Human resource management and Personnel management

Topics: Human resource management, Management, Human resources Pages: 9 (1966 words) Published: April 20, 2004
PART I: Introduction

The relationship between human resource management and personnel management has been arguing for many years. The strongest argument among all the advocates is whether human resource management is the same as personnel management only with another name or it is different concept.

Some debates are as follow:

Approval perspectiveCritical perspective

Guest: its capacity to satisfy some key propositions such as 'strategy integration', 'high commitment', 'high quality' and 'flexibility'.

Pettigrew and Hendry: HRM is characterized by its close alignment elements with business strategy.

Storey: developed a model that set out four areas for analysis: belief and assumptions; strategic aspects; line management; key levers as major determinants of HRM practice. Legge: The underling value of personnel management and HRM differ little, and that organizational constrains may well make a truly integrated HRM approach highly impractical.

Armstrong: financial orientation may well clash with HRM prescription.

Keenoy: being constructed around the highly ambiguous nature of the term.

Source: Ian Beardwell and Len Holden (2001:27-28) from human resource management

This paper will introduce some concepts of personnel management and HRM, and then will analyze the difference between them. We define personnel management in 4 models from different aspects. While defining HRM, we consider much about strategic integration and strong cultures. And the nature of HRM was described by 'soft' and 'hard' vision. I will also analyze the case of 'Traders Hotel" in China to show the importance of introducing HRM in practice. In addition, a brief introduction of strategic HRM will be extended as well.

Part II: The differences between personnel management and HRM

1.The concepts of personnel management and HRM

A.What is personnel management?

There are four main models for defining personnel management.

Normative model

Since management aims at effective result with people, personnel administration is a basic management function or activity permeating all levels of management in any organization...personnel administration is ...organizing and treating individuals at work so that they will get the greatest possible realization of their and thereby giving the enterprise of which they are a part its determining competitive advantage and its optimum results. (Pigors and Myers, 1969)

Descriptive-function model

The term personnel management is used to describe the policies, processes and procedures involved in the management as a system of employment regulation. It is also concerned with the regulation for which managers are mainly responsible. (Sisson, 1989)

Critical-evaluative model

Personnel management is concerned with assisting those who run work organizations to meet their purpose through the obtaining of the work efforts of human beings, the exploitation of those efforts and the dispensing with of those efforts when they are no longer required. Concern may be shown with human welfare, justice or satisfactions but only insofar as this is necessary for controlling interests to be met and, then, always at least cost. (Watson, 1986)

And Descriptive-behavioral model

Guest (1990a)--'big hat, no cattle'

"Lack of influence with senior management"

"Out of touch with business"

"Promising more than they deliver"

"It has some way to go before it is really part of management"

B.What is Human resource management?

The concept of HRM has gone through three stages:

1. The initial concepts developed by American writers in the 1980s.

2. The comments take-up by British writers in the late 1980s and earlier 1990s.

3. The debate about HRM and traditional personnel management.

Torrington and Hall (1987)--- Human resources management is directed mainly at management needs for human resources to be provided and deployed. There is greater emphasis on planning, monitoring, and...
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