Chapter 1 Human Resource Management
Explain what is meant by human resource management
Understand the relationship between human resource management and management
Describe the HR manager’s role
Understand the human resource management activities performed in organisations
Explain the meaning of strategy
Explain the meaning of strategic human resource management
Describe a strategic approach to human resource management
Appreciate the strategic challenges facing human resource management
This chapter introduces the concept of Human Resource Management (HRM) and its role withinorganisations. It is divided into several sections that describe the activities involved in HRM and therelationship between HRM and an organisation’s business strategy. The material contained in this chapter serves as the basis upon which the entire book is built.
What is Human Resource Management?
The focus of human resource management (HRM)
is on managing people within the employer-employeerelationship. It involves the productive use of people in achieving the organisation's strategic businessobjectives
and the satisfaction of individual employee needs. HRM is a major contributor to the success of anenterprise because it is in a key position 'to affect customers, business results and ultimately shareholder value'. Ineffective HRM is a major barrier to employee satisfaction and organisation success.
HRM and Management
The purpose of HRM is to improve the productive contribution of people, and should therefore be related toall other aspects of management. There are two basic approaches to HRM:
instrumental HRM -
approach that stresses the rational, quantitative and strategic aspects of managing human resources; andhumanistic HRM
(or soft) approach that emphasises the integration of HR policies and practices withstrategic business objectives, but recognises that competitive advantage is achieved by employees withsuperior know-how, commitment, job satisfaction, adaptability and motivation.
The new role of HR Managers
As HRM becomes more business oriented and strategically focused, four key roles for HR managers can beidentified:•
– a strategic partner role requires the ability to translate business strategy into action. Thisrole allows the HR manager to become part of the business team.•
– to become administrative experts
HR professionals must be able to: re-engineer HR activities through the use of technology, rethinking and redesigning work processes and the continuousimprovement of all organisational processes; see HR as creating value; and measure HR results in terms of efficiency (cost) and effectiveness (quality).•
– The HR professional must be able to relate to and meet the needs of employees.•
– The HR manager needs to act as a change agent
serving as a catalyst for change within theorganisation; by leading change in the HR function and by developing problem-solving communication andinfluence skills.