Human Resource Management
Human Resource Management in its simplest definition means management of organization’s manpower or workforce or human resources.
Evolution of HRM
The evolution of the concept of Human Resource Management is presented below
Period before industrial revolution – The society was primarily an agriculture economy with limited production. Number of specialized crafts was limited and was usually carried out within a village or community with apprentices assisting the master craftsmen. Communication channel were limited.
Period of industrial revolution (1750 to 1850) – Industrial revolution marked the conversion of economy from agriculture based to industry based. Modernization and increased means if communication gave way to industrial setup. A department was set up to look into workers wages, welfare and other related issues. This led to emergence of personnel management with the major task as
– Worker’s wages and salaries
– Worker’s record maintenance
– Worker’s housing facilities and health care
An important event in industrial revolution was growth of Labour Union (1790) – The works working in the industries or factories were subjected to long working hours and very less wages. With growing unrest , workers across the world started protest and this led to the establishment of Labour unions. To deal with labour issues at one end and management at the other Personnel Management department had to be capable of politics and diplomacy , thus the industrial relation department emerged.
Post Industrial revolution – The term Human resource Management saw a major evolution after 1850. Various studies were released and many experiments were conducted during this period which gave HRM altogether a new meaning and importance.
A brief overview of major theories release during this period is presented below
- Frederick W. Taylor gave principles of scientific management (1857 o 1911) led to the evolution of scientific human resource management approach which was involved in
– Worker’s training
– Maintaining wage uniformity
– Focus on attaining better productivity.
- Hawthorne studies, conducted by Elton Mayo & Fritz Roethlisberger (1927 to 1940). – Observations and findings of Hawthrone experiment shifted the focus of Human resource from increasing worker’s productivity to increasing worker’s efficiency through greater work satisfaction.
- Douglas McGregor Theory X and Theory Y (1960) and Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs ( 1954) – These studies and observations led to the transition from the administrative and passive Personnel Management approach to a more dynamic Human Resource Management approach which considered workers as a valuable resource.
As a result of these principles and studies , Human resource management became increasingly line management function , linked to core business operations. Some of the major activities of HR department are listed as-
- Recruitment and selection of skilled workforce.
- Motivation and employee benefits
- Training and development of workforce
- Performance related salaries and appraisals.
Strategic Human Resource Management Approach
With increase in technology and knowledge base industries and as a result of global competition , Human Resource Management is assuming more critical role today . Its major accomplishment is aligning individual goals and objectives with corporate goals and objectives. Strategic HRM focuses on actions that differentiate the organization from its competitors and aims to make long term impact on the success of organization.