Before we define HRM, it seems pertinent to first define the term ‘human resources’. In common parlance, human resources means the people. However, different management experts have defined human resources differently. For example, Michael J. Jucius has defined human resources as “a whole consisting of inter-related, inter-dependent and interacting physiological, psychological, sociological and ethical components”.
According to Leon C. Megginson “From the national point of view human resources are knowledge, skills, creative abilities, talents, and attitudes obtained in the population; whereas from the view-point of the individual enterprise, they represent the total of the inherent abilities, acquired knowledge and skills as exemplified in the talents and aptitude of its employees”.
Sumantra Ghosal considers human resources as human capital. He classifies human capita into three categories-intellectual capitals, social capital and emotional capital. Intellectual capital consists of specialized knowledge, tacit knowledge and skills, cognitive complexity, and learning capacity.
Social capital is made up of network of relationships, sociability, and trustworthiness Emotional capital consists of self-confidence, ambition and courage, risk-bearing ability, and resilience. Now it is clear from above definitions that human resources refer to the qualitative and quantitative aspects of employees working in an organisation.
Let us now define human resource management.
In simple words, HRM is a process of making the efficient and effective use of human resources so that the set goals are achieved. Let us also consider some important definitions of HRM.
According to Flippo “Personnel management, or say, human resource management is the planning, organising, directing and controlling of the procurement development compensation integration, 4intenance, and separation of human resources to the end that individual, organisational and social objectives are accomplished”.
The National Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM) of India has defined human resource/personnel management as “that part of management which is concerned with people at work and with their relationship within an enterprise. Its aim is to bring together and develop into an effective organisation of the men and women who make up an enterprise and having regard for the well-being of the individuals and of working groups, to enable them to make their best contribution to its success”.
According to Decenzo and Robbins “HRM is concerned with the people dimension in management. Since every organisation is made up of people, acquiring their services, developing their skills, motivating them to higher levels of performance and ensuring that they continue to maintain their commitment to the organisation are essential to achieving organisational objectives. This is true, regardless of the type of organisation-government, business, education, health, recreation, or social action”.
Thus, HRM can be defined as a process of procuring, developing and maintaining competent human resources in the organisation so that the goals of an organisation are achieved in an effective and efficient manner. In short, HRM is an art of managing people at work in such a manner that they give their best to the organisation for achieving its set goals.
Nature of Human Resource Management (HRM):
- Inherent part of management: Human resource management is inherent part of management because if the manager wants to draw best out of his people, he must do the basic responsibility of selecting people who will work under him along with this he must train, motivate appraise them from time to time.
- Pervasive function: It is a pervasive function which means that every person in the organization from top to lower level is required to perform this function at continuous basis.
- People centered: It is concerned with all kind of personnel from top to bottom of the organization.
- Personnel functions: It involves various functions concerned with managing people from manpower planning, recruitment, selection, placement, training, appraisal to compensation of employees.
- Continuous process: It is not a one-step function rather it is a continuous process.
The scope of HRM is, indeed, very vast and wide. It includes all activities starting from manpower planning till employee leaves the organisation. Accordingly, the scope of HRM consists of acquisition, development, maintenance/retention, and control of human resources in the organisation (see figure 1.1). The same forms the subject matter of HRM. As the subsequent pages unfold, all these are discussed, in detail, in seriatim.
- The Labour or Personnel Aspect:
This is concerned with manpower planning, recruitment, selection, placement, transfer, promotion, training and development, lay-off and retrenchment, remuneration, incentives, productivity, etc.
- Welfare Aspect:
It deals with working conditions, and amenities such as canteen, creches, rest and lunch rooms, housing, transport, medical assistance, education, health and safety, recreation facilities, etc.
- Industrial Relations Aspects:
This covers union-management relations, joint consultation, collective bargaining, grievance and disciplinary actions, settlement of disputes, etc.
- Manpower planning means determining the number and kind of personnel required to fill various positions in the organizations.
- Recruitment, selection, placement of personnel.
- Training and development of employees.
- Performance appraisal of the employees.
- Motivating the employees by providing them proper financial and non-financial incentives.
- Social and welfare security of the employees.
- Audit of personnel policies, procedures and practices of the organization.