Working Papers

The Future of Human Resources Management


Two conflicting trends are at work in Human Resources Management. On the one hand there is a growing trend toward high commitment policies designed to develop broadly trained employees who identify with their organization and who are prepared and trusted to exercize high orders of discretion. Organizations with such strategies are marked by participation, lifetime employment, career flexibility, new forms of compensation, and generous fringes. At the moment, however, these strategies are being threatened by corporate restructuring, downsizing, and leveraged buyouts, all of which discourage investment in human capital. But even if high commitment organizations dominate the heartland of the economy in the future, many in the labor force will be denied their benefits.