What is Human Resources Management? In what respects does it differ from Personnel Management? How have HRM techniques been designed to facilitate the management of workplace change?

Essay by vishalitoUniversity, Bachelor'sB-, March 2004

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This essay will be explaining what Human Resource Management (HRM) means including its brief history and approach from the US to UK. In addition there will be a description of the 'hard' and 'soft' models of HRM of John Storey. Moreover there will be a discussion of the possible differences between Personnel Management and HRM as well as describing the way HRM techniques have been designed to facilitate the management of workplace change.

What is Human Resources Management?

Human Resources Management's (HRM) origins came from the USA in the 1950's and gained a wide recognition in the biggining of the 1980s whereas in the UK it wasn't until the mid of the 1980s. HRM evolved due to pressures in product markets in USA during the recession of 1980-82 and because of the need to create a work situation free of conflict in which both employees and employer worked towards the same goal (unitarist perspective).

A few of the first companies to implement HRM in their management system were HP and IBM who consequently did not have trade unions practices implemented into their companies.

There isn't a straight forward definition for Human Resources Management. HRM can be defined as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization's most valued assets (i.e. people working there), who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of a company's objectives for sustainable competitive advantage.

In addition the definition of HRM may vary from USA and UK sources. 'American' models of HRM reflects a desire for a non-interventionist, unfettered free enterprise culture where managers expect that they have 'the right to manage', whereas in the UK, HRM practice is more likely to be grounded in 'welfare capitalism', with a more central role for unions and their representatives, and state interventions...