a proper way towards the victims of unfair working polices (Batt and Appelbaum, 2010). Such situation is critical for workplace stress as both the employees are not duly protected at their working place, and HR specialist are under the pressure of stress as they see their lack of power to change the situation for the better. Furthermore, n any business it is highly important that the employer preserves employees’ civil rights as in the case of failure in this area the company may eventually suffer great material and reputation losses. The purpose of such HR policies is to determine conditions of employment including the payment issues, working hours, working conditions, and any other issues connected to the process of work (Bullock, 2012). Conversely, HR workers face a lack of empowerment to achieve their important purposes as is explained by the findings of the article.

Discussing the research methods applied by the author in the article along with the findings of the article, it should be, first of all, said that the work can be addressed as a thorough piece of research on human resource management matters. Resorting to the use of statistical researches methods, the author makes his conclusions concerning the developments in the area of HRM and the problems existing in it during the recent period. The article observes the important matters related to the work of HR specialists from the point of view of popular economical theories including the political economy approach and financialised capitalism. The findings of the article can be commented as rather thought-provoking. In particular, “HR managers are increasingly not the main architects of key work and employment trends” (Thompson, 2011, p. 366). Further, another important finding of the articles is as follows:

At the workplace level, greater attention to the nuts and bolts of HR practices or what some call ‘hard HRM’ – particularly on issues such as performance management, sickness and absence and work intensity – will provide a potentially useful basis for dialogue among social scientists with an interest in the workplace than any critical ghetto, no matter how large and convinced of its righteousness(Thompson, 2011, p. 367).

Finally, with regards to the value of the article for the human resources profession, it should be said that the impact or implications of this research are quite significant. In particular, the article discusses a row of important issues in the area of HRM and explains what can be done to improve the situation. However, speaking about the changes that occurred in the area of HRM as a result of this article and similar arguments, they are rather ambiguous. From one point this argument started the process of policy changing in the area, from the other point the process is rather slow and not many important solutions are developed by now.

Concluding on all the information related above, it should be stated that the problems existing in the area of resource management currently are rather significant as it is seen from the article “The trouble with HRM” written by Paul Thompson. The article discusses a row of important issues in the area of HRM and explains what can be done to improve the situation. The solutions offered by the author as a remedy for this situation are rather effective and have their basis on strong economic theories.


  1. Batt, R. and Appelbaum, E. (2010). ‘Globalization, new financial actors, and institutional change: reflections on the legacy of LEST’. Paper to Colloquium, Université de Provence.
  2. Bullock, R. (2012). Employee vs Employer Opinions.
  3. Thompson, P. (2011). The trouble with HRM. Human Resource Management Journal, Vol 21, no 4, 2011, pages 355–367.
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