Human Resource Management - What is HRM?

  • Created by: jkav
  • Created on: 23-10-17 12:11

What is HRM?


Human resource management (HRM or simply HR) is the term commonly used to describe all those organisational activities concerned with recruiting and selecting, designing work for, training and developing, appraising and rewarding, directing, motivating aand controlling workers. In other words, HRM refers to the framework of philosophies, policies, procedures and practices for the management of the relationship that exists between an employer and worker. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the broad area of managerial activity referred to as HRM, to explore the alternative meanings attached to the term and its relevance to today's work organisations. The chapter outlines how people management has developed over the past three decades from a largely administrative, operational unction to an area of management often viewed as central to organisational viability and sustained competitive advanatage. It also introduces a number of running themes that reoccur throughout the book and represent key challenges for contemporary HRM, including ethical issues associated with people management and international differences in HRM practice. 

HRM comprises a number of discrete but overlapping areas of managerial activity. Part two of this book focuses on the following five broad functions of HRM, central to managing the workforce:

  • People resourcing - ensuring optimal staffing for current and future business needs through activities that include human resource planning, recruitment, selection, induction, talent management, successio planning and the termination of the employment relationships (including managing retirement and redundancy).
  • Managing performance - managaing individuals and team performance and the contribution of workers to the achievement of organisational goals, for example, through goal-setting and performance and development reviews or appraisals. 
  • Managing reward - designing and implementing reward and pay systems covering individual and collective, financial and non-financial reward, including employee benefits, perks and pensions.
  • Human resource development - identifying individual, team and organisational development requirements and designing, implementing and evaluating learning and development interventions.
  • Employment relations - managing employee 'voice'. communication and employee involvment (EI) in organisational decision-making, handling union-management relations (including industrial action and collective bargaining over terms and conditions of employment), managing employee welfare and handling employee grievance and discipline.

Other tasks and activities that come under the remit of HRM include workforce administration, health, safety and employee well-being, and equality and diversity management. HRM is also likely to be involved in wider strategic and operational managerial activity such as change management and employer branding. In some of these areas, HRM specialists play a central and leading role and in other areas of the business. For example, in filling a job vacancy, HR specialists in large organisations are likely to provide support in designing job specifications and advertisements ensuring legal compliance (for example, with equal opportunities legislation) and generalists responsible for all HR processess in a firm or, more likely in larger organisations, they might specialise in one or more specific areas, for example reward, training or diversity. Importantly, HRM encompasses not only those activities hat are the responsibility of designated HR departments or specialists but also those activites…


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