Human Resource Management
Abstract: People Management has existed to some extent since the hunter – gatherer; division of labour in the pre-historic era. Since this time the field of Human Resource Management (HRM) has developed into a much more complex discipline with a widely perceived belief that HRM is essential in order to efficiently achieve the strategic goals of organisations, governments and social advancement. This study will draw upon the key influences and theoretical best-practise models in order to explore, analyse and critically discuss the developments of HRM leading to its current position. The study will weigh the relevance of HRM in today’s organisational environment; comparing UK practise with that employed within different cultures and geographical regions. Based on the finding a prediction for the future of HRM moving forward into an ever more globalised and technology dependant environment will be both posed and critically discussed.
People Management dates back to the beginning of mankind. The pre-historic era witnessed humans employ vital principals to select tribal leaders, separate themselves into groups and effectively transfer knowledge (safety, health, hunting and gathering) to their offspring. This division of labour was by no means a sophisticated model but more the natural result of survival-driven learning, it did however require co-operation within the group to define roles based on age, strength, health and experience. Evidence dates back to pre-historic times demonstrating the existence of competitiveness both within tribal groups and with neighbouring communities. These early organisational practices laid the foundations which directly led to the complex modern day field of Human Resource Management; furthermore many of the early human traits and tendencies witnessed are still prevalent in modern society; existent in varying degrees across all cultures and geographical regions.
The Development of People Management
Due to its financial and economic stability, Britain was the leading figure in the Industrial Revolution (1750-1850). The Industrial Revolution witnessed the inventions of many machines which could do the jobs previously done by skilled craftsmen in a fraction of the time. The prospect of better paid jobs attracted millions off the land and into the cities to provide the workforce for the rapidly expanding number of factories, mills and mines. The rise in mechanisation did however come at a human cost; many skilled crafts were turned into industrial processes with employees forced to work continuously with the speed of the machines. Learning and development methods were sparsely practised during the early 19th Century; employers did not value their employee’s future potential and consequently did not see any value in investing time and money in their development. The Trade Union Act passed in 1871 secured the legal status of Trade Unions in the UK. Early Trade Unions heavily focussed their campaigns on achieving an improved standard of life and fair wages for their members. A neat and concise early description of a Trade Union was offered by Webb and Webb (1920:1) as: "a continuous association of wage-earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of their working lives." Since the Industrial Revolution a more complex need to effectively manage the human resource emerged with a prime focus on increasing business value through the strategic management of the workforce. As industrialisation rapidly grew the establishment of large companies (employing large workforces) became widespread; magnifying the need for a more structured form of People Management. The US followed a similar path to the UK through this era; evolving from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy. Companies across both continents began to develop and implement ways of recruiting and keeping skilled workers. The industrialisation of the US created a...
References: Armstrong, M. (2009) Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 11th edition. London: Kogan Page, pp. 29. Bass, B. M. (1981) Personal selling and transactional/ transformational leadership. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. Vol.17, No.3 Beer, M., Spector, B., Lawrence, P.R., Mills, D.Q. Walton, R.E. (1984) Managing Human Assets. New York: Free Press BOXALL, P., PURCELL, J. (2008) Strategy and Human Resource Management, 2nd edition. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan CIPD(2010a) Learning and Talent Development. [online], Available: http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/survey-reports/learning-talent-development-2010.aspx [20 December 2012] Eurofound (2010) European Company Survey 2009. London: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. [online], Available: http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/pubdocs/2010/05/en/1/EF1005EN.pdf [14 December 2012] Guest, D., J. Michie, M. Sheehan and N. Conway (2000), Getting Inside the HRM Performance Relationship, Working Paper No 8, ESRC, Future of Work Series. Henderdon, I. (2011) Human Resource Management for MBA Students, 2nd edition. London: CIPD Publishing, p.1,2,6. Huselid, M. A. (1995) The impact of human resource management practices on turnover, productivity and corporate financial performance. Academy of Management Journal, 38 Kenney, M., Florida, R. (1993) Beyond Mass Production: The Japanese system and its transfer to the U.S. Oxford: Oxford University Press Maslow, A. H. (1943) A Theory of Human Motivation. York University, Toronto, Ontario [online], Available: http://www.free-ebooks.net/ebook/A-Theory-of-Human-Motivation/pdf/view [17 December 2012] Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid Diagram. [online], Available: http://www.hypomanic.co.uk/telepress/abrahammaslow.html [17 December 2012]
Oakland, J. S. (1993) Total Quality Management, 2nd edition. Oxford, UK: ButterworthHeinemann Ltd Pedler, M., Burgogyne, J. and Boydell, T. (1997) The Learning Company: A strategy for sustainable development, 2nd edition. London: McGraw-Hill Pfeffer, J. (1998) Seven Practices of Successful Organizations. California Management Review; Winter 1998; 40, 2, p 96. Punnett, B. J. (2004). International perspectives on organizational behavior and human resource management. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe
Redman T., Wilkinson A (2006) Contemporary Human Resource Management, 2nd edition. Harlow, UK: Prentice Hall, p.33 Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor , S. (2008) Human Resource Management, 7th edition. Harlow, UK: Prentice Hall Total Quality Management Model. [online], Available: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kPvar47TyCM/T7-Sibo0uJI/AAAAAAAAA1E/3wzciPUy9o/s1600/TQM_MODEL.png [17 December 2012] Webb, S. and Webb, B. (1920) The History of Trade Unionism. Edinburgh: R. & R. Clark, Limited, pp.1.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document