In this article we will discuss about the evolution of Human Resource Management over the years!
Learn about: 1. The Era of Industrial Revolution 2.The Era of Trade Unionism 3. The Era of Social Responsibility 4. The Scientific Management Era 5. The Human Relations Movement 6. The Behavioural Era 7. Human Resource Specialist and Welfare Era. Get the answer of:- “How has Human Resource Management Evolved over the years.”
Historical Evolution of Human Resource Management Over the Years
Modern Human Resource Management has evolved from a number of significant interrelated developments which dates back to the beginnings of what is popularly known as the Industrial Revolution or, as some prefer to call it, Evolution.
Prior to it, there were several distinct types of relationships involving employers and employees, which were variously termed as “slaver”, “serfdom” and the “guild system.”
The initial stage of the guild system is said to be early beginnings of Human Resource Management, for the three classes — the masters, the travelling journeymen and apprentices — were all a closely knit group; and the system involved “selecting, training, developing, rewarding and maintaining workers.”
Wage and salary administration and collective bargaining over wages and conditions of work were in evidence. In the course of time, economic and social changes brought about a change in the old economic social and political system. These changes were precipitated in manufacturing by a new economic doctrine and by invention and utilisation of new tools, processes, and machines.
The economic doctrine was based upon the French concepts of laissez-faire and laissez-passer, which meant that a person should be permitted to make what he wanted and to go where he pleases.
Evolution of Human Resource Management – History of The Era of Industrial Revolution:
The Industrial Revolution consisted essentially in the development of machinery, the use of mechanical energy and the consequent establishment of factories employing large number of people — all resulting in tremendous increase in the productive power of man. The factory system gradually replaced the “putting out” or “cottage” system.
This doctrine of the cottage system arouse out of the ability of factory owners to pay a family higher wages than would be earned by it in some other manufacturing work, primarily because of the speed of machines and efficiencies gained through a further subdivision of labour. As a result of this subdivision of labour, an individual, instead of acquiring skills in a number of jobs, now specialised in one task.
The Industrial Revolution brought about a greatly expanded mass production of goods. Science and technology began to be applied to all aspects of the work of modern industrial corporations. It affected the Human Resource administration system in many ways.
1. The place of work changed from the home to a central work area, where people worked under a common roof.
2. The method of production changed from manual to machine operations because of the transfer of skills from the workers to the machines.
3. The migration from rural areas to urban areas started with the decline of cottage industries and because there was no land to fall back upon for employment and consequent heavy concentration of industry in certain areas.
4. As a result of the separation of owners and managers, it was difficult to maintain the close relationship which owners had with their employees in the past.
5. Mechanisation made the work so simple that a large number of women and children began to be employed, and these replaced men.
6. With the introduction of machines, heavy physical labour was eliminated; work now became less arduous and easy though, at the same time, it reduced the opportunities of employment for unskilled labour.
7. Because of the complexity of the process of production and advanced technology, a new class of professional employees had developed in industry who exercised tremendous power in the affairs of the company.
8. The increased use of computer technology has made it possible to efficiently control the various aspects of industrial activity. Production control, method control, inventory control, financial control and manpower control have all become more effective because of the introduction of computerized techniques and procedures.
9. There has been a change in the nature of the job. More new jobs are of the nature best suited to the white-collar and managerial groups who guide, regulate, and co-ordinate the production process. Formerly, this co-ordination was either the responsibility of blue-collar production workers or artisans.
10. Specialisation has developed to an unimaginable extent; there is mechanical, electrical and civil engineering research; there are development and production engineers and such Human Resource specialists as labour relations managers, wage analysts, training directors and safety engineers.
11. Mass production, which calls for a continuous flow of materials, was made possible by complex, integrated, power-driven automatic and electrically controlled equipment.
12. Not only was geographical mobility facilitated, but occupational and industrial mobility also increased. Jobs were more simplified, with the result that the labour force readily adapted itself to a variety of positions instead of a single craft or trade.
13. There had been a decline in the number of semi-skilled and unskilled workers but an increase in professional and skilled workers, who handled a vast quantity of records, reports, and data needed by the management “to keep its finger on the pulse of the business.”
14. There has also been an increasing participation of women in the labour force for secretarial and other clerical jobs.
However, these results were achieved at a great price, because:
1. There were great concentrations of people among many machines in small, dingy, dirty factories; Working and living conditions were unsatisfactory and very unhygienic; Adults had to work from 9 to 11 hours a day and children from 14 to 15 hours a day; and they were all treated harshly by the owners of factories;
2. Labour was looked upon as a commodity that could be bought and sold, and the government, because of the prevailing political philosophy of laissez-faire, did little to protect the workers;
3. Monotony and boredom were the results of division of labour. Because their tasks were repetitive, the workers did not have much interest in their work; and because the completed products were not their own creation they felt no pride in their accomplishment;
4. A shut down in one sector of the industry threw the entire system out of gear, bringing about great economic suffering;
5. The worker was required to follow strict discipline; there was a web of rules binding the industrial workers. They had to live by the clock or else would be fired and punished;
6. The increased use of machinery resulted in changes in the employment situation. Since their operation called for specialised knowledge, and unskilled workers found it difficult to adjust themselves to the new equipment, a large number of them, therefore, could not find gainful employment.
In sum, “the new industrial era brought about materialism, discipline, monotony, boredom, job displacement, impersonality, work interdependence, and related behavioural phenomena. The benefits of the Industrial Revolution, however, have far outweighed the costs of increasing industrialisation”.
Economically, the Industrial Revolution brought about great increases in output and in the accumulation of goods and capital. In turn, business and commerce were greatly accelerated, owners and entrepreneurs did well, but the average citizen fared poorly. Labour was considered a commodity to be bought and sold.
1. Unity is Strength:
Shortly after the advent of the factory system, groups of employees began to get together to discuss their common problems. Initially, these problems arose out of child labour, long hours of work, and poor working conditions. Later, economic problems, including the question of employee benefits and services, became the major concern. Workers joined together on the basis of their common interests to improve their lot.
The basic philosophy underlying trade unionism was that “through strength and collective support, the management could be forced to listen to the workers and redress their grievances.”
2. Protest Forms and Mechanisms:
The weapon used was that of strikes, slowdowns, walkouts, picketing, boycotts, and sabotage. Sometimes, even physical force was used. This trade unionism, however, did influence the Human Resource Management in such fields of activity as “the adoption of employee grievances handling systems, the acceptance of arbitration as a means of resolving conflicts of rights, disciplinary practices, the expansion of employee benefit programmes, the liberalisation of holiday and vacation time, clear definition of job duties, job rights through seniority and the installation of rational and defensible wage structures.”
3. Employers Forced to Listen:
Organisational units were created by the companies to deal with union relationships and representatives. In some cases, unions were sponsored by the companies as a means of controlling their activities. Where unions brought about wage increases, greater attention was paid to the study of jobs, methods improvements, connecting wages to performance, and the more careful selection of Human Resource .
Evolution of Human Resource Management – The Era of Social Responsibility:
1. Paternalistic Management:
In the past, employers were not very sympathetic towards their workmen. It was Robert Owen (1913) who for the first time, adopted a somewhat paternalistic attitude towards his employees. He was a British businessman, reformer and humanitarian. He believed that “the principal social and economic environments influence the physical, mental and psychological development of workers”.
Therefore, in order to increase productivity, it was necessary to improve the conditions of employees by removing them from an adverse environment or by changing the environment with the provision of more satisfactory living and working conditions.
2. Welfare Orientation:
Owen implemented this philosophy by “organising model villages next to his cotton mills in Scotland; by introducing such unheard of facilities as shower baths and toilets into the factories which were cleaned and painted and in which windows were installed for light and ventilation; by organising day schools for the children and night schools for the workers; and by raising the minimum age for the employment of children to 11 years and shortening their work day to 10 hours. Later, he abolished child labour entirely.”
3. Humane Treatment:
He regarded the workers like children who must be cautiously guided, trained and protected. He, therefore, advised his brother manufacturers to devote as much attention to their vital machine (i.e., workers) as they did to their inanimate machines. By doing so, profit would be maximised. Adam Smith emphasised that “if each individual worked for his own economic self-interest, the society would gain.”
4. Larger Social Interests:
Charles Babbage supported these views and commented that the emphasis should be on mutuality of interests between employers and workers and on the division of labour, for such division of labour would reduce the waste in raw materials, achieve savings through more effective placement of workers, produce economies through a different wage scale based on skill level, save time by not switching from task to task, gain efficiencies stemming from familiarisation with special tools, and stimulate workers’ inventions pertaining to tools and methods.
He held the view that “hard work and high productivity were a source of good wages for the worker and higher profits for the employer.” But he denounced a unionisation of workers.
1. Extreme Specialisation Improves Efficiency:
This era began in 1900, reached its peak approximately in 1930, and then dwindled in relative importance, though it has remained alive somewhat even to the present times. The scientific management movement owes its origin to Frederick W. Taylor (1856-1955) who is known as the Father of Scientific Management.
Scientific management arouse, in part, from the need to increase productivity. In the United States, especially, skilled labour was in short supply at the beginning of twentieth century. To expand productivity, ways had to be found to increase the efficiency of workers. Could some portions of the work be eliminated or some parts of the operations combined? Could the sequence of these tasks be improved?
Was there ‘one best way’ of doing a job? In his pursuit of answers to such questions, Frederick W. Taylor slowly built the body of principles that constitute the essence of Scientific Management (1890-1930).
2. One Best Way of Doing Things:
Taylor did most of his work at the Midvale and Bethlehem Steel Companies in Pennsylvania. His early years at Midvale were particularly disgusting. He was constantly appalled at the inefficiency of workers. Employees used vastly different techniques to do the same job. They were prone to ‘taking it easy’ on the job.
Taylor firmly believed that worker was only about one-third of what was possible. There were no effective work standards. Workers had no incentive to produce more because they were paid on hourly rate. Workers were afraid to work fast because they believed their rate of pay would be lowered or they would be laid off if they completed their tasks too quickly.
Workers were asked to take up jobs unrelated to their abilities and aptitudes. Management decided things based on hunch and intuition. Most importantly, management and workers viewed themselves to be in continual conflict.
Taylor set out to correct the situation by employing the scientific method to bobs on the shop floor. He emphasised that work would not be taken for granted but should be taken seriously. Productivity is not harder work, but smarter work, that is an understanding and systematic analysis of work.
3. Fantastic Gains in Productivity:
Much of Taylor’s published work was based on his report on work improvement tests performed at Bethlehem Steel – emphasising ‘one best way’ philosophy. Taylor reported that the company had about seventy-five men employed to load pig iron freight cars. He selected a Pennsylvania Dutchman named Schmidt (real name Henry Nolle) and offered him an increase in pay from $1.15 per day to $1.85 per day if he would follow his orders with no back talk.
Taylor projected that following orders would increase Schmidt’s productivity from about 12 tons a day to more than 47 tons. Schmidt agreed to the proposal. Consequently, on some days, he would keep his legs straight and use his back to lift with. Taylor experimented with rest periods, walking speed, carrying positions, and other variables.
After a long period of scientifically trying various combinations of procedures, techniques and tools, Taylor succeeded in finding out ‘one best way’ to perform the task and realize the goals set by him. Taylor claimed to have trained the other workers until the entire crew had raised their productivity in this manner.
4. Put the Right Man on the Right Job:
Thus, by putting the right person on the job with correct tools and equipment, by having the workers follow Taylor’s instructions exactly, and by motivating workers through the economic incentives of a significantly higher daily wage, Taylor was bound to achieve significant improvements in productivity.
Taylor explained these ideas and techniques in his two books (Shop Management and The Principles of Scientific Management) and these ideas found favour in USA, France, Germany, Russia and Japan, in course of time.
Taylor stressed the importance of employee welfare as well as production efficiency. To boost up productivity, wage incentives based on performance (differential piece rate system) were introduced. The emphasis was on maximum output with minimum effort through elimination of waste and inefficiency at the shop-floor level.
1. Scientific Task Planning:
Scientific task is the amount of work which an average worker can perform during a day under normal working conditions (called as a fair day’s work). Management should decide in advance as to what work is to be done, how when, where and by whom. The ultimate goal is to see that work is done in a logical sequence promoting maximum efficiency.
2. Time and Motion Studies:
Time and Motion Studies have been advocated by Taylor with a view to isolate the wasteful and unproductive motions on the job. The time study would indicate the minimum time required to do a given job. The time taken by workers to do a job is being recorded first and this information is being used to develop a time standard.
Time standard is the period of time that an average worker should take to do a job. Motion study is carried out to find out the best sequence of motions to do a job. The aim is to eliminate unnecessary, ill-directed and wasteful motions and find out the one best way of doing a job. In this study, finger movements, hand movements, arm movements and shoulder movements are being studied, through photographic evidence.
In addition, fatigue studies are also carried out to find out the extent of boredom and monotony caused by a job. Taylor and his colleagues (Gilberts, Gantt) advocated fatigue studies so as to find out the best synchronisation between time, work and rest pauses needed to do a piece of work. Managers, in the end, are charged with the task of planning the work through the above studies and workers are expected to implement the same.
Under scientific management, standards have to be set in advance for the task, materials, work methods, quality, time and cost, working conditions, etc. This helps in simplifying the process of production rendering wasteful use of resources, improving quality of work etc.
4. Differential Piece Rate System:
In order to motivate workers, wage incentives were developed in most scientific management programmes. Taylor advocated differential piece rate system based on actual performance of the worker. In this scheme, a worker who completes the normal work gets wages at higher rate per piece than a worker who fails to complete the same within the time limit set by management.
For example, each worker who produced 10 machine units (normal work) would be paid the standard wage of Rs. 2 per piece, and those below the normal work may get Rs. 1.5 per piece. Thus, there is considerable difference in wages between those who complete the job and those who do not complete.
Each worker is pitted against every other worker in an unhealthy competitive scheme to make more and earn more. In the long run, this will have a telling effect on the health of the worker. More damagingly, this scheme would divide the working class permanently.
Though the differential piece rate system is opposed by unions and workers alike the essential merit in Taylor’s suggestion that wages must have a linkage with performance of employees should not be discounted altogether.
5. Functional Foremanship:
In order to achieve better production control, Taylor advocated functional foremanship where the factory is divided into several components, each in charge of a specialist, namely, route clerk, instruction card clerk, cost and time clerk, gang boss, speed boss, inspector, repair boss and shop disciplinarian.
These functional specialists perform the planning function and provide expert advice to workers. They plan the work for employees and help employees in improving results. The workers are expected to implement the commands of functions specialists.
The idea of separating planning from doing functional, unfortunately, suggests that workers are incapable of thinking independently. Drucker dubbed this principle as an undemocratic one because it overshadows the independence and initiative of workers completely.
The scientific management movement has had a great influence on employee-employer relationships and on management in general. It has elevated management by plan, system and design, and led to the decline of management by hunch and intuition. It has greatly contributed to the Professionalisation of management.
The use of his approach improved management methods, procedures and standards and strengthened production and supervision. Taylor’s approach was accepted by labour and management because it placed a strong emphasis on the mutual benefits of productivity- the organisation produced more and thus increased it profits, while workers made more money and lived better lives.
One name given to his outlook is Welfare Capitalism. Taylor’s ideas led to a separate discipline called “Human Engineering “. It is the study of “people at work and of work methods; it includes a study of equipment design; pacing of work, hours of work, and environment conditions of work: its purpose is to improve productivity and job satisfaction.”
But after thirty years, this approach has begun to lose its popularity, for it has been discovered that many of the management problems are the result of ‘human’ and not ‘mechanical factors.’ Taylor’s approach stressed the need for techniques which ensure higher performance at the work place and eliminate unnecessary movements, and gave greater importance to ‘technology’ than to the ‘men at work.’
Fragmentation of an operation so that each man did only one little job (specialisation) encouraging a mechanistic conception of ‘men at work’, ultimately led to a situation where at times symptoms of alienation, frustration, conflicts, etc. leading to loss of production, were evident.
This knowledge brought about a new thinking in recent years, such as those of Douglas McGregor in the USA, and Eric Trist in UK, who pointed out that “the best results were obtained in industrial occupations when human beings were treated in the totality of their physical and psychological characteristics.”
In the 1920s and 1930s, observers of business management began to feel the incompleteness and shortsightedness in the scientific as well as Administrative Management Movements. The Scientific Management Movement analysed the activities of workers whereas Administrative Management writers focused attention on the activities of managers.
The importance of the man behind the machine, the importance of individual as well as group relationships in the workplace were never recognised. The social aspects of a worker’s job were totally ignored; the emphasis was clearly on discipline and control rather than morale.
The Human Relations Movement tried to compensate for the deficiencies in Scientific Management and modifying it with insights from behavioural sciences like psychology, sociology and anthropology.
This movement gained popularity after the famous studies of human behaviour in work situations conducted at the Western Electric Company from 1924 to 1933. These studies eventually became known as the ‘Hawthorne Studies’ because many of them were conducted at Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant near Chicago.
Evolution of Human Resource Management – The Human Relations Movement:
A Closer Look at the Man behind the Machine: In the 1920s and 1930s, observers of business management began to feel the incompleteness and shortsightedness in the scientific as well as Administrative Management Movements. The Scientific Management Movement analysed the activities of workers whereas Administrative Management writers focused attention on the activities of managers. The importance of the man behind the machine, the importance of individual as well as group relationships in the workplace were never recognised. The social aspects of a worker’s job were totally ignored; the emphasis was clearly on discipline and control rather than morale.
The Human Relations Movement tried to compensate for the deficiencies in Scientific Management and modifying it with insights from behavioural sciences like psychology, sociology and anthropology. This movement gained popularity after the famous studies of human behaviour in work situations conducted at the Western Electric Company from 1924 to 1933. These studies eventually became known as the ‘Hawthorne Studies’ because many of them were conducted at Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant near Chicago.
The Hawthorne researchers began with illumination experiments with various groups of workers. This experiment involved prolonged observation of two groups of employees making telephone relays. The purpose was to determine the effects of different levels of illumination on worker’s productivity.
The intensity of light under which one group was systematically varied (test group) while the light was held constant (control group) for the second group. The productivity of the test group increased each time the intensity of the light increased. However, productivity also increased in the control group which received no added light.
The researchers felt that something besides lighting was influencing the workers’ performance. In a new set of experiments, a small group of workers were placed in a separate room and a number of things were changed; wages were increased, rest periods of varying length were introduced; the workday and workweek were shortened.
The researchers, who now acted as friendly supervisors, allowed the group to choose their own rest periods and to have a say in other suggested changes. Workers in the test room were offered financial incentives for increased production.
Over the two year period, output went up in both the test and control rooms (surprisingly, since the control group was kept on the same payment schedule) steadily regardless of changes in working conditions. Why?
Part of the answer may be attributed to what has come to be called the ‘Hawthorne Effect’. The workers knew they were part of an experiment. They were being given special attention and treatment because of the experiment.
They were consulted about work changes and were not subject to the usual restrictions imposed from above. The result of this special attention and recognition caused them to carry a stimulating feeling of group pride and belongingness.
Also, the sympathetic supervision received by the members might have brought about improved attitudes toward their jobs and job performance. At this stage, the researchers were interested in finding out clear answers to the question- Why the attitudes of the employees had become better after participation in the test room?
Mayo initiated a three-year long Interview Programme in 1928 covering more than 21,000 employees to find out the reasons for increased productivity. Employees were allowed to talk freely (non-directive interviewing) and air their opinions in a friendly atmosphere. The point demonstrated by this interviewing programme is central to the Human Relations Movement.
If people are permitted to talk about things that are important to them, they may come up with issues that are at first sight unconnected with their work. These issues may be how their children are doing at school, how the family is going to meet the ration expenses, what their friends think of their jobs, and so on.
Talking about such matters to a sympathetic listener who does not interpret is therapeutic. When researchers began to examine the complaints made by the employees, they found most of the complaints to be baseless. Many times nothing was done about the complaint, yet, after an interview the complaint was not made once again.
It became apparent that often workers really did not want changes made; they mainly wanted to talk to an understanding person who did not criticise or advise about their troubles. Thus, for the first time, the importance of informal work groups was recognised. To find out more about how the informal groups operated, the Bank Wiring Room Experiment was set up.
Bank Working Room Experiment:
In this experiment, 14 male workers were formed into a small work group and intensively observed for seven months in the bank wiring room. The men were engaged in the assembly of terminal banks for the use in telephone exchanges. The employees in the group were paid in the regular way depending on the efficiency rating pulse a bonus based on average group effort.
Thus, under this system, an individual’s pay was affected by the output of the entire group and by his own individual output. It was expected that highly efficient workers would bring pressure to bear on less efficient workers in an attempt to increase output and thus take advantage of the group incentive plan.
However, these expected results did not come about. The researchers found that the group had established its own standard of output and this was enforced by various methods of social pressure. Output was not only being restricted but individual workers were giving erroneous reports. The group was operating well below its capability and was leveling output in order to protect itself.
Thus, work group norms, beliefs, sentiments had a greater impact in influencing individual behaviour than did the economic incentives offered by management.
Human Relations Movement:
According to Keith Devis, “Human relations is motivating people in organisations in order to develop teamwork which effectively fulfills their needs and achieves organisational goals”. The whole philosophy of Human Relations is built around the following ideas- Human relations movement strives to create a positive work environment in which people can simultaneously fulfill their own needs as well as those of the organisation.
The goals of productivity and employee satisfaction are inextricably interwoven. The focus is on people. When people management stimulates more and better work, we have sound human relations in the organisation.
The ultimate goal of creating sound human relations is to help make workers more productive, not just happier. ‘The Human Relations Movement’ is essentially concerned with motivating people to peak performance.
Evolution of Human Resource Management – The Behavioural Era of Human Resource Management:
The Behavioural Sciences Approach developed as a natural evolution from the Hawthorne Experiments. The Hawthorne researchers (Elton Mayo and his Harvard colleagues) stressed the importance of emotional elements such as feelings and sentiments to explain human behaviour and performance in organisations. The Behavioural Approach applies the knowledge of the behavioural sciences – psychology, sociology and anthropology – to managing people.
We have seen that the human relationnists believed that people are social beings who are motivated by social interactions and that their job performance will increase when the job gives them opportunities to socialise. Behavioural scientists felt this to be an oversimplified model of human motivation and began to undertake serious investigations.
1. A number of behavioural scientists have contributed to the development of this approach. Among the front-runners was Abraham Maslow, who developed a hierarchy of human needs which became the basis for explaining work motivation in organisations. According to Maslow, people generally have five basic needs (Physiological, safety, social, and self-esteem and self-actualisation) and they satisfy these needs in their order of importance.
For most people in our society, the lower-order needs (physiological, safety and social needs) are reasonably well satisfied. Therefore, they seek to satisfy socialisation needs by interacting with friends.
Once these needs are reasonably met, they seek to satisfy higher-order needs, such as self-esteem and self-actualisation, by using their energies, talents and resources productively. Behavioural scientists believe that people will be productive if they are given opportunities to use their abilities and creative skills.
2. Building on Maslow’s theory of human needs, many behavioural scientists (Chris Argyris, Douglas McGregor, Rensis Likert) argued that existing jobs and managerial practices should be redesigned and restructured to give employees an opportunity to satisfy their higher-order needs.
Although working independently, they proposed a common theme- People are basically good, and, in order to stimulate their performance, management should humanise work. People must be treated as assets (hence the name, Human Resources Approach).
They argued, for instance, for increased participation by employees in those decisions that affected them, demonstration by management of greater trust and confidence in people, increased emphasis to be given to integrating individual and organisational goals, and allowing employees to self- monitor their own activities in place of external control measures.
These behavioural writers argued for a strong humanist organisation and suggested that managers should deal with ‘complex human beings’ in different ways. The aim should be to use the untapped human potential in the service of organisations by emphasising things such as self-direction, self- control and creativity.
Behavioural scientists have made significant contributions to our understanding of individual motivation, group behaviour, interpersonal relationships at work, and the importance of work to human beings.
They have virtually laid the foundation for the emergence of an exciting discipline, Human Resource Management which emphasises the effective utilisation of human resources in organisations.
The concepts of job enrichment (making jobs interesting and challenging), management by objectives (a goal-setting process conducted jointly by employees and their superiors) and positive reinforcement (rewarding good performance) were results of the behavioural science approach.
The behavioural science approach, however, has several limitations-
First, the self-actualising view (realising one’s potential by using one’s talents fully) assumes that all employees will seek self-actualisation at work. Although some professional and managerial Human Resource may want self-actualisation, certainly not every employee has the same desire. People have diverse needs; we cannot assume that everyone is motivated by the same need in the same manner.
Second, the behavioural scientists assume a great deal of compatibility between individual and organisational goals. But in reality, an individual’s desire to be autonomous and creative can be at odds with the organisation’s need to be efficient, orderly and predictable.
Third, this approach discounted the non-human aspects of an organisation such as task, technology and manufacturing.
Fourth, the behavioural approach fell into the same trap as earlier approaches that searched for the one best way of managing. It assumed that the one best way of managing is humanizing organisations.
In the words of Prof. Stoner, ‘The models and theories proposed by behavioural scientists to use jargon rather than everyday language in communicating their findings has also inhibited understanding and acceptance of their ideas.
Finally, because human behaviour is so complex, behavioural scientists often differ in their recommendations for a particular problem, making it difficult for managers to decide whose advice to follow’.
1. Recruit, Select, Train and Develop Employees:
With the introduction of the factory system, thousands of persons began to be employed under one roof, and had to be controlled if the goals of an organisation were to be achieved. For work in the administrative office, clerks or manual employees had to be recruited.
These were entrusted with the responsibility of hiring men to work of an organisation. Later, they were concerned with the recruitment, placement and selection of Human Resource . With the increase in the size of an organisation, these functions had to be allotted to a full-time ‘manager’.
With further increase in the number of employees a separate Human Resource executive had to be appointed to develop systematic methods, determine wage rates, and develop job discipline and descriptions and job specification. Later, his duties were enlarged to cover additional responsibility of looking after the benefits and services provided for the employees.
In the course of time, arrangements had to be made to train the existing Human Resource ; and hence a manager for training was also appointed. Ultimately safety experts, physicians, behaviour researchers, labour relations specialists and others were appointed. For administrative and organisational effectiveness, it was then found feasible to merge these different functions into a single position, viz., the Human Resource Manager and Welfare Officer.
2. Benefit Schemes for the Betterment of Employees:
Subsequently, organisational planning, manpower planning, manpower selection and other allied problems regarding the management of managers and high talent manpower assumed significance in the organisation. High talent Human Resource emerged as the key human resources, and Human Resource Management was turned to the existing economic structure.
The emphasis now is on ‘management of human resources’. So that Human Resource Management has now passed through vast changes. Beginning with ‘welfare work’, its responsibilities have grown wider and deeper.
In the words of Yoder, “its members have now developed technical competence in manpower planning and other related jobs, besides acquiring expertise in such matters as wage and salary administration, employee benefit schemes and services, training and development and other specialised activities”.
3. Three Important Responsibilities:
The present-day Human Resource Management has been entrusted with three main responsibilities, viz.:
a. First, to assist the line management in ‘manning the organisation’ and to maintain the workforce at optimum efficiency through- (i) recruitment, induction and placement; (ii) wage and salary administration; (iii) training for key non- management Human Resource ; (iv) administration of benefits and allied services; and (v) development of employee communication programmes.
b. Second, to provide a task force to render services to the management in the field of- (i) labour relations with particular reference to Union-Management relations; (ii) management of staff development functions; (iii) training for key non- management Human Resource ; (iv) development of grievance procedure; and (v) development of Human Resource policies and procedures.
c. Third, to control functions regarding employee services such as- (i) housing and transport; (ii) promotion and recreational facilities; (iii) financial aid to employees; and (iv) educational activities.
4. Duties and Responsibilities Evolving:
The job of a Human Resource manager is undergoing rapid transformation over the years. In sync with the times and keeping the ever increasing expectations of the workforce, he is compelled by circumstances to switch gears and change hats quite frequently.
In sum, it may be noted that the Human Resource Management function has been historically intertwined and associated with the times and events of history. Social, economic, political, technological and cultural factors have influenced the nature and scope of Human Resource administration.
Further, the historical evolution of the Human Resource function is evolutionary and not revolutionary, i.e., the changes that have occurred in the Human Resource field have been caused mostly by gradual cultural changes, and not by drastic events. Again, the periods of movement represent applied operational philosophies and progressive sequences of events.