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versión impresa ISSN 0121-5051


CALDERON HERNANDEZ, Gregorio. Human Resource Management and Competitivity. Innovar [online]. 2003, vol.13, n.22, pp.157-172. ISSN 0121-5051.

Human Resource Management (HRM) is an organisational capacity classified as being part of intangible assets and as such can become an important aid in constructing a company’s sustained competitive advantage. The present study’s purpose is to establish up to what point HRM becomes an aid for Colombian companies in achieving such a competitive advantage. Information from a survey of human resource mangers from 257 companies called “Managing Human Talent in Medium- and Largesized Companies from Western Colombia” provided the empirical basis for writing this article. The following variables were considered: degree of HRM development, the area’s position within the hierarchical structure, the size of the organisation, economic sector, type of management, personnel policy, key success factors and problems in HR management. Nine components were used to establish the degree of HRM development: HR director’s perceived autonomy, the area’s budgetary allocation, the director’s educational level, director’s leadership level, whether there was a strategic plan in the area, innovatory strategies which the area has proposed during the last two years, the time which the director can devote to non-operational and non-routine activities and those management indicators used in the HR area. Revising the specialised literature led to the conclusion that HRs represent a source of sustained competitive advantage when they are valuable, scarce, relatively inimitable and nonsubstitutable but that this is not enough if a company does not have the necessary organisation for capitalising on people’s potential value. This represents a HRM capacity thus becoming a key element in providing HRs with their characteristic of sustained competitive advantage. The findings show that the degree of HRM development is associated with an establishment’s size, sector, type of organisation, a company’s administrative philosophy and, to a lesser degree, its position within the structure. There were two groups in those companies studied. The first had HRM located at a strategic level reporting directly to general management, leading organisational projects and generally being catalogued as having a high level or superior level of development (46.8% of the total studied). This group had HRM capable of supporting a company in its efforts aimed at achieving a competitive advantage. A second group (53.2%) devoted its time to operational and routine functions due to its little development; its lack of autonomy and leadership does not represent a source of competitive advantage for organisations.

Palabras clave : Human Resource Management; competitivity; human management.

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