18th August, 2012
To what extent does HRM need to play a formal role in companies?
Human Resource Management (HRM) can be traced back to ancient times when primitive man was allocated to different tasks based on skills, experience and cultural tradition (Price cited in Slaght & Pallant, 2012, p40). Along with the progress of the time, HRM has long been preserved with its fundamental function of work distribution while its format is fully diversified in modern companies (ibid). This essay will illustrate that HRM is crucial to companies; nevertheless, whether it need to play a formal role in companies depends on enterprises’ complexity such as employee numbers, company structure and scale to a large extent.
Playing a formal role has become essential for HRM in those companies which are complex. In ancient times, great deals of historical justifications are carried out to demonstrate why HRM is crucial. The Farmer’s Almanac (Price cited in Slaght & Pallant, 2012, p41), a book related to primitive management of farm workforce, is known as the relative earliest HRM literature in human history. Moreover, in 16th and 18th Century, Machiavelli and Adam Smith (ibid) stated solemnly how HRM functioned well in the area of leader and distribution of labour respectively, both of them which laid a solid foundation for illustration of the necessity of HRM when it comes to all kinds of industries. After the industrial revolution, whole industries were on their way to a vigorous development, which required a much higher and more complicated method of management which is predecessor of modern management (ibid). McCallum’s Modern Management System (ibid) used in US railway construction projects were operated in high-speed by splitting responsibility geographically. At this stage, complex companies needed to be supervised in an effective HRM, or otherwise, such companies will...