McCourt and Eldridge (2003:2) define Human Resources Management (HRM) as
The way an organization manages its staff and helps them to develop. Bratton and Gold (2007) state HRM as a means of achieving organizational effectiveness through deploying employees’ talent by the use of idiosyncratic HR programs and practices while Thompson and Richardson (2000:58) point out that
Human resources (HR) strategies are everywhere measured by HR policies and practices. To help achieve organizational efficacy, HR strategy coordinates and applies HR policies and practices, hence influences the behavior of people of the organization (Wang and Shyu, 2008). Jackson and Schuler (1995) provide an idea of how different organizational structures are shaped by HRM.
As such, Mintzberg (1983: v) with no doubt stated that
What could be more important to the effective functioning of our organization- from repair shops to automobile companies, police forces to national governments- than the design of their structures?
Organizational structure depicts the skeleton of an organization where employees get a clear picture of who they report to, their positions within the organizations, and what they will be doing, how and when (Daft, 2001; van Aart et al., 2004). Ensign (1998) indicates that the effectiveness of an organization relies on how fittingly it is structured that gives rise to the issues of integration and coordination of different organizational units. According to him, the activities of different units must be coordinated for effective achievement of organizational objective. Cheng (1984) defines coordination as to how the tasks of the employees are interrelated whereas Daft (2001) mentions that how organizational structure facilitates the use of coordination among employees providing where, when and how to make the best use of it.
Organizational structure influences HRM is various ways. According to Bower (2003 cited in Avdelidou-Fischer 2007), employee engagement, that is, how employees behave, their performance, satisfaction, motivation, passion for work, and morale are all influenced by how the organization is structured, which in turn influence their ability to achieve organizational objectives. For example, in a highly centralized bureaucratic structure, employees are unable to use initiatives due to the repetitive nature of tasks, which may discourage them to perform well and thereby may hamper the achievement of organizational objectives (Hoy et al., 1983; Tiernan et al., 2002). The structure also attracts a certain group of employees. For example, professional bureaucracy attracts people who are expert in their fields and like to control their own work and make decisions (Denis et al., 1991). The organizational structures also influence HR strategy and practices in a variety of ways and the implications are discussed below based on Mintzberg’s coordination mechanism on different organizational structures.
…. will be added in the last part of this article.