What Is Human Resource Management?

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Human Resource Management (HRM) is used to describe the function that is concerned with people – the employees. Human Resource Management is the function performed in organizations that facilities the most effective use of people (employees) to achieve organizational and individual goals.

Terms such as personnel, human resource management, industrial relations, and employee development are used by different individuals to describe the unit, department, or group concerned about people. The term human resource management is now widely used, though many people still refer to personnel department. It is a term that reflects the increased concern both society and organizations have for people. Today, employees -the human resource- demand more
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• Communicating HRM policies to all employees.
• Helping to maintain ethical policies and socially responsible behaviour.
• Managing change to the mutual advantage of individuals, groups, the enterprise, and the public.

The terms ‘personnel management’ and ‘HRM’ are often used interchangeably by organizations. Human resources management encompasses:

The aggregate size of the organization’s labour force in the context of an overall corporate plan – how many divisions and subsidiaries the company is to have, design of the organization, etc.
How much to spend on training the workforce – given strategic decisions on target quality levels, product prices, volume of production and so on. The desirability of establishing relations with trade unions – from the viewpoint of the effective management control of the entire organization.

The strategic approach to HRM involves the integration of personnel and other HRM considerations into the firm’s overall corporate planning and strategy formulation procedures (Stroh and Caliguiri, 1998). It is proactive, seeking constantly to discover new ways of utilising the labour force in a more productive manner, thus giving the business a competitive edge. Practical manifestations of the adoption of a strategic approach to HRM might
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It seeks proactively to encourage flexible attitudes and the acceptance of new methods. Aspects of HRM constitute major inputs into organizational development exercises.

‘Personnel management’ has often been (necessarily) reactive and diagnostic. It responded to changes in employment law, labour market conditions, trade union actions, government codes to practice and other environmental influences/ HRM, conversely, is prescriptive and concerned with strategies, the initiation of new activities and the development of fresh ideas.

HRM determines general policies for employment relationships within the enterprise. Thus, it needs to establish within the organization a culture that is conducive to employee commitment and cooperation. Personnel management, on the other hand, has been criticized for being primarily concerned with imposing compliance with company rules and procedures among employees, rather than with loyalty and commitment to the firm.

‘Personnel management’ has often had short-term perspective; HRM has long-term perspectives, seeking to integrate all the human aspects of the organization onto a coherent whole and to establish high-level employee

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