Human Resources Management Perspective at the Turn of the Century

By Lipiec, Jacek | Public Personnel Management, Summer 2001 | Go to article overview

Human Resources Management Perspective at the Turn of the Century


Lipiec, Jacek, Public Personnel Management


The future of human resources management and the role of HR managers are presented in this paper. The paper presents the results of nine large reports that have been undertaken around the world. The market, demographic, social, and management changes taking place are addressed. Taking into account these trends, a precise role of HR managers in the future is outlined.

At the turn of the century, human resources managers will have to face new challenges. World economy and markets are different from those of a decade ago. As paradigms have changed, the characteristics affecting human resources management must be also revised. The focus on changes in human resources doesn't seem to be taken up frequently. Until the 90s, very little research on HRM was undertaken. The most important research from this decade is collected in Table 1 (next page; Bournois and Brooklyn, 1994; Losey, 1996).

Table 1.             Important Reports on HR Perspective

Author               Research                            Zone

William Johnston     Workforce 2000                      World
Hudson Institute
Smythe/Dorward/      Your Employees: Your                Great Britain
Lambert              Edge in the 1990s
KPMG                 Trends and Developments             Europe
                     in Human Resources
                     Management
Towers Perrin and    A 21st Century of Southern          World
IBM                  California/Center for
                     Effective Organizations
Edward Lawler III    University of Southern              USA
et al.               California/Center for
                     Effective Organizations
D. Hambrick          Korn Ferry International            Western
                     University of Columbia              Europe
Derr C.B. et al.     IMD Report prepared for             Europe
                     the European Association of
                     Personnel Managers
Price Waterhouse     Cranfield University                Europe
Cranfield Project
Society for Human    Emerging trends that will           World
Resource             affect the future of human
Management           resource management

Author               Remarks

William Johnston     Based on economic data.
Hudson Institute
Smythe/Dorward/      100 questionnaires,
Lambert              100 interviews with managers.
KPMG                 425 questionnaires,
                     80 interviews with HR
                     managers.
Towers Perrin and    2,961 questionnaires:
IBM                  18% managers, 63% HR
                     managers, 9% lecturers.
Edward Lawler III    400 questionnaires from
et al.               HR managers.
D. Hambrick          452 questionnaires
                     from the largest com-
                     panies of the world.
Derr C.B. et al.     1,530 questionnaires,
                     36 interviews, HR managers
                     and workers.
Price Waterhouse     9,000 questionnaires,
Cranfield Project    13 panels with HR managers.
Society for Human    Questionnaires.
Resource
Management

The research mentioned points out the trends that will continue in human resources management over the turn of the century. Let's take a closer look and analyze what's happening and what will affect the future of HRM.

Human Resources Trends

In a paper of Forster and Whipp (1995), we read about changing market paradigms that will affect HRM:

   Business International Corporation, in a study of 25 companies from a
   number of countries, highlights clear changes in diversity management,
   recruitment and retention strategies, the development of new international
   management skills and the management of work/family conflicts in response
   to challenges of internationalization (p. 435).

Further analysis will be offered from different points of view, because complex changes happen. The analysis will concern the following changes:

* market changes

* demographic changes

* social changes

* management changes

We must remember that all changes concerning HRM must be consistent with its mission. …

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