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trends in human resource management

trends in human resource management

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Published by margaretdivya

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Published by: margaretdivya on Feb 20, 2010
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2.0Aims and Objectives2.1Introduction2.2Future of HRM: Influencing Factors2.3Organisation of HRM Department2.3.1HRM Department in Line Organisation2.3.2HRM Department in Functional Organisation2.3.3HRM Department in Line and Staff Organisation2.3.4HRM Department in a Divisionalised Organisational Structure2.3.5HRM Department in a Matrix Organisational Structure2.4Let us Sum Up2.5Lesson-end Activity2.6Keywords2.7Questions for Discussion2.8Suggested Readings
In this lesson we shall discuss about trends in HRM. After studying this you will be ableto:(i)Understand future of HRM and using HRM to attain competitive advantage.(ii)Analyse organisation of HRM department.
Traditionally, the personnel function centred around control and direction of employeesfor achievement of predetermined goals. The Human Resources Approach, in directcontrast to this, recognises the worth of human being in the realisation of corporategoals. It takes a supportive and developmental route to achieve results through thecooperative efforts of employees. When opportunities for growth and enhancement of skills are available, people will be stimulated to give their best, leading to greater jobsatisfaction and organisational effectiveness. The manager’s role, too, has undergone adramatic change over the years. From control and direction of employees, he is expectedto move toward clarifying goals and paths and creating a supportive and growth oriented
17Trends in HRM
environment, where people are willing to take up assigned roles willingly andenthusiastically. The effective use of people is the most critical factor in the successfulaccomplishment of corporate goals. To be effective, therefore, Human Resourcemanagers need to understand the needs, aspirations, concerns of employees proactively,face the challenges head-on and resolve issues amicably. They are expected tosuccessfully evolve an appropriate corporate culture, take a strategic approach to theacquisition, motivation and development of human resources and introduce programmesthat reflect and support the core values of the organisation and its people. This is easiersaid than done in view of constant changes in environment characterised by the followingthings:
Size of workforce:
Corporates have grown in size considerably in recent years,thanks to global competition in almost all fields. The size of the work force,consequently, has increased, throwing up additional challenges before HR managersin the form of additional demands for better pay, benefits and working conditionsfrom various sections of the workforce constantly.2.
Composition of workforce:
The workforce composition is also changing over theyears. The rising percentage of women and minorities in the work force is going toalter workplace equations dramatically. Demands for equal pay for equal work,putting an end to gender inequality and bias in certain occupations, the breakingdown of grass ceiling have already been met. Constitutional protection ensured tominorities has also been met to a large extent by HR managers in public sectorunits. The new equations may compel HR managers to pay more attention toprotecting the rights of the other sex and ensure statutory protection and concessionsto minorities and disadvantaged sections of society. The shifting character of workforce in terms of age, sex, religion, region, caste etc. is going to put pressureson HR managers trying to integrate the efforts of people from various places.Managing heterogeneous and culturally diverse groups is going to stretch the talentsof HR managers fully.3.
 Employee expectations:
“Instead of attempting to force employees to conform toa ‘corporate mould’ future managers may well have to make more allowances forindividual differences in people”. (
 Mathis and Jackson
p. 616). Nowadays workersare better educated, more demanding and are ready to voice strong, violent and joint protests in case their expectations are not met. The list of financial and non-financial demands is ever-growing and expanding. In fast-changing industries suchas software, telecom, entertainment and pharmaceuticals the turnover ratios arerising fast and if HR managers do not respond positively to employee expectations,the acquisition and development costs of recruits is going to mount up steadily. Anefficient organisation is, therefore required to anticipate and manage turnover throughhuman resource planning, training schemes followed by appropriate compensationpackages.4.
Changes in technology:
Increased automation, modernisation and computerisationhave changed the way the traditional jobs are handled. In such a scenario unlessemployees update their knowledge and skills constantly, they cannot survive andgrow. This will necessitate training, retraining and mid-career training of operativesand executives at various levels. Where such initiatives are missing, it becomesvery difficult for employees to face the forces of technology with confidence andget ahead in their careers steadily.
18Human Resource Management
Box 2.1: HR and Technology
As we all know, the workspot of 2000 is significantly different from its counterpart in early70s, chiefly because of computerisation. The invention and development of microchips hasbrought a dramatic revolution in workplace. Microchips are tiny components of electricalcircuits which can be combined to form much larger and more complex electronic systems.They have made it possible to build such systems simply and cheaply at only tiny fractionof the weight and size that would formerly have been required. Industrial robots have begunto invade the assembly line in a big way-doing such tasks as welding, spray-painting, precisioncutting or even playing snooker. Many cars are now fitted with on-board computers, especiallyin the developed world, that diagnose problems in seconds that used to take hours formechanics. IBM has built a plant in Austin, Texas that can produce laptop computerswithout the help of a single worker. If you look at the banking industry, automated tellermachines, for example, have replaced thousands of human tellers in banks. The impact of new technology on the total number of jobs available has been quite devastating. It has placedpower in the hands of a small group of elite people in most large scale organisations. This hastaken place because of deskilling of most jobs, where a few individuals tend to control theorganisations through the increased availability of information. Lower and middle level positionsare the worst hit in this scenario, because computers do the compilation and processing of information now. Work roles have also become more integrated. New technologies generallycompel people to learn a new set of skills altogether and also learn to work together in projectteams time and again.In the present day world, information is the key resource. Organisations that employappropriate technologies (to get the right information to the right people at the right time)will enjoy a competitive advantage. The only way to survive in an environment marked byconstant changes is to convert the firm into a kind of learning organisation. A learningorganisation encourages people to learn to produce the results they desire, nurtures creativeand innovative patterns of collective learning and develops fresh organisational capabilitiesall the time.
 Life-style changes:
The life-style patterns of employees have undergone a rapidchange in recent times. Unlike their predecessors people are now ready to change jobs, shift to new locations, take up jobs in start-up companies instead of manufacturing units and even experiment with untested ideas. A recent survey of young executives in four major metros (Chennai, Bombay, Bangalore and Delhi)(Business line, Urban pulse, Feb 2000) in India revealed several interesting things:
Box 2.2
FactorAspirations, preferences, attitudes, claims
Working HoursWork for a little more than 8½ hours a day. None of the respondentsspend weekends at traditional hang-outs such as discos and pubsAbout choosing a jobFreshers wanted to jump jobs quickly; for them compensationwas an important factor while choosing a job but as one progressedto higher levels compensation was replaced by factors such as jobsatisfaction, responsibilities etc., 30 to 40 per cent of youngpeople grabbed the first job offer and changed jobs after acquiringsome experience. Other important factors in valuing a job weretype of organisation, benefits, pressure in job, working loans,training opportunities, work atmosphere etc.Job SatisfactionAwareness of global packages and practices made young executiveslook for high paying jobs, jobs that do not pay well aredissatisfying. Other factors determining satisfaction levels were:well established company, informal work atmosphere, trainingopportunities, flexible working hours, travel abroad, designation, job content etc.Career goalsMaking it big some day and going places in their careers. Mostseem to have achieved their career goals.Corporate IconsMajority of young executives (55%) had no role model; othershad role models like Bill Gates, Dhirubhai Ambani, JRD Tata etc.Preferred IndustryInformation Technology, Advertising, Finance, Managementconsultancy, FMCG companies, Auto, Hospitality in that order.

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