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HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Human resource management (HRM or simply HR) is the management of an organization's human resources. It is responsible for the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture, and ensuring compliance with employment and labour laws. In circumstances where employees desire and are legally authorized to hold a collective bargaining agreement, HR will typically also serve as the company's primary liaison with the employees' representatives (usually a labour union). HR is a product of the human relations movement of the early 20th century, when researchers began documenting ways of creating business value through the strategic management of the workforce. The function was initially dominated by transactional work such as payroll and benefits administration, but due to globalization, company consolidation, technological advancement, and further research, HR now focuses on strategic initiatives like mergers and acquisitions, talent management, succession planning, industrial and labour relations, and diversity and inclusion. Whereas in start-up companies HR's duties may be performed by a handful of trained professionals or even by non-HR personnel, larger companies typically house an entire functional group dedicated to the discipline, with staff specializing in various HR tasks and functional leadership engaging in strategic decision making across the business. To train practitioners for the profession, institutions of higher education, professional associations, and companies themselves have created programs of study dedicated explicitly to the duties of the function. Academic and practitioner organizations likewise seek to engage and further the field of HR, as evidenced by several field-specific publications.

HISTORY Antecedent theoretical developments HR spawned from the human relations movement, which began in the early 20th century due to work by Frederick Taylor in lean manufacturing. Taylor explored what he termed "scientific management" (later referred to by others as "Taylorism"), striving to improve economic efficiency in manufacturing jobs. He eventually keyed in on one of the principal inputs into the manufacturing processlaboursparking inquiry into workforce productivity The movement was formalized following the research of Elton Mayo, whose Hawthorne studies serendipitously documented how stimuli unrelated to financial compensation and working conditionsattention and engagementyielded more productive workers.[2] Contemporaneous work by Abraham Maslow, Kurt Lewin, Max Weber, Frederick Herzberg, and David McClelland formed the basis for studies in organizational behaviour and organizational theory, giving room for an applied discipline.

Human relations movement refers to the researchers of organizational development who study the behaviour of people in groups, in particular workplace groups. It originated in the 1930s' Hawthorne studies, which examined the effects of social relations, motivation and employee satisfaction on factory productivity. The movement viewed workers in terms of their psychology and fit with companies, rather than as interchangeable parts, and it resulted in the creation of the discipline of human resource management.

ELTON MAYO George Elton Mayo (26 December 1880, Adelaide - 7 September 1949, Guildford, Surrey) was an Australian psychologist, sociologist and organization theorist. He lectured at the University of Queensland from 1911 to 1923 before moving to the University of Pennsylvania, but spent most of his career at Harvard Business School (1926 - 1947), where he was professor of industrial research. On 18 April 1913 he married Dorothea McConnel in Brisbane, Australia. They had two daughters, Patricia and Gael. Mayo is known as the founder of the Human Relations Movement, and is known for his research including the Hawthorne Studies and his book The Human Problems of an Industrialized Civilization (1933). The research he conducted under the Hawthorne Studies of the 1930s showed the importance of groups in affecting the behaviour of individuals at work. Mayo's employees, Roethlisberger and Dickson, conducted the practical experiments. This enabled him to make certain deductions about how managers should behave. He carried out a number of investigations to look at ways of improving productivity, for example changing lighting conditions in the workplace. What he found however was that work satisfaction depended to a large extent on the informal social pattern of the work group. Where norms of cooperation and higher output were established because of a feeling of importance, physical conditions or financial incentives had little motivational value. People will form work groups and this can be used by management to benefit the organization. He concluded that people's work performance is dependent on both social issues and job content. He suggested a tension between workers' 'logic of sentiment' and managers' 'logic of cost and efficiency' which could lead to conflict within organizations. Disagreement regarding his employees' procedure while conducting the studies:
  

The members of the groups whose behaviour has been studied were allowed to choose themselves. Two women have been replaced since they were chatting during their work. They were later identified as members of a leftist movement. One Italian member was working above average since she had to care for her family alone. Thus she affected the group's performance in an above average way.

Summary of Mayo's Beliefs:


    

Individual workers cannot be treated in isolation, but must be seen as members of a group. Monetary incentives and good working conditions are less important to the individual than the need to belong to a group. Informal or unofficial groups formed at work have a strong influence on the behaviour of those workers in a group. Managers must be aware of these 'social needs' and cater for them to ensure that employees collaborate with the official organization rather than work against it. Mayo's simple instructions to industrial interviewers set a template and remain influential to this day i.e. A. The simple rules of interviewing: - 1. Give your full attention to the person interviewed, and make it evident that you are doing so. 2. Listen - don't talk. 3. Never argue; never give advice. 4. Listen to: what he wants to say; what he does not want to say; what he cannot say without help. 5. As you listen, plot out tentatively and for subsequent correction the pattern that is being set before you. To test, summarize what has been said and present for comment. Always do this with caution - that is, clarify but don't add or twist

Birth and evolution of the discipline By the time enough theoretical evidence existed to make a business case for strategic workforce management, changes in the business landscape (a l Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller) and in public policy (a l Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal) had transformed the employer-employee relationship, and the discipline was formalized as "industrial and labour relations". In 1913, one of the oldest known professional HR associationsthe Chartered Institute of Personnel and Developmentwas founded in England as the Welfare Workers' Association, then changed its name a decade later to the Institute of Industrial Welfare Workers, and again the next decade to Institute of Labour Management before settling upon its current name. Likewise in the United States, the world's first institution of higher education dedicated to workplace studiesthe School of Industrial and Labour Relationswas formed at Cornell University in 1945. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is a professional human resources association headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. The largest such association in its field, [1] SHRM promotes the role of HR as a profession and provides education, certification, and networking to its members while lobbying Congress on issues pertinent to labour management. During the latter half of the 20th century, union membership declined significantly, while workforce management continued to expand its influence within organizations. "Industrial and labour relations" began being used to refer specifically to issues concerning collective representation, and many companies began referring to the profession as "personnel administration". In 1948, what would later become the largest professional HR association the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)was founded as the American Society for Personnel Administration (ASPA).

Nearing the 21st century advances in transportation and communications greatly facilitated workforce mobility and collaboration. Corporations began viewing employees as assets rather than as cogs in machine. "Human resources management", consequently, became the dominant term for the functionthe ASPA even changing its name to SHRM in 1998. "Human capital management" is sometimes used synonymously with HR, although human capital typically refers to a more narrow view of human resources; i.e., the knowledge the individuals embody and can contribute to an organization. Likewise, other terms sometimes used to describe the field include "organizational management", "manpower management", "talent management", and simply "people management". In popular media HR has been portrayed in several instances of popular media. On the U.S. television series of The Office, HR representative Toby Flenderson is sometimes seen as a nag because he constantly reminds co-workers of company policies and government regulations.]Longrunning American comic strip Dilbert also frequently portrays sadistic HR policies through character Catbert, the "evil director of human resources". An HR manager is also the title character in the 2010 Israeli film The Human Resources Manager.

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Human resource management has changed in name various times throughout history. The name change was mainly due to the change in social and economic activities throughout history.

Industrial Welfare Industrial welfare was the first form of human resource management (HRM). In 1833 the factories act stated that there should be male factory inspectors. In 1878 legislation was passed to regulate the hours of work for children and women by having a 60 hour week. During this time trade unions started to be formed. In 1868 the 1st trade union conference was held. This was the start of collective bargaining. In 1913 the number of industrial welfare workers had grown so a conference organized by Seebohm Rowntree was held. The welfare workers association was formed later changed to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Recruitment and Selection It all started when Mary Wood was asked to start engaging girls during the 1st world war. In the 1st world war personnel development increased due to government initiatives to encourage the best use of people. In 1916 it became compulsory to have a welfare worker in explosive factories and was encouraged in munitions factories. A lot of work was done in this field by the army forces. The armed forces focused on how to test abilities and IQ along with other research in human factors at work. In 1921 the national institute of psychologists established and published results of studies on selection tests, interviewing techniques and training methods.

Acquisition of other Personnel Activities During the 2nd world war the focus was on recruitment and selection and later on training; improving morale and motivation; discipline; health and safety; joint consultation and wage policies. This meant that a personnel department had to be established with trained staff.

Industrial Relations Consultation between management and the workforce spread during the war. This meant that personnel departments became responsible for its organization and administration. Health and safety and the need for specialists became the focus. The need for specialists to deal with industrial relations was recognized so that the personnel manager became as spokesman for the organization when discussions where held with trade unions/shop stewards. In the 1970 s industrial relations was very important. The heated climate during this period reinforced the importance of a specialist role in industrial relations negotiation. The personnel manager had the authority to negotiate deals about pay and other collective issues.

Legislation In the 1970 s employment legislation increased and the personnel function took the role of the specialist advisor ensuring that managers do not violate the law and that cases did not end up in industrial tribunals.

Flexibility and Diversity In the 1990 s a major trend emerged where employers were seeking increasing flexible arrangements in the hours worked by employees due to an increase in number of part-time and temporary contracts and the invention of distance working. The workforce and patterns of work are becoming diverse in which traditional recruitment practices are useless. In the year 2000, growth in the use of internet meant a move to a 24/7 society. This created new jobs in e-commerce while jobs were lost in traditional areas like shops. This meant an increased potential for employees to work from home. Organizations need to think strategically about the issues these developments raise. HRM managers role will change as changes occur.

Information Technology Some systems where IT helps HRM are: - Systems for e-recruitment; - On-line short-listing of applicants; - Developing training strategies on-line; - Psychometric training; - Payroll systems; - Employment data; - Recruitment administration; - References; - Pre-employment checks. IT helps HR managers offload routine tasks which will give them more time in solving complex tasks. IT also ensures that a greater amount of information is available to make decisions.

THE CHALLENGES OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 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, counsellors, 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 Program One 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.

Organising talent strategically Many 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. 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.

Leading the talk A HR Manager needs to advocate a diverse workforce by making diversity evident at all organizational levels. Otherwise, some employees will quickly conclude that there is no future for them in the company. As the HR Manager, it is pertinent to show respect for diversity issues and promote clear and positive responses to them. He/She must also show a high level of commitment and be able to resolve issues of workplace diversity in an ethical and responsible manner.

Control and measure result A HR Manager must conduct regular organizational assessments on issues like pay, benefits, work environment, management and promotional opportunities to assess the progress over the long term. There is also a need to develop appropriate measuring tools to measure the impact of diversity initiatives at the organization through organization-wide feedback surveys and other methods. Without proper control and evaluation, some of these diversity initiatives may just fizzle out, without resolving any real problems that may surface due to workplace diversity.

Motivational approaches Workplace motivation can be defined as the influence that makes us do things to achieve organizational goals: this is a result of our individual needs being satisfied (or met) so that we are motivated to complete organizational tasks effectively. As these needs vary from person to person, an organization must be able to utilize different motivational tools to encourage their employees to put in the required effort and increase productivity for the company. Why do we need motivated employees? The answer is survival (Smith, 1994). In our changing workplace and competitive market environments, motivated employees and their

contributions are the necessary currency for an organizations survival and success. Motivational factors in an organizational context include working environment, job characteristics, appropriate organizational reward system and so on. The development of an appropriate organizational reward system is probably one of the strongest motivational factors. This can influence both job satisfaction and employee motivation. The reward system affects job satisfaction by making the employee more comfortable and contented as a result of the rewards received. The reward system influences motivation primarily through the perceived value of the rewards and their contingency on performance (Hickins, 1998).To be effective, an organizational reward system should be based on sound understanding of the motivation of people at work. In this paper, I will be touching on the one of the more popular methods of reward systems, gainsharing. To be effective, an organizational reward system should be based on sound understanding of the motivation of people at work. In this paper, I will be touching on the one of the more popular methods of reward systems, gain-sharing.

Gain-sharing Gain-sharing programs generally refer to incentive plans that involve employees in a common effort to improve organizational performance, and are based on the concept that the resulting incremental economic gains are shared among employees and the company. In most cases, workers voluntarily participate in management to accept responsibility for major reforms. This type of pay is based on factors directly under a workers control (i.e., productivity or costs). Gains are measured and distributions are made frequently through a predetermined formula. Because this pay is only implemented when gains are achieved, gain-sharing plans do not adversely affect company costs (Paulsen, 1991).

Managing Gain-sharing In order for a gain-sharing program that meets the minimum requirements for success to be in place, Paulsen (1991) and Boyett (1988) have suggested a few pointers in the effective management of a gain-sharing program. They are as follows: A HR manager must ensure that the people who will be participating in the plan are influencing the performance measured by the gain-sharing formula in a significant way by changes in their day-to-day behaviour. The main idea of the gain sharing is to motivate members to increase productivity through their behavioural changes and working attitudes. If the increase in the performance measurement was due to external factors, then it would have defeated the purpose of having a gain-sharing program. An effective manager must ensure that the gain-sharing targets are challenging but legitimate and attainable. In addition, the targets should be specific and challenging but reasonable and justifiable given the historical performance, the business strategy and the

competitive environment. If the gain-sharing participants perceive the target as impossibility and are not motivated at all, the whole program will be a disaster. A manager must provide useful feedback as guidance to the gain-sharing participants concerning how they need to change their behaviour(s) to realize gain-sharing pay-outs the feedback should be frequent, objective and clearly based on the members performance in relation to the gain-sharing target. A manager must have an effective mechanism in place to allow gain-sharing participants to initiate changes in work procedures and methods and/or requesting new or additional resources such as new technology to improve performance and realize gains. Though a manager must have a tight control of companys resources, reasonable and justifiable requests for additional resources and/or changes in work methods from gain-sharing participants should be considered.

Executive Information Systems Executive Information System (EIS) is the most common term used for the unified collections of computer hardware and software that track the essential data of a business' daily performance and present it to managers as an aid to their planning and decisionmaking (Choo, 1991). With an EIS in place, a company can track inventory, sales, and receivables, compare today's data with historical patterns. In addition, an EIS will aid in spotting significant variations from "normal" trends almost as soon as it develops, giving the company the maximum amount of time to make decisions and implement required changes to put your business back on the right track. This would enable EIS to be a useful tool in an organizations strategic planning, as well as day-to-day management (Laudon, K and Laudon, J, 2003).

Managing EIS As information is the basis of decision-making in an organization, there lies a great need for effective managerial control. A good control system would ensure the communication of the right information at the right time and relayed to the right people to take prompt actions. When managing an Executive Information System, a HR manager must first find out exactly what information decision-makers would like to have available in the field of human resource management, and then to include it in the EIS. This is because having people simply use an EIS that lacks critical information is of no value-add to the organization. In addition, the manager must ensure that the use of information technology has to be brought into alignment with strategic business goals (Laudon, K and Laudon, J, 2003).

Conclusion The role of the HR manager must parallel the needs of the changing organization. Successful organizations are becoming more adaptable, resilient, quick to change directions, and customer-centered. Within this environment, the HR professional must learn how to manage effectively through planning, organizing, leading and controlling the human resource and be knowledgeable of emerging trends in training and employee development.