Evolution of Human Resource Management

By Vani, G. | Review of Management, April-June 2011 | Go to article overview

Evolution of Human Resource Management


Vani, G., Review of Management


Introduction

Human Resource is the assets of the organization. The employees were considered as machines and animals in the past decades. Employees were made to work in the organization without any stipulated time, schedule, workload, compensation, working hours etc. They were made to stay for long hours for which they were even not paid properly. Due to the low literacy rate of Indians in the past decades especially at the times of foreign rule employees use to commit mistakes in ignorance for which they were punished and sometimes fired from the organization. The turnover of employees took place which resulted in replacement problem.

The rapid growth in the number of factories and the need to coordinate the efforts of large number of people in the work place necessitated the development of management theories and principles. In order to overcome the scarcity and replacement of employees management has approached many theorists and practitioners who contributed valuable ideas that laid the foundation for broader inquiries into the nature of management.

Human resource management (HRM) is the strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization's most valued assets - the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the business. The terms "human resource management" and "human resources" (HR) have largely replaced the term "personnel management" as a description of the processes involved in managing people in organizations. In simple words, HRM means employing people, developing their capacities, utilizing, maintaining and compensating their services in tune with the job and organizational requirement.

HRM has become the dominant approach to people management in English-speaking countries. But it is important to stress that HRM has not 'come out of nowhere'. There is a long history of attempts to achieve an understanding of human behavior in the workplace. Throughout the 20th century and earlier, practitioners and academics developed theories and practices to explain and influence human behavior at work. HRM has absorbed ideas and techniques from a wide range of these theories and practical tools. In effect, HRM is a synthesis of themes and concepts drawn from a long history of work, more recent management theories and social science research.

Evolution of Management Thoughts towards Employees in the Organization

Great pioneers, researchers and practitioners have contributed their valuable suggestions to the organization towards the treating the employees. Research in the area of HRM has much to contribute to the organizational practice of HRM. For the last centuries and decades, empirical work has paid particular attention to the link between the practice of HRM and organizational performance, evident in improved employee commitment, lower levels of absenteeism and turnover, higher levels of skills and therefore higher productivity, enhanced quality and efficiency . Best fit, or the contingency approach to HRM, argues that HRM improves performance where there is a close vertical fit between the HRM practices and the company's strategy. This link ensures close coherence between the HR people processes and policies and the external market or business strategy.

1. Robert Owen pioneer of human resource management (1771-1858) was a successful British entrepreneur in the early 19th century. He was one of the earliest management thinkers to realize the significance of human resource. He believed that workers. performance was influenced by the environment in which they worked. He proposed legislative reform that would limit the number of working hours and restricted the use of child labor. Owen recommended the use of a 'silent monitor. to openly rate an employee's work on a daily basis. He tried to improve the living conditions of his employees by ensuring basic amenities like better streets, houses, sanitation and setting up an educational establishment. …

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