Harvard Analytical Framework Theory

  • When tracing the definitive origin of the HRM and its theory, it becomes an elusive exercise since the literature in management of each country have their own stances and some inclinations.
  • HRM is firstly appeared in 1950s in USA but it was proclaimed and applied in a study programme introduced by the Harvard Business School in 1980.
  • In 1980s, Beer et aV explored the Harvard Analytical Framework for HRM.
  • Most of the later theories in HRM were propounded on using certain elements of this Harvard Analytical Framework.
  • Therefore, it could be considered as the brainchild of other models and theories of HRM.
  • The elements in later theories like stakeholder interests, the internal and external environments, policy choices, vision and strategies, certain soft views are embedded in this Analytical Framework.

Theory Explanation-

  • Beer and his colleagues believed that top managers have high responsibility in developing policies and practices of HRM in their organizations.
  • A vision and philosophy should be implanted in the organization and the human component is to be considered as strategic resource.
  • Harvard school stresses two important points that line managers have to accept more responsibility for ensuring the alignment of competitive strategy and adhere to HRM policies.
  • The second point is that human resource in the organization should have a mission for fulfilling the objectives of the organization in a more coherent way.
  • This idea conveys us for a team approach.
  • Boxall concludes the main qualities and characteristics of Harvard Analytical Framework are as thus
    • bears stakeholder perspective
    • mutual cooperation and commitment
    • instead supervisory style, seeing HRM an employee influence


  • Therefore, this model is composed of elements like mutual respect, mutual commitment, mutual responsibility and it relies with teamwork approach and certain elements in soft view of HRM.
  • Descriptive theory emanates the wholesome coverage of HRM functions or their elements into one content and therefore based on this viewpoint, some may misinterpret the underpinned theory of Harvard Analytical Framework is the descriptive theory of HRM.
  • Though the outlook of Harvard Analytic Framework seems to be an analogy of HRM functions.
  • Beer et al attempts to analyze the fundamental elements instilled in HRM functions into micro-minute forces, emphasizing the utility and inter-relationships of those elements are so valid and reliable in achieving the objectives of HRM.
  • Therefore, it is very clear that the underlined ideology of this model is the analytic theory of HRM.

The present researcher feels that the above arguments are also demonstrating the most important aspect of social engineering is the principle of cohesion. The cohesive component is not something borrowed from the external environment but it is much innate human personality.


DO NOTE CONFUSE WITH INDUSTRIAL RELATION THEORY-  Harvard Analytical Framework is also called the Gender Roles Framework or Gender Analysis Framework.

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