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Drawing on a wide range of organizational examples, this book brings a new balance to assessing the role and impact of HRM. It looks at the core assumptions of an HRM perspective, and at what happens when organizations seek to implement HRM. The contributors show that there are a number of tensions and contradictions inherent in an HRM concept that raise central issues for practice. They demonstrate that HRM is one approach to employee management that will tend to prevail in certain contexts and conditions rather than universally. Specific themes include: HRM and competitive success; organizational culture and HRM; HRM, flexibility and decentralization; reward management and HRM; HRM, Just-in-Time manufacturing and new techlogy; HRM and trade unions; HRM as the management of managerial meaning.