This study investigates and analyses the scope and limitations of human resource management (HRM) in a distinctive organisational and social context using a casestudy of management policies and employee responses at the Bank of Thailand (BoT ) at the turn of the century. The theoretical framework for the study is developed through a discussion of influential academic approaches to HRM and some of the main critical commentaries. The main objective of the thesis is to analyse the scope and limitations of the application and implementation of HRM in such a setting. The research uses a qualitative case-study method of research, based on interviews, documentary analysis and participant observation, linked to and informed by actual work experience. It also seeks to place the experience of organisational changes in the BoT in the context of wider developments in work and e:,.ip loyment relations in Thailand. There are three main arguments in this study. Firstly, a `generalised' HRM approach does not set out to accommodate the specificity of organisational activities or the differences between different groups within the org, inisation. Secondly, an `idealised' HRM programme fails to address the importance of power relations and conflict in organisational change. Finally, human resource specialists remain relatively marginalised and are unable to develop and deploy their expertise because the HRM programme does not recognise the importance oF this problem. These arguments are developed through an analysis of (i) the pre-existing pattern of employment and organisational arrangements at the BoT, which involved both paternalism and the concentration of management authorihy; (ii) the origins and rationale of the HRM programme at the Bank, with particular reference to the roles of senior management and outside consultants; and (iii) a detailed discussion of the responses of Bank employees, both managers and other staff, that addresses the character and sources of their mixed responses, involving acceptance and sometimes enthusiasm but also uncertainty and criticism
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