The future is uncertain, but management needs to determine and also be informed about possible change trends. This research, however, reports on empirical results of the views of South African HRM practitioners to identify and prioritise business change trends for 2002 and 2010 in terms of the "hard" or "soft" HRM debate in the literature. All organisations employing HRM practitioners were included and a total of 1640 questionnaires were distributed resulting in 207 useable responses.
The results highlight trends such as increased international competition, globalisation and inadequate skills in different rankings for 2002 and 2010. It is concluded that HRM practitioners, are influenced by the "hard" or "soft" approach, when they participate in a strategic management context in organisations.