Evolution of HRM into strategic HRM25th February 2020
Strategic human resource management is the connection between a company’s human resources and its strategies, objectives, and goals. The aim of strategic human resource management is to:
- Advance flexibility, innovation, and competitive advantage
- Develop a fit for purpose organizational culture
- Improve business performance
In order for strategic human resource management to be effective, human resources (HR) must play a vital role as a strategic partner when company policies are created and implemented. Strategic HR can be demonstrated throughout different activities, such as hiring, training, and rewarding employees.
HRM evolved over a period of years from the era of industrial revolution. The evolution of HRM dates back to 18th century and the concept is very old in nature involving the management of human beings. There were many phases of people management before reaching the current scenario as researched by many authors.
- Industrial Revolution:
It started during 18th century in Britain and spread later to Western Europe and United States. Workers were forced to indulge in monotonous and repetitive work activities. Workers were treated earlier as machines and not as resources. The industrial revolution witnessed ill treatment and exploitation of workers.
- Trade Unionism:
Workers joined together to form trade unions to protect their interests. The movement started within the era of industrial revolution as there were common worker demands. The origin of Trade unions can be traced back to 18th century in Europe and later it spread to many other parts of the world.
- Taylorism or Scientific Management:
Scientific management was propounded by Frederick Winslow Taylor in 1911. It aimed to standardize workflows and improve labour productivity through reduction of effort Human factor at work was given more importance and procedures were simplified by time and motion studies.
- Human Relations Movement:
The concepts of scientific management led to an awareness of improving procedures and productivity through work simplification. In early 1930s the famous research by Elton Mayo et. al. namely, the “Hawthorne Studies” opened up a new horizon of human relations at workplace. It revealed the impact of social factors, informal groups, motivation and employee satisfaction on productivity. This was the beginning of behavioural approaches and soft skill training to employees. The modern concept of HRM sprouted from such movements.
- Organizational Behaviour & Theory:
Other contemporary researchers like Abraham Maslow, David McClelland, Max Weber and others propounded different concepts on organizational behaviour and developed organizational theory. Motivation, leadership, workforce productivity and similar theoretical areas propped up and gained significance.
- Industrial and Labour Relations:
The field of industrial and labour relations started getting importance in many industries as there were strained labour relationships. Legal framework was developed to protect the interest of labour and amicably settle any industrial disputes.
- HR Approach:
HR rooted itself strongly in the theoretical background of earlier researches backed by support from industrialists and professional associations. The oldest HR association is the “Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development” started in 1913 in England.
The Society for Human Resource Management was later formed in 1948 in the United States. The first college level study on HR was from Cornell University, United States. At present, there are umpteen numbers of specialized courses in HRM offered by renowned universities all over the world.
The following are benefits of strategic human resource management:
- Increased job satisfaction
- Better work culture
- Improved rates of customer satisfaction
- Efficient resource management
- A proactive approach to managing employees
- Boost productivity