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Personnel Management and Human Resource Management are one and the same thing". Discuss.

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"Personnel Management and Human Resource Management are one and the same thing". Discuss. Firstly it is important to research the history and development of Human Resource Management (HRM), to show its diversity from Personnel Management(PM). HRM is a concept that has largely been derived in the last century. It began during the industrial revolution. As industry moved from rural areas to large city based factories it became clearer that there were weaknesses within the large workforces. During this period there was a shortage of employees, people were scared of change, when they were hired, their skills and discipline was low. There was a need for change. Welfare schemes were introduced during the late nineteenth century. A welfare officer held a semi- independent role within the factory, their job was to dispense benefits amongst under privileged employees. This scheme had a positive reflection onto the workers; "the supreme principle has been the belief that business efficiency and the welfare of employees, are but different sides of the same problem"1 This developed a concept that certain selected people would have the job of managing employees. They would monitor complaints, illnesses, welfare and to control any hostilities within the labour force. The first scientific test with regards to HRM was created by Frederick Winslow Taylor who developed methods for the work place and the successful process of managing employees. Taylor created methods of; performing certain tasks in the best possible way; how to select the right person for the job; train, teach and develop workers, to introduce financial initiatives for works and how to divide the work accordingly within the work force. ...read more.


Legge writes that this could change if they become 'deviant innovators', someone who 'attempts to change this means/ends relationship by gaining acceptance for a different set of criteria for the evaluation of organisational success and his contribution to it'6, practically, the innovator should promote important new values in the business. For Legge's vision to come into practise there would have to be a culture change within organisations. Currently the role of personnel managers is such that they rarely if ever initiate an important change within the business, though they can help implement it, for example training of employees. Freedman7 during his American survey found that individual innovations tended to come from the position of line managers, reinforcing the associated decline in PM roles. PM has been monitored using two models. The goal model judges effectiveness through targets and performance. The second model is called the political model and judges the legitimacy of a target over a long period of time. Similarly to HRM, many believe that people are an essential element that should be invested in, the problem lies in the fact that this asset is undervalued, specifically in regards to training employees. PM does appear according to some to be the little brother of HRM, they hold less influence then many believe they should, the same people regard their job as a failure. But this can be stated to be incorrect, PM's have a role in conjunction with line managers implement policy, not create it. ...read more.


Which can cause problems when an employee does have a problem or issue they wish to raise against their employer. 5. HRM centres round proactive central strategic management, PM implies passive connotations. A proactive approach is apparent when a HR manager is vocal in the decision making process, their input is part of the business strategy formulation. Bamberger and Phillips14 created a model to conceptualise strategic management, it demonstrates how HR strategy, environmental influences and business strategy all influence decision making equally. Bratton15 depicts this process differently, stating how external factors such as technology, government policies, trade unions, markets and EU policies all influence the process. Considering this, the Bamberger and Phillips model does appear to be too simplistic, a point echoed by Purcell and Ahistrand16 who criticises the models use of contextual influences as a lack precision and detail. 6. HRM models are mainly performance based. Quite possibly the most significant difference between to two types of management. The performance based exists, but statistically has been difficult to show, as most of the research collected such figures as labour turnover and productivity, rather that profitability. Specifically within a Michigan hard style approach, HRM's as a collective, 'head count'. The stringent managerial style, may maximise profit, but does so at the cost of quality The two approaches to management do undoubtedly have similarities, though it appears to be too simplistic to call them the same thing. HRM is growing in popularity on a global basis, forcing PM's into a corner. PM's are important to help in implementation, and to advice; however this is increasingly being carried out by HRM. HRM is a dictatorship that has little room for ever more minority. ...read more.

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