Performance Management in a Human Resources Framework

Topics: Management, Human resource management, Human resources Pages: 16 (5362 words) Published: August 22, 2008
Performance Management in a Human Resources Framework

The purpose of this assignment to is to consider Performance Management in a Human Resources Framework. Firstly, the assignment will look at the concept of ‘Human Resources Management’ as a holistic strategic approach to managing the relationship between employer and employee that goes beyond the bounds of mere ‘Personnel Management’. Secondly, in light of the statement from Cooke and Armstrong (1990, cited in Rudman, 2002) that “Human resources strategies exist to ensure that the culture, values and structure of the organisation and the quality, motivation and commitment of its members contribute fully to the achievement of its objectives” (p.7), I will examine the extent to which my school’s performance appraisal and professional development policy and practice fit into a human resources framework. Lastly, these examples will be used to identify some of the potential and pitfalls of performance appraisal and professional development for an educational organisation.

Human Resources Management – a holistic approach
Human resource management (HRM) can be viewed as a holistic approach to managing the relationships in an organisation between the employer and employee. Rudman’s (2002) definition of HRM implies this holistic approach, in that HRM “covers all the concepts, strategies, policies and practices which organisations use to manage and develop the people who work for them” (p. 3). Several authors (Macky & Johnson 2000; McGraw, 1997; Rudman, 2002; Smith, 1998) acknowledge that HRM is the strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisation's most valued assets - the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the organisation.

The terms ‘human resource management’ (HRM), ‘human resources’ (HR) and even ‘strategic human resource management’ (SHRM) have largely replaced the term "personnel management" as a description of the processes involved in managing people in organisations during the decades of the 1980s and 1990s (McGraw, 1997; Rudman, 2002). “People have been making personnel decisions since the earliest of times” (Rudman, 2002, p.22), however, from a historical perspective, the modern form of personnel management was founded from the time of the industrial revolution on two main beliefs: 1) the employer’s concern for the welfare of its workers, and 2) the organisation’s need for control (Rudman, 2002). Over the last century personnel management evolved through the changing responses between these two beliefs and altered because of influences through scientific management, the industrial welfare and human relations movements, the development of trade unions and collective bargaining, and the growth of employment-related legislation (Rudman, 2002). Today, personnel management is associated with the functional aspects of people in organisations, whereas HRM is associated with the strategic aspects of people in organisations (Rudman, 2002).

In practice the distinction between Personnel and Human Resource Management is often blurred because organisations need both function and strategic direction for managing and developing people (McGraw, 1997). Personnel management (PM) is therefore often used to describe the work related with administering policies and procedures for staff appointments, salaries, training and other employer/employee interactions. Organisations must engage in PM to employ staff, pay them, manage their performance, cope with concerns, motivate them and sustain them. The responsibility for many of these PM functions is that of line managers who work directly with the employee (McGraw, 1997; Rudman, 2002). However, in addition to PM functions, organisations must have established systems for HRM at a higher level in order to ensure that the needs of the organisation are being met (McGraw, 1997). In establishing such functions, HRM...

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