In the current global market, human capital can be regarded as one of the most significant capitals for organizations, as well as the key factor of competitiveness. Firstly, emerged in industrialized countries, human resource management also has a long history of development and now grows into a more scientific and sophisticated phase. From the whole society’s perspective, human resource management is organizing and adjusting human capital with an overall strategy in order to promote the growth of the economy. From the organization’s perspective, it refers to effective management of its employees so that people can fully realize their potential abilities and contribute to the organization’s prosperity. A lot of theoretical and empirical studies have been done in this area to evaluate existing techniques and to propose new ideas. In this paper, we first make a brief review of previous literature. Then we explain the status quo of today’s human resource management, which focus on characteristics, goals and methods, as well as some empirical researches in different countries. Finally, we propose the trends and challenges for future human resource management.
Brief literature review
The human resources management has a history of nearly 100 years. During its development, both support and criticism exist (Ferris, et al., 2007). In the very beginning, human resource management was regarded just as tool to keep records (Dulebohn, et al., 1995 cited in Ferris, et al., 2007). In contemporary practices, it refers to a series of activities considering human capital within the company, such as recruitment and training of employees, measuring performance, salary management, etc. and brings about a new focus on human relations. Human resource management is not simply a top-down process, it also accompanies with the bottom-up feedback. So hearing from various voices and then making relevant adjustment is one of the fundamental duties in human resource management. There are lots of literature showing that superior performance can be reached when HRM practices are “strong” (Bowen & Ostroff, 2004 cited in Buller & McEvoy, 2012). So studying theoretical techniques and solving practical problems in HRM can really assist in both the sophistication of researches and the development of organizations.
The status quo of human resource management
New characteristics and orientation of HRM
In the past, people used to think that human resource management is not directly involved in the process of creating values, so they attached little importance to the HR department. However, with the increasing value of talents, HR department participates more in strategic management of organizations and contributes more to operating goals. Besides traditional administrative affairs, main jobs of human resource management now consist of absorbing, retaining, motivating and developing high-potential staffs, which are based on mutual trust and commitment.
Nowadays, people, especially those with skills and expertise, have more discretionary power than before. Under that circumstance, organizations have to respect employees’ right to make choices and think from their views. Firms are no longer standing in the dominant place. Instead, they are expected to realize talents’ demands and fulfill them so as to obtain their loyalty and commitment. The center stage of today’s human resource management is transferred from bosses to workers. This people-oriented way takes employees’ demand and function as priority in the company’s operation. Only when the needs of staffs are satisfied can it be possible to improve their innovation and efficiency, and furthermore contribute to the development of the company.
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