Human Resource Management (HRM) is the term used to refer to the philosophy policies, procedures and practices relating to the management of people within an organization. Human Resource Management is the process of achieving the best fit between individuals, jobs, organization and the environment. It is the process of bringing people and organizations together so that the goals of each are met. According to Byan and Rue, Human Resource Management encompasses those activities designed to provide for and co-ordinate the human resources of an organization… Human resource functions refers to those tasks and duties performed in an organization to provide for and co-ordinate the human resources.

To Wancevide and Gluecle, Human Resources Management is the function performed in organizations that facilitates the most effective use of people (employees) to achieve organizational and individual goals.

Thus Human Resources Management focuses on action, rather than on record keeping, written procedure or rules. It emphasizes the solution of employment problems to help achieve organizational objectives and facilitate employee development and satisfaction which means that Human Resources Management is action-oriented.

It is also individually-oriented. Human Resources Management considered each employee as an individual and offers services and programmes to meet the individual needs.

Human Resources Management is future-oriented. Effective Human Resources Management is concerned with helping an organization achieve its objectives in the future by providing for competent, well-motivated employees.

Features of Human Resources Management.

In all these definitions the emphasis is clearly on integration of individual and organizational objectives so as to attain effectiveness. On the basis of these definitions some basic facts of Human Resources Management emerges.

Human Resource is concerned with employees both as individuals and as a group in attaining g goals. It is also concerned with behaviour, emotional and social aspects of personnel.

It is concerned with the development of human resources, knowledge, capability, skill, potentialities and attaining and achieving employees-goals, including job satisfaction.

• Human Resources Management pervades the organization. Every person in an organization is involved with personnel decisions.

• It is concerned with managing people at work. It covers all types of personnel. Personnel work may take different shape and form at each level in the organizational hierarchy but the basic objectives, achieving organizational effectiveness through effective and efficient utilization of human resources remains the same. It is basically a method of developing potentials of employees so that they get maximum satisfaction of their work and give their best efforts to the organization.

• Human Resources Management is a continuous function. It cannot be practiced only one hour each day a week. It requires a constant alertness and awareness of human relations and their importance in everyday organization.

• Human Resources Management is conscious of its social obligations towards society in general and to employee in particular.

Importance of Human Resources Management

Human resources, along with financial and material resources contribute to the production of goods and services in an organization. Physical and monetary resources by themselves cannot improve efficiency or contribute to an increased rate of return on investment. It is through the combined and concerted efforts of people that monetary or material resources are harnessed to achieve organizational goals. But these efforts, attitudes and skills have to be sharpened from time to time to optimise the effectiveness of human resources and to enable them to meet great challenges. This is where Human Resources Management plays a crucial role. It helps the organization in multi-farious ways.

(i) Good Human resource practice can help in attracting and retaining the best people in an organization. Planning alerts the company to the types of people it will need in the short, medium and long-run.

(ii) It appropriates recruitment and selection activities, identify the best people for available jobs and make sure they are placed in suitable position.

(iii) Performance appraisals and training develop individuals who need skills, knowledge and attitudes different from those they currently possess.

(iv) Good human resources practice can also motivate organizational members to do outstanding work

1 The Human Resource Philosophy and Procedure

The human resource philosophy refers to the intention and belief to treat the human elements in the production process not as an instrument of work but as a resource that could be used to achieve an objective and therefore the need to create an environment conducive for the supply of that resource. It is also the ideas and belief that governs the perception and actions of managers towards the employees. The philosophy recognizes the logic or rationality of work. It implies the possession of a genuine workers interest. That is workers also do not only possess hands but also have hearts and minds. This philosophy is absent in most small businesses and in many third world nations. The nature of Human Resources Philosophy will to a large extent determine the human Resources Policies.

Human Resource Procedures

These serve to implement policies by prescribing the chronological sequence of steps to follow in carrying out the policies. The use of the concept “procedures” implies the existence of a pro cess which is a series of activities to be performed in sequential order. The procedure or process is a means to an end.

2 Human Resource Polices and Practice[/embed

These serve to guide the actions required to achieve Human Resources objectives. Policies provide the means for carrying out management processes and as such, they are aid to decision-making, while Human Resources objectives stipulates what is to be done, the Human Resources policies explain how it is to be done. The Human Resources policies are informed about the Human Resources philosophy

Human Resource Practice

This is the act of implementing the policies and procedures towards achieving Human Resources objectives. The relationship between Human Resources philosophy, Policies, Procedures and Practice could be best illustrated thus:

The Human Resources Philosophy is the base on which the other variables are built upon. Factors that shape this Human Resources Philosophy include union pressure, the desire to have a competitive advantage and public outcry.

Human Resources Management as a Process System


According to the process system analysis, “human re source system management is the systematic planning development and control of a network of interrelated process, affecting and involving all members of an organization effective management and development of human resources on the success and survival of business organization.

As a consequences of this discovery, managers of human capital in blue chip organizations have re-defined the role of, objective and structure of the human resources management function.

These re-structuring and re-engineering of the human resources management department and function is underscored by a singular objective i.e., the need for an integrated system, which emphasized the direct relationship between human resources management sub-systems and the business objectives of the organization. The impact of this approach is that it will facilitate the evaluation of specific human resources subsystem. In terms of how they complement and support each other. Furthermore, such a system analysis will facilitate the evaluation of human resources management programs and activities by the degree to which they contribute directly to the accomplishment of business objectives. The purpose of this section is to emphasize the system concepts in managing human resources as such as a conceptual model is useful in planning, designing, implementing and assessing the value of manpower development programs. In order to understand to process system analysis, we begin by a conceptual definition of the words process and system.

Process: A process is a series of tasks or activities to be performed in sequential order to accomplish an objective. It is also an identifiable flow of interrelated events moving towards some goals.

Perceiving human resources management as a process implies that one function or stage invariably leads to the other.

System: A system is a particular set of procedures or devices designed to manage a process in a predictable way. It is also a group of interrelated parts working together to form a whole. Therefore a system consists of various subsystems.

This perception of Human Resource as a system has a dual implication for human resource management. The implications are both MICRO and MACRO. From the Micro point of view, it implies that each of the human resources components or function such as training, compensation, employees’ participation and staffing are all a sub-system of the Human Resources Management system and thus contributing to the objectives. From the Macro point of view, the human resources management system becomes a subsystem of the organizational system, thus contributing to organizational goals and objectives. Most importantly, the Macro and Micro sub system of human resources ideally should contribute to the achievement of important organizational outcomes such as effectiveness, efficiency, development and customer satisfaction.

According to the process system analysis, Human Resource Management is the systematic planning development and control of network of interrelated process affecting and involving all members of an organization. These processes include:

Human Resources Planning

Job Design

– Training and Development
– Performance Approach and Review

– Compensation and Reward

– Employees Protection and Participation
– Organizational Improvement

To effectively manage these processes, human resource system are planned, developed and implemented through the combined efforts of all managers and human resource specialist with the total participation of all employees in the organization.

Human Resource Management is viewed as a system with inputs from the large organization. It produces output for both the organization and individuals within it. The human resource management system has within it several sub systems.

At the beginning of every planning, performance and feedback cycle, techno forecast, market analysis, and the capabilities of the organization are combined in the corporate planning process to obtain the objectives. These objectives can be seen as the annual performance targets of the firm. The statement of organizational objectives then becomes the single major input into the human resource management system. Based on the overall objectives plans, human resource management system are made. These human resource plans consist of actions which must be taken by human resources department in order to actualize the objectives. These actions can be classified into two categorises:-

(1) Staffing the organization

(2) Modifying the environment within which the organization performs.

The human resource plans that are related to the manpower need of the organization are combined with the inventory of manpower resources to produce the staffing plans of the organization. To accomplish this, the statement of manpower requirement must be both defined in terms of skills, training, expected performance level and other requirements. The sub systems relating to the modification of the internal environment are the organizational development systems, reward system, communication system. (Performance appraisal) and labour relations system.

The essence of the system analysis of human resource management is to ensure that plans and actions of the sub system are determined in relation to each other and to ensure that they are complementary rather overlapping and conflicting.

Further activities in any sub system are inappropriate unless they can be seen as aid to the accomplishment of organizational objectives. The contention for evaluating a sub system plan should be its contribution to the total human resource management system.

In terms of performance two types of output are produced:

(1) The organizational output consists of goods and services produced.

(2) The individual output consists of needs fulfilment, satisfaction, and development the output at individual level transcend into motivation and inertia for future performance, therefore, individual output act as input into organizational output.

For any human resources management system to be effective there must be a mechanism to assess and evaluate the implication of various human resource policies. This is the feedback from individual and organizational output flows into the appraisal and reporting system and from there into the analysis and control system.

Organizational objectives are compared to results as the first step in organizational appraisal. Individual objectives are also compared with individual result in the appraisal system. The appraisal is then used by managers to reward individuals appropriately in relation to their performance.

Furthermore, the appraisal are used as input into the training need analysis, this system assesses the courses of result, the strength and weaknesses of individuals. The output of this analysis becomes a feedback to manpower inventory and the internal capabilities forecast

This conceptual model of process system analysis is helpful in visualizing relationship of the separate human resource sub systems and in determining logical sequences or planning and action.

Human Resources Management or Personnel Management

These terms are often used interchangeably but it becomes imperative therefore to evaluate the difference inherent in these two concepts.

Personnel Management is defined as that which is concerned with the procurement, development, compensation, integration and maintenance of the personnel of an organization for the purpose of contributing towards the accomplishment of the organizations major goals and objectives while Human Resource Management is regarded by some personnel managers as just a set of initials or old wine in new bottles. It could indeed be more for personnel management but as usually perceived, at least, it has the value of emphasizing the importance of treating people as a key re-source, the management is the direct concern of top management as a part of strategic planning process of the enterprise. Although there is nothing new in the idea, insufficient attention has been paid to it in many organizations.

In comparison, personnel management strategies like human resources management flows from business strategies.

Both personnel management and human resources management recognizes that line managers are responsible for managing employees. Line managers refers to operational managers like treasury manager, transport managers etc, they both provide the necessary advice and support services to enable managers carry out their responsibilities.

The two concepts PM/HRM recognizes that one of their most essential function is that of matching people to their organizational needs.

The same range of selection, training management and reward are used in both cases.

The differences between personnel management and human resources management can be seen in terms of emphasis and approaches and not entirely in terms of substances.

– Personnel management is more restructured in the sense that it is focussed primarily on non-management staff while human resource management includes both management staff and non management staff.

The term human resources at the Macro level indicates the sum of all components like skill and creative ability possessed by all the people, whereas the term personnel even at the macro level is limited to employees of all organization.

Human resources at the organizational level include all the component resources of all employees from the rank and file to top management level, influencing the human resources of former group. Infact it includes the resources of all the people who contribute their services to the attainment of organizational goals and others who contribute their services in order to create hurdles in the attainment of organizational goals.

Furthermore, Human Resource management is more integrated in its approach and also integrated with line management activity. Personnel management on the other hand simply reacts to the outcome of line management activity. Implicit in this analysis is that the human resources specialist is pro-active in nature, he does not wait for employees to agitate before structuring for employees need and satisfaction. The personnel manager is re-active in nature, the welfare needs and satisfaction of employees are inconsequential to him.

The ideological differences between the human resource management and personnel management is that while the human resources manager subscribes to a pluralist ideology, that of the personnel is unitary in nature. The implication of this ideological disparity on the management of an organization work force are enormous. The human resource management strategy, which tries to regulate and make unions inconsequential, thus such strategy entails an attempt to perform for employees what the unions naturally would have done. On the contrary, the personnel management subscribes to Unitarians ideology, which does not tolerate the existence of unionism.

The loyalty and orientation of these two practitioners also differs. The resource manager is tilted towards both management and workers while that of personnel management is tilted towards the management.

Models of Human Resources Management

The first type of model to be considered here is the MATCHING MODEL.


This model simply advocated that human resource systems and the organizational structure should be managed in a way that is congruent or compatible with organizational strategy.

The second one can simply be referred to as the Harvard Framework which is based on the belief that the problems of historical personnel management can only be solved. When general managers develop a view point of how they wish to see employees involved in and develop the enterprise, and of what human resource policies and practice may achieve those goals.

The third model of human resources developed by Walton (1985’s) from Harvard University advanced the argument that, the New Human Resource management model is composed of policies that promote mutual goals, mutual influence, mutual respect, mutual rewards, mutual responsibility. The theory that policies of mutuality will elicit commitment which in turn will yield better economic performance and greater human development. The advantages of these model includes the following:-

• It incorporates recognition of a range of stakeholders’ interest.

• It recognizes the importance of trade-offs either explicitly or implicitly between the interest of owners and those of employees as well as between various interest groups.

• It widens the context of human resource management to include ‘employees influence”, the organization of work and the associated question of supervision style.

• The model acknowledges a broad range of contextual influences on management’s choice of strategy suggesting a meshing of both products markets and socio-cultural logics.

• It emphasizes strategic choice which means it is not driven by situational or environmental determinism. It is instructive to note that the approach and teaching of this text is a reflection and in consonance with the Harvard model of human resource management.

Human Resource Management: Functions

The personnel management programme of each organization is unique. It is true that personnel activities differ from firm to firm, but certain broad functions encompasses all organizations can be listed

The HRM functions can be broadly classified into two categories

(1) Management

(2) Operative

Management functions:

The management functions of personnel management involves, planning, organizing, directing and controlling

Planning – It is a pre-determined course of action. Planning is the determination of personnel programmes and changes in advance that will contribute to the organizational goals. Planning involves acquisition of human resources recruitments, selection, and training. It also involves forecasting of personnel need, changing values, attitudes and behaviour of employees and their impact on the organization.

Organising – An organization is a means to an end. It is a structure and a process by which co-operative group of human beings allocates its tasks among its members, identifies relationships and integrates its activities towards common objectives. Complex relationships exist between the specialised departments and the general departments as many top manages are seeking the advice of personnel manager. This organization establishes relationships among the employees so that they can collectively contribute to the attainment of company goals.

Directing – The basic function of HRM at any level is motivating, commanding, leading and activating people. The willing and effective co-operation of employees for the attainment of organizational goals is possible through proper direction tapping the maximum potentialities of the people is possible through motivation and command. This direction is an important managerial function in that it helps in building sound industrial and human relations besides securing employee contributions.

Co-ordination deals with the tasks of blending efforts in order to ensure a successful attainment of an objective. The personnel manager has to co-ordinate various managers at different levels as far as personnel functions are concerned

Personnel management function should also be co-ordinated with other functions of management.

Controlling – This involves checking verifying and comparing the actual with the plans and identifying deviations if any, and correcting the identified deviations. This action and operation are adjusted to pre-determined plans and standards through control.

(ii) Operative Functions

The operative functions of personnel management are related to specific activities of personnel management e.g. Employments, developments compensation and relations. These functions have to be performed in conjunction with management functions.

– Employment – It is the first operative functions of HRM. Employment is concerned with securing and employing the people possessing required kind and level of human resources necessary to achieve the organizational objectives. It covers the functions such as job analysis, human resource planning, recruitment, selection, placement, induction and internal mobility.

(i) Job analysis is the process of study and collection of information relating to the operations and responsibilities of a specific job. This involves collection of data, information, preparation of job description, providing the guides on job design for all the operations functions of HRM

(ii) Human Resource Planning is the process for determining and assuming that the organization will have an adequate number of qualified persons, available at proper times, performing jobs which would meet the needs of the organization.

(iii) Recruitment – This is the process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in an organization

(iv) Selection – It is the process of ascertaining the qualifications, experience, skill, knowledge of an applicant with a view to appraising his/her suitability to a job.



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