You are on page 1of 10

DOES HR DEVOLUTION LEAD TO HR EVOLUTION

DOES HR DEVOLUTION LEAD TO HR EVOLUTION?

DOES HR DEVOLUTION LEAD TO HR EVOLUTION

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This research report shows how the personal department has evolved through the years to become the strategic partner of business organization. Initially the personal department was just considered as a record keeping unit. Their functions were to hire, prepare wages, and train the employees. It was with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that made some momentum was attained in the growth of the personal department. In due course of time it came to known as the Human Resource. During the 1970s the HR department was told to be more competitive as the other function of the organization. This led to HR being the strategic partner of business. Now the duties of HR were more associated to business development rather than administration. Technology played an important an important role in doing all the non-strategic works of HR. they were more focused on diagnosing the business need and offer suitable solution to the company. Globalization also played an important role in making the HR a strategic partner; they had to create global policies for data management, hiring workforce from different parts of the world keeping the organizations goals in mind.

DOES HR DEVOLUTION LEAD TO HR EVOLUTION

CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION 2. PERSONAL MANAGEMENT 2.1 INDUSRIAL REVOLUTION 4 5 5

2.2 RESPONSIBILITIES OF PERSONAL MANAGER 5 2.3 TRANSITION TO HUMAN RESOURCE 3. HUMAN RESOURCE 3.1 THE HR FUNCTION 3.2 HR AS A STRATEGIC BUSINESS PARTNER 4. CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY 6 7 7 7 8 10

DOES HR DEVOLUTION LEAD TO HR EVOLUTION

1. INTRODUCTION
Human resource management traced its origin back to the medieval times when mason, carpenter, leather workers and other crafts men organized into guilds so that they could improve their working conditions. The main objective of Human Resource Management is to focus on managing the people within an organization. As all other trades and professions are evolving, human resources have been undergoing evolution and changes. History shows us that it was during the industrial revolution that most of the hand labor was replaced with machines which led to the establishment of factories where large number of people got employed (J.Jamrog and Overholt 2004). During this time a wide gap between the employer and employees began to grow which led to less communication between the two. Due to this, introduction of trade unions and other movements from the employees started to protect their rights (Nayab and Scheid 2011). These factors led to the employment of the personal departments from the employers so that they can act as a representative for employers. Personal department was the first forms of human resource management and their functions basically include employment, wage setting, training, and health. During the early days the personal department activities were basically administrative in nature. During the 1960s the HR was still considered as a record keeping unit. It was with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 the HR gained importance. It was this period which led to the birth of the modern HR professional (J.Jamrog and Overholt 2004). The Human Resource Management has gone far from just record keeping, employment, training etc. The modern HR professional involves in strategic decisions in the company thereby taking more responsibility for overall organizational effectiveness. The present organizational environment sees the HR as its strategic business partner.

DOES HR DEVOLUTION LEAD TO HR EVOLUTION

2. PERSONAL MANAGEMENT
2.1 INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
Establishment of large factories during the industrial revolution gave a large number of employment opportunities. This resulted in the increase of job specialization as well as the amount of goods produced by the worker. The owners did very well in terms o purchasing power compared to the ordinary worker. Labor was considered as a commodity that could be bought or sold. This abuse made the labors to organize so that the employers would improve their working conditions (J.Jamrog and Overholt 2004). It was during the 1920s organization begun employing specialist to assist in the personnel matters. Their functions include hiring of labor, training them, setting wages and negotiations with the labor unions. Companies such as US steel in 1911 created a bureau of safety, sanitation and welfare. Ford motor company in 1918 created a sociological department that dealt with safety, medical, welfare and other legal aspects (J.Jamrog and Overholt 2004). These specializations given by the companies formed the basis of the modern HR department.

2.2 RESPONSIBILITIES OF PERSONAL MANAGEMENT


The responsibility of the personal management is the effective use of the skill of the people. In an organization the personal managements duty start with the hiring of qualified people and continues with directing and encouraging the employees when they face any encounter in fulfilling the tasks required for the organization. Some other responsibilities of the personal management include: a. Classify and preparing wages and salary scale b. Counseling employees c. Dealing with disciplinary problems d. Negotiations with labor unions e. Developing safety standards f. Managing the benefit programs

DOES HR DEVOLUTION LEAD TO HR EVOLUTION

g. To give periodic reviews on the performance of each employees on how the employee is currently performing in the organization and in what ways they can improve. h. To assist individuals in developing their skills so they can qualify for new jobs i. Plan and supervise safety training programs

2.3 TRANSITION TO HUMAN RESOURCE In the 1960s the personal department was still considered as a record keeping unit, who handed out tenure awards and organized the companys picnic. The passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964 accelerated the importance of the personal/HR function which made the managers of other functions take notice. The top management made it clear that incompetence in the HR function will be tolerated (J.Jamrog and Overholt 2004). Later in the 1980s the HR professionals were told to use the concept of systems thinking. System thinking is a concept that views all the events as interrelated. For example if an organization hires people of better skill and education that it did previously before, then the HR function need to upgrade its training program and must pay attention to the areas where it need more advancement (J.Jamrog and Overholt 2004). The personal management that did the administrative works have evolved due course of time to Human Resource that utilized the concept of system thinking to attain the business goal.

3. HUMAN RESOURCE
3.1 THE HR FUNCTION
The modern business is composed of several types of resources. They are physical, financial and human resource (Gilley, Eggland and Gilley 2002). The people within the organization constitutes of the Human resource. Human resource is that function of the organization which deals with the issues related to people such as hiring, training, performance management, organization development, compensation, safety, employee motivation, communication and administration.

DOES HR DEVOLUTION LEAD TO HR EVOLUTION

During the late 1970s many companies struggled with high interest rate, growing international competition, shrinking productivity, which lead to the demand of greater accountability in all functions of the company. The HR function was not exempt from this. While there were many tools for the measurement of the HR function these were not widely used. So suggestions came that the entire HR department should be scrapped off or given to some outsourcing companies. Some even suggested that the HR functions be divided within the other departments of the organization (J.Jamrog and Overholt 2004). As a result of these suggestions the HR function was told to change and add more responsibilities thereby becoming a strategic partner in business. By doing so the HR function was made to think like business people first then followed by as HR professionals. HRM is anticipated to add value to the strategic utilization of employees and that
employee programs impact the business in appreciable ways.

3.2 HR AS A STRATEGIC BUSINESS PARTNER


In the recent years technology and outsourcing has replaced HR in non strategic works such as benefits enrollment, payroll. With the introduction of technology the administrative role of the HR personal has become a thing of the past (Brandel 2005). HR as a strategic partner focuses on developing a varied workforce which helps in attaining the goals set b the organization. The modern business scenario requires the HR professionals to develop strategies for acquiring the right people. Diagnosing business needs and offering advices are some of the actions done by the HR professional as strategic partner. HR professionals as strategic managers need to work with the line managers to manage the people process which enable the organization meet the business requirements (Parus 2003). The example mentioned show how the HR professionals act as strategic partners in business organizations. Target Corporation: The organizations mission is to be the preferred shopping destination for its customers and the best workplace for its employees. According to Target Corporation HR
7

DOES HR DEVOLUTION LEAD TO HR EVOLUTION

is the strategic partner that is not only present at the table but is accountable for staffing, retention, development and brand management of the team members (Parus 2003). HR as its strategic partner delivered the required results, added values and developed a successful relationship with its customers, shareholders and employees. Globalization has played an important role; the change it has brought is self evident. For example if a car company needed to develop a new engine the manufacturers could look at the whole world and ask themselves where should they develop the engine (Johnson 1997). Similarly people from different parts of the world are competing against other in the same field. The strategies followed by the HR are, standardized assessment development and compensation practices; global policies for data management, performance management and development, creating a centralized reporting relationship around the globe (Rioux, Bernthal and Wellins n.d.). HR Devolving Down the Line Some of the function of the HR department is now being transferred down to the line managers. Line managers are taking an important role in the recruitment and the selection of employees. The HR manager now is more responsible for the strategic decision such as HR planning, benefit and compensations. The division of tasks is appropriate because it helps the HR manager to involve more into strategic decisions, the data from HR activities will be more accurate because it is done by the line managers. In this working environment lot of communication is done between employees, line managers and management

4. CONCLUSION
The changes undergone by the HR function shows us that there was no period when the HR function stopped to evolve (Ulrich, Losey and Lake 1997). From being the personal function that did the administrative tasks to the strategic business partner, the transition has been gradual and impacted by the external and internal environmental changes. In this age of mergers and acquisitions, HR has been all the more important for the success of these ventures. Besides the cultural issues that come up during these
8

DOES HR DEVOLUTION LEAD TO HR EVOLUTION

acquisitions, it is also needed to create a balance between goals, systems and processes. The industry is undergoing constant changes, with these changes there is revision of strategies and goals of the organization (Ulrich, Losey and Lake 1997). To cope up with these revisions the HR has to acquire good talents and add effective training programs to meet these challenges. All professions evolve; it is up to those individuals who participate to take an increasing role in determining how the changes will have an impact on their jobs. Companies who still use the HR as an administrative function are ignoring the market conditions and the current requirements for success. Studies show that companies who make the HR as its strategic partner are more productive and profitable than those who do not follow this practice. Now it time to look forward to and start to adopt new business practices and further advancing the advancing the HR in the coming years. As John F. Kennedy once said Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

DOES HR DEVOLUTION LEAD TO HR EVOLUTION

Bibliography
Akingbola, Kunle. "Separating transactional from strategic HR not cut and dry." Canadian HR Reporter, 2004: 18. Anonymous. "Four Ways for HR to Become Indispensable." HR Focus, 2006: 7-8. anonymous. "The Evolution of HR." Canadian HR reporter, 2007: 7-10. Bach, Stephen. "HR and new approaches to public sector management: Improving HRM capacity." Annecy, 2000. Brandel, Mary. "HR gets Strategic." Computer World, 2005: 33-34. Caldwell, Cam, Do X. Truong, Pham T. Linh, and Anh Tuan. "Strategic Human Resource Management." Journal of Business Ethics, 2010: 176-180. Coleman, Alison. "The power behind the people." Director, 2008: 37. Gilley, J W, S. A. Eggland, and A.M. Gilley. "Principles of human resource development(2nd ed.)." Basic Books, 2002. J.Jamrog, Jay, and Miles H Overholt. "Building a Strategic HR Function: Continuing the Evolution." People and Strategy, 2004: 51-61. Johnson, Mike. "HR: Tomorrow's Strategic Partner." Management Review, 1997: 60-61. Love, Gary. "Mine employee data to reduce turnover." Canadian HR reporter, 2004: 13. Nayab, N, and Jean Scheid. Bright Hub. May 18, 2011. http://www.brighthub.com/. Orlov, Darlene. "HR Directors as Strategic Business Partners." Employment Relations Today, 1999: 79-81. Parus, Barbara. "HR: From paper pusher to strategic partner." Workspan, 2003: 26-29. Rioux, Sheila M., Paul R. Bernthal, and Richard S. Wellins. "The Globalozation of Human Resource Practices." Ulrich, David, Michael R. Losey, and Gerry Lake. "Tomorrow's HR Management." Jihn Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997.

10