The Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the section of an organization associated with a set of unique, best practices that aim to recruit, develop, reward and manage people in ways that create high performance systems (Bratton, and Gold 2012). Others view HRM as a simple repackaging of good personnel management practices (Som 2008).
The two definitions show that development in human resource depends on the changes in the markets, social movements, and public policies that are the products of economic and political changes within the society (Nienhueser 2011).
HRM started during the industrial revolution in England (Bratton and Gold 2012). According to Nienhüser and Warhurst (2012), HRM serves to ensure that the organization can achieve success through the proper utilization of employees. More specifically, it aims at increasing organizational effectiveness and capability by use of the available resources.
The human resource is concerned with the rights and needs of people through social responsibility (Nienhüser and Warhurst 2012). The social responsibilities are the responsibilities that the organization has to the society, consumers, suppliers and employees (Nienhüser and Warhurst 2012). The human resource goals include strategic integration, high commitment, high quality and flexibility (Armstrong 2009, p. 32).
The HRM has a number of theories. This includes the strategic HRM theory which is the principal HRM theory (Huselid, 1995). This theory interlinks the employee power and resources to the targeted strategic organizational goals. The theory’s implicit assumption is that a good fit between human resource and the internal and external context can be linked to high performance (Huselid, 1995).
However, organizational performance and achievement of goals is attributed to significant factors that are employee related. These are skills, dedication, commitment and productivity. The second theory is knowledge management theory (Huselid, 1995). This theory lists that the organizational outcomes is based on the knowledge of its employees. It adopts a systematic approach that motivates information sharing amongst the employees in order to achieve greater productivity.
Another HRM theory is the organizational culture development theory (Huselid, 1995). It takes into account the employees behavioral responses. In general, organizational culture refers to the values and practices upon which an organization is based. Additionally, it plays a major role in determining employees effectiveness and efficiency (Armstrong 2009).
The HRM is characterized by its ability to respond accurately and effectively to the organization’s environment. It also complements other organizational system and delivers added value through the strategic development of the organizations. The HRM covers a vast environment of activities with a range of variation across occupations, organizational levels, business units, firms, industries, and societies (Som 2008).
There are two versions of HRM: the hard and soft versions of human resource. Hard HRM is a practical approach where people are viewed as passive resources purposed to be used, deployed as well as dispose where necessary. On the other hand, soft HRM is based on humanism. Thus, it is devoted to human interest that views people as responsible and progressive being (Nienhueser 2011).
There are the four main roles of human resource professional. They include managing strategic human resources, managing employee contribution, managing transformation and change, and lastly, is managing human infrastructure to support line managers (Kelly and Kelly 1991).
Managers need to understand how ethical dimensions of human resource policy and practice fit into the present and future picture. Lastly, they should be able to make a powerful business case for any proposals regarding the development of human resource strategy (Armstrong 2009, p. 104-135).
There are factors that influence the level of individual performance in an organization. These factors are motivation, ability, and opportunity to participate in the organization activities. The impacts of motivation on performance depend on the capability of the employee. On the other hand, the capacity to perform depends on the employee. The effects of motivation on performance are additive but interactive (Balnave, Brown, Maconachie and Stone 2007; Huselid 1995).
The three factors need to be observed by the concerned organization for it to make progress. As mentioned earlier, people are the most important resources in an organization. Thus, there are ways that have been developed to ensure that an organization obtains and keeps the people it requires. This is vital since it ensures continuity of good personnel in the organization thus facilitating succession. This important function is usually performed by the department of HRM (Thompson and McHugh 2009).
The human resource uses different strategies to ensure that it has the best personnel/staff in their organization. The first one is human resource planning. Here, the business assesses the present and future human resource needs of the organization. The second strategy is creating an employer brand.
This is done by developing the existing workforce in the organization. This is whereby the organization plans on increasing the flexibility of the available human resource. The other strategy is talent management, recruitment and selection, and absent management strategies. Here, the organization decides on whether it needs employees from within the organization or outside, recruits, selects, orients and then trains (Armstrong, 2009).
Overall, HRM deals mainly with workforce management and regulation within an organization aimed at enhancing its performance. This is well explained using the various principal theories, versions, roles and strategies of HRM.
Armstrong, M 2009, Armstrong’s handbook of performance management: An evidence-based guide to delivering high performance, Kogan Page, London.
Balnave, N, Brown, J, Maconachie, G and Stone, R 2007, Employment Relations in Australia, Wiley & Sons, Australia.
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Huselid, MA 1995, The Impact Of Human Resource Management Practices On Turnover, Productivity, And Corporate Financial Performance, Academy of Management Journal, vol. 38 no. 3, pp. 635-672.
Kelly, J and Kelly, C 1991, ”Them and Us”: Social Psychology and “The New Industrial Relations”, British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol, 29, no. 1, pp. 25-48.
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Thompson, P and McHugh, D 2009, Work Organisations, Palgrave, London.