“Industrial Relations” and “Human Resource Management”

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“Industrial Relations” and “Human Resource Management”

With the rapid pace of globalization, economic development and the more fierce competition among enterprises, the environment of employment is becoming more and more complex than in the past. The companies, no matter private or state-owned ones, have realized the significance of human resources which is the source of social wealth and plays a decisive role in its creation. The essay is concerned about comparing and contrasting the key features of “human resource management” and “industrial relations”. In the academic fields, human resource management and industrial relations are boasting some differences as well as the similarities. And the consolidation trend of human resource management and industrial relations is in progressing. The author is attempting to illustrate the comparison and contrast between human resource management and industrial relations by analyzing their definitions, aims, assumptions, and the standpoints or the angles of carrying out actions. At the last part of the essay, some similarities between HRM and industrial relations are proposed in a basic way.

Human resource management differs from industrial relations. In the first place, the focus of each definition varies from each other. Human resource management focuses on the employers who are seeking competitive advantages of the enterprise. They utilize quantities of strategies concerning corporation culture, structure and employees to realize the development of workforce. As a result, the employees tend to be more committed and capable and the effectiveness and efficiency are achieved, making the company profits larger and larger. That is to say, human resource management is of more strategic importance, focusing on the full plan and attention of the management teams and senior executives. In the contrast, the regulation, control, governance of work and the employment relationship are the main focuses of industrial relations, which is drawing on the views of economics, politics, sociology, law and history. The rules and disciplines are generated to govern the performance and behavior in the workplace, which are to reduce the uncertainty in the human resource management. That is to say, human resource management puts more focus on the proper balance between the employer and employees and industrial relations acts for helping to relieve the conflict between the two parts.

Secondly, the aims of human resource management and industrial relations are different in some way. The former one is conducted in order to satisfy the organizations’ needs for human resources as much as possible, to assist the sustainable development of the organization, and to expand and raise the quality of workforce. The ultimate aim is to enhance the efficiency, the commitment of the workforce and the outcomes of the organization. Since the operators and managers are responsible for the capital, the human resource management strategies and practice are consistent with the capital and involve the stakeholders. And in an ideal way, highly-performed human resource management is conducted to balance the interests of organization and the benefits of the workforce, which is regarded as a win-win situation in some previous research. On the other hand, the goals of industrial relations are achieving efficiency, realizing justice (benefits of workforce) in workplace. The equity, productivity and voice are all outcomes connected with the purposes of industrial relations. Someone may argue that human resource management is also concerned with the benefits of labors since lots of strategies of human resource management do exert good effects on labors’ benefits. However, realizing labors’ benefits, can be a motivation and rewards to the higher commitment of the labors producing much more productivity, is only considered as a tool or mean assisting the human resource management to achieve more interests of...
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