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What is Human Resource Management

This assignment will attempt to identify and assess the Human Resource Management (HRM). What follows is first, an outline of history of quality of Human Resource Management will be given. Second is to identify the differences between hard Human Resource Management and soft Human Resource Management; the rhetoric and reality of the phenomena. Third is to discuss the role of Human Resource Management in the employment relationship at organizational, national, international levels. Finally, a conclusion will be given at the end.

Before moving to next content, the concept of Human resource Management should be discussed first. Human Resource Management (HRM) is an ambiguous and controversial meaning. A critical view of Fombrun, Tichy and Devanna (1984) that HRM task is to combine company¡¯ formal structure with HR system selection, rewards, assess and development to drive the strategic object of companies. Moreover, Walton (1985) suggested that HRM is formed of promote policies included mutual goals, influence, respect, rewards and responsibility. The opinion of Foulkes (1986) is that the primary value of HRM is to help to realize top and line management goals. In addition, Hendry and Pettigrew (1986) found that HRM use people as a valued resource. Companies invest human resource in current performance of companies and future growth. From points addressed above, it could be suggest that HRM related with company’s performances. During HRM, workforce was look as the special resource and valuable asset that not only can use effectively but also can be developed for the long-term.

With reference to the history of Human Resource Management, with the view of Beardwell.L; Holden, L. that Human Resource Management has become an influential and widely approach to manage employees in market economies now. Moreover, today Human Resource Management became the least variability and the highest quality than before. According to Langbert, M. (2002), what follows is the historic process of quality improvement in Human Resource Management.

In the pre-industrial period, due to inequity, inflexibility and misalignment, the level of Human Resource Management was nearly none. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, indentured servants and slaves were employed from colonies to work for employers. Apprenticeship was the only way for employers to train their employees. At the same time, laws that restrict employ¡¯s freedom were passed. For workers, the only thing they could do was to perform the owner¡¯s goals. Since little motivation for workers, it could be suggested that workers only were looked as a tool to make profits in this period. In another words, it could said that there was Personnel Management rather than Human Resource Management in this period.

In paternalist period, the expansion of industrialization broke the limitations of labors. Firms should improve employee¡¯s productivities, life expectancies and living standards to increase their produce scales. In this period, the significant change is the freedom of American slaves. Due to the expansion of industrialization, firms needed more and more labors. People began to think about the benefits between labors and management. Many people suggested that labors could be the future entrepreneurs. As Abraham Lincoln remarked that: the man who labored for another last year this year labors for himself and next year he will hire others to labor for him. These measures made the early development of modern management practices to appear. In this period, there were both quality improvements and losses.

In bureaucratic period, experts and economists forced firms to reform their practices. These improvements focused four factors: management practice; bureaucration; protective legislation and unionization. Companies paid attention to control of employees; methods of worker selection; training and incentives. Therefore, Bureaucratization made the personnel department appeared. Besides appearance of personnel department, welfare and public support appeared to improve equity. This trend continued to now. Moreover, more and more unions appeared to protect the legal rights and interests of employees. In this period, quality of Human Resource Management became stability and equity.

In high performance period, free market appeared. Managerial balancing was used to declining competition. At the same time, small business and companies were believed to be important. Company¡¯s goals became more flexibility. To reach these goals, companies should develop human resource techniques such as individual incentives and self management. It could be suggested that twentieth century could be looked as a period of learning through experimenting new management approach.

Although HRM developed from personnel management, HRM are radically different with traditional personnel management. According to Storey (1992), there are four basic outlines in there differences: beliefs and assumptions; strategic aspects; line management; key levels. All differences can be suggested in three substances. Firstly, personnel management seems to aim to non-managers. Personnel managers use a set of rules and procedures to manage their subordinates as they think. However, HRM emphasizes the development of employees especially the management team. Secondly, the focus of rule of line management is different. In personnel management view, role of line management is only to manage people. On the other hand, HRM looks line management as business manager. They should coordinate and direct all resource in business to meet the performance. Thirdly, HRM emphasizes to manage the culture of companies as the main activity for senior management. With regard to soft and hard HRM.

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