Monday, June 15, 2009

Concepts of HRM, Personnel Management and Industrial Relations

The world is changing dramatically and is in the process of complete transformation. The impossible things of yesterdays have become possible today and the impossible things of today will become possible tomorrow that is why it is said that change is the only permanent aspect of nature. The concept of self sufficient nations is losing importance and the concept of ‘global village’ is emerging. Management of organizations is bound to cope up with the radical transformation by developing new techniques and practices in global perspective after carefully analyzing the real challenges being faced by the professional managers.

Because of the continuous changing socio-economic, technological and political conditions the modern day managers as behavioral /operational scientists in the organization come across the following challenges:

1. Challenge of globalization.
2. Challenge of information age.
3. Challenge of quality revolution.
4. Challenge of managing workforce diversity.
5. Empowerment of workers.
6. Development of work ethics and culture.
7. Corporate reorganization.

Any organisation functions with continuous interaction of three major variables of MONEY, MACHINES AND MAN POWER, along with several other inter related and dependant factors that are influential.

The function of the manager has transformed immensely after industrial revolution and more specifically post WW II, from that of being a mere supervisor to the one who is a provider, evaluator and policy maker. Manager is the one who thinks over the effects of an action on the whole or large part of the whole system before taking the action, i.e. considers the situation behind the scene before taking any action. Effects may be positive or negative, so a cost benefit analysis is taken before an action is employed as well as an evaluation that how far a particular planning has been effective is considered. So, it evolves as a complete system of functioning.


As the management of the money with utmost flexibility and durability is important in the working and growth of any organization along with the best maintenance and operation of machines, it is even more crucial to deal with the diversity and dynamism of the man at work as they are the resources for any organization to bloom, build and boom.

And over the years ever since the identification of the vivid aspect of ‘man as a resource’ of organisation, in management there have been several practices that were employed, deployed and transformed under the terms viz personnel management, industrial relations, and the latest in use is human resource development and even more comprehensive outlook comes under the title of human resource management.

PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT (PM), is more so a traditional form of management, where manager was the person who organized, delegated and divided the work. Management applied the principles for getting things done universally regardless of the type of organization and situation involved.
PM has a limited scope and inverted orientation.
The norms, laws and strategies of functioning were designed by the management, the fountain head of the company and the task of the Personnel managers includes the activity of hiring new employees and to maintain personnel records, and to supervise the labour as an important tool whose behavior could be manipulated for the benefit of the organization and replaced when worn out.

PM practice was indeed a monotonous monitoring by the managers, of the work done by the employees in the interest of the organization with negotiation, division of labour , indirect and downward communication and functioning under clear rules norms and customs of the organization.

But later researches show that there may be few instances where certain principles are used in all circumstances otherwise different treatment is required in different cases after analyzing the various situational variables carefully as the behavioral situations are much more complicated now a days. And this was how HRM, Human

Resource Management came into existence. Intellectuals identified that man at work is the asset of any organization and is dynamic in thought process as well as functioning, thus his individual identity should be retained. And this brought an end to the PM approach that had a universal outlook in dealing with employees.

Historically it is believed, that PM preceded HRM.


INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (IR) , is concerned with the relationship between management and workers and the role of regulatory mechanism is resolving any industrial dispute.
Likes: collective bargaining, role of management unions and government, machinery for resolution of industrial disputes, individual grievance and disciplinary policy and practice, labour legislation and industrial relations training.

On the contrary HR human relations is a more comprehensive term that includes all those aspects of HRM where employees are dealt with collectively. Human relations includes, in addition to IR, such aspects as participative management, employee welfare, employee development, employee remuneration, employee safety and health and the like.

Thus IR is one major area of concern under the role of modern day (HRM) Human Resource managers giving a long due importance to human relations in organizations.


HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (HRD) , on the other hand more specifically deals with the function of training and development of the employees in the organisation, career panning and development, and organisation development.

Thus it is just one of the various aspects that are covered under the functions of Human Resource Management.


HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (HRM),
This approach of management is developmental. It is concerned with the growth and the development of the people towards higher level of competency, creativity and fulfillment as people are central themes in the organisation for the attainment of the organizational objectives.

This approach can be easily understood by comparing it with the traditional management approach where manager decided to do something and then got it done through people according to his directives and under his strict control and supervision without taking workers into confidence just to satisfy his whims.
The human resource management approach on the other hand is developmental and facilitative. It helps people grow and facilitate them in developing self control, responsibilities and other abilities in them so as to create a climate where all can contribute to the organization to the limits of their improved abilities. It will result in operative effectiveness. People will get work satisfaction by making fuller use of their capabilities and all this is certainly required for the rapid and effective achievement of organizational objective.

Thus managers role under HRM approach changes. He does not control the employees to get the work done rather support them to grow to their full abilities. Thus modern day managers are required to provide a good organizational climate wherein people can grow and be productive.

HRM regards people as an important asset to be used for the benefit of the organizations, employees and the society. It is emerging as a distinct practice of management aiming at policies that promote mutuality – mutual goals, mutual respect, mutual rewards and mutual responsibilities. It is a step beyond humanitarian type of functioning.

The belief behind the policy of mutuality is that it will remove the aspect of commitment and would promote better economic performance and greater human resource development. i.e. a satisfied and willing worker definitely gives more and better productivity compared to the dissatisfied worker under forceful functioning.

The approach suggests that there is no one best way to tackle human problem in organization because he himself being vividly dynamic.

Each situation must be analyzed carefully before taking any action and at the same time discouraging universal concept about people. Though it is teamwork that counts but every individual in his own self is distinct and needs that identification.

Thus being a diverse and distinct approach HRM cannot be utilized is isolation. It is integrated into overall systematic- strategic management of the organization’s functioning.

HRM represent the latest term in the evolution of this field.

6 comments:

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