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What Is Human Resources Management? In What Respects Does It Differ From Personnel Management? How Have Hrm Techniques Been Designed To Facilitate The Management Of Workplace Change?

3231 words - 13 pages

This essay will be explaining what Human Resource Management (HRM) means including its brief history and approach from the US to UK. In addition there will be a description of the 'hard' and 'soft' models of HRM of John Storey. Moreover there will be a discussion of the possible differences between Personnel Management and HRM as well as describing the way HRM techniques have been designed to facilitate the management of workplace change.What is Human Resources Management?Human Resources Management's (HRM) origins came from the USA in the 1950's and gained a wide recognition in the biggining of the 1980s whereas in the UK it wasn't until the mid of the 1980s. HRM evolved due to pressures in ...view middle of the document...

There are three ways in which HRM can be used to gain a competitive advantage. Employees are a source of added value and employees are "rare" or unique in some way compared to other employees found in other companies. Moreover competitors are not able to copy or imitate easily a company's approach to human resource management. This is because the knowledge and the information that an individual possesses is the key to any organization and therefore HRM have a very risky task of trying not to lose any potential knowledge asset when there is a need to reduce the number of employees to cut costs.Storey (1989: 5) describes HRM as "a distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to obtain competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and skilled workforce, using an array of cultural, structural and personal techniques".On the other hand, Walton (1985) states that "The new HRM model is composed of policies that promote mutuality- mutual goals, mutual influence, mutual respect, mutual rewards, mutual responsibility. The theory is that policies of mutuality will elicit commitment which in turn will yield both better economic performance and greater human development."HRM involves all management decisions and actions that affect the relationship between the organization and employees. In addition the emphasis is concentrated on the interests of management, on adopting a strategic approach, on obtaining added value from people by the processes of human resource development and performance management and finally on gaining their commitment to the objectives and values of the organization. Planning, acquiring, retaining (controlling turnover), developing or training, performance appraisal, compensation, safety and health, family and work life are some examples of management decisions and practices over people in an organization.The main activities of HRM carried out by both line managers and HR professionals are related with organization, the employment relationship, resourcing, performance management, human resource development, reward management, employee's relations, health/safety and employee services and employment and HR administration. In addition HRM have many objectives, these may be found in appendix 2.Storey (1989) classified HRM into two models, 'hard' and 'soft'. The 'hard model' approach to HRM is quantitative, calculative and concerned with managing an organization's head count 'rationally'. It is implemented by an organization which concentrates their beliefs with cutting costs to increase productivity. The hard model is fundamentally driven by the product market logic (that is, it aims to make the necessary adjustments to achieve strategic fit between HR policies & the demands of the external marketing environment, in line with Corporate Strategy). On the other hand, the 'soft model' approach to HRM aims to achieve people's 'commitment' to the organization by focusing on communication,...

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