Human Resource Management Function

Human Resource Management
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  • Human Resources Management Function(HRM):

The topics that will be covering in this article are in the following manner :

Evolution of Human Resources Management

  • Defining Human Resouce Management
  • Differences between Personnel Management and Human Resources Management
  • The Human Resources Management system
  • Challenges of the Department of Human Resources Management
  • Selecting HR Strategies to increase from performance

So, in brief, will show you what are Human Resources and some basic concepts of Human Resources.

Human Resources consists of people who work in an organization.

That is what Gomez Mejia Balkin and Cardy feel.

Now, why don’t you discuss amongst yourselves whether the above should be called personnel or Human Resources? 

What is the term that would make that would feel better?


A manager is a man or woman who is in charge of others and is responsible for the timely and correct execution of moves that promote his or her unit’s success.

He’s a manager somebody who gets the work done by other people.

Or is a manager somebody who takes responsibility for the work that she or he gets done by people.

Or delegates to the people who are responding to her or him.

  • Line employee:

The other concept would like you to focus on is line employee.

Gomez Mejia Balkin and Cardy feel that a line employee is an employee who is involved directly in producing the company’s goods or services.

According to them, a line employee is a person who actually does the job.

Everybody else is managing the job but a line employee somebody who’s really taking care of the work that needs to be taken care off.

  • Staff employee:

A staff employee is a “person who supports the line employees”.

Which means these are the people who give them whatever they need to do their work properly.

  • Evolution of Human Resources Management:

Evolution of Human Resource Management

Where did this whole concept of Human Resources management come from?

The earliest recorded accounts of Human Resources management are from 1800 BC. 

Where the again historians have discovered documentation of all this.

And they say that they have records of the minimum wage rate an incentive wage plan introduced in the Babylonian code(BC) of Hammurabi.

So this these are the earliest found documents of the concept of Human Resources management in organizations.

The term may be new but the concept is ages would the concept is probably old.

As the concept of business as the concept of Commerce as the concept of given take in Human in Human societies.

In 300 BC then another recorded account of the evolution of Human Resources practices are from Kautilya’s Arthashastra three hundred years before Christ.

Which is this in year i.e 2000 so this is two thousand three hundred years ago more than two thousand three hundred years ago.

And this happened in India and so you know this was found by the Indian historians.

In India the history of Human Resources management or the recorded accounts of the history of the study of Human Resources management.

  • India:

The 1920s – Where there was an interest in management as a discipline among academics.

1931s – The government intervened to protect the interests of workers through the appointment of labour we’re officers.

That time was the pre-independence era.

We were trying to take care of the employees who were serving our businesses.

So the government intervened and they said that every organization should have labour welfare officers who should take care of the interests of workers.

1948s – Factories Act : 

As soon as India gained its independence be one of the first things that were put in place was the factories Act.

Which emphasized on the need for the appointment of labour welfare officers in every single organisation.

To ensure that the people who were actually working in these factories day and night were looked after.

So because of that, this factories act was put in place from 1948 to the 1970s for about 25-30 years this act looked after.

The interests of the workers in factories.

The 1970s – They realized that we also need to look after the production, the productivity and the output of these people.

So there was a shift of focus from concern for the welfare of people to concern for the performance of organisations.

In addition to looking after the interests of the people who were working in the organisation.

There was also a renewed interest in looking after in evaluating how much work was done by the people who served the organisation.

The 1980s – National Institute of labour management and Indian Institute of Personnel Management merged to form the National Institute of Personnel Management.

The Personnel Management morphed into Human Resources as new technologies came to be mentioned to manage people and their differences.

The 1990s – The American Society of Personnel Management renamed itself as the Society of Human Resources Management.

The concept of Human Resources the focus on Human

Resources developed and evolved.

As time passed by focus shifted from the focus on the welfare of the people to welfare plus what they produced.

Evolution of the work that they did.

  • Defining Human Resource Management:

human resource management

About 50 years ago:

“Personnel Management aims to achieve both efficiency and justice.

It seeks to bring collectively and strengthen into an effective organization the person who make up the enterprise, enabling each to make his personal best contribution to its success.

“It seeks to furnish fair terms and conditions of employment and fulfilling work for these employed.”

About 50 years ago people focused on personnel management they focused on the interests of personnel.

Slowly the focus shifted from the interest of the people who were working to productivity.

  • Some differences between Personnel Management and Human Resources Management: 
  • Personnel management serves a reactive servicing role.

Personnel management finds out what has been done wrong.

Finds out or works on the interests of the people and what should be done to protect the interests of the people.

So how do we know that the interests of the people have been affected?

When we see that they are sometimes their productivity is getting affected they are not feeling comfortable they are not feeling safe.

Personnel Management focuses specifically on protecting the interests of the people in hindsight.

Human Resources Management, on the other hand, adopts a raw active innovative role.

Which means that Human Resources Management essentially serves to be more things ahead strategizes and develops concepts.

Ahead of the time tries to understand what is to come and work accordingly.

  • In Personnel Management the emphasis is on implementation of procedures.

The emphasis is on working according to the law that has been laid down.

In Human Resources management the emphasis is on strategy.

  • In Personnel Management, Personnel Management is a specialist department.

Human Resources management, on the other hand, is the general manager.

So people are really focusing on what they can do.

Since it involves or it influences all the other departments of an organization.

The emphasis is on integrating or looking after the interests of the people who are involved with different aspects of Management.

It could be operations could be finance could be research and development could be Human Resources could be anything.

  • In Personnel Management employees are seen as a cost to be controlled.

So the organization spends some amount of money on employees on hiring employees on retaining them it pays their salaries.

From the perspective of Personnel Management employees are seen as a cost.

you pay their salaries so it is a burden on the organization.

If you see things from the perspective of Human Resources management employees are seen as an investment.

And what is an investment? 

An investment is something that you pay for that pays you later it pays you back later.

So employees are seen as an investment to be nurtured as well as a cost to be controlled.  

Employees are seen as something that you pay for now that will give you a lot of returns later. 

There is some burden on the organization you’re paying them their salaries you’re paying for their training needs.

And you don’t know whether they will stay with the organization long enough to give you anything in return 

  • From the perspective of Personnel Management, there is a presumption of union manager conflict.

Which means that a hierarchy is assumed in the organization.

And it is assumed that people at lower levels of the hierarchy will get together will work collaboratively.

As a collective, they will be disappointed or they will be dissatisfied with the decisions management makes or their senior managers make.

On the other side, it is also assumed that managers will not be comfortable with the demands of the unions.

These collectives of employees are placing on the organization.

Human Resources Management, on the other hand, sees conflicts as inevitable in teams.

Wherever there are people who are coming from different backgrounds there will be a conflict.

And it will be dealt with by team members within their teams.

  • Personnel Management focuses on a preference for collective bargaining of pay and working conditions.

So when people will get together their interests will be looked after and they will try and get as much from the organization as possible.

In Human Resources Management they will management lead the planning of people Resources and employment conditions are stressed on. 

So from the Human Resources Management perspective, we feel that we will do whatever we can to protect the interests of our employees.

  • From the perspective of Personnel Management, the emphasis is on settling pay more in terms of the organization’s Internal market.

Who gets paid what?

Which department gets paid higher?

Which department gets paid lower?

Every care is taken to ensure that the employees are. not uncomfortable with each other salaries they are all paid at par with each other.

From the Human Resources Management perspective, we presume that people are coming to the organization from different parts of the world.

Different capacities maybe different parts of the country.

But they are as free to choose our organization as we are to choose them.

They are under no burden no pressure to choose the organization that they are a part of.

so if we do not pay them what they deserve somebody else will pay them.

And skilled workers will go from our organization to maybe our competitor.

The emphasis is on competitive pay and conditions to stay ahead of competitors.

We find out who the best people are to do the work that we assign them to do. 

And we pay them higher than our competitors in order to stay ahead of our competition.

We hire the best people and give them salaries that they would get from our competitors.

Or higher salaries than what our competitors would give them.

So that they are satisfied with the organization they are working in and that is how we stay ahead of the competition.

  • From the perspective of Personnel Management, there is we serve other departments or units.

The Department of Personnel Management is a small department which sends people to other departments and looks after the interests of only these people.

From the perspective of Human Resources Management, we are contributing added value to business.

We are giving them the people we think can take care of the needs of this organization.

And we are looking after these people and we are also and in turn, we are improving the quality of work produced by the organization. 

  • From the perspective of Personnel Management, we are supporting change.

So we modify we adapt as and when change occurs.

From a  Human Resources Management perspective, we do everything in our capacity to anticipate.

How we should change and stay ahead of the game and stimulate change so we become the change-makers.

  • From the perspective of Personnel Management, there are challenging business goals in light of their effect on employees.

So the business goals that we come across are supposed to have an impact on the employees.

We are supposed to challenge those business goals.

We are supposed to change those business goals.

From the perspective of the impact that they will have on the employees.

From the perspective of Human Resources Management 

we have a total commitment to business goals.

And we help our employees change and adapt to the business goals.

As opposed to changing or modifying the goals according to the needs of the employees.

  • From the Personnel Management perspective, there is a less flexible approach to staff deployments whoever is in one place is supposed to be there.

And not move why because it will inconvenience them.

From the Human Resources Management perspective, there is a completely flexible approach to staff deployment

People are supposed to be moving out of their comfort zones and doing things that they have never done before.

And it is the responsibility of the organization to take care of their needs and help them go through that change as best as possible.

  • The Human Resources Management system: 

Human Resource Management system

Now, what does this whole system of Human Resources management consist of?

Human Resources Management can be divided into five broad categories five broad areas.

1.) Staffing:

Which includes identifying work requirements within an organization.

Determining the numbers of people and the scales necessary to do the work.

  • How do you identify what needs to be done?
  • How do you determine the number of people who need to do?
  • What wants to be done who are required to do?
  • How do you find these people who can do what needs to be done?

In order to make what the organization is there to make.

In order to do what the organization needs them to do.

  • How do you recruit them? Which means how do you bring in new employees. 
  • How do you select a pool of employees?
  • How do you shortlist them? 
  • How do you decide that? This set of employees is going to be appropriate.
  • How do you select the best ones?
  • How do you promote qualified candidates from within the organization?

All of this whole big process is called staffing.

2.) Retention:

The second thing that the Department of Human Resources Management does is retention.

Once you take employees in what do you do to help them stay?

What do you do to help them be in the organization?

They contribute to the organization and they do not leave and this includes rewarding employees for performing their jobs effectively.

It includes ensuring harmonious working relations between employees and managers.

This also includes maintaining a safe healthy work environment.

So you reward them you provide them wonderful reinforcement.

You make positive that they are comfortablei with the people who they are working with their superiors peers subordinates.

You also make sure that they don’t feel uncomfortable in the office environment.

You maintain a safe healthy work environment.

For example,

In organizations say, Textile Mills.

There is a lot of fibre that is floating around.

And that fibre can seriously damage the respiratory system of the employees and that is not right.

You should make sure that the respiratory system of or the breathing of the employees is not affected by whatever is in the air.

There is a lot of tiny fibre particles moving around.

There could be smoke say refineries there could be smoke, heat and seriously damage you.

It causes visit physical and physiological damage to be the employees working there.

So you provide them with all kinds of safety gear to make sure that they are able to do their work properly.

So that is part of the retention strategies.

3.) The Development:

To preserve and enhance employees confidence in their jobs.

By improving their knowledge skills abilities and other characteristics which constitute their competencies.

You make sure that they want to stay then you also help them grow.

We are all Human beings we all want growth we all want to do things well we all want to excel in our careers.

We all want to learn our environment how do we do that.

And it is the then we take employees in us to want them to contribute to the of our organization.

At the same time, we also want these employees to feel comfortable and all employees come into the organization with personal goals

They come they want to help the organization grow they have to contribute to the ultimate goal and objective of the organization.

But at the same time, we also have certain personal goals could be money, learning new skills, engaging in challenging roles or anything.

It becomes the responsibility of the Human Resources department to identify what they want from the organization.

And give it to them as much as possible.

So they stay engaged in their jobs they stay interested in the company they stay involved with the company’s goals.

And they are able to achieve their own personal goals through the achievement of the organizational goals.

4.) Adjustment:

Most of the times we do not like what we do.

In HRM adjustment capacity activities supposed to preserve compliance with the organization’s HR policies.

For example, Discipline and business strategies.

We may not like there are parts of our work that we are not comfortable with.

And it becomes the responsibility of the HR department to help you to adjust in any situations.

It becomes the responsibility of the HR department to help you to adapt to any situations and comfortable with things.

That we may not feel comfortable with and help us stay within the rules.

The Human Resources department of any organization will decide the rules.

So the boundaries the limitations what you can and cannot do your jurisdiction is by the Human Resources department.

5.) Managing Change:

It is another thing that the Human Resources department does.

It is an ongoing process whose objective is to enhance the capability of an organization to expect and reply to traits in its external and internal environments.

To enable employees at all levels to cope with these changes.

So it becomes the responsibility of the Human Resources department to find out where and how change is occurring and faced with it.

  • Challenges of the Department of Human Resources Management:
  • Environmental challenges:

Now the first category of challenges that any Human Resources manager faces is the environmental challenges.

Environmental challenges:

Environmental challenges are “the forces exterior to the firm”.

They are what happens outside the organization that affect what goes on inside the organization.

  • A rapid change in the environment:

So it could be the socio-political environment.

It could be the socio-economic environment.

It should be a technical environment.

Now, so many changes are happening and they are leading to new company townships.

New ways of living people coming in people going out a lot of mobility.

We’re not changing family structure is leading to a lot of stress the demands on the organization.

To stay ahead of its competitors is leading to a lot of stress among the employees.

And all this is a result of rapid change.

How do you keep up with new technologies coming in all of this is affecting how we deal with the big change.

So and that places a lot of stress on us then.

  • Rise of the internet:
  • Necessitating better-written communication skills
  • Dealing with information overflow
  • Breaking down labour market barriers- workers and companies comprehend where to get what they need
  • Usingonline learning 
  • Enabling HR to focus on management

Many of us have seen life without the internet many of us have seen a life where we use these big black heavy telephones.

Where our fingers would get tired when we dialled phone numbers the big heavy black phones.

Single-digit to two digits where we had to pick up a receiver and we would get connected with somebody in the exchange.

Who would recognize our voice after a few days or months?

And would first have a chat with us and then would connect us to the number we were asking to be connected to.

So that transition was very difficult for us.

And just imagine for people who were working these transitions were even faster the generation.

Who have worked or who have been around since the 1970s or 80s have seen this transition from a no-phone era.

Or just pick up the receiver or maybe a single number era to a 10 digit mobile phone era.

Where all you do is press one button on your mobile phones and get connected.

Nowadays we are easily connected with anyone through video conferencing.

This is due to the fact of the internet.

Of course, the rise of the Internet has led to a necessity for better-written communication skills. 

When we put something online we need to know how to write.

By default, the people who invented the internet were native speakers of English.

So everything is happening in English.

If the person who invented the internet or because of who the internet became a came to be used worldwide. 

But we all need to one develop expertise in the language that is being used and learn how to write in that language.

Dealing with information overflow many of us remember a time when to get one piece of information.

We had to go to the library and look at this big fat book called an encyclopedia.

And these days what do we do one click of a button.

So at one click of a button, we are able to get all the information.

We need and much more and we do not know what to trust and what not to trust.

The other thing we need to or we are having to deal with because of the internet is breaking down labour market barriers.

Most of us are willing to move outside our hometowns outside our states outside our countries.

So we can go anywhere we want similarly geographical location is not a restricting factor for organizations.

These days at the click of a button we can do a video chat.

So we are using Human Resources to help us focus on management to focus on the overall picture of how we do things.

No longer looking only at the interests of the employees.

We are also looking at how these employees can contribute to the organization.

  • Workforce diversity: 

Different people from different parts of the world are bringing different ways of working to the workplace. 

Knowledge of Human Resources being well-versed in human resources helps us take whatever they bring and apply it use it.

To get the maximum benefit out of their skills out of what they can do.

It also helps us understand how we can make their workplaces more comfortable.

So they feel inclined to contribute and they are able to contribute.

Two things one is the willingness and the ability.

Having a thorough knowledge of the differences in the backgrounds of people.

And how these differences can influence people helps us understand how we can use their skills and potential to their maximum.

  • Globalization: 

Human Resource Management

Globalization means being able to stay in touch with people.

Being able to move to different parts of people.

Being able to consider the perspectives of different people.

  • Worldwide company culture,
  • Worldwide recruiting,
  • Industrial metamorphosis,
  • Global alliances,
  • A virtual workforce,
  • The global enterprise,
  • Wage competition

Earlier discussed that geographical location is no longer a limitation it is actually an opportunity for us.

Geographical location is we do not really think about where a person is coming from.

We just find out who is qualified and able to do what we need them to do and we call them and they come.

So the world is our village now. It’s one big large village.

We’re able to get in touch with people find out.

What they’re able to do?

And we are able to get them here and that has led to the growth of the worldwide company culture.

We have people from so many different backgrounds we have we are getting a pool of candidates from over the world.

And that is leading to an industrial metamorphosis.

  • How we view organizations?
  • What organizations can do?
  • What they can explore is really unlimited at this point?

So an organization that was initially started as a cloth mill is now selling vegetables or also into selling fresh fruits.

We are able to find out new avenues of taking our business to different levels.

There are global alliances we are partnering with people from different parts of the world.

We are adapting to their ways of working and they are adapting to our ways of working and that has led to globalization.

Now in order to you know in an in addition to this being an opportunity it is also a limitation.

Whatever we do put together is up available on the internet.

In the form of this journal, a lot of journals are doing it.

We also are not restricting ourselves to setting up our offices within one country.

We are moving out of our geographical boundaries.

We are moving out of our hometowns, states or countries and setting up an office wherever either there is a need or wherever we can get things done.

For example,

In India at this point, in time in the year 2015, there are a lot of companies that have set up their back-office operations here in the past 15 to 20 years.

A lot of organizations have outsourced their back-office operations.

Why because commuting or getting information over the Internet is not so difficult.

There could be various reasons one of them is that they pay, end up the total amount of money.

They end up spending in India is much less than the total amount of money they would end up spending in their home countries whose labour is cheap.

But Indians South Asians are known for their hard work and intellect.

It works as a win-win situation plus there is a need for jobs so these companies are bringing in lots of money.

That globalization has led to you know a confusion about what kinds of wages to pay the employees.

So if you hire local labour you pay them slightly higher than what they are getting in their home countries.

But it could end up being much cheaper than what you would pay to the same people are similarly qualified people in your home country.

  • How do you decide?

All of this is being caused by globalization we know what our counterparts are getting in another country.

So we ask for competitive wages and this causes confusion.

But then again if we are getting more than what our counterparts within our own country are getting then that sort of stabilizes the issue.

The other challenge is legislation.

  • Legislation:

Now legislation is a big challenge why because when you employ people in different countries.

When you with all these changes especially in the case of International Human Resources.

We do not know where the laws of which country we need to follow whose laws do we need to follow what we need to do what we cannot do.

All of these things are part of the environmental challenges.

  • Change in work and family roles:

Dual profession families, altering family structure etc..,

The family structure is changing a lot more people are feeling the need for working alongside their partners.

The traditional working husband homemaker wife role has now transformed into dual-career families.

Both husband and wife are working children feel much better if both their parents are working.

Because it’s better for the growth of their children also.

Dual career families are on the rise and organizations need to take care of these spouses of people.

We are all Human beings at the end of the day.

So that is the again that’s a challenge as far as private organizations are concerned.

But it is also an opportunity for evolving work and family structure the people’s families are looked after.

And that is the responsibility of a Human Resources

manager to look after the interests of people treat people as people.

Even with these changes and keeping up with the state these changes is a little difficult.

  • Skill shortages and rise of the service sector:

People are moving out from rural hands-on jobs.

These could be seen as a threat to this big service sector.

So those who had access became got more from society from their workplaces than those who did not have access today everybody has access.

How do you bridge this gap?

A lot of people do not want to menial jobs fair enough we are all becoming self-reliant

which is very nice.

But then again this is putting pressure on the Human Resources personnel.

  • How do you manage jobs?
  • Where do you find people?
  • Who is inclined to do the work?

That was initially done by people who were not so aware of who were not educated.

So in this how do you train people?

What kind of training you give to your employees to deal with all of these changes in the environment.

And there is a rise in the service sector.

We are expecting a lot more from what we buy we are expecting a lot more from the products that are sold to us.

We do not only want a product we also want service associated with that product.

We are becoming super-specialized so we are looking at skilled shortages.

The need for super specialization is increasing and we are looking at you know we want more and more qualified people.

We are not getting them how do we train our current employees.

Do we find them outside will they be available inside?

This is one more challenge that the Human Resources manager has to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

  • Natural Disaster:

The other is a natural disaster.

Malthusian theory whenever the population of the word goes up some natural disaster will occur and bring it down.

Do not know if natural disasters are really occurring more or if they are being taken note off more.

But then if natural disasters occur then a Human Resources Manager also has to take care of those natural disasters.

And look after the employees.

  • Organizational challenges:

Then there are organizational challenges.

Organizational challenges: ” Concern or trouble internal to a firm”.

  • Competitive  position: cost, quality or distinctive capabilities
  • Controlling costs, 
  • Improving quality and
  • Crating distinctive capabilities.

So in organizational challenges, we have a competitive position.

These are the concerns or problems internal to a firm.

  • How do you control the cost quality or distinctive capabilities of your organization?
  • How do you still retain your unique selling point? and 
  • How do you keep retaining or how do you maintain that unique selling point?

So because of the information boom, everybody knows what everybody else is doing so it’s very difficult to keep your progress your growth part hidden.

  • Decentralization: 

How much do you maintain to yourself?

How much do you centralize which decisions are taken central at the organizational level and which are given to the team we will talk more about?  

  • Downsizing:

Downsizing costs are going up companies are becoming the leaner.

So they are cutting down extra employees.

But where do you cut? and  Where do you encourage employees?

That is one big challenge.

  • Organizational restructuring:

Organizational restructuring again downsizing right-sizing you know shaping the organization’s differently self-managed work teams.

But it’s more about self-governance.

So how you monitor yourself?

  • Growth of small businesses:

As new ideas are coming up information is increasing knowledge is increasing education is increasing.

Smaller businesses are coming up and that provides an organizational or posing an organizational challenge for a firm.

That has been in existence for a long period of time.

  • Organizational culture:

“Basic assumptions and beliefs shared via member of an organization”.

Observed behavioural regulatory Norms  Dominant values espoused by an organization

The philosophy that guides an organization’s policy

Rules of the game

Felling or climate

  • Technology:

Rise of telecommunicating, 

Ethics of proper data use,

Electrical monitoring and

Medical testing.

  • Internal security
  • Data security
  • Outsourcing
  • Product integrity
Individual Challenges:
  • Matching people and organization,
  • Ethics and social responsibility,
  • Productivity,
  • Employee ability,
  • Motivation,
  • Empowerment,
  • Brain drain and
  • Job insecurity.

Different attitudes of people.

Different aptitudes brain-drain.

Empowerment how much do you give them how do you keep them motivated.

Do they keep their job secure do they feel insecure do they want to move on all of these are some of the challenges of Human Resources managers.

  • Selecting HR Strategies to increase from the performance:

“The better the match between HR strategy and the firm’s overall organizational strategies

The more the HR strategy is attuned to the environment in which the firm is operating

The more closely HR strategy is moulded to unique your organizational features

The better HR strategies  the firm to capitalize on its distinctive competencies

The more the HR strategies are mutually consistent or reinforce one another.”



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