Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC/D Diploma in
Human Resource Management
Human resource management is the more contemporary term used for people management as opposed to the classical term personal management. Even though culturally one term has superseded the other this was not just a simple change of name. A better assessment of this change can be thought of as a redefining of the role with each term applying a different philosophy and main duties being either taken on-board or passed across to different positions within a company. This said, if you wanted to apply a general description to both terms it would be better to as Ian Henderson in human resource management for MBA students 2nd addition does refer to them as “people management” and can be described as “All the management decisions and actions that directly affect or influence people as members of the organisation rather than as job-holders.”
If we are to look at this description we can take it to mean that HR or Personnel managers are not line managers who are in charge of the technical aspects of a person’s job. Initially Personnel managers duties included aspects such as organising staffing such advertising for new positions, performance related tasks such as arranging training and administrative tasks which would include collecting employee details and ensuring an organisation is complying with national legal requirements focused on employment. As can be seen from this description personnel management takes a very practical approach with an operational focus to the management of people working within an organisation and this was the structure and focus of many personnel departments up until the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The philosophy fitted extremely well with Taylorism and Fordism (Davies, 2010) and early American mass production techniques. The role was often seen as removed from line management and very bureaucratic to the extent of hindering a company’s success. These two aspects where resulted from the personnel managers primary goal of reducing the cost of human resources. Employees at this time where often seen as no more than an expensive troublesome cog in the mass production machine.
Moving on from Taylorism and Fordism a massive cultural and philosophical shift occurred in American companies in the way that they regarded people management. Many had lost faith in procedures and policies which had so far been successful and new Japanese concepts of how to run a company and mass produce products such as Just in time where starting to introduce serious competition into the American markets (Gallie et al, 1998). Organisations where starting to realise that rather than employees being a hindrance they are in fact their most important asset. This can be seen in the primary goal of maximising utilisation of human resources over the long term for the newly evolving form of people management, human resource management.
In contrast to personnel management HR management entrenches its philosophy in strategy and pro-active solutions (Price, 2007). This said HR management is still heavily involved in training, reward systems and staffing usually working alongside a general manager. It just takes a more long term and strategic approach to the subjects. Many of the day to day and operational duties which historically resided within the personnel managers’ role have now been transferred across to line managers. In the example of British Gas this has the advantage of employees and managers building better relationships. It also feeds into the normal duties of a British Gas line manager which are all based around team management (businesscasestudies, 2014). For a line manager to be effective they need to have a good understanding of the criteria for workflows within their team and how these apply to the members. If for insistence there is a skill...
References: Businesscasestudies (2014) [online]
Businesscasestudies (2014) [online]
CIPD (2014) [online]
Davies, John. (2010) BTEC Level 4/5 HNC in Business, Pearson Higher Education (UK)
Gallie Duncan, White Michael, Cheng Yuan, Tomlinson Mark (1998) Restructuring the Employment Relationship, Clarendon Press
Henderson, Iain (2011) Human Resource Management for MBA Students 2nd Edition, CIPD 2011
legislation.gov.uk (2014) [online]
legislation.gov.uk (2014) [online]
Price, Alan (2007) Human Resource Management in a Business Context, Cengage Learning EMEA; 3rd revised edition
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