History of Human Resource Management

Topics: Human resource management, Management, Human resources Pages: 6 (2055 words) Published: November 21, 2010
History of Human Resource Management

Overview of Human Resource Management
By definition, Human Resource Management (HRM) is the strategic and coherent approach to the management of organizations most valued assets; specifically the people working there whom individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of objectives of the business. Simply it is the process of employing people, developing their capacities, utilizing, maintaining and compensating their services in tune with the job and organizational requirement. The goal of HRM is to maximize the production of an organization by using the employees to the best of their abilities and in return offer a better work life then other companies to retain them. Basically, treating the employees as the valuable resources they are. Workforce management has become increasingly complex. The heritage and growth of the human resource management profession is closely linked to people's attitudes about work, the evolution of employment-related laws and sociological trends. The HR field today recognizes the dynamic relationship between strategy, people, technology and the processes that drive organizations. Although this dynamic relationship appears obvious now, the evolution of the profession has often been slow. The HRM departments tend to focus on three general functions or activities. Those functions are planning, implementation, and evaluation. The planning function refers to the development of human resource policies and regulations. Human resource managers attempt to determine future HRM activities and plan for the implementation of HRM procedures to help companies realize their goals. The implementation aspect of HRM involves four primary activities: acquisition, development, compensation, and maintenance. Acquisition entails the hiring of workers most likely to help a company attain its goals. The development function is made up of the training of workers to perform their tasks in accordance with company strategy. This activity also involves company efforts to control and change employee behavior via reviews, appraisals, incentives, and discipline. Compensation covers the payment of employees for their services. The function of maintenance requires structuring labor relations, which is the interaction between a company's management and its unionized employees, and ensuring compliance with federal and state employment laws. The evaluation function includes the assessment of a company's HRM policies to determine whether they are effective.


Key practices and ideas that are the foundation of Human Resources Management (HRM) can be dated back to prehistoric times. An example of this is the selection of tribal leaders and knowledge being passed down to youth about safety, health, hunting, and gathering. More advanced HRM functions began to develop in about 1000 and 2000 B.C. In 1115 B.C., China was the first to use an early version of employee screening tests. Another example of early HRM can be found in the apprentice system, which was started in ancient Greek and Babylonian civilizations. Along with practice, the terminology has evolved or the years, from personnel to industrial relations to employee relations to human resources. In theory the title of Human Resources fits perfectly because it is the practice of managing your most valuable resource, humans. The need for an organized form of HRM first emerged during the industrial revolution, as the manufacturing process evolved from a cottage system to factory production. As the United States shifted from an agricultural to an industrial economy, companies deemed it necessary to develop and implement effective ways of recruiting and keeping their best workers. In addition, since industrialization helped incite immigration, more workers were coming into the country to work and they need help adapting to American life and their jobs. Between the 1880s and the 1940s, immigration rose significantly and...

References: Pace, R., Phillip Smith, and Gordon Mills. Human resource development, the field. 1991-01, 1991. Print.
Greenlaw, Paul, and John Kohl. Personnel management. HarperCollins Publishers, 1986. Print.
Mote, Dave. "HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ." www.referenceforbusiness.com. Encyclopedia for Business, 2010. Web. 3 Apr 2010. <http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/encyclopedia/Gov-Inc-source/Human-Resource-Management-HRM.html>.
Losey, Micheal. "HR comes of age - history of human resource management ." HR Magazine 15 Mar 1998: n. pag. Web. 3 Apr 2010. <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_n3_v43/ai_205414399/>.
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