People And Work

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Master's February 2008

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1.0 Introduction Although aspects of personnel management can be traced back as far as the ancient Egyptians, its more recent history finds its source in the industrial revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The period was one of tremendous prosperity for the middle classes, though this prosperity was not generally shared with the employees manning the ever more numerous factories. Wages were low, conditions were poor and management was often harsh and feudal in style. Workers were often beaten - though usually only up to their fourteenth birthday. For other misdemeanours, e.g. singing, workers could be fined two or three days' wages. The second half of the nineteenth century also saw increasing interest in trade unionism. Despite the harsh management controls, increasing membership of the movement strengthened demands for improved conditions. The union 'voice' was further strengthened by the election of trade union sponsored Members of Parliament in 1885.

K.J. Pratt and S.G. Bennett define personnel management as "Personnel Management is that part of management concerned with people at work and with their relationships within an enterprise. Its aim is to bring together and develop into an effective organization the men and women who make up an enterprise and, having regard for the well-being of the individual and of working groups, to enable them to make their best contribution to its success".

2.0 Employee's and employer's responsibilities There are many and very clear responsibilities constituting the personnel function in many organizations. However, this is perhaps misleading regarding the detailed responsibilities and the role of the function. For very obvious reasons, detailed responsibilities may vary from organization to organization. More important, however, is the disagreement about whether a discrete personnel function can or should exist. The personnel manager has a special involvement in the livelihood of people, their...