Application of Soft Systems Methodology to the Real-World Processes of Human Resource Management

Application of Soft Systems Methodology to the Real-World Processes of Human Resource Management

Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4504-1.ch008
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Systems approach to human resource management (HRM) regards it as a unified and purposeful system containing interrelated parts. In order to develop HR decisions and practices, the soft systems methodology (SSM), as an approach, causes a better understanding of the system and more meaningful decision making. Various applications of SSM in HRM were reviewed in this chapter, including employee participation, group creativity, HR development, HR maintenance, and knowledge worker productivity. The main discussion of this chapter is that SSM can strongly improve the intersubjective understanding necessary for effective group development and progress. It is especially helpful to challenge paradigms, leading to enhanced group creativity. The issue of current HR development resulting from the lack of any argument on the central role of SSM in this development was another topic. Finally, low knowledge worker productivity through SSM was explained.
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Ssm In Participation

One of the applications of SSM, which is politically intricate, multifaceted and technically indeterminate category is employee participation (or workers' participation). It contains multiple meanings, various concepts and aims and is an important component of the HRM package (Leonardi, 2015). Participation is a process through which the employees can be involved and provided with the opportunity to influence and, where appropriate, take part in decision making of the related matters (Au, 2016).

The practical human interest and the assumptions of the interpretative paradigm can be considered as concerns of goals agreement, performance feedback, and the participation of staff. SSM can play an important and effective role in improving inter-subjective understanding indispensable for effective group development and progress.

A major condition to achieve freedom in organizations is participation. According to Mumford (1996), there are two conditions for choice and decision to manifest group desires. First, all interested users of a system or their representatives must be included in the group, i.e. the meaning of participation. Second, effective communication referring to free and open discussion of needs, accepting challenges and negotiating agreed outcomes.

SSM can be used to increase mutual understanding in groups by providing full participation through identifying problems and learning to make improvements. The following cases can be achieved by using SSM: agreement on goals, explaining the expectations and actions of management, providing feedback on performance of individuals and the group, and most importantly, achieving mutual understanding in all the above subjects.

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