Strategy and Human Resource Management

Third edition

by Peter Boxall and John Purcell

About this book

The new edition of this market leading text provides an authoratitive yet accessible account of the strategic role of HRM in organizations. Strategy and Human Resource Management third edition offers fully updated chapters and sources whilst retaining the critical approach and strong framework popular with both students and lecturers.

About the authors

PETER BOXALL is Professor of Human Resource Management and Associate Dean of Research at the University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand.

JOHN PURCELL is an Associate Fellow of the Industrial Relations Research Unit at Warwick University Business School, UK, a Deputy Chairman of the Central Arbitration Committee, and an arbitrator with ACAS, UK.

Praise for the third edition

This is a very wise book. I have long been a fan of previous editions, which have a well annotated place on my shelf. It is crammed with practical tips and insights, all based on a thorough overview of the evidence. It will challenge its readers to think, but above all to become better managers. This book never shirks the difficult challenge of how to turn its key ideas into practice. It is that rare textbook which repays careful reading. I can't recommend it highly enough. -Dennis Tourish, Professor of Leadership, Kent Business School, UK
This third edition is a classic work integrating HRM and strategic management, explaining the latest theoretical and practical developments in this fascinating area. Superbly written and referenced in a style that is relevant to both HRM academic and practitioner communities, and bridges the gap between theory and practice. It also integrates both HRM and employment relations in a critical but constructive way. This book is an absolute must for any serious student of HRM and HRM practitioner alike. -Paul Toulson, Associate Professor of Human Resource Management, Massey University, NZ
Linking Human Resources and strategy usually entails HR reaching out to try to grasp strategy concepts to justify that the function is aligned with strategy. Boxall and Purcell's Strategy and Human Resources bucks this trend to begin with an examination of strategy and then explore how HR can support it. This perspective can much better drive strategic thinking in HR and has much greater potential to increase the value of HR in the minds of strategic decision makers. This is the way HR should be taught. -Patrick Wright, Professor of Strategic Human Resources, Cornell University, USA
At its core, the field of strategic human resource management is concerned with integrating HR policies and practices with a firm's competitive strategy to enable firm success. Perhaps more than any other textbook, Professors Boxall and Purcell's Strategy and Human Resource Management offers a comprehensive and thorough treatment of the myriad issues and topics associated with strategic HRM. These leading scholars bring their experience and expertise to bear in synthesizing research and practice to provide students, academics and practitioners an evidence-based treatment of the premise and promise of integrating organizational strategy with human resource management. -James P. Guthrie, William and Judy Docking Professor, School of Business, University of Kansas, USA

Table of Contents

  • The Goals of Human Resource Management


  1. Strategy and the Process of Strategic Management
  2. Strategic HRM: 'best fit' or 'best practice'?
  3. Strategic HRM and Sustained Competitive Advantage


  1. Work Systems and the Changing Economics of Production
  2. Managing Employee Voice
  3. Managing Individual Employment Relationships
  4. Linking HR Systems to Organisational Performance


  1. Human Resource Strategy and the Dynamics of Industry-based Competition
  2. Human Resource Strategy in Multidivisional and Multinational Firms
  3. Conclusions and Implications