“(HRM is) a strategic approach to managing employment relations which emphasizes that leveraging people’s capabilities is critical to achieving sustained competitive advantage, this being achieved through a distinctive set of integrated employment policies, programmes and practices.”
(John Bratton / Jeffrey Gold; Human Resource Management Theory And Practice, 2003)
Although the terms Human Resource Management and Personnel Management are commonly used interchangeably, research has shown there are substantial differences between the two. Personnel Management focuses more on the management of employees and dealing with administrative tasks such as employment laws, contractual obligations and the payroll of the company, encompassing the range of activities to do with managing the workforce rather than resources.
Human Resource Management takes a strategic approach to the overall management of not only workers, but their workplace and environment, focusing on aspects such as the safety, wellness, benefits, motivation, development and organization of employees. It can be said that Personnel Management is workforce centered; being largely about mediating between management and employees, while Human Resource Management is resource centered; concentrating on the planning, monitoring and control aspects of resources. There are four major stages in the evolution of Personnel and Human Resource Management as we know it today;
consent by negotiation
organization and integration
Social justice was the budding stage in Human Resource Management, dating back to the 19th Century, when the work of social reformers such as Lord Shaftesbury and Robert Owen led to the appointment of the first personnel managers. Lord Shaftesbury was the leader of the Factory Reform Movement in the House of Commons and a key contributor to the Factory Act of 1847, which minimized the working hours of woman and children in factories to 10 hours per day and made it illegal for kids under the age of 9 to be employed in textile factories.
Robert Owen was a social reformer of the Industrial Revolution, who assisted the working class of England by helping ease labour hours and conditions, and the use of child labour. He also assisted in the employment standards of England. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, some large employers started appointing welfare officers to manage new initiatives designed to make life easier for their employees, leading to higher productivity, improved retention of the workforce, and more applicants for each job. Notable welfare initiatives promoted by employers today include employee assistance schemes, childcare facilities and health-screening programmes.
The term "bureaucracy" means "rule by office". Bureaucracy is an organizational form used by sociologists and organizational professionals. The Industrial Revolution contributed to the development of bureaucracies, and modern bureaucracy emerged around 1850. In the 1930's, German sociologist, Max Weber, studied new forms of organization being developed to manage large numbers of people in complex activities, his studies and work led to the popularization of the term.
He discussed topics such as uniform principles, structure and hierarchy, merit system and specialization of job-scope. Weber described many ideal types of public administration and government in his work and many aspects of modern public administration go back to him. His research showed that large scale organizations were similar in specific ways and shared many similar features, concluding that each was a bureaucracy. Webster described bureaucracy as being the ideal way of organizing government agencies, and key in the continuing rationalization of western society. Websters principles were used throughout public and private sectors. He noted seven major principles;
specification of jobs with detailed...
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