Human Resource Management
Human resources are the people (including their knowledge, skills and abilities) within an organization who perform the actual work of the organization. Their efforts enable the organization to meet its objectives. The intellectual capital of each organization has been a growing focus in our highly competitive world.
Human resources management is the effective use of an organization’s human resources to improve its performance. This management is no small order, it takes great skill, ability and practice.
HRM is one of the greatest challenges facing businesses today. The challenge is not just faced by human resource professionals, it is the responsibility of all managers throughout an organization. Management is the practice of getting things done through others. Only by effectively managing the firm’s human resources will the goals and objectives be met.
Although all companies have access to the same technology and the same information, it is the people within each organization who make the difference in organizational performance. That is human resources provide the foundation for the organization’s competitive advantage.
At the turn of the century, Frederick Taylor conducted studies at Midvale Steel Works. Known as the Father of Scientific Management, Taylor suggested that it was management’s responsibility to develop the one best way to perform the job and then it was the employee’s responsibility to perform the job in that one best way. Taylor’s premise was that management should systematically hire the appropriate workers for the job and then outline each detail of the job to be performed.
After this Elton Mayo discovered the importance of the person in the work place. From 1927 to 1932, Mayo conducted research at the Western Electric plant in an effort to find solutions to the shortcomings of Scientific Management. Mayo’s study highlighted the improved productivity gained by paying attention to workers and the significant role social relationships played in the workplace.
We can think of an organization as an open system and its productivity as a transformation process. Inputs, or resources are procured from the external environment. The resources go through a transformation process that results in outputs, or products. The resulting products are then absorbed into the external environment that is they are consumed.
Here, the point is that each organization must remember the impact of external environment. In the case of human resources, the external environment becomes especially critical as organizations compete with each other for labor. Additionally, an organization’s overall human resource function must be competitive to attract qualified applicants and then retain them.
The world today is characterized by constant change occurring at an unprecedented pace. Nearly all companies operate in a dynamic environment. Some of the changes that characterize the world of business today include the following.
· Changing Employee expectations
· Competition in a global arena
· Cultural and social diversity
· Emphasis on increased productivity
· Fall of the command and control manager
· Flatter organizations
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