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Best fit best practice

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Best fit best practice
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Paper Abstract

How far do you think it is possible to agree with both the 'best fit ' and 'best practice' perspective on HRM? In what ways are they compatible with each other?

Table of Contents

Introduction. 3

Best- fit approach. 3

Life cycle. 3

Competitive strategy. 4

Strategic configuration. 4

Best practice approach. 4

Motivation and achievement of high performance. 5

Contribution to corporate culture. 7

Criticism on best fit and best practice approach. 8

Conclusion. 8

Reference List 11


Both best fit and best practice approaches are part of Strategic Human Resource Management, and they are usually applied in reward systems.

Richardson and Thompson (1999) were the first ones who proposed that the terms best fit and best practice should be used for the universalistic and contingency perspectives of Human Resource Management strategies.

Both practices’ aim is to explain  how greater organisational effectiveness can be achieved through the use of HR policies and more specifically through the use of  reward policies.

However, researchers agree that for HRM to be successful the formulation of a business strategy is imperative. Lawler (1995, p. 14) suggests the above proposition and supports it as follows “…it specifies what the company wants to accomplish, how it wants to behave, and the kinds of performance and performance levels it must demonstrate to be effective.” The strategy of the business is the one that drives organizational behaviour and HRM systems. On the other hand, there are researchers like Purcell (1999, p. 27) that suggest, ‘…what is most notable about the best practice model is there is no discussion on company strategy at all.’ These researchers suggest business have to implement a series of best practices to attract the best employee “This superior human resources will, in turn, influence the strategy the organisation adopts and is the source of its competitive advantage.” (Milkovich & Newman, 2002, p. 30) Therefore, for the best practice approach,  it is the policy that  precedes strategy and not the opposite.  

In the present paper, both best fit and best practice approaches will be presented and examine the way that they may be compatible with each other.

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