HRM Models: 13 Types of Human Resource Management Models

hrm models

Theories and models are key to our understanding of the world of HR and are of immense practical value to an HR manager.

Human Resource Management models contain all Human Resource activities carried out effectively with a competent and willing workforce to obtain organizational goals.

13 types of human resource management models are;

Harvard Model

Michael Beer and Richard Walton developed the Harvard model. In their book titled ‘Managing Human Assets’ published in 1984, they wanted to show the influence of the environment on HR practices.

This model argues that two considerations influence HR policies:

  • Situational factors (labor market conditions, social values, business strategies, technologies, and management philosophies),
  • Stakeholders’ interest (management, employees, and government agencies.)

This model classifies HRM policies and practices into 4 themes such as:

  1. HR flow.
  2. Reward system.
  3. Employee influence.
  4. Work systems.

HR practices centered on the 4 C’s are as follows:


It will enable employee performance and loyalty to his work and also increase the self-respect of the individual.


The human resource of an organization should have the required competency.


Evaluate HR practices in terms of wages, benefits, turnover, absenteeism, etc.


There must be congruence among various HR practices.

There must be a good fit between HRM practices and the environment.

HRM policies and practices must have a goal to attain employee commitment, competency development, and coherence among themselves and embrace the cost-effective method.

Baldrige Model

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is the world’s highest quality award that is given to the organization for its quality standards.

Out of 1000 points allocated to different dimensions of quality management for this award, HRM practices get 150 points.

These HRM practices, like employee development, involvement, participation, empowerment, etc., have influenced the other dimensions of the award.

This model focuses on customer satisfaction and defines the needs of customers.

Baldrige Award emphasizes the role of 5 HR practices:

  • HR Planning.
  • HR education and training.
  • HR performance and regulation.
  • HR influence.
  • Well-being and morale of HR.

All these practices have been subdivided into several activities.

HR managers have to understand quality systems and internalize the philosophy and mechanism of the Baldrige Award in order to apply the right HR practices.

Microsystem characteristics identified by Nelson


The role of leaders is to balance setting and reaching collective goals and to empower
individual autonomy and accountability through building knowledge, respectful action,
reviewing and reflecting.

Organizational support

The larger organization looks for ways to support the work of the microsystem and coordinate the hand-offs between microsystems.

Staff focus

There is a selective hiring of the right kind of people. The orientation process is designed to fully integrate new staff into culture and work roles. Expectations of staff are high regarding performance, continuing education, professional growth, and networking.

Education and training

All clinical microsystems have responsibility for the ongoing education and training of staff and for aligning daily work roles with training competencies. Academic clinical microsystems have the additional responsibility of training students.


The interaction of staff is characterized by trust, collaboration, willingness to help each other, appreciation of complementary roles, respect, and recognition that all contribute individually to a shared purpose.

Patient focus

The primary concern is to meet all patient needs—caring, listening, educating and responding to special requests, innovating to meet patient needs, and smooth service flow/

Community and market focus

The microsystem is a resource for the community; the community is a resource to the microsystem; the microsystem establishes excellent and innovative relationships with the community.

Performance results

The performance focuses on patient outcomes, avoidable costs, streamlining delivery, using data feedback, promoting positive competition, and frank discussions about performance.

Process improvement

An atmosphere for learning and redesign is supported by the continuous monitoring of care, the use of benchmarking, frequent tests of change, and a staff that has been empowered to innovate.

Information and information technology

Information is the connector—staff to patients, staff to staff, needs with actions to meet needs.

Technology facilitates effective communication, and multiple formal and informal channels are used to keep everyone informed all the time, listen to everyone’s ideas, and ensure that everyone is connected on important topics.

Kaizen Model – People Side of Kaizen Model

Kaizen is a Japanese strategy to bring continuous improvement in all aspects of organizational functions, including HRM.

In order to implement Kaizen successfully, all employees (top management, middle management, supervisors, and workers) from top to bottom have to perform their roles systematically.

The Human Resource functions that receive attention to implementing the Kaizen strategy are team building, employee participation, team reward system, quality training, HRIS, employment security, employee’s family welfare, etc.

Human Potential Model

This model considers people as assets. It has attended the name of the staff department/personnel department to Human Resource Development/ Management Department.

The Human Potential model focuses on maximizing and motivating people to realize their potential and lead to the accomplishment of organizational objectives.

The main features of this model are:

  • It focuses on self-management;
  • Treat human beings as a resource;
  • HRM is an integrative and continuous process of enhancing human capacity;
  • It focuses on turning employees’ potential to their own advantage and thereby leading to organizational advantage.

According to the human potential model, the organization’s ultimate objective is potential human enhancement.

World-Class HRM Model

A model for HRM has been developed on the examination of the HRM systems of world-leading companies like Royal Dutch, Motorola, and Xerox. These companies have maximized potential through strong human resource programs.

These world-class HRM practices have the potential to inspire many organizations to use reckon them as a benchmark in the journey to achieve high-standard HRM practices.

The important HR practices of the mark class organizations are;

  • Employee development;
  • Leadership;
  • Reward and recognition;
  • Teamwork.

Life Cycle Model of HRM

Edgar Schein argues that successful organizations are those that are able to match organizational needs with individual needs. Thus achieving organizational growth with individual development, commitment, creativity, etc.

He advocated a model aligning strategic HRM with the organization’s Life Cycle Stages of an organization in his famous book ‘Organizational Culture and Leadership,’ published in 1985.

This model perceives that organizations in different life cycle stages should pursue different HR policies and practices. This model helps as a practical prescription for human resource managers and corporate planners in meeting the organization’s needs at various stages.

E-Business Model of HRM

E-business has become a common focus of all organizations in the 21st century.

Organizations encounter certain business challenges, such as environmental uncertainty, speed in decision-making, frequently changing technology, and maintaining integration of suppliers, distributors, and customers.

To build an e-business HRM Model, organizations need to follow 6 principles:

  • Attain autonomy with accountability;
  • Forge common vision and core values of the organization;
  • Achieve contractual clarity (it involves a change in the mindset of individuals, promoting personal growth);
  • Develop mutual support (Team working, team performance, and team reward);
  • Promote personal growth;
  • Provide equitable compensation, incentives, and career upgrading.

Competitive Advantage Model

It is highly believed that the human resource function has the capability to strengthen a firm’s competitive advantage over the rival firm and has a strategic role in this process.

The competitive advantage model presents three elements of HRM that provide a sustainable competitive advantage to the firm. The three elements are as follows:

  1. Sustainable competitive advantage generates from skills.
  2. It comes from teams more than from individuals. The team creates a synergistic effect.
  3. It stems from HRM Systems more than a single HRM practice.

The competitive advantage model suggests that HR Managers must acquire knowledge in the area such as:

  • Value of people in the firm and their role in competitive advantage,
  • Economic consequences of the HR practices in a firm,
  • Competitive attributes of HR and practices in a firm with its competitors,
  • Role of the HR function in building organizational capacity for the future.

Business Process Model

This model explains how HRM strategy is to be devised, implemented, and monitored. This model has the potential to deliver positive results to the organization.

The main features of this model include the following:

Toyota Model

Toyota is known as the leading automobile manufacturing company in the world. It maintains a high profile in its HRM policy and practice.

4 important goals of the HRM framework;

The goal of organizational integration

The goal of the individual and team must be integrated. Individuals and teams will subordinate to the organizational goal. More emphasis is given to employee welfare.

The goal of commitment

Toyota gives more value to loyalty and employee commitment. It takes a measure such as Quality Circles and Employee Involvement to gain employee commitment.

The goal of flexibility and adaptability

Team authority is preferred to individual authority in order to realize flexibility in the organization. Teams are task-oriented. And teams can be terminated and restructured according to the situation.

The adaptability goal is achieved through multi-skilling and job- rotation.

The Goal of Quality

Self-peer and team surveillance techniques are used to ensure product quality.

Toyota has pursued different employment practices such as ensuring product quality, continuous improvement, single-status facilities, daily team briefings, temporary contracts, performance pay, single union, cross-training, and collective decision.

According to this Model, a sound HRM strategy should have a super-ordinate goal- linked to the organizational goal. And this goal must be rendered to core HRM practices.

Commandments Model

The commandments model is widely acknowledged that religion has a powerful influence on human behavior.

Human beings carry this learning to organizations. All religions have their commandments that influence the outlook and behavior of individuals and groups.

The 10 Commandments in Islam are:

  • Do not consider anything equal to Allah (One and Only God);
  • Be kind to your parents. In the organizational setting, it means that employees should follow the instruction of their boss;
  • Do not murder your children;
  • Do not approach indecency in public or private;
  • Do not murder anyone whom God has considered respectable;
  • Do not abuse the right of an orphan (employee in the organization);
  • Maintain equality in your dealings (Management should be fair and just in recruitment);
  • Be just in your words (Management should avoid favoritism and nepotism, no discrimination in the workplace and maintain the dignity of an employee;
  • Keep your promise with God (Employee should observe both the letter and spirit of their agreement with their organization and should not violate any terms of the agreement that would harm the organization,
  • HR implication is that manager should devise plans that motivate an employee to be productive and loyal to their organization.

According to Moses,

  • An employee should be respectful of their leaders and be loyal to them;
  • An employee should be proud of their work and be loyal to authority; o Flexible work schedule enhances commitment;
  • An employee should not resort to violence to establish and realize their demand;
  • Management and employee should honor their contracts;
  • They should not abuse organizational resources;
  • An employee should not provide false information.

Managers should not expect layoffs of their employees just for the sake of it; neither management nor employee should pursue any desire that weakens organizational cohesiveness.

Michigan Model

Michigan model can offer a solution to attain the objectives of the organization in order to satisfy the stakeholders. The model considers employees are resources like other business resources.

They must be obtained as cheaply as possible and developed and exploited as much as possible. This model stresses the crucial importance of the close interaction of HR policies and systems with business strategy.

The main features of this model are:

  • focuses on individual and organizational parlance;
  • based on strategic control and organizational system to manage people;
  • concentrates on managing human assets to attain strategic goals;
  • contributes to individual parlance.