The technological and
scientific developments have already reached to a peak, the future growth and success lies
in the only other available factor of HRM.
By ABDUL AZIZ ARAIN
Oct 02 - 08, 2000
The contribution of Human resources to the success of an organization
has been emphasized through the doctrine of 'Excellence', 'quality', 'innovation' and
'enterpreneurship'. These developments placed the management of people firmly on the
priority attention and created the conditions for the emergence of a new-style theory of
personnel management. The need of HRM is felt much more now than ever before. The
technological and scientific developments have already reached to a peak, the future
growth and success lies in the only other available factor of HRM.
In the most recent years there has been a shift and dramatic increase
in management development activities within and outside the country. The activities have
extended across a wide spectrum of training initiatives, advanced studies programmes of
various durations for practicing managers and supervisors at all levels, with the
provision of courses leading to award of professional and academic qualifications and
degrees. These modern studies generally do provide a suitable balance between academic
rigour and practical business related relevance, but still need improvement to meet the
changing requirements of the present business development.
The modern human resource management encompasses the following
HRM suggests that management and non-management have a common
interest in the success of the organization. Its purpose is to ensure that all employees
are aware of this objective and committed to common goals.
Employees be viewed as subjects with the potential for growth
and development; the purpose of human resource management is to identify this potential
and develop it in line with the adaptive and changing needs of the organization.
Human resource planning be proactive and match with corporate
level planning; human resource issues are treated strategically in an integrated manner,
and not in isolation.
A focus on horizontal authority and reduced hierarchy; a
plurring of the rigid distinction between management and non management.
Wherever possible, responsibility for people management is to
develop line managers; the role of personnel professional is to support and facilitate
line management in this task, not to control it.
Human resource management may be more useful if it is seen to have more
modest aims, in particular the development of a better understanding of the holistic
nature of organizational practices. The interrelation between different personnel
policies, the relevance to other management activities are the development tools for the
analysis and evaluation of human resource requirements in specific organization and
During 1970s and 1980s it is apparently noted that US and UK industry
failed to compete effectively at the international level due to market penetration of
Japanese manufacturers. When the professional managers investigated and analysed the
growth factor of Japan for inspiration, they noted and realized that Japanese
manufacturing success was rooted in the people and the way in which they were managed.
Japanese industry believes that success stem from extensive employee involvement in the
business and resulting high level of commitment. What the Japanese industrialization
growth suggested was that people at work are indeed the key assets of the business and
that the management of people was a central strategic issue, rather than a necessary
A similar reference is the experience of West Germany, the notable
success story of western industrial nations, where attention was drawn to workers
participation and involvement through mechanism such as workers councils and board level
representations and the need to bring people into the equation: to think of them as a
source to be valued, developed and actively managed a potential of competitive advantage.
The Japanese style of management provided proof that proponents of the
Human Relations styles of Management had long sought to convince skeptical attitude of
corporate leaders of the value of 'treating people right.'
Human resources psychology
Human Relations asserts that individuals are motivated not merely by
sole factor of financial benefits or fear of punishment, but also by psychological and
social rewards such as recognization: sense of belonging and the opportunity to contribute
to decision making, the responsibility assigned and authority delegated. This requires to
design the jobs in such a way as to allow discretion in the work task and the opportunity
for individual development and progressive within the organization, individual
responsibility are expected to change as conditions change, and teams, not individuals,
are the organizational unit accountable for performance.
The relative strength of an individual's identification and involvement
in a particular organization is the real commitment such as (1) a strong belief in the
organization's goals and values (2) a willingness to exert considerable efforts on behalf
of the organization; and (3) a strong desire to continue as an organization valuable
The attraction of Human Relations ideas for HRM is the insight, it
provides into motivation and commitment and how these can be fostered to build a sense of
'mutuality' within the organization, to generate high levels of trust and to encourage
flexible, adaptive and innovative behaviour. These are the qualities to be needed to fight
industrial decline, productivity improvement, enhance efficiency and competitiveness.
Strategic management theory
Strategic management theory emerged in 1970s from the combination of
long-range planning and research proven strategic success analysis. The strategic
management theory has placed a key role, according to which resources could be allocated
rationally, relative to environment conditions, to secure competitive advantages.
The rational approach describes and prescribes techniques of
identifying current strategy, analysing environments, resources and gaps, revealing and
assessing strategic alternatives, choosing and implementing carefully analysed and well
thought outcomes. The rational approach has limitation and do not say how to achieve that
outcome at a desired level. It has no process concept within it of how and why to create
the strategic outcomes. Thus the strategy is defined as a process of calculated decision
making intended to guide the direction in which the organizational effort is directed.
Flexibility and quality
Flexibility can be exercised at two levels; at the level of work
practice and at the level of organization structure. At plant level beneficial for the
employees who cooperate with management in ensuring maximum capacity utilization and the
efficient use of manpower, this includes changed working practices, so as to encourage
versatility and flexibility. In practice it seems that most development in terms of this
form of flexibility have involved the relaxation of restrictive demarcation practices.
Flexibility has been seen as a vital means of responding to changes in economic and
technical environments, and reduction in cost by maximizing the utilization of employees
skills. The flexibility, refers to the ability of the organizations to re-structure their
work forces so as to retain workers with key skills as direct employees. Less essential
and minor functions which can be subleted or be managed through part time vendors and
contractors. In this way the organization reduces its direct administrative and
supervisory costs and responds to changes in its market / budget. Functional flexibility,
also concerns the practice of 'multi-skilling', whereby workers are encouraged to acquire
a range of different skills as against the preserved single occupation assigned.
Humanistic approach to HRM
HRM involves all management decisions and actions that affect the
nature of the relationship between the organization and its employees its human
resources. Humanistic approaches exhibits a strong sense of unitarianism. This gives good
flavor of what this approach entails; (1) High commitment whereby the employees will be
motivated to "hear, understand and respond" to management communications
relating to the organization. Resulting mutual trust enables management message to be more
believable to the employees and to enable management to be responsible to employee's
legitimate concerns a stakeholders. (2) High Competence this creates attitude
towards learning and development and give employee an opportunity of versatility in skills
and perspective to take on new roles and jobs as needed. (3) Cost effectiveness meaning
thereby the direct and indirect cost savings, reduce turnover, and grievances can be kept
equal to or less than the competitors. (4) A good adjustment of understanding is a
reflection of policies and practices which bring about a higher coincidence of interests
among management, shareholders, and workers.
There can be no standard or universal ready made theory or method of
HRM which can be applied in toto to each organization, a need for analytical knowledge of
basic principals and how these can be adapted and developed innovatively to meet a range
of individuals, organizational and social outcomes.
In developing an understanding of the possibilities and prospects of
HRM, it is essential to think in terms of the detailed content of specific policy
objectives and the formal ways in which these can be combined and integrated with other
policies of the organization HRM initiatives should be approached from an understanding of
specific organizational realities, rather than from a priorly set prescriptions.