The ninth edition of this book is arguably the most comprehensive of similar texts covering human resources. It combines theory and best practice, using excellent examples from the business world.
Subjects range from the impact and context of human resource management, through HR processes, organisational issues, reward, development and employee relations to computerised HR systems. It has new chapters on talent management, e-learning and facilitating change.
The only omission seems to be in ethics and HR. It refers to ethics on a few occasions and mentions the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development code on professional conduct, but ethics is such a hot topic that perhaps the subject needs a chapter of its own.
The book consists of 59 chapters divided into 12 parts, grouped thematically, all easily readable and clear of jargon. It does not compromise on academic rigour but makes excellent use of headings, tables and diagrams to support content and aid comprehension.
The text is student focused and sufficiently flexible to appeal to a range of experiences. Final-year undergraduate students will find the content relevant and challenging. Postgraduate students should find the text particularly meets their needs.
But practitioners and non-HR specialist line managers will also find the content exceptionally useful in increasing their knowledge of the subject and in giving clear guidelines for accepted good practice. As such, Michael Armstrong could well be offering the definitive text in the field.
Also offered is an invaluable CD-Rom for lecturers containing hundreds of PowerPoint slides that complement the chapters. All in all, an excellent book.
Richard Underwood is senior lecturer in human resource management, Wolverhampton University.
A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice
Author - Michael Armstrong
Publisher - Kogan Page
Pages - 980
Price - £32.50
ISBN - 0 7494 4105 4