Evolution of HRM Function

Posted on Friday, August 14, 2009
This was posted in Human Resources
  • Emergence of  craftspeople organizing themselves as ‘guilds’
  • Industrial relations and birth of a factory and emergence of boss.
  • The importance of people management in increasing production was realized very early during the days of F.W.Taylor, Henri Fayol, Chester Bernard and others in the age of classical management.
  • Hawthorne Experiment
  • Legal recognition and governmental support to provide basic amenities to people, however, started during war years only. What was born then was Personnel Administration with the appointment of ‘Welfare Officer’ in mines and factories.
  • The need to contain the influence of unions was also appreciated. However, it remained as a reactive administration department to handle worker’ complaints and grievances and to assist in appointments, transfers and retirements of employees.

Peter Drucker says:

  • “Personnel Administration is largely a collection of incidental techniques without much internal cohesion. It is partly a file clerk’s job, partly a house keeping job, partly a social worker’s job and partly fire-fighting to head off union trouble or to settle it.The things they do like…. Are necessary chores? I doubt that they should be put together in one department for they are a hodge -podge. They are neither one function by kinship or skills required to carry out the activities, nor are they function by being linked together in the work process by forming a distinct stage in the work of managers or in the process of business.”
  • A further, fillip to personnel management came during sixties when companies were in expansion mode. The need was felt for a specialist function to organize recruitment and selection processes properly to minimize shortages of skilled personnel in production processes and in marketing department.
  • Unions were also getting more organized and stronger world over and the need was felt to structure employee compensation by proper ‘job evaluation’ and ‘wage surveys’. Some training was also considered necessary. These activities including labour management to handle compliance of various acts like ‘Industrial Disputes Act and Factories Act amongst others were organized under the function called ‘human resource management’, or ‘personnel function’.
evolution of HRM
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