Book review by John Leighton - Armstrong’s Handbook of Strategic Human Resource Management, Michael Armstrong.
Michael Armstrong’s Handbook of Strategic Human Resource Management asserts that every leader and manager should be, in part, a human resources manager because people are at the forefront of any business and so managing them correctly will pay dividends.
The book is well laid out over 5 parts covering 21 chapters and takes the reader from the basic framework of strategic HR through to international HR strategies. Each chapter starts by identifying key concepts and terms with clear learning objectives and concludes with case studies and an explanation of the key learning concepts. Each chapter is, therefore, stand-alone and allows the reader to easily search for the points and terms; from this aspect it is an easy book to follow.
It will not take a basic manager and make them an HR specialist, but it doesn’t claim to; what it does do is to give the manager an idea of the strategies that wold allow the manager to understand what an HR professional is saying and to contribute to a discussion on HR management. The book does give some excellent ideas for HR management initiatives and explains reward management and the pitfalls that are often associated with that controversial area of HR.
Overall it is a good handbook which is easy to follow and explains the subjects in plain English without the need for flowery jargon. I would certainly recommend this book to managers who are newly appointed as it will give them a good taster for the management of that most precious commodity: people.
4 stars: Strong, strongly recommended for managers and leaders