"Human resource management can be defined as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisation's most valued assets: the people working there who live individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of it's objectives-. (Armstrong, 2001:3).
The term human resource management has become increasingly familiar to managers since it's introduction in the early nineteen eighties. Modern companies want to attract, develop and keep the best employees as they see this as key to gaining competitive advantage. They want people who are capable and committed and view these people as valuable assets, an investment for the future of the organisation. But even with the familiarisation of the term it is still difficult to clarify exactly what HRM is and how it differs from traditional personnel management. For the purpose of this assignment the topic will be discussed under the following headings:.
The Evolution of HRM.
Characteristics of HRM.
Types of HRM.
HRM -vs.- Personal Management.
The evolution of HRM.
In order to fully comprehend what the term HRM means it is important to have an understanding of the historical development of Human Resource Management. .
The Industrial Revolution:.
The birth of personnel management can be traced back to the industrial revolution in England in the late 18th century. The revolution saw the growth of the factory system that due to its nature demanded the more formalised organisation of work activities by planning, organising and controlling employees. The work environment was very unfavourable at the time, employees worked long hours for little pay and often in dangerous conditions. The approach to managing people was harsh and the main aim was to control the workers who had few, if any, rights.
The first efforts to show concern for the workers came towards the end of the 19th century, with the appointment of welfare officers - to improve working conditions and to set up schemes for sick pay and subsidised housing.