There is much similarity between these texts. Both include background on human resource management, human resource planning, recruitment and selection, appraisal, rewards, aspects of training and development and employee relations. Where they differ significantly is that John Bratton and Jeffrey Gold offer a chapter on strategic HRM, while Ian Beardwell and Len Holden give the subject minor attention. Beardwell discusses training and development at a fundamental level, while Bratton debates it from a more strategic position.
Suited to the level of reader anticipated, Beardwell includes international HRM as a subject, while Bratton offers a briefer exploration of the area.
Both provide objectives for chapters, discussion points, questions, case studies and end-of-chapter summaries. Beardwell provides an instructor's manual that summarises chapters and outlines suggested answers for activities in the main text.
Bratton offers a glossary of main terms used in the book which, for readers new to HRM, should be invaluable.
Overall, both texts are well written, with charts, diagrams and explanation points guiding readers through each subject. Bratton would perhaps be more appropriate at undergraduate level, providing a route through HRM theory and practice, while Beardwell is more suited to postgraduate and professional students who understand basic HRM principles and wish to explore further. As a tutor, I might be tempted to use Beardwell for all students because of its tutor manual but both books can safely be recommended for students, tutors and practitioners.
Richard Underwood is senior lecturer, Business School, University of Wolverhampton.
Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Perspective. Second Edition
Author - Ian Beardwell and Len Holden
ISBN - 0 3 62230 7
Publisher - Pitman
Price - £25.99
Pages - 797