Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester I
Subject Code – MB0043
Subject Name –Human Resource Management
(Book ID: B1132)
Assignment Set- 1 (60 Marks)
Note: Each question carries 10 Marks.Answer all the questions.
Trace the phases of evolution of human resource management. The historical background to the management techniques of human resources are in vogue since ancient times. It’s only in the past 100 odd years that the techniques and study of human behaviour at work has become formal and structured with certain basic practices established as core and a host of other practices left to each organization to design and implement as per their individual business driven practices. As per Fisher, Schonfeldt and Shaw, in their book titled Human Resources Management, they have characterised the history of HRM as having evolved through four broad phases, the Craft system, the scientific system, the human relations approach and the prevalent organizational science-human resources approach. The Craft system refers to early trends noticed in Egypt and Babylon, where skills based training was provided to people to ensure a steady flow of craftsmen required to build huge monuments. By the 13th century, subsequently the trend was noticed in Europe and later craft guilds evolved to ensure not only the skill acquisition but regulate the conditions of employment, level of skill and improved production techniques. Most relevant in the domestic industry where generations of skilled workers trained and became experts in a particular skill. The Scientific Management approach was a key part of the industrial revolution typical of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. It was instilled in the principles of mass production and organization of work – simple work skills and supervisory/managerial skills. This rapidly emerged as the assembly line approach to managing workflow, which later Fredrick Taylor (1856-1915) pioneered based on the philosophy that employees wanted to be used efficiently and money being the primary motivator. Over a period of time this was proved wrong as employee dissent grew and union issues surfaced. It was during this phase that employee welfare as a key HR practice emerged which redressed employee issues like recreational facilities, medical program and employee grievance systems. The Human Relations approach was an outcome of the famous studies undertaken by US social scientist Elton Mayo and Fritz Roethlisberger at the Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant in Chicago. The Hawthorne Studies: As described in virtually every book written about management, the human relations or behavioral school of management began in 1927 with a group of studies conducted at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric, an AT&T subsidiary. Curiously, these studies were prompted by an experiment carried out by the company’s engineers between 1924 and 1932. Following the scientific management tradition, these engineers were applying research methods to answer job-related problems. Two groups were studied to determine the effects of different levels of illumination on worker performance. One group received increased illumination, while the other did not. A preliminary finding was that, when illumination was increased, the level of performance also increased. Surprisingly to the engineers, productivity also increased when the level of illumination was decreased almost to moonlight levels. One interpretation made of these results was that the employees involved in the experiment enjoyed being the centre of attention; they reacted positively because management cared about them. The reason for the increase in the production was not the physical but the psychological impact of the employee’s attitude towards the job and towards the company. Such a phenomenon taking place in any research setting is now called the Hawthorne effect. As a result of these preliminary investigations, a team of researchers headed by...
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