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Strategic Human Resources: Frameworks for General Managers Hardcover – April 5, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0471072539 ISBN-10: 0471072532 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471072532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471072539
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

How Every General Manager Should Think about Human Resources Human resources are increasingly recognized as an important—perhaps the most important—strategic weapon in the organization’s arsenal. Yet general managers and students of general management have lacked a compelling general framework for thinking about managing human resources strategically. Baron and Kreps provide such a framework:
  • Emphasizing connections among different pieces of the organization’s HRM strategy, as well as links between the organization’s strategy, technology, culture, and environment and its HRM strategy.
  • Tackling important and timely issues, including outsourcing, managing a diverse workforce, pay-for-performance, teams, high-commitment HR systems, and HRM both in multinationals and in emerging high-tech start-ups.
  • Blending together disciplinary thinking from economics, sociology, and social psychology, the book will bring you up to speed on the latest thinking on the subject.
  • Emphasizing strategic concepts and insights—and avoiding technicalities—this book is written for general managers and HR specialists interested in a general management perspective.

From the Back Cover

Advance praise for Strategic Human Resources: Frameworks for General Managers

I would have asked every one of my professional HR people to read the text if it had been available to them. The HR profession has been longing for a solid foundation from which to operate and this text provides it.
Debra Engel, Executive Adviser and retired Senior Vice President, Corporate Services, 3Com Corporation

It's very simple. Baron and Kreps have produced a path breaking HRM text by mixing rigorous analysis and up-to-date research findings with engaging case material. They convey what all current and future managers, regardless of their functional specialty or interests, need to know to manage effectively the workforce and organizations of the future. HRM teaching will never be the same, and we will all be better off for it.
Thomas A. Kochan, George M. Bunker Professor of Management, Sloan School of Management, MIT

This book provides general managers with a valuable framework, empirical evidence, and some thoughts to consider on how to align human resource strategy with business vision.
Richard M. Kovacevich, President and CEO, Wells Fargo & Company

Baron and Kreps have written an extraordinary text on human resource management that combines as perhaps no others have the cutting edge in social science theory on the employment relation with the best in real business practice.
James R. Lincoln, Spieker Professor of Leadership, Haas School of Business, and Director, Institute of Industrial Relations, University of California at Berkeley

This book demonstrates the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration. Baron and Kreps have developed a practical, comprehensive framework for the design and analysis of HR strategies.
James Montgomery, Interdisciplinary Institute of Management, London School of Economics

Management is about (1) deciding what to do and (2) making it happen. In today's world, making it happen is all about people: having the right ones (and avoiding the wrong ones) and integrating those people into an effective work system. This text is all about making the people equation happen. Certainly, if I were to teach a class on HR management as experienced by a practitioner, I would find this text a perfect vehicle to frame the course and develop its content.
John S. Reed, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Citigroup Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Day (Jonathan_Day@McKinsey.Com) on June 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Essential reading for both general managers and human resource executives, this book breaks new ground in several ways.
First, the authors present human resources as a critical part of a SYSTEM, integrated with the company's external environment, workforce, culture, strategy and production methods, rather than as an isolated or downstream activity.
Second, they bring insights from economics, sociology and social psychology to the topic, in a powerful way. The four appendices alone (transaction cost economics, game theory, agency theory and market signaling) are worth the price of the book.
Third, they avoid the trap of "best practice", where an author looks at a few successful firms (GE? PepsiCo? 3M?) and encourages others to imitate them. In contrast, this book offers clues to creating real and inimitable competitive advantage from a company's human resource management.
The entire treatment is readable and rich in cases.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Baron & Kreps write with wit & grace, pulling together a vast amount of literature to make their point that human resource management is critical to a firm's success. In every chapter, they get to the point quickly, writing for students in a way that faculty will appreciate. They retain the essence of the academic research on which their principles are based, while focusing on what it all means for managers. I highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Fountain on December 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To get an idea what this text is about if you are an economist, or an economics student, start your reading in chapter 4 Employment and Economics. There you will realise that almost nothing you learned as an undergrad in economics - demand and supply, consumer optimization, neoclassical cost functions, monopoly oligopoly and competitive industries - will prepare you for understanding employment relationships. But the economics for which Oliver Williamson just got his Nobel prize will matter - and Kreps and Baron are wonderful expositors of this sort of economic theory....not in the abstract, but applied to employment relationships/transactions.

Employment is often an open-ended transaction, with the detail specified only as time passes (after the transaction has been entered into) and relevant contingencies arise - salaries/commissions in years ahead, future promotion prospects, future job assignments, etc. Just how these details are filled in depends on a system of interlocking factors and behaviors: decision making rights and privileges specified in law (common law or legislation or both), by explicit, but incomplete, contractual details, and most importantly by tradition and common practices that have evolved with some history. But why do these customs have any force? Why does anyone believe them? Well one problem in an employment relationship, on either or both employer and employee sides, is that as time passes and the relationship matures both parties may face large costs of switching to alternatives - alternative jobs, or alternative workers.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rodrigo Leite (rodrigo@leite.net) on March 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I had the fortune to have access to early versions of some chapters of this book, and it changed my opinion about human resources. They present the issues surrounding human resources management using frameworks that come from economics and organizational science, not from opinions and feelings...
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