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MB0043 Human Resource Management

MB0043 Human Resource Management

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Published by Ali Asharaf Khan
Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester 1
Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester 1

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Published by: Ali Asharaf Khan on Dec 11, 2010
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Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester I
Subject Code – MB0043Subject Name –Human Resource Management4 Credits
 (Book ID: B1132)Assignment Set- 1 (60 Marks)Note: Each question carries 10 Marks.Answer all the questions.Q.1 Trace the phases of evolution of human resource management.
The historical background to the management techniques of human resources are in voguesince ancient times. It’s only in the past 100 odd years that the techniques and study of humanbehaviour at work has become formal and structured with certain basic practices establishedas core and a host of other practices left to each organization to design and implement as pertheir individual business driven practices. As per Fisher, Schonfeldt and Shaw, in their book titled Human Resources Management, they have characterised the history of HRM as havingevolved through four broad phases, the Craft system, the scientific system, the humanrelations approach and the prevalent organizational science-human resources approach.
The Craft system
refers to early trends noticed in Egypt and Babylon, where skills basedtraining was provided to people to ensure a steady flow of craftsmen required to build hugemonuments. By the 13
century, subsequently the trend was noticed in Europe and later craftguilds evolved to ensure not only the skill acquisition but regulate the conditions of employment, level of skill and improved production techniques. Most relevant in thedomestic industry where generations of skilled workers trained and became experts in aparticular skill.
The Scientific Management approach
was a key part of the industrial revolution typical of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. It was instilled in the principles of massproduction and organization of work – simple work skills and supervisory/managerial skills.This rapidly emerged as the assembly line approach to managing workflow, which laterFredrick Taylor (1856-1915) pioneered based on the philosophy that employees wanted to beused efficiently and money being the primary motivator. Over a period of time this wasproved wrong as employee dissent grew and union issues surfaced. It was during this phasethat employee welfare as a key HR practice emerged which redressed employee issues likerecreational facilities, medical program and employee grievance systems.
The Human Relations approach
was an outcome of the famous studies undertaken by USsocial scientist Elton Mayo and Fritz Roethlisberger at the Western Electric’s Hawthorneplant in Chicago.
The Hawthorne Studies
: As described in virtually every book written about management, thehuman relations or behavioral school of management began in 1927 with a group of studiesconducted at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric, an AT&T subsidiary. Curiously, thesestudies were prompted by an experiment carried out by the company’s engineers between1924 and 1932. Following the scientific management tradition, these engineers were applyingresearch methods to answer job-related problems.
Two groups were studied to determine the effects of different levels of illumination onworker performance. One group received increased illumination, while the other did not. Apreliminary finding was that, when illumination was increased, the level of performance alsoincreased. Surprisingly to the engineers, productivity also increased when the level of illumination was decreased almost to moonlight levels. One interpretation made of theseresults was that the employees involved in the experiment enjoyed being the centre of attention; they reacted positively because management cared about them. The reason for theincrease in the production was not the physical but the psychological impact of theemployee’s attitude towards the job and towards the company. Such a phenomenon takingplace in any research setting is now called the Hawthorne effect.As a result of these preliminary investigations, a team of researchers headed by Elton Mayoand F.J. Roethlisberger from Harvard conducted a lengthy series of experiments extendingover a six year period. The conclusions they reached served as the bedrock of laterdevelopments in the human relations approach to management. Among their key findingswere the following:· Economic incentives are less potent than generally believed ininfluencing employees to achieve high levels of output.· Leadership practices and work-group pressures profoundly influence employee satisfactionand performance.· Any factor influencing employee behaviour is embedded in a socialsystem. For instance, to understand the impact of pay on performance, you also have tounderstand the climate that exists in the work group and the leadership style of the superior.
 Leadership Style and Practices
As a consequence of the Hawthorne Studies, workerattitudes, morale, and group influences became a concern of researchers. A notabledevelopment of the nature occurred shortly after World War II at the University of Michigan.A group of social scientists formed an organization, later to be called the Institute for SocialResearch, to study those principles of leadership that were associated with highestproductivity.Finally the
Organizational Sciences approach
to human resources management has broughtthe focus to the scientific process within organizations that can impact employee experience,and less on just the individual. Today’s organizations focus on building their processes andpolicies and compete to emerge as ‘preferred employers’ (best employer). It is not uncommonfor competing organizations to woo the employees through advertising more and betteremployee-friendly initiatives like work-from-home jobs, careers for married couples, globalwork assignments and internal job postings and world class workplace infrastructures fromin-campus cricket grounds to gymnasiums for employee wellbeing. This is the HR that wenow see around us.
Q.2 Explain the various techniques and methods used in selecting employees.
There is no shortcut to fair and accurate evaluation of a candidate. As mentioned earlier, thehiring procedures are therefore, generally long and multiple. Organizations are constantlyevaluating the selections tools they use to hire and keep innovating to ensure they hire qualitycandidates.
 The following are popular methods commonly used:
 1 Initial or preliminary interview2 Application blank or blanks.3 Check of references.4 Skill / Psychological tests.5 Employment interview6 Approval by the manager.7 Medical examination.8 Induction or orientation.
1. Preliminary Interview:
The more non-selective the recruitment programme, the morelikely it is that a preliminary interview will be required. This initial interview is usually quiteshort and has as its object the elimination of the obviously unqualified. In many instances it isa over-telephone / short face-to-face interview conducted at a desk. The facts and impressionscollected are of the type generally obtained in an initial interview. Many firms do not botherto initiate any paperwork at this early stage. If the applicant appears to have some chance of qualifying for existing job openings, he or she is given the application blank to complete.
2 Application Blank:
An application blank is a traditional, widely accepted template forgetting information from a prospective applicant. This enables the recruiter to qualify thecandidate to the next level in the selection process and is used extensively subsequentlyduring the selection process. The blank aids in the interview by indicating areas of interestand discussion. It is a good means of quickly collecting verifiable basic historical data fromthe candidate. It also is a excellent document to share with the manager and with theinterviewers and is a useful device for storing information for, later reference. Thesetemplates generally carry information on biographical data, educational attainment, work experience, salary, personal items, and other items such as names and addresses of previousemployers, references etc.
3 Check of References:
The use of references is common in most selection procedures. Itinvolves minimum of effort and time/money. The objective is to obtain evaluation of prioremployers and professional colleagues, who have known the candidate in a professional

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