The Evolution of Personnel and HR Management

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Theme 1: Social Justice

You can say that personnel management started in the 19th century. The basis for this was the works of different reformers such as Robert Owen as well as Lord Shaftesbury. These people were quite critical of the system of free enterprise that existed during that time. Different kinds of hardships were in fact taking place owing to the exploitation that the workers had to endure. As a result of this, the personnel managers were being appointed. These people worked for the benefit of the workers and provide them with a better life. The concerns of these peoples are not fake at all in nature. The requirement for these people has also not become obsolete even in the present times. This is because you will still get reports of exploitation of the laborers by the employers. All this is done by disobeying the laws made for the protection of employees from exploitation. In the different organizations, there remains a certain distance between the people who take decisions for the company and those who implement those decisions. Hence in this manner the workers are driven away from their jobs.

You will see that from the later part of the 19th century and earlier part of the 20th century, some of the big employers of the companies having a father figure like outlook, began the appointment of different kinds of welfare officers. These officers would be managing new schemes which were especially designed to make the lives of the different employees easy. Some of the benefits associated with these schemes included, providing benefit of unemployment to the people as well as money when the employees were sick, providing the advantage of housing at really nominal rates so that the workers can live in peace. If you turn the pages of the history book then you will find the names of the firms of the Quaker family as well as the soap business run by the Lever Brothers. The main motives of these people for initiating these schemes were completely acts of charity. There was also a sense of understanding that attention was needed to be paid for the welfare of the people. With help of these welfare schemes, the kind of commitment that the staffs provided with also improved greatly. The best employees also flocked to these business houses on comparing the working conditions with those of the rival businesses. Hence the end result was that the production of the companies improved tremendously and the group of people working kept doing so for a long period of time. When looking after the welfare of the employees, the chances of relation becoming sour between the employee and company also decreased. In the present times, the welfare schemes being floated include assistance for the different employees in different fields as well as providing different facilities to take care of the family, children, their health as well as other issues.

Theme 2: humane bureaucracy

In the next stage of development, the focus was shifted a little from the welfare of the people to the completion of some other objectives of the company. The different managers now had all the responsibilities in areas such as looking after and training of staffs as well as designing the organization.  Different scientists such as F.W. Taylor as well as Henri Fayol were specialists in the sector of personnel management. They began to view the different managerial as well as administrative jobs in a very analytical manner. These people began to devise the means for designing of structures of organizations and the deployment of the labor forces in order to get the maximum efficiency out of jobs. The School of Human Relations also had a role to play in the development of the thinking of the personnel. It aimed to better the potential of this kind of management to prevent all kinds of conflict of interests in the industries. This kind of scientific approach was considered too much stiff during process of dehumanization. Thinkers of the likes of Elton Mayo, also had great ideas for these projects they planted the seeds for consolidating the relationship between people in places of work. The maintenance of morale of the employees thus became really important. In this way the level of production was also increased tremendously.

Theme 3: negotiated consent

Bargaining is an art that the managers and all people doing service need to understand. This is a skill that has to be present in your arsenal if you wish to be successful. The World Wars caused too many men to leave the country and serve in the front. Hence labor became something quite scarce in those times, hence this lead to a rise in the trade unions and their increase in say and strength. The top industrial analysts have to say that this kind of uprising was also referred to as a challenge coming from the lower ranks. The needs for the personnel managers became even more important as a result of this. Different new kinds of institutions such as consultation committees as well as production committees were formed in order to account for the new requirements. There were many industries which attained national stature in the period of 1940s. The different employers were asked to do negotiations with the various unions which acted as representatives of the workforce. Hence the governments themselves now promoted the appointment of the personnel managers. There were even courses taught in the university to make able personnel managers. The Ministry of Labor usually looked into all these things.

Theme 4: Organisation

You will see that in the later part of the 1960s, the agenda of the personnel managers changed a little bit. They deflected from arranging the different employees on basis of ranks in a filing system and rather adapted to dealing in the management procedures themselves and brought about a togetherness of different kinds of managerial activities in practice. You could very well see that there were lots of opportunities for people at that time and new ways of careers were getting formed and that brought about a growth in the different organizations. The specialists dealing with personnel today are alert because of the fact that lots of time as well as other such resources are getting devoted for firstly the recruitment and then the maintenance of groups of people in elite positions, on whom a major portion of business may be dependent. The different people looking into personnel management have techniques of their own by which they can look after the use of manpower as well as understand its planning. This kind of activity can be regarded as quantitative in nature. The coming of the latest technology, which can forecast lots of things are also being used widely for determining what kind of skills the employees need to possess.

Theme 5: human resource management

You will find the explanation for this in the pages previous to this.


You need to think up a HRM role that you are quite familiar with. You need to ask yourself how quickly and efficiently, you will be able to mark that role in the company of other themes concerned with the growth and development of the Human Resource Management.


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