You May Know Essay

1877 words - 8 pages

People Management has been important to society from the beginning of civilization when Man began to form groups, clans and tribes to aid in communal living (Wilton, 2011). After The Industrial Revolution, it become more significant in the work environment and developed into what was called (interchangeably at times), Industrial Relations, Employment management and Personnel Management, mainly due to the development brought about by the scientific management systems of Fredrick Taylor (Thornthwaite, 2012). Overtime, the dynamic nature of society necessitated a change in people management which consequently influenced a shift in terminologies and practices in people management ...view middle of the document...

The potential and scope of HRM has developed overtime from PM and become the substance of the organization (Legge, 1995).It also has a broader and different focus from PM, emphasising on the concepts of strategic integration, high commitment practices and work flexibility (Guest, 1987); in contrast to PM, the essence of HRM involves the treatment of HRM as a fundamental part of the organization. This debate characterised the early days of HRM and to some extent, is still relevant in any discussion of the development of people management today.
Drawing from the preceding debate, it is imperative that the concepts of PM and HRM be clarified. After World War II, The field of social science exerted a major influence on PM, through the borrowing of theories and practices into the field to address issues and harmful practices of the scientific management procedures. Its methods became more scientific and its purview of recruitment and selection, pay and conditions of service welfare, industrial relations, training and development were more standardized (Henderson, 2011). Thus people management acquired sophisticated techniques, shaped a novel culture in practice and policies and developed and evolved into a specialist function and personnel managers were differentiated from line managers in terms of function and focus of duties (Henderson, 2011). This, however, was not a mainstream function but constructed as a support function, an administrative department operating on the periphery of organisation and strategic decision making (Redman and Wilkinson, 2006).
The term ‘Human Resource’ did not just appear on the scene of people management, it was first used in 1910 in North America, to describe the general idea and notion that the American worker was more than a passive tool in the economic process, but was a ‘resource’- the most valuable and important part of the economic process that should be developed and improved through investments and considerations of his welfare and wellbeing (Commons, 1919; Kaufmann, 2001) in Savaneviciene and Stankeviciute, 2013). However, the word ‘Human resource management’ came into prominence much later when it begun to be used interchangeably in mainstream PM literature (Strauss, 2001), but it gained ascendancy in the 1980s and a clean break with the more traditional PM was achieved (Thornwaite, 2012).
People management policies and practices that made up the new HRM initially originated in the USA manufacturing industry in the 70s and 80s. Experts point to various factors as being major precipitants of the need for new people management procedures and techniques, Guest (1987) identifies some of these issues as being: New models philosophy and ideas of excellence; Changes in workplace and the nature of work and the failure of PM in addressing the changes; A marked decline in union activities; A search for competitive advantage and efficiency; and the introduction of new Technology (Legge, 1995). The end of scientific...

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