Human Resource Management

Topics: Human resource management, Management, Human resources Pages: 8 (2360 words) Published: August 28, 2012
Human Resource Management|

* Historical perspective of Human Resource Management – From personnel management to Human Resources Management * Human Resource Management and Social Justice for Welfarism * Human Resource Management and Bureaucracy

* Human Resource Management and Union-Negotiation
* Human Resource Management and Organization
* Human Resource Management Perspective

A) Historical perspective of Human Resource Management – From personnel management to Human Resources Management Human resource management has changed in name various times throughout history. The name change was mainly due to the change in social and economic activities throughout history. Torrington et al identify six main periods or ‘themes’ in the history of personnel management and its transition into contemporary HRM. Indeed, as Gennard and Kelly (1997, p31) have perceptively observed, delivery of the personnel/HR function has always been flexible and has adjusted its dominant values historically ‘as macro circumstances change’. Legge (1995, p xiv) argues, however, that the apparent overshadowing of personnel management by the distinctive HRM tradition lies in its function as ‘a rhetoric about how employees should be managed to achieve competitive advantage [rather] than as a coherent new practice’. Keenoy (1990) goes further in his critique of the new HRM, viewing it as ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’. For him, HRM is more rhetoric than reality and simply supports ideological shifts in the employment relationship, driven by market pressures Torrington et al (2008) describe the first theme in the evolution of personnel management and HRM as ‘social justice’. This originated on a limited scale amongst a few enlightened employers in nineteenth-century Britain. These employers promoted a welfare approach to managing people by attempting to ameliorate working conditions and avoid adversarial industrial relations. Second, in the first half of the twentieth century, ‘humane bureaucracy’, influenced by managerial practitioners and observers such as Taylor (1911), Fayol (1916) and Mayo (1933) came to the fore in management practices. Taylor’s ‘scientific management’ principles adopted a work study, incentive-based approach to managing people. This was followed by the ‘human relations’ school, originating in Mayo’s works reported in the Hawthorne experiments, and later others, which aimed at fostering good ‘human relations’, high morale and efficiency at work. Third, in response to strong trade unions in the 1960s, a period of ‘negotiated consent’ was fostered by personnel and industrial relations managers. This aimed at containing union power and managing workers by representative systems and collective agreements. Fourth, from the late 1960s, the focus was on ‘organisation’ provided by personnel specialists. They did this by developing career paths, opportunities for personal growth and workforce planning. Fifth, the recent ‘HRM’ theme, with its focus on performance management, planning, monitoring and control, flexibility and employees as individuals, emerged and grew in the English-speaking world throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. This was in response to what is loosely described as globalisation and neo-liberal economic policies. A sixth theme claimed by some observers, such as Bach (2005, pp28–9), is a ‘new HR’. Driven by employer demands for competitive advantage, this theme is characterised by a ‘new trajectory’ in response to significant long-term trends in the business context. These include a global perspective, issues of legal compliance, the emergence of ‘multi-employer’ networks (or ‘permeable organisations’), engagement of individual employees emotionally at work, and a customer-centred focus in business. This trend or theme seems to reflect a shift away from the ‘management of jobs’ by organisations to the ‘management of people’ within them (Lepak and Snell 2007).

B) Human Resource Management...

References: Adeyeye, J. O. (2009). An Evaluation of HRM Practices in Nigerian Universities: The Impact of Size. The Social Sciences Vol. 4
Bach, S. (2005), Managing human resources: personnel management in transition. Oxford: Blackwell
Freeman, R. and Joel R. (1999), What Workers Want, Ithaca, N.Y: ILR Press
Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations" in (1987) Vol.24 Journal of Management Studies Vol. 503
Khatri, N. (1999). Emerging Issues in Strategic HRM in Singapore. International Journal of Manpower Vol. 20
Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor, S. and Atkinson, C. (2009), Fundamentals of human resource management: managing people at work. Harlow: Pearson Education.
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