Currently, the human resource management has evolved from the traditional personal management to one that focuses on the driving factors of the business strategies of an organization. Therefore, organizations today place the high caliber employees in correct positions with proper directions that enable them to work for the advantage of the company. In addition, most companies also provide career development programs and provide rewards to their staff for the development of the organizations.

In light of these, this paper seeks to evaluate factors that contribute most to the competitive advantage of a firm and that that contributes least out of the four dimensions of human resource management practice. These factors include; managing the human resource environment, acquiring and preparing human resources, assessment and development of human resources and compensating human resources.

Even though these four factors are intertwined in their functionality, so that lack of one would impose some negativity, a close analysis of these factors indicates that managing the human resource environment is more fundamental for a company to achieve the competitive advantage desired. Managing the human resource environment creates the best roadmap that in the end enables a firm to achieve its long-term objectives. Thus, the environment in say should be in line with the company’s objectives and strategies.

To shade more light on this, it is important to note that a better-managed HR environment ensures that the human resource management practices put in place do not go against the laws and regulations that are set by the local authorities. Different countries have different laws and regulations that a firm must adhere to for the firm to operate effectively and compete on a fair ground with other companies. Besides, a better-managed HR environment also ensures that a framework is set that enables the optimum use of the staff available to deliver quality products or services while also ensuring that the staffs remain motivated in their job. Organizations that have identified their strategies have their HR department identifying the processes required for the firm to reach its goals and the skills required to meet such targets. Hence, processes such as job analysis, workflow analysis, and the creation of organization structures are dealt with under this factor.

Finally, under this factor, the human resource management practices are also linked with the business strategies. Where human resource defines its practices such as training, recruitment or even compensation of employees, the action should purely be based on business goals such as exploring new markets or even expanding its business, and more to attain the desired competitive advantage.

On the other hand, acquiring and preparing human resources as a practice area has minimal contribution to a firm’s competitive advantage compared to the other three factors.  It is appreciated that it is important for a firm to put in place the best-skilled personnel to achieve quality delivery for competitive advantage. However, this factor has minimal contribution because other than training and recruitment of the best personnel, a company cannot succeed when proper strategies are not put in place to motivate the workers in their jobs.

In summary, management of the human resource environment for a very fundamental HR practice area since it encompasses all the other three factors when effectively implemented. These range from abiding by the law and regulations of business, putting the best personnel in place through training, and offering motivational schemes for the staffs that are available for quality production that meets the competitive advantage in the end.



Armstrong’s Handbook of Human-resource Management Practice (11th ed.). (2010). Human Resource Management International Digest, 18(4).

Noe, R. (2006). Human resource management. Boston, Mass.: McGraw-Hill.




All Rights Reserved,