Despite some negative perceptions among the international, including European, public, Pakistan has shown remarkable political and economic developments since the late 1990s when the country was on the verge of bankruptcy. With a rapidly growing population of about 150 million, Pakistan is a major country, recognised by the international community, and is one of the most important actors in the Islamic world. Though still having a negative image in global envirement its HR is the silver lining in its current crisis where budding new organizations are coming to the realization of the value of Human Resource Management and hence adopting modern approach to HRM.
The recent improvements in the economy and the business environment have been recognised by international rating agencies such as Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s (country risk upgrade at the end of 2003). Provided the positive trend is maintained, Pakistan presents numerous and significant opportunities for investments aiming both at using Pakistan as an export base and at tapping an emerging market with a rapidly growing middle class.
Human Resource (HR) management
The design of formal systems in an organization to ensure the effective and efficient use of human talent to accomplish the organizational goals.
“HR should be defined not by what it does, but by what it delivers.” DAVID ULRICH As human resources have become viewed as more critical to organizational success, many organizations have realized that it is the people in an organization that can provide a competitive advantage.2 Throughout the book it will be emphasized that the people as human resources contribute to and affect the competitive success of the organization. Human Resource (HR) management deals with the design of formal systems in an organization to ensure the effective and efficient use of human talent to accomplish organizational goals. In an organization, the management of human resources means that they must be recruited, compensated, trained, and developed.
HR Management Challenges
The environment faced by HR management in a developing country like Pakistan is a challenging one; changes are occurring rapidly across a wide range of issues but in order to understand the current challenges being face by organizations within Pakistan one need to understand the various characteristics of the Human Resource available within the country.
Social environment and Governing Labor Laws within Pakistan
Although health indicators in Pakistan have been improving, the situation is still serious in many regions of the country. Unhygienic living conditions, lack of appropriate outreach of health facilities, scarcity of potable water and malnutrition, particularly among children, contribute to a poor health status. Pakistan has one of the highest child mortality rates in Asia (110 out of 1000 under 5 years) and a low life expectancy (63 years). In 2001-2002, 49% of the households did not have access to a reasonable system of sanitation system. Both public and private spending on health is low with expenditures totalling 0.7% of GNP in 2002. However, poverty alleviation initiatives recently launched by the Government have brought about an increase in Government spending on areas which include health and sanitation.
Apart from this, improvement has also been brought about through increasing health facilities and launching of a number of health programmes. These programmes address various health problems such as Malaria, AIDS, or malnutrition as well as immunisation in order to reduce child mortality.
As in many developing countries, poverty (affecting one third of the population) is one of the main social problems. Social security schemes, first introduced in the 1960s, have not been very successful, due to lack of financial...