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Human Resource Management: Origins and Alternative Modules Essay

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Updated: May 13th, 2019


With the growing need to regulate the functions and the general working of employees in a company, effective management is inevitable in achieving the set goals. In large organizations, issues related to hiring, wellness and motivation of employees solely rests on the human resource management department.

Setting the crucial working environment in a company requires strong human resource management which enhances maintenance of the working culture without undue deviations. Worth noting is the fact that human resource management is not set up strictly for the benefit of the company only, but the wellness of the employees is also put into consideration.

Essentially, the productivity of a company is put at a balance with the interests of employees. The company’s goals and objectives are smoothly achieved if the company has strong human resource management. Essentially, a well managed employee will be motivated and eventually give out excellent results (WiseGeek, 2012).

Origin of Human resource management

The term human resource management is said to have originated from the United States. Its inception was at a time when the human relations movements were taking centre stage in many companies within the United States. Human resource management evolved through two schools of thought including the Fobrum and the Harvard frameworks.

During the first time of its usage, the two schools of thought laboured to justify a direct link between the organization and the way in which people are managed. Notably, during the first use of human resource management, approach to rewards in an organization was pegged on the size of the organization. The Harvard framework elucidated several components of human resource management (Banfield & Kay, 2008). The six components consist of the following:

  1. The human resource policy choices: This component consists of four sub components that include human resource flow, reward systems, working system and employee influence. This model is said to be distinct from other methods of human resource management.
  2. Situational factors are another component of human resource. It has its indicators, which among others include the prevailing labour conditions, management philosophy and the predictable workforce traits. In the loose meaning of the word, the factor carries the surface meaning hence the human resource factor will depend on the surrounding environment at the time (Marchington & Wilkinson, 2006).
  3. The human resource outcome is a component of human resource that is otherwise used with initials of commitment in the organization’s competence as a measure. On the other hand, cost effective and congruence have increasingly been included in the list of the human resource outcomes. The component considers certain traits in the company such as trust, skills and high levels of motivation. Influence of employees in matters concerning the company has the effect of engineering congruence (Marchington & Wilkinson, 2006).
  4. The company’s long term consequences: The consistence of employees’ well-being in a company is a vital tool in making sure that societal goals are attained through effective organization. Contrary to many other human resource management models, this factor recognises that the company’s goals cannot be achieved without the workers playing their role. On the other hand, societal goals such as growth and employment are achieved only if employees are considered, and their interests addressed.
  5. An effective feedback loop dictates that human resource management is a framework that constitutes different components. These components must be in a mutual relationship and coordination so as to achieve the desired results (Sharma, 2009).
  6. Human resource management consists of an element whereby the stakeholder’s interests are scrutinized. This interests include trade-offs which create a tripartite interests of owners of the company on one hand, employees and trade unions on the other (Marchington & Wilkinson, 2006).

The most important aspect of the above framework is that the positivists’ view is a dominant direction. This view fosters human resource outcomes to achieve long-term objectives. In the framework, the employees are capable of making valid choices in the most organized or structural way. The managers in this case are held to have considered the lived realities in the company or any other organization (Armstrong, 2008).

It is a duty of effective human resource management to ensure that employees’ issues are addressed, while at the same time facilitating the company’s objectives and goals. Human resource management is at cross roads since it offers administrative functions as well creating incentives for employees.

In a nutshell, human resource management is the management or regulation of individuals in a company. For it to work to its best, it requires proper planning so as to realize the needs of the company and those of the employees. The planning encompasses substantial improvements on the mode of hiring and the available methods of assessment (Heathfield, 2012).

Human resource management has been termed as the most effective tool to create a good environment for high productivity. Having competent human resource management saves the company the trouble of losing skilled employees since employees grievances are addressed early enough. In addition, the company does not incur undue expenditures in training new employees. Therefore, it is worth noting that any productive company requires a strong human resource so as to reap the aforementioned benefits (Cornelius, 2001).

In the process of creating effective human resource management, several steps are taken. The size and wants of the company is an important consideration. The rationale of the above consideration is grounded on the fact that small companies have distinct goals from big companies. In essence, what a big company can afford when it comes to financing the training of employees is different from what a small company can raise (Marchington & Wilkinson, 2006).

Alternative modules of human resource management

It is imperative to note that human resource is taking a twist from the traditional personnel. The traditional administrative roles have changed, and a replacement of it has been set up. Such a change has opened a clear path to new human resource managerial ways. The strategic human resource management has been a cardinal part of the new human resource management.

The most remarkable advantage of strategic human resource is that it puts both small and large companies at the same page. The following discussion covers extensively the human resource modules (Mathis & Jackson, 2012).

To start with, the human resource module is an element of human resource which incorporates many aspects of human resource management. The aspects range from the time of training to retirement. In some companies, the module deals with recording data, selection of employees and development.

In addition, the module handles training and development while putting into consideration capabilities and skills management. Further, compensation arrangements and other similar activities are in the confines of the human resource management module (Meyer & Kirsten, 2005).

Secondly, human resource management contains the training module. The said module entails a well organized system which keeps a constant track on the employees training and their developmental efforts. The module otherwise known as the learning management system enables human resource to identify the qualification of employees.

Effective prescription of the required education materials such as books and web learning materials is also done through this module. The module plans and outlines the designated dates of offering certain courses and the sessions to be offered. In companies whereby the learning management system is effective, managers use the same module to approve training and verify performance management (Sharma, 2009).

Thirdly, the employee self service module provides for a forum whereby employees are allowed to air their questions on matters regarding their attendance. The module creates an opportunity for employees to raise their questions without any conduct with the human resource personnel. The module ensures that supervisors approve requests through the system without causing unnecessarily over-tasking the human resource department.

However, the sharp shift from the traditional human resource has enabled many companies to develop a strong human resource management system. The said system has enhanced efficient recruitment, selection and performance appraisals. It is to be borne in mind that the module achieves its functions through the assistance of the applicant tracking system (SpencerStuart, 2010).

Fourth, human resource management working is facilitated by the payroll module. The module includes collection of data regarding the employee’s attendance while computing various allowable tax deductions. The calculations are geared towards coming up with the pay cheques and final tax returns. Payroll module consists of all transactions of employees. The module achieves its functions and coordinates with the financial management systems to release reliable records (Ulrich, Losey & Miesinger, 2005).

The fifth module is the time and attendance. The module mainly gathers data about employees attendance put in a standardized manner. In a case whereby the module is up to date, data collection becomes flexible. It is still the sole role of time and attendance module to distribute labour on employees according to their capabilities. For a company to track its costs and efficiency levels, time and attendance modules are employed (Werner, Schuler & Jackson, 2012).

Sixth is the benefits administration module. The module assists in ensuring that the company builds an efficient organization to monitor employees benefit programs. The said programs include the employees’ compensations, insurance cover, modes of sharing profits and retirement benefit (Werner, Schuler & Jackson, 2012).

Soft model as contrasted from other types of human resource management has its focus on the management of employees. This is based on the assumption that labour is a commodity, and employees are valuable assets. The model suggests that the only credible method of managing employees and subordinate staff is to cultivate commitment and loyalty in order to attain a high level of production.

he soft model focuses on achieving healthy competition by employing capable work team. In its comparative scope, the soft model is rated the best and superior in the promotion of motivation among employees. In addition, it also promotes satisfaction as a driving force towards excellent performance (Werner, Schuler & Jackson, 2012).

At a time when companies are seeking excellent performance, the link between human resource management is clearly joined by the soft model. The issue of identifying a relationship between human resource and performance settles the debate on whether human resource is measurable.

In the general acceptance of human resource management, the very vital consideration has been the unique way in which industrial relations are handled. Human resource management has continuously become more attractive than personnel management. Human resource management has numerous advantages to both companies and employees. The bureaucracy witnessed in personnel management has no roots in human resource management (WiseGeek, 2012).

Companies that are committed towards the achievement of positive results require the use of strategy, which in the classical meaning requires a long-term structuring of the company. It has to be structured in simple goals and the time frame to achieve the said goals. The role of human resource management in the process of establishing long time directions is to determine the product markets and the geographical locations (Sharma, 2009).

When the company follows the strategy, it is prudent for the company’s human resource to cultivate and steer a competitive atmosphere. Looking at it from the human resource management point, the focus on whether high performance or the reduction on the cost of production mainly to lay the competition advantage playing ground. In other instances, the strength of human resource management entails consistency in providing assurances in matters affecting the financial reports of the company (WiseGeek, 2012).

The human resource management puts rewards to employees so as to trigger high levels of performance. Safeguarding impartiality in management puts employees in the same level. The extensive, fair management ensures that the human resource management is more reliable than personnel management. However, companies need to employ human resource strategy in order to get the desired results (WiseGeek, 2012).


It can be noted that human resource management has its origin that lays down the initial components at the time of its inception. The shift from the traditional view to the modern trend of human resource management, which reflects technological advancement, has substantially modified human resource management. The modules that have been modified have been discussed with special attention on the strategic human resource management.

Reference List

Armstrong, M 2008, Strategic human resource management a guide to action, Kogan Page London.

Banfield, P & Kay, R 2008, Introduction to human resource management, Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford [u.a.].

Cornelius, N 2001, Human resource management: a managerial perspective, International Thomson Business, London[u.a.].

Heathfield, S 2012, What Is Human Resource Management? Viewed on <>

Marchington, M & Wilkinson, A 2006, Human resource management at work: people management and development, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London.

Mathis, RL & Jackson, JH 2012, Human resource management: essential perspectives, South-Western, Mason, Ohio.

Meyer, M & Kirsten, M 2005, Introduction to human resource management, New Africa Books, Claremont, South Africa.

Sharma, S K 2009. Human resource management: a strategic approach to employment, Global India Pub., New Delhi.

SpencerStuart 2010.The Strategic Agenda for Human Resources Leaders in Technology Companies. Web.

Ulrich, D, Losey, MR & Miesinger, S 2005, The future of human resource management 64 thought leaders explore the critical HR issues of today and tomorrow, Wiley, Hoboken, N.J.

Werner, S, Schuler, RS & Jackson, SE 2012, Human resource management, South-Western Cengage Learning, Australia.

WiseGeek 2012, What is Strategic Human Resource Management? Viewed on <>

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