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A Simplified Study of Definitions of Human Resource Management


H. H. D. N. P. Opatha

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About H. H. D. N. P.
Senior Professor of Human Resource Management, Department of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce
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For the purpose of achieving three research objectives: (1) to present definitions of Human Resource Management (HRM) given by various appropriately qualified authors and make a brief descriptive analysis about the definitions; (2) to revisit and review the definition of HRM developed by me in 2009; and (3) to introduce a definition of HRM which is inclusive, this theoretical research paper was written. The desk research strategy was adopted and the study was carried out by the use of two non-scientific methods, i.e., authority to a greater extent and intuition to a lesser extent. 34 definitions directly mentioned and implied from 34 textbooks were presented. The findings of the descriptive analysis of the definitions were that the most of the definitions have similarity and no salient contradictory differences exist in their meanings implying that the nature of the subject of HRM is not controversial but is generally agreeable or nondebatable. Further the descriptive analysis yielded a list of 20 characteristics of HRM. The revisit to the definition of HRM given by the author of this paper in 2009 resulted in an assertion that it is valid at present and the future too. However, in view of the possibility of criticizing the definition owing to lack of inclusion of strategic, partnership, and sustainable perspectives, an inclusive definition was formulated and presented.
How to Cite: Opatha, H.H.D.N.P., 2021. A Simplified Study of Definitions of Human Resource Management. Sri Lankan Journal of Human Resource Management, 11(1), pp.15–35. DOI:
Published on 30 Mar 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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