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Human Resource

Lecture Notes
Farmala Jacobs

Course Description
Course offers an introduction to the
theories and practices of human
resource management

What comes to mind when you think of

Learning Objective for this Unit

Clearly articulate the HRM philosophy.

Give concise definitions for HRM.
Know the history behind HRM.
Know the functions of HRM.
Know the role of HRM Manager
Understand the importance of Health and

What and where are the Origins of

Has origins in USA back in the 1950s but
did not gain wide recognition until beginning
of 1980s
UK came on board in late 1980s.

Beardwell & Holden (1997)

Why did HRM Evolve?

Pressures in Product markets in USA during
recession of 1980-82
Growing recognition in the USA that Trade Union
influence in collective
employment was reaching fewer employees.
US economy challenged by Japan and
Beardwell & Holden (1997)

Why did HRM Evolve?

Attempting to cope with
productivity in USA and UK.


Need to create a work situation free of conflict

in which both employees and employer
worked toward the same goals (unitarist

Beardwell & Holden (1997)

Unitarist vs. Pluralist Debate on HRM...

Unitarist Perspective Employee and
employer share common goals in the
workplace. Conflict is not a normal event in
the workplace.
Pluralist Perspective Employee and
employer do not have common goals and
conflict is accepted as a normal activity in the
workplace. Results from competing interests.

So...what is HRM?
The concept of fit with the strategic thrusts of the
HR strategies exist to ensure that the culture,
values, structure and processes of the
organisation, and the quality, flexibility,
motivation and commitment of its members to
contribute fully to the achievement of its
objectivesshould match the business strategy
Cooke 1990

HRM Defined
The attainment of business objectives through
the contribution it makes to the creation of an
environment in which people commit
themselves to and effectively accomplish the
tasks assigned to them.

HRM Defined
Strategic HRM is largely about integration; to
ensure that HRM is fully integrated into
strategic planning; that HRM policies cohere
across policy areas and across hierarchies and
that HRM practices are accepted and used by
line managers as part of their everyday work.

(David Guest)

Why is HRM important?

Necessary part of the organising function of
Selecting, training, and evaluating the work force
As an important strategic tool
HRM helps establish an organisations sustainable
competitive advantage.
Adds value to the firm
High performance work practices lead to both high
individual and high organisational performance.

HRM Strategy
Why is HR critical to firm performance?
85% of all firms in the US are service firms.
Service is delivered by people.
Low quality HR leads to low quality customer
In the 21st century effective knowledge
management translates into competitive
advantage and profits.
Knowledge comes from a firms people.

HRM Strategy
What is unique about Human Resource
HR is multidisciplinary: It applies the disciplines of
Psychology (motivation, satisfaction), Sociology
(organization structure, culture) and Law
(min.wage, labor contracts, EEOC)
HR is embedded within the work of all managers,
and most individual contributors due to the need
of managing people (subordinates, peers and
superiors) as well as teams to get things done.

HRM objectives
Employee job satisfaction, self-actualisation
and motivation
Employee effectiveness and efficiency
Improved quality (innovation & Creativity)
Cost-effectiveness and competitiveness
Labour flexibility

HMR objectives
Employee commitment
Increased competence (training &
Participation and autonomy
Creating readiness for change


HRM objectives
Rewards and incentives linked to performance
More organic structures
Recognition of human resource or people
issues at the strategic level

Human Resource Management Functions


Safety and

Job Analysis
Human Resource Planning

Compensation - All
rewards that
individuals receive
as a result of their

Safety and Health

Employees who work in
safe environment and
enjoy good health are
more likely to be
productive and yield
long-term benefits to

Safety and Health

Safety - Involves protecting employees from
injuries caused by work-related accidents
Health - Refers to employees' freedom from
illness and their general physical and mental
well being

Employee and Labor Relations

Private-sector union membership has fallen from 39
percent in 1958 to 7.8 percent in 2005.
Business is required by law to recognize a union and
bargain with it in good faith if the firms employees
want the union to represent them
Human resource activity is often referred to as
industrial relations
Most firms today would rather have a union-free

Human Resource Development

Career Planning
Career Development
Organizational Development
Performance Management
Performance Appraisal

Human Resource Research

Human resource
research is not
separate function.
It pervades all HR
functional areas.

Interrelationships of HRM Functions

All HRM functions are
Each function affects
other areas

Human Resource Manager

Acts in advisory or staff capacity
Works with other managers to help them deal
with human resource matters
Today HR departments continue to get smaller
because others are accomplishing certain

HRM Manger

develop a thorough knowledge of corporate

culture, plans and policies.
To act as an internal change agent and consultant.
To initiate change and act as an expert and
To actively involve himself in companys strategy
To keep communication lines open between the
HRD function and individuals and groups both
within and outside the organisation.
To identify and evolve HRD strategies in
consonance with overall business strategy.

HRM Manager
To facilitate the development of various organisational
teams and their working relationship with other teams
and individuals.
To try and relate people and work so that the
organisation objectives are achieved effectively and
To diagnose problems and to determine appropriate
solution particularly in the human resources areas.
To provide co-ordination and support services for the
delivery of HRD programmes and services.
To evaluate the impact of an HRD intervention or to
conduct research so as to identify, develop or test how
HRD in general has improved individual or organisational