HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT :
A CENTRAL BUSINESS CONCERN
SLIDE NO 2
THE RISE OF KNOWLEDGE WORKERS
RESPONSE OF THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION
HR MANAGERS AND STRATEGIC PLANNING
THE FUTURE OF HRM
SLIDE NO 3
OBJECTIVE: How can HR Practitioners position themselves to add value to the organization.
The increasingly important role of Human Resource Management (HRM) is reflected in the transformation of the personnel management function from one of concentrating on employee welfare to one of managing people in a way which matches organizational and individual goals. In short, HRM has become a central business concern.
Due to time constraints this afternoon, it is not possible to include any views on the changing focus of industrial relations which is an integral part of HRM and I trust that this will not detract from the content of this paper.
SLIDE NO 4
Before we discuss HRM, it is necessary to contextualise the traditional personnel function. Peter Drucker, as early as 1961 wrote that the constant worry of all personnel administrators is their inability to prove that they are making a contribution to the enterprise. They are also, he said, preoccupied with the search for a 'gimmick' that will impress their management associates. And he argued, they have a persistent complaint – “we lack status”. Some wit once said that 'personnel management' is all those things that do not deal with the work of people and that are not management." So what has changed?
SLIDE NO 5
THE RISE OF KNOWLEDGE WORKERS
The rise of knowledge workers! The blue collar worker which had previously dominated the middle of the century has not disappeared into oblivion because workers have merely evolved into another class – that of being knowledge workers. The term knowledge worker was coined by Peter Drucker in his book “Landmarks of Tomorrow” way back in 1959. He stressed back then that the knowledge worker will require qualifications and the ability to acquire and apply theoretical and analytical knowledge. Above all, he noted, will be the requirement that a habit of continuous learning is acquired. Education is fundamental to labour productivity and to the wage that workers can command.
The knowledge worker shift has taken place in most parts of the world. The rise of knowledge workers means that developing countries can no longer expect to base their competitiveness on the comparative basis of cheap industrial labour. Countries will have to excel at basing their competitive advantage on how knowledge is applied. For example, in Japan, the total quality management system, the lean manufacturing process and Just-in-Time (JIT) delivery created a competitive edge. In Switzerland, customer service is promoted.
SLIDE NO 6
RESPONSIVE OF THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION
In line with the knowledge worker revolution, the June 2003 International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) considered the revision of the ILO’s Human Resources Development Recommendation of 1975 and some of the proposed amendments are listed below. This recommendation will be finalised at the 2004 International Labour Conference.
The Objective of the review is that member countries (South Africa is a member) should formulate, apply and review national human resources development and education and training policies, which are consistent with other economic and social policies, based on the social dialogue of government and the social partners.
The review recommends that member countries should recognize that the realization of lifelong learning is based on the explicit commitment by:
governments - to invest in enhancing education and training at all levels;
the private sector - to train employees; and
individuals – to develop their own abilities and careers.
South Africa has indirectly confirmed its support of this principle...
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