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miercuri, 17 februarie 2010

EVOLUTION OF HR MANAGEMENT


Before 1900, improving the working life of individuals was a major concern of reformers. Some employees attempted to start unions or strike for improved conditions. However, HR management as a specialized function in organizations
began its formal emergence shortly before 1900. Before that time, most hiring,
firing, training, and pay-adjustment decisions were made by individual supervisors.
Also, the scientific management studies conducted by Frederick W. Taylor and others, beginning in 1885, helped management identify ways to make work more efficient and less fatiguing, thus increasing worker productivity.
As organizations grew larger, many managerial functions such as purchasing and personnel began to be performed by specialists. The growth of organizations also led to the establishment of the first personnel departments about 1910. Work by individuals such as Frank and Lillian Gilbreth dealt with task design and efficiency. The Hawthorne Studies, conducted by Elton Mayo in the mid- 1920s, revealed the impact of work groups on individual workers. Ultimately, these studies led to the development and use of employee counseling and testing in industry.
1930s TO 1950s In the 1930s, the passage of several major labor laws, such as the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, led to the growth of unions. The importance of collective bargaining and union/management relations following the labor unions’ rise to power in the 1940s and 1950s expanded the responsibilities of the personnel area in many organizations, especially those in manufacturing, utilities, and transportation. Such work as keeping payroll and retirement records, arranging stockholder visits, managing school relations, and organizing company picnics was often the major role of personnel departments. The role of the HR department in the organization as a staff function to support operational (line) departments expanded during this period, and line/staff issues grew to influence HR departments in the following decades.
1960s TO 1980s Increased legal requirements and constraints arising from the social legislation of the 1960s and 1970s forced dramatic changes in the HR departments of most organizations. HR departments had to become much more
professional and more concerned about the legal ramifications of policies and
practices. Also, organizations took a new look at employee involvement and quality of work as a result of concerns about the impact of automation and job design on worker productivity.
During the 1980s, the strategic role of HR management became essential as organizations reduced staff, closed plants, or “restructured.” Outplacing employees and retraining the rest became prime concerns of HR departments. Containing the costs of health-care benefits also grew in importance.
1990s During the 1990s, organizational restructuring continued. A study of HR executives involved in reengineering the HR management in their companies found that the traditional HR function began shifting its emphases. The HR managers of the future will need to be more strategic and proactive.
Changing demographics and increasing shortages of workers with the needed capabilities have grown in importance. Related to the demographic shifts, HR management has had to address the issues and implications of workforce diversity. Both the outscourcing of HR activities and the computerization of the administrative aspects of HR activities, even in small firms, have received attention as well. Finally, growth in issues involving employee rights, such as drug testing and smoking restrictions, are affecting how HR activities are managed.

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