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Journal cover: Employee Relations

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Online from: 1979

Subject Area: Human Resource Management

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Theoretical and Ethical Foundations of Human Resource Management: A German Point of View

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Title:Theoretical and Ethical Foundations of Human Resource Management: A German Point of View
Author(s):Hans Jürgen Drumm, (Professor at the Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre in the University of Regensburg, D-93053 Regensburg, Germany.)
Citation:Hans Jürgen Drumm, (1994) "Theoretical and Ethical Foundations of Human Resource Management: A German Point of View", Employee Relations, Vol. 16 Iss: 4, pp.35 - 47
Keywords:Ethics, Germany, Human resource management, National cultures, Standards
Article type:Conceptual Paper
DOI:10.1108/01425459410066274 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Poses the question whether, on an academic level, human resource management (HRM) is a scientific discipline of management. To arrive at an answer, brings together findings of a survey concerning the foundations of HRM then links them by four central hypotheses. The first (rather speculative) hypothesis claims that, in Germany at least, the discussion of HRM problems over the last 30 years has been selective and influenced by different and changing paradigms of HRM. The second hypothesis is that nearly all formulations of HRM concepts have to be embedded in a national context. The third hypothesis states that even given the restricting effect of hypotheses one and two, a theory pitfall exists preventing any theoretical foundation of effective HRM and forcing us to construct intelligent, but untested, HRM hypotheses. The fourth hypothesis links the problems of these untested hypotheses with the problem of ethical norms for HRM in theory and practice. The final judgement is that the high theoretical requirements of HRM as an academic discipline cannot be fulfilled.

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