chapter  7
Competing paradigms
Status quo and alternative approaches in HRM
WithBrian Matthews, Lisa Obereder, Ina Aust (was Ehnert), Michael Müller-Camen
Pages 19

This chapter discusses the status quo paradigm in human resources management (HRM) and alternative approaches. It focuses on the downsides of the dominating paradigm. The chapter also discusses whether the paradigm shift to a new sustainability paradigm in HRM will actually take place, as well as possible conflicts between prior and new paradigms. The scholars following a contextual approach have highlighted limitations of the dominant HRM paradigm that the most important purpose of HRM is to increase financial performance. Four different modes of theorising in Strategic HRM research have formed our understanding of the HRM–performance link: the universalistic, contingency, configurational and contextual approaches. Although the introduction of Green Human Resource Management (GHRM) practices in particular would represent a major paradigm change by prioritising environmental issues over economic ones, data suggests that it would have a number of economic and organisational benefits.