This chapter locates the HR func tion as a central feature of busi ness strategy. Human resource manage ment (HRM) exists in order to achieve organ iz a tional goals through people resources. People manage ment is perceived by most organ iz a tions as a key determ in ant of success. The chan ging role of HRM has refl ec ted the growing aware ness by senior managers of the import ance attached to how people are managed. This is the ‘coming of age’ of HRM: the recog ni tion that organ iz a tional effect ive ness and performance outcomes are very depend ent on the HR func tion of manage ment, as discharged by line managers and special ists alike.