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HRM Features • Pervasive force • Action oriented • Individually oriented • People oriented • Development oriented • Integrating mechanism • Comprehensive function • Auxiliary service • Inter-disciplinary function • Continuous functions Objectives of HRM • Help organization to reach goals • Employ skills and abilities of workforce efficiently • Provide organization with well-trained and well motivaated employee • Increase fullest employee job satisfaction and self-actualization • Develop and maintain quality of work life • Communicate HR policies to all employees • Maintain ethical policies and behaviour Misconceptions on HRM • Lack of expertise • Alienation from the mainstream • Facination with latest fads • Lack of respect Features of HRD - System - Planned process - Development of competencies - Inter-disciplinary concept Importance of HRM - Attract and retain best people in organization - Appropriate recruitment and selection identify best people - Performance appraisals and training develop individuals - Motivation members
HRD Mechanisms or Sub-systems - Performance appraisal - Potential appraisal - Career planning - Training and Employee development - Organisation development - Rewards - Employee welfare and quality of life
Function of Personnel Management 1. Managerial functions - Planning - Organizing - Directing - Controlling 2. Operative functions - Employment Job analysis, Human resource planning, recruitment, selection, placement, induction and orientation. Human Resource Development Performance appraisal, training, management development, career planning and development, organization development. Compensation Job evaluation, wage and salary administration, incentives, bonus, fringe benefits, social security measures (compensation, maternity benefits, sickness benefits, medical benefits, disablement benefits, dependent benefits, retirement benefits etc.) Human Relations Effectiveness of Human Resource Management
Organisation health, Human resource accounting, audit and research Characteristics of Personnel Policy: - Related to objectives - Easy to understand - Precise - Stable as well as flexible - Based on facts - Appropriate number - Just, fair and equitable - Reasonable - Review Qualifications/Qualities of Personnel Manager o Personal attributes
Intelligence, educational skill, discriminating skills, executing skills
Advantages of Personnel policies: - Delegation - Uniformity - Better control - Standards of efficiency - Confidence - Speedy decisions - Co-ordinating devices
Policies of Personnel Department - Social responsibility - Employment policies Promotion policies Development policies Relations policies
Experience and training Professional attitudes
Roles of Personnel Manager Advisory role The conscience role Counsellor role Mediators role Representative role Clerical role Fire fighting / Legal role Welfare role Problem solver role Change agent role Decision making role Executive role Job Analysis Information Job identification Important characteristics of job What typical worker does Job duties Material and equipment the worker uses How job is done Required personnel attributes Job relationship Process of Job Analysis Organisation analysis Selection of representative positions-analysed Collection of JA data Preparation of job description Preparation of job specification Process of Job Evaluation Gaining acceptance Creating job evaluation committee Fining the jobs to be evaluated
Total Quality Management (Very important) The main ideas Do it right the first time
(fix, inspect, build, design it in approach to quality)
Be Customer centered Make CIP a way of life Build team work and empowerment
Uses of Job Analysis HR planning Recruitment Selection Placement and orientation Training Counselling Employee safety Performance appraisal Job design and redesign Job Evaluation Methods of Collecting Job Analysis data Job performance Personal observation Critical incidents Interview Questionnaire method Methods of Job Evaluation Ranking method Classification methods Factor comparison method Point method Recruitment – The legal environment
THE FACTORIES ACT 1948
Analysis and preparing job description Selecting the method of evaluation Classifying jobs Installing the programme Reviewing periodically
THE APPRENTICES ACT 1961 THE EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGES ACT 1959 THE CONTRACT LABOUR ACT 1970 BONDED LABOUR SYSTEM (ABOLITION) ACT 1976 THE CHILD LABOUR ACT, 1986
Importance of Human Resource Planning Reservior of Talent Prepare people for the future Expand or contract Cut costs Succession planning
Methods of Selection Testing Intelligence Testing Aptitude Tests Personality Tests – Projective, interests tests,
Recruitment Sources – External & Internal Methods of Recruitment - Internal Method Promotion and transfers Job posting Employee referrals - Direct Method Campus recruitment - Indirect Method Newspapers ads
Achievement Tests Simulation Test Assessment Centre – In-basket, leaderless
group discussion, business games, individual presentations, structured interview
Miscellaneous tests – Graphology, polygraphy /
lie-detector, honesty tests
Objectives of Induction
Remove fears, Create good impression and act as a valuable source of information.
Steps of Induction programme
Welcome, explain abt co., show location of dept, co.manual, details on work groups / unionism, details on pay benefit, holidays, attendance, leave etc., training opportunities, clarify questions, guided tour of facilities / bldg.
Television and radio ads Third Party Method Private employment search firms Employment exchanges Gate hiring and contractors Unsolicited applicants / Walk – Ins.
Purposes of Transfer To meet organization requirements Satisfy employee needs
Purpose of internal mobility Improve organization effectiveness Improve employee effectiveness Adjust to changing business operations Ensure discipline Types of transfer Production transfers Replacement transfers Rotation Shift Remedial Penal Types of Training Orientation training Job instruction training Referesher training
Better utilize employee needs Utilise employees Make employee versatile Adjust workforce Provide relief Reduce conflicts Punish employees
Separations Temporary leaves of absence Resignation Retirement CRS, VRS Death Lay off and retrenchment Outplacement Suspension Discharge and dismissal Methods of Training
Training procedure / steps Preparing the instructor, preparing the trainee, Getting ready to teach – plan, prepare, don’t cover too much, logically, discuss, repeat, materials, quality, procedures etc. Presenting the operation, Try out the trainee’s performance, follow up. Steps in Organisation of MDP (mangt.Dev.Prog.) Analysis of orgn.dev.needs Appraisal of present mangt talents Inventory of mangt. Manpower Planning of individual development prog. Establishment of devpt prog.
Job instruction training (JIT) Coaching and Mentoring Job Rotation Apprenticeship training Committee assignments Off the job methods – Vestibule training, role
playing, lecture method, conference / discussion approach, programmed instruction
Behaviourally experienced training
Methods / Techniques of MDP Decision making skills – In-basket, case study, business game Iner-personal skills – Role play, sensitivity trg., Job knowledge – on the job exp, coaching, understudy Organisational knowledge – job rotation, multiple mangt. General knowledge – special courses, meetings, specific readings. Process of Career planning Identifying individual needs and aspirations Analysis of career opportunities Aligning needs and opportunities Action plans and periodic reviews Individual Career Development – Steps Performance Exposure Networking Leveraging Loyalty to career Mentors and sponsors Key sub-ordinates Expand ability
Career Stages Exploration Establishment Mid career Late career Decline / Late stage Organisation career development – Tools Self-assessment tools Individual counseling Information services – job posting, skills inventory, career ladders and paths, resource centre Employee assessment programme – assessment centres, phychological tests, promotability forecasts, succession planning. Employee development programmes Career programmes for special groups Effective career planning Support, goals, reward performance, placement, Career paths, continuous tracking, publicity. Performance Appraisal process Establish performance standards Communicate the standards Measure actual performance Compare actual performance with std. & discuss appraisal Take corrective action, if necessary
Performance appraisal–Useful / objectives Compensation decisions Promotion decisions Training and development programmes Feedback Personal development
Methods of Performance Appraisal Performance Appraisal Techniques Individual Evaluation Methods Multi-person Evaluation Methods Other Methods
Confidential report Essay evaluation Critical Incidents Checklists Graphic rating scale Behaviourally anchored rating scales Forced choice method MBO
Ranking Paired comparison Forced distribution
Performance tests Field interview techniques
Group appraisal Human Resource accounting Assessment centre Field review
Characteristics of Effective Appraisal system Reliability and validity Job relatedness Standardisation Practical viability Legal sanction Training to appraisers Open communication Employee assess to results Due process Wage policy in India Minimum wage, fair wage and living wage Type of Fringe Benefits Payment for not worked – hours of work, paid holidays, shift premium, holiday pay, paid vacation. Employee security – retrenchment & lay off comp. Safety and health Workmen compensation Health benefits – sickness, maternity, disablement, dependant, medical etc. Voluntary arrangements Welfare and recreational facilities – canteen, consumer stores, credit societies, housing, legal aid, employee counseling, welfare orgn. & officers, holiday homes, educational facilities, transportation, parties and picnics, miscellaneous – sports, clubs, community service etc. Old age and retirement benefits – PF, pension, gratuity, ESI, medical benefits etc. Maslow Need of Hierarchy in Motivation Self-Actualisation Needs Esteem Social needs Safety needs Physiological needs
Objectives of Compensation Planning Internal equity External Equity Individual equity Attract talent Retain talent Ensure equity New and desired behaviour Control costs Comply with legal rules Ease of operation Methods of Wage Payment Time wage system Guaranteed time rates Piece rate system – straight piece rate, guaranteed time rate with piece rate, differential piece rate Incentive plans
How to Motivate Recognise individual differences Match people to jobs Use goals Individual rewards Link rewards to performance Check the system for equity Don’t ignore money
Realising ones potential, for becoming capable Status and recognition Love, affection, belongingness, acceptance, friend Economic threat & physical harm, layoff, dismissal Air, water, food, clothing
Work scheduling Compressed work week Flexible work hours – flexitour, gliding time, variable working hours, maxiflex, flexiplace Job sharing Part time work
Team Development – Tips Balanced roles Open communication Handling stress Team choices Team goals Review mechanism Shared leadership Facilitation skills Shake off the constrains of the past Consensus. Objectives of Trade Union Wages and salaries Working conditions Discipline Personnel policies Welfare Employee – employer relation Negotiating machinery Safe guarding organization interest Collective bargaining – Features Collective Strength Flexible Voluntary Continuous Dynamic Power relationship Representation Bipartite process Disciplinary Action for Grievance Issuing a letter for charge Consideration of explanation Show cause notice Holding of a full fledge enquiry Making a final order of punishment Follow up. Prevention of Industrial disputes Trade unions Joint consultations – works committee, joint management councils Standing orders Grievance procedure Code of discipline. Conciliation officer, board of conciliation and court of enquiry work based on Voluntary arbitration, adjudication, labour court, industrial tribunal, national tribunal, appraisal.
Roles of a Supervisor Scientific Management Roles – Technician, analyst, controller Human Relations Roles – Counsellor, linking pin, human relations expert, person caught in middle, motivator, trainer Functional roles – Leader, organizer, planner, decision maker.
Union Problems Trade union leadership Multiple unions Union Rivalry Finance Other problems – education, low wages and std. of living, self confidence, victimization, failure to realize help and welfare, negative attitude. Types of Bargaining Conjunctive / distributive bargaining Co-operative bargaining Productivity bargaining Composite bargaining Types of Strikes Sympathetic strike General Strike Unofficial strike Sectional Bumper Sit down – tool down, pen down Slow down Lightning strike Hunger strike Industrial disputes – Strikes, lock outs, gherao, picketing and boycott
Chapter 1 Introduction to human resource management Definition (concept for 2 marks) - Edwin Flippo defies HRM as “planning, organizing, directing, controlling of procurement, development, compensation, integration , maintenance and separation of human resources to the end that individual, organizational and social objectives are achieved.” Features of HRM or characteristics or nature (3 or 4 marks) 1. HRM involves management functions like planning, organizing, directing and controlling 2. It involves procurement, development, maintenance of human resource 3. It helps to achieve individual, organizational and social objectives 4. HRM is a mighty disciplinary subject. It includes the study of management psychology communication, economics and sociology. 5. It involves team spirit and team work.
Evolution of HRM (for 10 or 5 marks) The evolution of HRM can be traced back to Kautilya Artha Shastra where he recommends that government must take active interest in public and private enterprise. He says that government must provide a proper procedure for regulating employee and employee relation In the medieval times there were examples of kings like Allaudin Khilji who regulated the market and charged fixed prices and provided fixed salaries to their people. This was done to fight inflation and provide a decent standard of living During the pre independence period of 1920 the trade union emerged. Many authors who have given the history of HRM say that HRM started because of trade union and the First World War. The Royal commission in 1931 recommended the appointment of a labour welfare officer to look into the grievances of workers. The factory act of 1942 made it compulsory to appoint a labour welfare officer if the factory had 500 or more than 500 workers.
The international institute of personnel management and national institute of labour management were set up to look into problems faced by workers to provide solutions to them. The Second World War created awareness regarding workers rights and 1940’s to 1960’s saw the introduction of new technology to help workers. The 1960’s extended the scope of human resource beyond welfare. Now it was a combination of welfare, industrial relation, administration together it was called personnel management. With the second 5 year plan, heavy industries started and professional management became important. In the 70’s the focus was on efficiency of labour wile in the 80’s the focus was on new technology, making it necessary for new rules and regulations. In the 90’s the emphasis was on human values and development of people and with liberalization and changing type of working people became more and more important there by leading to HRM which is an advancement of personnel management. Scope of HRM/functions of HRM The scope of HRM refers to all the activities that come under the banner of HRM. These activities are as follows 1. Human resources planning :Human resource planning or HRP refers to a process by which the company to identify the number of jobs vacant, whether the company has excess staff or shortage of staff and to deal with this excess or shortage. 2. Job analysis design :Another important area of HRM is job analysis. Job analysis gives a detailed explanation about each and every job in the company. Based on this job analysis the company prepares advertisements. 3. Recruitment and selection :Based on information collected from job analysis the company prepares advertisements and publishes them in the news papers. This is recruitment. A number of applications are received after the advertisement is published, interviews are conducted and the right employee is selected thus recruitment and selection are yet another important area of HRM. 4. Orientation and induction :Once the employees have been selected an induction or orientation program is conducted. This is another important area of
HRM. The employees are informed about the background of the company, explain about the organizational culture and values and work ethics and introduce to the other employees. 5. Training and development :Every employee goes under training program which helps him to put up a better performance on the job. Training program is also conducted for existing staff that have a lot of experience. This is called refresher training. Training and development is one area were the company spends a huge amount. 6. Performance appraisal :Once the employee has put in around 1 year of service, performance appraisal is conducted that is the HR department checks the performance of the employee. Based on these appraisal future promotions, incentives, increments in salary are decided. 7. Compensation planning and remuneration :There are various rules regarding compensation and other benefits. It is the job of the HR department to look into remuneration and compensation planning. 8. Motivation, welfare, health and safety :Motivation becomes important to sustain the number of employees in the company. It is the job of the HR department to look into the different methods of motivation. Apart from this certain health and safety regulations have to be followed for the benefits of the employees. This is also handled by the HR department. 9. Industrial relations :Another important area of HRM is maintaining co-ordinal relations with the union members. This will help the organization to prevent strikes lockouts and ensure smooth working in the company.
Challenges before the HR manager/before modern personnel management Personnel management which is know as human resource management has adapted itself to the changing work environment, however these changes are still taking place and will continue in the future therefore the challenges before the HR manager are
1. Retention of the employees :One of the most important challenge the HR manager faces is retention of labour force. Many companies have a very high rate of labour turnover therefore HR manager are required to take some action to reduce the turnover 2. Multicultural work force :With the number of multi cultural companies are increasing operations in different nations. The work force consists of people from different cultures. Dealing with each of the needs which are different the challenge before the HR manager is integration of multicultural labour work force. 3. Women in the work force :The number of women who have joined the work force has drastically increased over a few years. Women employees face totally different problems. They also have responsibility towards the family. The organization needs to consider this aspect also. The challenge before the HR manager lies in creating gender sensitivity and in providing a good working environment to the women employees. 4. Handicapped employees :This section of the population normally faces a lot of problems on the job, very few organization have jobs and facilities specially designed for handicapped workers. Therefore the challenge before the HR manager lies in creating atmosphere suitable for such employees and encouraging them to work better. 5. Retrenchment for employees :In many places companies have reduced the work force due to changing economic situations, labourers or workers who are displaced face sever problems. It also leads to a negative atmosphere and attitude among the employees. There is fear and increasing resentment against the management. The challenge before the HR manager lies in implementing the retrenchment policy without hurting the sentiments of the workers, without antagonizing the labour union and by creating positive attitude in the existing employees. 6. Change in demand of government :Most of the time government rules keep changing. While a lot of freedom is given to companies some strict rules and regulations have also been passed. The government has also undertaken the disinvestment in certain companies due to which there is fear among
the employees regarding their job. The challenge before the HR manager lies in convincing employees that their interest will not be sacrificed. 7. Initiating the process of change :Changing the method of working, changing the attitude of people and changing the perception and values of organization have become necessary today. Although the company may want to change it is actually very difficult to make the workers accept the change. The challenge before the HR manager is to make people accept change. Significance/importance/need of HRM (5/10mks) HRM becomes significant for business organization due to the following reasons. 1. Objective :HRM helps a company to achieve its objective from time to time by creating a positive attitude among workers. Reducing wastage and making maximum use of resources etc. 2. Facilitates professional growth :Due to proper HR policies employees are trained well and this makes them ready for future promotions. Their talent can be utilized not only in the company in which they are currently working but also in other companies which the employees may join in the future. 3. Better relations between union and management :Healthy HRM practices can help the organization to maintain co-ordinal relationship with the unions. Union members start realizing that the company is also interested in the workers and will not go against them therefore chances of going on strike are greatly reduced. 4. Helps an individual to work in a team/group :Effective HR practices teach individuals team work and adjustment. The individuals are now very comfortable while working in team thus team work improves. 5. Identifies person for the future :Since employees are constantly trained, they are ready to meet the job requirements. The company is also able to identify potential
employees who can be promoted in the future for the top level jobs. Thus one of the advantages of HRM is preparing people for the future. 6. Allocating the jobs to the right person :If proper recruitment and selection methods are followed, the company will be able to select the right people for the right job. When this happens the number of people leaving the job will reduce as the will be satisfied with their job leading to decrease in labour turnover. 7. Improves the economy :Effective HR practices lead to higher profits and better performance by companies due to this the company achieves a chance to enter into new business and start new ventured thus industrial development increases and the economy improves.
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT INTRODUCTIONHuman resource management is that part of management which is directly concerned with the people employed in an organization.It involves procuring,developing and maintaining a competent work force so as to achieve the goals of organization efficiently and effectively. In short,human resource management may be defined as obtaining,utilizing and maintaining an effective and satisfied work force. NATURE OR FEATURE OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
1)PART OF MANAGEMENT-Human resource management is an integral part of the management process.It is inherent in all organizations because people comprise an essential part in every organization. 2)PERVASIVE FUNCTION-Human resource management is a function that is performed by all managers at all levels of the organization.It is an essential part of the job of every manager.Every manager has to deal with his subordinates to get things done.Therefore,human resource management is required in all functional areas such as finance,marketing,production etc 3)CONCERNED WITH PEOPLE-Human resource management is concerned with people at work and their relationships.It deals with employees as individual and as groups. 4)WIDE SCOPE-The scope of human resource management is very wide.It includes a broad spectrum of activities like recruitment,selection,placement,training,transfer, promotion,appraisal and compensation of employees.
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ( HRM) Human resource management (HRM)is the strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisation's most valued assets - the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the business.  The terms "human resource management" and "human resources" (HR) have largely replaced the term "personnel management" as a description of the processes involved in managing people in organizations.  In simple sense,Human Resource Management(HRM) means employing people,developing their resources, utilizing maintaining and compensating their services in tune with the job and organizational requirement. OR The Human Resources Management (HRM) function includes a variety of activities, and key among them is deciding what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or hire employees to fill these needs, recruiting and training the best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various regulations. Activities also include managing your approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policies. Usually small businesses (for-profit or nonprofit) have to carry out these activities themselves because they can't yet afford partor full-time help. However, they should always ensure that employees have -- and are aware of -- personnel policies which conform to current regulations. These policies are often in the form of employee manuals, which all employees have. Features: Its features include:
• • • • •
Organizational management Personnel administration Personnel management Manpower management Industrial management
But these traditional expressions are becoming less common for the theoretical discipline. Sometimes even industrial relations and employee relations are confusingly listed as synonyms, although these normally refer to the relationship between management and workers and the behavior of workers in companies. The theoretical discipline is based primarily on the assumption that employees are individuals with varying goals and needs, and as such should not be thought of as basic business resources, such as trucks and filing cabinets. The field takes a positive view of workers, assuming that virtually all wish to contribute to the enterprise productively, and that the main obstacles to their endeavors are lack of knowledge, insufficient training, and failures of process. HRM is seen by practitioners in the field as a more innovative view of workplace management than the traditional approach. Its techniques force the managers of an enterprise to express their goals with specificity so that they can be understood and undertaken by the workforce, and to provide the resources needed for them to successfully accomplish their assignments. As such, HRM techniques, when properly practiced, are expressive of the goals and operating practices of the enterprise overall. HRM is also seen by many to have a key role in risk reduction within organizations. Synonyms such as personnel management are often used in a more restricted sense to describe activities that are necessary in the recruiting of a workforce, providing its members with payroll and benefits, and administrating their work-life needs. So if we move to actual definitions,
Torrington and Hall (1987) define personnel management as being: “a series of activities which: first enable working people and their employing organisations to agree about the objectives and nature of their working relationship and, secondly, ensures that the agreement is fulfilled" (p. 49). While Miller (1987) suggests that HRM relates to: ".......those decisions and actions which concern the management of employees at all levels in the business and which are related to the implementation of strategies directed towards creating and sustaining competitive advantage" (p. 352). Academic theory: The goal of human resource management is to help an organization to meet strategic goals by attracting, and maintaining employees and also to manage them effectively. The key word here perhaps is "fit", i.e. a HRM approach seeks to ensure a fit between the management of an organization's employees, and the overall strategic direction of the company (Miller, 1989). The basic premise of the academic theory of HRM is that humans are not machines, therefore we need to have an interdisciplinary examination of people in the workplace. Fields such as psychology, industrial engineering, industrial, Legal/Paralegal Studies and organizational psychology, industrial relations, sociology, and critical theories: postmodernism, post-structuralism play a major role. Many colleges and universities offer bachelor and master degrees in Human Resources Management. One widely used scheme to describe the role of HRM, developed by Dave Ulrich, defines 4 fields for the HRM function:
• • • •
Strategic business partner Change management Employee champion Administration
However, many HR functions these days struggle to get beyond the roles of administration and employee champion, and are seen rather as reactive than strategically proactive partners for the top management. In addition, HR organizations also have the difficulty in proving how their activities and processes add value to the company. Only in the recent years HR scholars and HR professionals are focusing to develop models that can measure if HR adds value. Critical Academic Theory Postmodernism plays an important part in Academic Theory and particularly in Critical Theory. Indeed Karen Legge in 'Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities' poses the debate of whether HRM is a modernist project or a postmodern discourse (Legge 2004). In many ways, critically or not, many writers contend that HRM itself is an attempt to move away from the modernist traditions of personnel (man as machine) towards a postmodernist view of HRM (man as individuals). Critiques include the notion that because 'Human' is the subject we should recognize that people are complex and that it is only through various discourses that we understand the world. Man is not Machine, no matter what attempts are made to change it i.e. Fordism / Taylorism, McDonaldisation (Modernism). Critical Theory also questions whether HRM is the pursuit of "attitudinal shaping" (Wilkinson 1998), particularly when considering empowerment, or perhaps more precisely pseudo-empowerment - as the critical perspective notes. Many critics note the move away from Man as Machine is often in many ways, more a Linguistic (discursive) move away than a real attempt to recognise the Human in Human Resource Management. Critical Theory, in particular postmodernism (poststructualism), recognises that because the subject is people in the workplace, the subject is a complex one, and therefore simplistic notions of 'the best way' or a unitary perspectives on the subject are too simplistic. It also considers the complex subject of power, power games, and office politics. Power in the workplace is a vast and complex subject that cannot be easily
defined. This leaves many critics to suggest that Management 'Gurus', consultants, 'best practice' and HR models are often overly simplistic, but in order to sell an idea, they are simplified, and often lead Management as a whole to fall into the trap of oversimplifying the relationship. Business practice Human resources management comprises several processes. Together they are supposed to achieve the above mentioned goal. These processes can be performed in an HR department, but some tasks can also be outsourced or performed by line-managers or other departments. When effectively integrated they provide significant economic benefit to the company.
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
Workforce planning Recruitment (sometimes separated into attraction and selection) Induction and Orientation Skills management Training and development Personnel administration Compensation in wage or salary Time management Travel management (sometimes assigned to accounting rather than HRM) Payroll (sometimes assigned to accounting rather than HRM) Employee benefits administration Personnel cost planning Performance appraisal
Introduction Organizations that do not put their emphasis on attracting and retaining talents may find themselves in dire consequences, as their competitors may be outplaying them in the strategic employment of their human resources. With the increase in competition, locally or globally, organizations must become more adaptable, resilient, agile, and customer-focused to succeed. And within this change in environment, the HR professional has to evolve to become a strategic partner, an employee sponsor or advocate, and a change mentor within the organization. In order to succeed, HR must be a business driven function with a thorough understanding of the organizations big picture and be able to influence key decisions and policies. In general, the focus of todays HR Manager is on strategic personnel retention and talents development. HR professionals will be coaches, counselors, mentors, and succession planners to help motivate organizations members and their loyalty. The HR manager will also promote and fight for values, ethics, beliefs, and spirituality within their organizations, especially in the management of workplace diversity. This paper will highlight on how a HR manager can meet the challenges of workplace diversity, how to motivate employees through gain-sharing and executive information system through proper planning, organizing, leading and controlling their human resources. Workplace Diversity According to Thomas (1992), dimensions of workplace diversity include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, religious beliefs, parental status, and work experience. The Challenges of Workplace Diversity The future success of any organizations relies on the ability to manage a diverse body of talent that can bring innovative ideas, perspectives and views to their work. The challenge and problems faced of workplace diversity can be turned into a strategic organizational asset if an organization is able to capitalize on this melting pot of diverse talents. With the mixture of talents of diverse cultural backgrounds, genders, ages and lifestyles, an organization can respond to business opportunities more rapidly and creatively, especially in the global arena (Cox, 1993), which must be one of the important organizational goals to be attained. More importantly, if the organizational environment does not support diversity broadly, one risks losing talent to competitors. This is especially true for multinational companies (MNCs) who have operations on a global scale and employ people of different countries, ethical and cultural backgrounds. Thus, a HR manager needs to be mindful and may employ a Think Global, Act Local approach in most circumstances. The challenge of workplace diversity is also prevalent amongst Singapores Small and Medium Enterprises
(SMEs). With a population of only four million people and the nations strive towards high technology and knowledge-based economy; foreign talents are lured to share their expertise in these areas. Thus, many local HR managers have to undergo cultural-based Human Resource Management training to further their abilities to motivate a group of professional that are highly qualified but culturally diverse. Furthermore, the HR professional must assure the local professionals that these foreign talents are not a threat to their career advancement (Toh, 1993). In many ways, the effectiveness of workplace diversity management is dependent on the skilful balancing act of the HR manager. One of the main reasons for ineffective workplace diversity management is the predisposition to pigeonhole employees, placing them in a different silo based on their diversity profile (Thomas, 1992). In the real world, diversity cannot be easily categorized and those organizations that respond to human complexity by leveraging the talents of a broad workforce will be the most effective in growing their businesses and their customer base. The Management of Workplace Diversity In order to effectively manage workplace diversity, Cox (1993) suggests that a HR Manager needs to change from an ethnocentric view ("our way is the best way") to a culturally relative perspective ("let's take the best of a variety of ways"). This shift in philosophy has to be ingrained in the managerial framework of the HR Manager in his/her planning, organizing, leading and controlling of organizational resources. As suggested by Thomas (1992) and Cox (1993), there are several best practices that a HR manager can adopt in ensuring effective management of workplace diversity in order to attain organizational goals. They are: Planning a Mentoring ProgramOne of the best ways to handle workplace diversity issues is through initiating a Diversity Mentoring Program. This could entail involving different departmental managers in a mentoring program to coach and provide feedback to employees who are different from them. In order for the program to run successfully, it is wise to provide practical training for these managers or seek help from consultants and experts in this field. Usually, such a program will encourage organizations members to air their opinions and learn how to resolve conflicts due to their diversity. More importantly, the purpose of a Diversity Mentoring Program seeks to encourage members to move beyond their own cultural frame of reference to recognize and take full advantage of the productivity potential inherent in a diverse population. Organizing Talents StrategicallyMany companies are now realizing the advantages of a diverse workplace. As more and more companies are going global in their market expansions either physically or virtually (for example, E-commerce-related companies), there is a necessity to employ diverse talents to understand the various niches of the market. For example, when China was opening up its markets and exporting their products globally in the late 1980s, the Chinese companies (such as Chinas electronic giants such as Haier) were
seeking the marketing expertise of Singaporeans. This is because Singapores marketing talents were able to understand the local China markets relatively well (almost 75% of Singaporeans are of Chinese descent) and as well as being attuned to the markets in the West due to Singapores open economic policies and English language abilities. (Toh, R, 1993) With this trend in place, a HR Manager must be able to organize the pool of diverse talents strategically for the organization. He/She must consider how a diverse workforce can enable the company to attain new markets and other organizational goals in order to harness the full potential of workplace diversity. An organization that sees the existence of a diverse workforce as an organizational asset rather than a liability would indirectly help the organization to positively take in its stride some of the less positive aspects of workforce diversity.
Evaluate an Employee's Performance? MBA HRM NOTES - Human Resources Management Notes How Do I Evaluate an Employee's Performance? You need to create a performance plan for a new position or get a "snap shot" of a current employee's performance. Principle: As a supervisor, it is most important to establish performance requirements for each employee, and manage employee performance. Performance appraisal ratings are very important to the career of a Federal civil service employee. They are used in a variety of critically important ways. For example, performance ratings have an impact during a reduction-in-force ( RIF ). A performance rating is also a factor in making promotion selections and in determining who will receive a performance award. A performance rating provides a basis for taking adverse action because of poor performance, which can mean a reduction in grade or even removal from Federal service. In short, the performance rating that you give an employee can have a major impact on the employee's career. Further, employees have a right to know how they are performing. Consequently, establishing performance requirements, and appraising employee performance is a job that must be taken seriously. See specific guidance under Performance Management. Where Do I Start? Performance requirements must be stated in a performance plan tailored to each employee's position and work assignments. Since all employees are required by Government-wide regulation to have a performance plan, plans may already exist for the positions in your organization. However, even if plans do exist, they need to be reviewed and reissued every year even if no changes are necessary. If there is no previously established plan, work with your human resources management specialist who can help you develop a plan, often by drawing on existing performance plans for similar positions elsewhere in the organization. Since this document is meant to clarify for both you and the employee the work to be accomplished for the year, obtain as much input from the employee as possible. Greater employee input leads to greater employee "buy in" of the goals and tasks to be accomplished. Some organizations have specific or suggested procedures contained in policy issuances or collective bargaining unit agreements that provide guidance on obtaining employee input. Check with your SHRO to see if any exist for your organization. Rules and Flexibilities: Government-wide requirements and USDA policy provide that employees should be rated on an annual basis. The results of the appraisal process are to be used as a basis for training, rewarding, reassigning, promoting, reducing in grade, retaining, or removing employees. Employees must perform their duties under established performance elements and standards for a minimum period of time before they may be evaluated. USDA agencies have some flexibility to set this minimum time, but under no circumstances can it be less than 60 days. Timeframes can also be negotiated and included in the collective bargaining unit agreement. The standard time frame in FFAS agencies is generally 90 days but check with your SHRO to see what the minimum time is for your agency in your
location Also Basic Steps:
Identify the major responsibilities of the position known as performance elements. (See "Glossary"). Generally, two to five performance elements are appropriate. Some agencies have generic and/or required elements for you to use or adapt. Determine which performance elements are so important that unacceptable performance in one of those elements would constitute overall unacceptable performance by the employee. Those elements are considered "critical." Some critical elements may be required. For example, the Department may require that a diversity element is required for all SES and management and supervisory employees. Check with your SHRO for any requirements in your organization. Develop or review existing performance requirements (known as performance standards) for each element. These describe how well an employee must accomplish each performance element in terms of quality, quantity, manner of performance and timeliness. In USDA, for non-SES employees, agencies are authorized to have performance standards at either five or two rating levels. For agencies using five rating levels, the standards are generic and cannot be changed. However, a manager may supplement them with more specific standards. Agencies using two rating levels have developed generic standards tailored to their own unique appraisal systems. Some of these latter agencies allow for supplemental standards. Consult with your SHRO to see which system your agency uses. Communicate final performance elements and standards (performance plans) to each employee. Ensure that you and your employee understand what is expected and the procedures of the appraisal process. The plan must be signed (maybe electronic in some agencies) by both the manager and employee, even if it has not changed from the last appraisal cycle. In most agencies, plans also must be approved by the second-level supervisor. Plans should be provided to employees within 30 days of the beginning of the appraisal period, or within 30 days after transferring into a new position. Conduct progress reviews at least once during the appraisal cycle (mid-year) and ocument the meeting on the appraisal form. Some organizations require more than one progress review. At the end of the appraisal cycle, evaluate (rate) each employee by using the established standards to assess how well each element has been performed. Ratings below "fully successful" (or "meets or exceeds expectations" in two-level systems) always must be justified individually. Provide the completed appraisals for review and approval by the appropriate reviewing official(s) (normally one's second line supervisor). Some agenices with two-level systems require only ratings below the "meets/exceeds expectation" to be reviewed. When required, the final rating cannot be presented or discussed with the employee ntil it is reviewed, approved, and signed by the appropriate higher level management official(s). Perform additional reviews throughout the year to facilitate communication with your employee. At any time during the appraisal period when performance on any critical element falls below "fully successful" or "meets/exceeds expectations", you should discuss the performance with the employee and take the necessary steps to provide assistance. However, at any time an employee's performance is determined to be "unacceptable" or "below meets or exceeds expectations" in one
or more critical elements, special requirements exist and assistance in improving that performance must be provided. In this situation, refer to Section, "How Do I Deal With An Employee's Unacceptable Performance?" and consult with your SHRO. Forms Needed: Performance elements and standards are recorded on standardized performance appraisal forms or in i*CAMS. Time Frames: Most agencies have an October 1 to September 30 appraisal cycle. New performance plans should be developed and communicated to employees within 30 days of the beginning of a cycle. Each employee should receive at least one mid-year review and receive a final appraisal within 30 days after the end of the cycle. Check with your SHRO to find out your organization's timeframe for mid-year reviews. Good Management Practices:
• • •
Maintain an ongoing file documenting an employee's work throughout the year. Give employees regular and frequent feedback. While managers are only required to give employees progress reviews once a year and conduct one mid-point progress review, quarterly mid-point reviews are recommended.
When developing supplemental (additional, more specific) performance standards, to the extent possible, ensure they are measurable and address performance instead of conduct.
Modify the performance plan whenever work requirements warrant. Remember, before you can evaluate your employee, the employee must have performed under the performance plan for a minimum period of time (usually 90 days). Checklist
• • • • • •
Identify performance elements Develop or supplement existing measurable performance standards Communicate elements and standards to employee Conduct progress reviews during the appraisal cycle Evaluate employee at end of cycle Present and discuss appraisal with employee
RECRUITMENT: Recruitment refers to the process of screening, and selecting qualified people for a job at an organization or firm, or for a vacancy in a volunteer-based organization or community group. While generalist managers or administrators can undertake some components of the recruitment process, mid- and large-size organizations and companies often retain professional recruiters or outsource some of the process to recruitment agencies. External recruitment is the process of attracting and selecting employees from outside the organization. The recruitment industry has four main types of agencies: employment agencies, recruitment websites and job search engines, "headhunters" for executive and professional recruitment, and in-house recruitment. The stages in recruitment include sourcing candidates by advertising or other methods, and screening and selecting potential candidates using tests or interviews. PROCESS: Job Analysis The proper start to a recruitment effort is to perform a job analysis, to document the actual or intended requirement of the job to be performed. This information is captured in a job description and provides the recruitment effort with the boundaries and objectives of the search.  Often times a company will have job descriptions that represent a historical collection of tasks performed in the past. These job descriptions need to be reviewed or updated prior to a recruitment effort to reflect present day requirements. Starting a recruitment with an accurate job analysis and job description insures the recruitment effort starts off on a proper track for success. Sourcing Sourcing involves 1) advertising, a common part of the recruiting process, often encompassing multiple media, such as the Internet, general newspapers, job ad newspapers, professional publications, window advertisements, job centers, and campus graduate recruitment programs; and 2) recruiting research, which is the proactive identification of relevant talent who may not respond to job postings and other recruitment advertising methods done in #1. This initial research for so-called passive prospects, also called name-generation, results in a list of prospects who can then be contacted to solicit interest, obtain a resume/CV, and be screened (see below). Screening and selection Suitability for a job is typically assessed by looking for skills, e.g. communication, typing, and computer skills. Qualifications may be shown through résumés, job applications, interviews, educational or professional experience, the testimony of references, or in-house testing, such as for software knowledge, typing skills, numeracy, and literacy, through psychological tests or employment testing. In some countries, employers are legally mandated to provide equal opportunity in hiring. Business management software is used by many recruitment agencies to automate the testing process. Many recruiters and agencies are using an Applicant tracking system to perform many of the filtering tasks, along with software tools for psychometric testing Onboarding "Onboarding" is a term which describes the introduction process. A well-planned introduction helps new employees become fully operational quickly and is often
integrated with a new company and environment. Onboarding is included in the recruitment process for retention purposes. Many companies have onboarding campaigns in hopes to retain top talent that is new to the company, campaigns may last anywhere from 1 week to 6 months. (See the Wikipedia entries on onboarding or executive onboarding or the book "Onboarding - How To Get Your New Employees Up To Speed In Half The Time " (George Bradt & Mary Vonnegut, Wiley 2009)) Internet Recruitment / Websites Such sites have two main features: job boards and a résumé/curriculum vitae (CV) database. Job boards allow member companies to post job vacancies. Alternatively, candidates can upload a résumé to be included in searches by member companies. Fees are charged for job postings and access to search resumes. Since the late 1990s, the recruitment website has evolved to encompass end-to-end recruitment. Websites capture candidate details and then pool them in client accessed candidate management interfaces (also online). Key players in this sector provide e-recruitment software and services to organizations of all sizes and within numerous industry sectors, who want to e-enable entirely or partly their recruitment process in order to improve business performance. The online software provided by those who specialize in online recruitment helps organizations attract, test, recruit, employ and retain quality staff with a minimal amount of administration. Online recruitment websites can be very helpful to find candidates that are very actively looking for work and post their resumes online, but they will not attract the "passive" candidates who might respond favorably to an opportunity that is presented to them through other means. Also, some candidates who are actively looking to change jobs are hesitant to put their resumes on the job boards, for fear that their current companies, co-workers, customers or others might see their resumes.
Chapter 2 Job analysis, job design, job evolution Define job analysis (2 mks concept) A job is defined as a collection of duties and responsibilities which are given together to an individual employee. Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting information relating to operations and responsibilities of a specific job. It can be explained with the help of the following diagram Job analysis Job description Job title/ name of the job Working hours Duties and responsibilities Working conditions Salary and incentives Machines to be handled on the job Job specification Qualification Qualities Experience Family background Training Interpersonal skills
As mentioned in the above table job analysis is divided into 2 parts a) Job description where the details regarding the job are given. b) Job specification where we explain the qualities required by people applying for the job. Need/importance/purpose/benefits of job analysis Def: - A job is defined as a collection of duties and responsibilities which are given together to an individual employee. Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting information relating to operations and responsibilities of a specific job. The following are the benefits of job analysis.
1. Organizational structure and design :Job analysis helps the organization to make suitable changes in the organizational structure, so that it matches the needs and requirements of the organization. Duties are either added or deleted from the job. 2. Recruitment and selection :Job analysis helps to plan for the future human resource. It helps to recruit and select the right kind of people. It provides information necessary to select the right person. 3. Performance appraisal and training/development :Based on the job requirements identified in the job analysis, the company decides a training program. Training is given in those areas which will help to improve the performance on the job. Similarly when appraisal is conducted we check whether the employee is able to work in a manner in which we require him to do the job. 4. Job evaluation :Job evaluation refers to studying in detail the job performance by all individual. The difficulty levels, skills required and on that basis the salary is fixed. Information regarding qualities required, skilled levels, difficulty levels are obtained from job analysis. 5. Promotions and transfer :When we give a promotion to an employee we need to promote him on the basis of the skill and talent required for the future job. Similarly when we transfer an employee to another branch the job must be very similar to what he has done before. To take these decisions we collect information from job analysis. 6. Career path planning :Many companies have not taken up career planning for their employees. This is done to prevent the employee from leaving the company. When we plan the future career of the employee, information will be collected from job analysis. Hence job analysis becomes important or advantageous. 7. Labour relations :When companies plan to add extra duties or delete certain duties from a job, they require the help of job analysis, when this
activity is systematically done using job analysis the number of problems with union members reduce and labour relations improve. 8. Health and safety :Most companies prepare their own health and safety, plans and programs based on job analysis. From the job analysis company identifies the risk factor on the job and based on the risk factor safety equipments are provided. 9. Acceptance of job offer :When a person is given an offer/appointment letter the duties to be performed by him are clearly mentioned in it, this information is collected from job analysis, which is why job analysis becomes important. Methods of job analysis (5/10 marks) Def: - A job is defined as a collection of duties and responsibilities which are given together to an individual employee. Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting information relating to operations and responsibilities of a specific job. There are different methods used by organization to collect information and conduct the job analysis. These methods are 1. Personal observation :In this method the observer actually observes the concerned worker. He makes a list of all the duties performed by the worker and the qualities required to perform those duties based on the information collected, job analysis is prepared. 2. Actual performance of the job :In this method the observer who is in charge of preparing the job analysis actually does the work himself. This gives him an idea of the skill required, the difficulty level of the job, the efforts required etc.
3. Interview method :In this method an interview of the employee is conducted. A group of experts conduct the interview. They ask questions about the job, skilled levels, and difficulty levels. They question and cross
question and collect information and based on this information job analysis is prepared. 4. Critical incident method :In this method the employee is asked to write one or more critical incident that has taken place on the job. The incident will give an idea about the problem, how it was handled, qualities required and difficulty levels etc. critical incident method gives an idea about the job and its importance. (a critical means important and incident means anything which takes place in the job) 5. Questioner method :In this method a questioner is provided to the employee and they are asked to answer the questions in it. The questions may be multiple choice questions or open ended questions. The questions decide how exactly the job analysis will be done. The method is effective because people would think twice before putting anything in writing. 6. Log records :- (2 marks concept) Companies can ask employees to maintain log records and job analysis can be done on the basis of information collected from the log record. A log record is a book in which employees record /write all the activities performed by them on the job. The records are extensive as well as exhausted in nature and provide a fair idea about the duties and responsibilities in any job. 7. HRD records :Records of every employee are maintained by HR department. The record contain details about educational qualification, name of the job, number of years of experience, duties handled, any mistakes committed in the past and actions taken, number of promotions received, area of work, core competency area, etc. based on these records job analysis can be done.
Job design Definitions: - (2marks) Job design is the process of a) Deciding the contents of the job. b) Deciding methods to carry out the job. c) Deciding the relationship which exists in the organization. Job analysis helps to develop job design and job design matches the requirements of the job with the human qualities required to do the job. Factors affecting job design: - There are various factors which affect job design in the company. They can be explained with the help of diagram. Factors affecting job design Organizational factors 1. Task characteristics 2. Process or flow of work in organization 3. Ergonomics 4. Work practices Environmental factors 1. Employee availability and ability 2. Social and cultural expectations Behavioral factors 1. Feed back 2. Autonomy 3. Variety
I] Organizational factors :Organizational factors to refer to factors inside the organization which affect job design they are a) Task characteristics :Task characteristics refer to features of the job that is depending on the type of job and the duties involved in it the organization will decide, how the job design must be done. Incase the company is not in a position to appoint many people; a single job may have many duties and vice versa.
b) The process or flow of work in the organization :There is a certain order in which jobs are performed in the company. Incase the company wishes it could combine similar job and give it to one person this can be done if all the jobs come one after the other in a sequence. c) Ergonomics (2 marks concept) :Ergonomics refers to matching the job with physical ability and characteristics of the individual and in providing an office environment which will help the person to complete the jobs faster and in a comfortable manner. d) Work practices :Every organization has different work practices. Although the job may be the same the method of doing the job differs from company to company. This is called work practice and it affects job design. II] Environmental factors :Environmental factors which affect job design are as follows a) Employee availability and ability :Certain countries face the problem of lack of skilled labour. They are not able to get employees with specific education levels for jobs and have to depend on other countries due to this job design gets affected. b) Social and cultural expectations :The social and cultural conditions of every country is different so when an MNC appoints an Indian it has to take into account like festivals, auspicious time, inauspicious time, etc. to suit the Indian conditions. This applies to every country and therefore job design will change accordingly. III] Behavioral factors :Job design is affected by behavioral factors also. These factors are a) Feedback :Job design is normally prepared on the basis of job analysis and job analysis requires employee feedback based on this employee feedback all other activities take place. Many employees are however
not interested in providing a true feedback because of fear and insecurity. This in turn affects job deign. b) Autonomy :Every worker desires a certain level of freedom to his job effectively. This is called autonomy. Thus when we prepare a job design we must see to it that certain amount of autonomy is provided to the worker so that he carries his job effectively. c) Variety :When the same job is repeated again and again it leads to burden and monotony. This leads to lack of interest and carelessness on the job. Therefore, while preparing job design certain amount of variety must be provided to keep the person interested in the job.
Methods of job design There are various methods in which job design can be carried out. These methods help to analysis the job, to design the contents of the and to decide how the job must be carried out .these methods are as follows :- (5 marks each) I. Job rotation II. Job enlargement III. Job enrichment I. Job Rotation :- (def 2 marks concept ) Job rotation involves shifting a person from one job to another, so that he is able to understand and learn what each job involves. The company tracks his performance on every job and decides whether he can perform the job in an ideal manner. Based on this he is finally given a particular posting. Job rotation is done to decide the final posting for the employee e.g. Mr. A is assigned to the marketing department whole he learns all the jobs to be performed for marketing at his level in the organization .after this he is shifted to the sales department and to the finance department and so on. He is finally placed in the department in which he shows the best performance
Job rotation gives an idea about the jobs to be performed at every level. Once a person is able to understand this he is in a better understanding of the working of organization Advantages of job rotation 1. Avoids monopoly :Job rotation helps to avoid monopoly of job and enable the employee to learn new things and therefore enjoy his job 2. Provides an opportunity to broaden one’s knowledge :Due to job rotation the person is able to learn different job in the organization this broadens his knowledge 3. Avoiding fraudulent practice :In an organization like bank jobs rotation is undertaken to prevent employees from doing any kind of fraud i.e. if a person is handling a particular job for a very long time he will be able to find loopholes in th system and use them for his benefit and indulge ( participate ) in fraudulent practices job rotation avoids this. Disadvantages of Job Rotation 1. Frequent interruption :Job rotation results in frequent interruption of work .A person who is doing a particular job and get it comfortable suddenly finds himself shifted to another job or department .this interrupts the work in both the departments 2. Reduces uniformity in quality :Quality of work done by a trained worker is different from that of a new worker .when a new worker I shifted or rotated in the department, he takes time to learn the new job, makes mistakes in the process and affects the quality of the job. 3. Misunderstanding with the union member :Sometimes job rotation may lead to misunderstanding with members of the union. The union might think that employees are being harassed and more work is being taken from them. In reality this is not the case.
SELECTION: - Selection is a process in which members of a population reproduce at different rates, due to either natural or human-influenced factors. The result of selection is that some characteristic is found in increasing numbers of organisms within the population as time goes on. Steps in Selection process : 1. initial screening interview . 2. completion of the application form. 3. employment tests. 4. comprehensive interview 5. background investigation. 6. conditional job offer . 7. medical/physical exam. 8. permanent job offer Types of Selection Artificial selection, which is even older than agriculture, refers to a conscious effort to use for future breeding those varieties of a plant or animal that are most useful, attractive, or interesting to the breeder. Artificial selection is responsible for creating the enormous number of breeds of domestic dogs, for instance, as well as high-yielding varieties of corn and other agricultural crops. Selection also occurs in nature, but it is not conscious. Charles Darwin called this natural selection. Darwin saw that organisms constantly vary in a population from generation to generation. He proposed that some variations allow an organism to be better adapted to a given environment than others in the population, allowing them to live and reproduce while others are forced out of reproduction by death, sterility, or isolation. These genetic variations gradually replace the ones that fail to survive or to reproduce. This gradual adjustment of the genotype to the environment is called adaptation. Natural selection was not only Darwin 's key mechanism of evolution for the origin of species, it is also the key mechanism today for understanding the evolutionary biology of organisms from viruses to humans. Natural selection leads to evolution, which is the change in gene frequencies in a population over time. The concept of selection plays an increasingly important role in biological theory. New fields such as evolutionary psychology rely heavily on natural selection to explain the evolution of human behavioral traits, such as mate choice, aggression, and other types of social behavior. A great difficulty in such a theoretically based science is the paucity of experimental or direct evidence for presumed past environments and presumed behavioral responses that were genetically adaptive. Variation The variation that selection requires arises from two distinct sources. The ultimate sources of variation are gene mutation, gene duplication and disruption, and chromosome rearrangements. Gene mutations are randomly occurring events that at a molecular level consist mostly of substitutions or small losses or gains of nucleotides within genes. Gene duplication makes new copies of existing genes, while gene disruptions destroy functional copies of genes, often through insertion of a mobile genetic element. Chromosome rearrangements are much larger changes in chromosome structure, in which large pieces of chromosomes break off, join up, or invert. Individually, such mutations are rare. Most small mutations are either harmful or have no effect, and they may persist in a population for dozens or hundreds of generations before their advantages or disadvantages are evident. The second source of variation arises from the shuffling processes undergone by genes and chromosomes during reproduction. During meiosis, maternally and paternally derived chromosome pairs are separated randomly, so that each sperm or egg contains a randomly chosen member of each of the twenty-three pairs. The number of possible combinations is over eight billion. Even more variation arises when pair members exchange segments before separating, in the process known as crossing over. The
extraordinary variety in form exhibited even by two siblings is due primarily to the shuffling of existing genes, rather than to new mutations. The Importance of the Environment A disadvantageous trait in one environment may be advantageous in a very different environment. A classic example of this is sickle cell disease in regions where malaria is common. Individuals who inherit a copy of the sickle cell gene from both of their parents (homozygotes) die early from the disease, whereas heterozygotes (individuals who inherit only one copy of the gene) are favored in malarial areas (including equatorial Africa) over those without any copies, because they contract milder cases of malaria and thus are more likely to survive it. Even though homozygotes rarely pass on their genes, because of their low likelihood of surviving to reproduce, the advantage of having one copy is high enough that natural selection continues to favor presence of the gene in these populations. Thus a malarial environment can keep the gene frequency high. However, in temperate regions where malaria is absent (such as North America ), there is no heterozygote advantage to the sickle cell gene. Because heterozygotes still suffer from the disease, they are less likely to survive and reproduce. Thus, selection is gradually depleting the gene from the African American population that harbors it. Artificial Selection One of the first uses of genetic knowledge to improve yields and the quality of plant products was applied to hybrid seed production at the start of the twentieth century by George Shull. Artificial selection today is still done by hobbyists who garden or raise domestic animals. It is done on a more professional level in agriculture and animal breeding. The benefits are enormous. Virtually all commercial animal and plant breeding uses selection to isolate new combinations of traits to meet consumer needs. In these organisms, most of the variation is preexisting in the population or in related populations in the wild. The breeder's task is to combine (hybridize) the right organisms and select offspring with the desired traits. In the antibiotic industry selection is used to identify new antibiotics. Usually, microorganisms are intentionally mutated to produce variation. Mutations can be induced with a variety of physical and chemical agents called mutagens, which randomly alter genes. Some early strains of penicillin-producing molds were x-rayed and their mutations selected for higher yields. Biologists also make use of selection in the process called molecular cloning. Here, a new gene is inserted into a host along with a marker gene. The marker is typically a gene for antibiotic resistance. To determine if the host has taken up the new genes, it is exposed to antibiotics. The ones who survive are those that took up the resistance gene, and so also have the gene of interest. This selection process allows the researcher to quickly isolate only those organisms with the new gene. Selection in Humans Both natural and artificial selection occur in human beings. If a trait is lethal and kills before reproductive maturity, then that gene mutation is gradually depleted from the population. Mutations with milder effects persist longer and are more common than very severe mutations, and recessive mutations persist for much longer than dominant ones. With a recessive trait, such as albinism, the parents are usually both carriers of a single copy of the gene and may not know that they carry it. If a child receives a copy of this gene from both of the carrier parents, the albino child may die young, may find it difficult to find a partner, or may end up marrying much later in life. This is usually considered a form of natural selection.
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