The best-fit school of thought is the most compelling approach to SHRM. Essentially, organizations operate in different environments, and thus, allowing them to structure their SHRM based on the prevailing conditions allows creativity and dynamism that lead to success. The best-fit approach is practical and pragmatic in its premise because performance is not always a linear function of a predetermined and independent set of HR practices (Boselie, 2010).
On the contrary, performance in different environments is subject to a range of contingency variables. One of the accruing benefits of this approach is that companies are allowed to ‘tailor-make’ their HR practices based on the set business strategy and the prevailing situations.
This SHRM approach is associated with some weaknesses like the inability to factor all the contingent variables; however, the different levels of fit reduce these challenges to minimal levels. For instance, the innovative work practices fit allows for the creation of a dynamic environment to simulate and anticipate the contingencies that might arise down the line, which is one of its weaknesses as highlighted by Purcell (1999). Similarly, the fit with the external environment addresses the challenge of organizations not existing in a vacuum. This form of fit allows an organization to align with the societal and institutional forces that shape the outlined strategy.
The best-fit approach addresses some of the challenges posed by other models. For instance, the best-practice approach ignores the fact that organizations function under different environments, and thus, what works for one company may not work for another (Marchington & Grugulis, 2000). However, the best-fit approach addresses this presumption by acknowledging the dynamism of the different business milieus, and it allows companies to tailor their SHRM based on the prevailing conditions.
On the other side, the resource-based view (RBV) approach relies mostly on the internal resources, which may not apply to the different stages of the business lifecycle, but the best-fit model addresses this issue by allowing practices that suit a given scenario. Therefore, based on the arguments highlighted in this paper, it suffices to conclude that the best-fit model is the most compelling SHRM approach due to its dynamism.
Boselie, P. (2010). Strategic human resource management: A balanced approach. Berkshire, UK: McGraw Hill Higher Education.
Marchington, M., & Grugulis, I. (2000). Best practice’ human resource management: Perfect opportunity or dangerous illusion? International Journal of Human Resource Management, 11, 1104-1124.
Purcell, J. (1999). The search for “best practice” and “best fit”: Chimera or cul-de-sac. Human Resource Management Journal 9(3), 26–41.