Everything you need to learn about the evolution of HRM (human resource management.) Evolution of HRM over the period of time is important for understanding the philosophy, functions, and practices of HRM that are followed in different situations so that relevant HRM practices are evolved in the present situation.
HRM, being a part of management discipline, has followed the pattern of development of management because of the interrelationship of the problems of both the fields.
Human Resource Management (HRM) is relatively a very recent term considered for managing human resources in an organisation. HRM is still evolving to become an amalgam of organisational behaviour, personnel management, industrial relations and labour legislation.
In this article we will discuss about the evolution of human resource management. Learn about:- 1. Managing Slaves 2. Managing Serfs 3. Managing Indentured Labour 4. Industrial Revolution Era;
5. Trade Union Movement Era 6. Social Responsibility Era 7. Scientific Management Era 8. Human Relations Era 9. Behavioural Science Era 10. Systems and Contingency Approach Era and 11. Human Resource Management Era.
Also, learn about the history of modern HRM:- 1. Early Philosophy (Before 1900) 2. Efficiency and Productivity Movement (1900-1920) 3. Period of Welfarism and Industrial Psychology (1920-1930) 4. Period of Human Relations (1930-1950) and 5. Modern Times (After 1950).
Summing up, with the three important stages for growth of HRM are:- 1. Labour Welfare Stage 2. Personnel Management Stage and 3. HRM Stage.
Evolution of Human Resource Management (with Phases)
Evolution of Human Resource Management – Historical Perspective of Human Resource Management
The term “human resource management” is of recent origin. In its modern connotation, it came to be used mainly from the 1980s onwards. During ancient times and for a long period in the medieval era, production of goods was done mainly by skilled artisans and craftsmen. They themselves owned the tools and instruments, produced articles and sold these in the market.
As such, the question of employer-employee or master-servant relationship did not arise in their cases. They managed their affairs themselves and with the help of the family members. However, many effluent craftsmen also employed apprentices and certain categories of hired labourers. There existed a very close relationship between the master craftsmen and the apprentices, and they themselves took care of the problems facing the apprentices and their family members.
A sort of human approach was involved in their relationship. After a prolonged period of training, many apprentices established their own enterprises, and many others remained attached with their master craftsmen on lucrative terms. During the medieval period, the skilled craftsmen also formed their guilds primarily with a view to protecting the interests of their respective trades.
These guilds also determined the price of their products, the wages of the journeymen and hired labourers, and regulated the terms and conditions of their employment. The ancient and a major part of the medieval period also witnessed prevalence of certain other distinct types of labourers. These comprised slaves, serfs and indentured labourers.
A brief description of the manner in which they were treated and managed will be relevant for a proper understanding of human resource management in a historical perspective.
1. Managing Slaves:
Slaves comprised an important source of manpower in almost all ancient civilisations. They could be sold and purchased like commodities. Their main purchasers were the wealthy rulers, landlords, tribal chiefs and effluent businessmen. The purchasers of slaves had a rather complete control over their slaves.
The masters of the slaves took a variety of arduous work from them such as carrying heavy loads, rowing ships and boats, construction of buildings and forts, digging canals, cattle-rearing and tillage of soil. The remuneration or compensation for their efforts comprised mainly food, shelter and clothing. The slaves were dealt with iron hands.
They were subjected to strict supervision, and non-compliance of the orders of their masters or supervisors was generally punishable with physical tortures, and occasionally with mutilation of their limbs and even death sentence for grave offences.
2. Managing Serfs:
Serfdom was widely prevalent in the feudal societies of the pre-and early medieval era. Serfs were engaged by landlords mainly in agricultural operations and allied activities. The landlords would usually give them a piece of land for their habitat and often, some land for their own cultivation. In many cases, a paltry sum of money was advanced to them in order that they could remain attached to their masters.
In lieu of these facilities, the serfs and their family members were required to serve their masters. The work assigned to serfs mainly comprised – tillage of soil, cattle-rearing, domestic work and similar other activities. Many landlords would also give them a meagre amount as wages, whether in cash or in kind. Usually, serfs could become free after returning to their masters the habitat, the piece of land and advances with interest. They could also be transferred to some other landlord on payment.
Under serfdom, some measure of personal relationship existed between the landlords and the serfs. Many landlords often tried to solve their genuine grievances and extended some help to those who were in distress. The feudal lords also occasionally gave some economic inducements to their serfs in the form of additional supply of food-grains and some money for their increased productivity and good behaviour.
Although the management of serfs was based on the principle of authoritarianism, the element of human treatment was often found in their relationship. With the abolition of the feudal system, serfdom also came to an end. However, some remnants of the past can still be found even today, especially in rural areas. The bonded labour system in India is comparable to the system of serfdom prevalent in European countries during the medieval period.
3. Managing Indentured Labour:
The system of indentured labour emerged primarily with the flourishing of mercantilism and advent of industrial revolution. The discovery of new lands through sea and land routes led to a substantial increase in the demand of European goods abroad, and at the same time, gave a fillip to the establishment of industries in the continent.
As a consequence, trade flourished leaps and bounds, and the mercantilists, taking advantage of the expanding markets, tried to accumulate as much wealth as possible. In their quest for maximising wealth, the mercantilists would offer attractive inducements to the artisans and skilled craftsmen for accelerating production of goods in demand. The artisans and craftsmen responded and they started engaging an increasing number of apprentices and hired labourers to cope with the demand of the products.
Advent of Industrial Revolution and its Aftermath:
The advent of industrial revolution proved a boon to the mercantilists. The industrial revolution resulted in a rapid growth of factories, large-scale production, improvement in technology and reduction in time involved in producing goods. The mercantilists increasingly became owners of factories and other establishments.
These developments resulted in an unprecedented demand for various categories of labour both within the country and abroad. Although a major portion of the demand for labour was met by the large-scale migration of people from rural areas to industrial centres and towns, the supply proved inadequate to meet the increasing demand for various categories of labour.
In view of insufficiency of normal supply of labour, the employers resorted to the practice of advancing a lucrative amount of money to the workers and of entering into agreements with them to the effect that they would work with their employers for a stipulated period of time and on terms agreed upon, and after completion of the period and complying with agreed terms, they would be set free.
The European employers engaged indentured labourers on a large scale. During the British rule in India, the British employers contracted agreements with a large number on indentured labourers and sent many of them in their colonies abroad such as South Africa, Mauritius and South-east Asian countries.
Management of Indentured Labour:
Management of indentured labour was substantially different from that of slaves and serfs. So long as these indentured labourers remained with their employers, they had to abide by the terms and conditions mutually agreed upon, and also those unilaterally laid down by their employers.
Breaking of the contract was a punishable offence under law. The indentured labourers and also their free counterparts had to face numerous problems such as those related to low wages, excessive hours of work, insanitary and hazardous physical working conditions and job insecurity.
As no relief was forthcoming either from their employers or from the state, they started organising for exerting concerted pressure on both for improving their conditions. However, their combinations were declared unlawful by the courts of law and under common law and special statutes.
Some of the notable features of management of indentured labour comprised – strict supervision, ensuring compliance with the orders of employer and supervisors, harsh disciplinary action for misconduct, provision of some amenities at the workplace, some inducements to increase productivity and adopting steps to redress genuine grievances of workers.
The major responsibility for managing indentured labourers vested in the local managers and supervisors. The employer generally took broad policy decisions and directed the local managers to ensure their proper compliance. Thus, the main element in the management of indentured labourers rested primarily on the principle of dominance and subordination.
The employers were, however, aware that after the completion of the period of contract, the indentured labourers would be set free. Foreseeing the difficulties which might have to be faced in procuring new hands with requisite skills, they started giving additional inducements to competent indentured labourers in the forms of higher emoluments, promise of promotion and enhanced facilities, so that they could stay on their jobs.
Emergence of Modern Industrial Labour and Improvement of Status:
Even during the periods when slavery and serfdom were rampant, there were various categories of workers who enjoyed a certain amount of freedom in the relationships with their employers. They were mainly skilled craftsmen and artisans and experienced apprentices. However, the composition of free workers materially changed with the spread of industrialisation and establishment of factories and other kinds of industrial and business establishments.
Industrialisation led to the congregation of a large number of workers at the same establishment owned by an individual employer or a company. The employers were generally interested in maximising their profits, and callously disregarded human aspects in managing the affairs of their enterprises.
The state also remained a mute spectator to the miseries and sufferings of the toiling masses of workers, primarily because of the widespread prevalence of the doctrine of individualism and laissez faire. These situations led to further deterioration in the conditions of industrial workers who had to face numerous problems in their employment.
Notable among these problems were low wages, excessive hours of work, hazardous and strenuous physical working conditions, instability of employment, and arbitrary treatment by supervisors and managers.
The industrial workers, sooner or later, came to realise that individually they might be dispensable to the employer, but collectively, they were indispensable as the running of the enterprise was in the interests of both. This realisation induced them to organise and pressurise the employers and the state to take positive steps to improve their conditions.
However, these early combinations received severe blows from the courts of law either under common law or under special statutes such as Combination Acts, 1799 and 1800 of England.
The conditions, however, changed during the course of time. Certain notable developments relevant to the management of human resources included spread of democratic ideals and principles, growth of socialist ideas, emergence of the concept of welfare state, strengthening of workers’ organisations, efforts of social reformers, and changes in the size and composition of the labour force.
These developments led to substantial changes in the attitude of the employers towards workers and the role of the state in regard to labour matters.
The state started enacting labour laws with a view to ameliorating physical working conditions at the place of work, laying down minimum standards in specified areas of terms and conditions of employment, making available to workers certain welfare amenities, adopting social security measures against certain contingencies such as disablement and death resulting from work-injuries, sickness and maternity and establishing workers’ right to form trade union and bargain collectively with the employer.
The employers increasingly came to realise that their prerogatives of “hiring and firing” workers at their will and unilaterally laying down the terms and conditions of employment had been enormously encroached upon by union pressures and state intervention, and it would be difficult for them to manage their enterprises if they did not give due attention to human aspects in dealing with their workers.
These conditions have come to exist even today, but in a greatly modified form. Some of the more notable developments relating to human resources in modern perspective comprise – (i) substantial change in the composition of labour force with the entry of a large number of educated and highly skilled workers with specialisation, (ii) greatly improved status of all categories of employees, (iii) extensive state intervention in the domain of human resources, (iv) development of liberal attitude of employers towards employees with major attention on human aspects, (v) enhancement of strength and status of unions, and (vi) growing international deliberations and exchanges in human resources matters.
Evolution of Human Resource Management – From 19th Century till Recent Times: Different Eras of Human Resource Management
Identification of evolution of HRM over the period of time is important for understanding the philosophy, functions, and practices of HRM that are followed in different situations so that relevant HRM practices are evolved in the present situation. HRM, being a part of management discipline, has followed the pattern of development of management because of the interrelationship of the problems of both the fields.
Though HRM as a field of study has relatively recent origin, history of management of people in the organizations particularly in state administration, is quite old. However, these ancient developments could not create much impact on the recent development of literature and practices of HRM as these developments were concerned primarily to state administration.
Some serious thoughts were applied towards the effective utilization of labour force in industrial organizations after the industrial revolution that started in 19th century. Since then, organized practices relating to management of people, initially labour force and subsequently managerial personnel also, started taking place and literature describing these practices started emerging.
From industrial revolution era to the present era, various stages to development of management of human resource practices may be classified as follows:
1. Industrial revolution era— 19th century
2. Trade union movement era — close to the 19th century
3. Social responsibility era — beginning of the 20th century
4. Scientific management era— 1900-1920s
5. Human relations era— 1930s-1950s
6. Behavioural science era— 1950s-1960s
7. Systems and contingency approach era – 1960 onwards
8. Human resource management era — 1980 onwards
The classification of various stages of development of management of human resources in terms of period shows the beginning of that era. In each era, emphasis has been put on a particular approach of managing people at work. A succeeding era does not mean the complete end of preceding era but there has been overlapping in these.
Main features of these eras and the type of practices related to managing human resources are as follows:
1. Industrial Revolution Era:
The systematic development of HRM started with industrial revolution that started during 1850s in Western Europe and USA. The industrial revolution consisted, essentially, the development of machinery, the use of mechanical energy in production processes, and consequently the emergence of the concept of factory with large number of workforce working together.
The factory system replaced the old cottage system. Industrial revolution brought out a number of changes like centralized work locations with large number of workers working together, mechanized production process, migration of workers from their place of origin, and indirect contact between factory owners and workers.
In order to manage people in the factory system of industrial revolution, three systems of HRM were developed- recruitment of workers, training for workers, and control of workers. However, the basic philosophy of managing workers revolved around master-servant relationship.
2. Trade Union Movement Era:
Shortly after the emergence of factory system, workers started to organize themselves based on their common interests to form workers’ associations which were subsequently known as trade unions. The basic objectives of these associations were to safeguard interest of their members and to sort out their problems which arose primarily because of employment of child labour, long hours of work, and poor working conditions.
Later, other aspects of work such as economic problems and wages, employee benefits and services, etc. also became issues. These trade unions started such weapons as strikes, slowdowns, walkouts, boycotts, etc., for the acceptance of their demands.
These activities of the trade unions forced owners and managers to adopt employee grievance handling systems, arbitration as a means of resolving conflicts between owners/managers and workers, disciplinary practice, expansion of employee benefit programmes, holiday and vacation time, clear definition of job duties, job rights through seniority, and installation of rational and defensible wage structures.
3. Social Responsibility Era:
In the first decade of 20th century, some factory owners started adopting a more humanistic and paternalistic approach towards workers. Paternalistic approach to labour management is based on the philosophy that labour is just like a child and owner is just like a father and the owner should take care of his labour just like a father takes care of his children.
Those industrialists who adopted paternalistic approach offered a number of concessions and facilities to labour force like reduced number of work hours, improved facilities at workplace, model villages to workers, etc. All these practices led to the development of social welfare aspect of labour management.
Many critics to paternalistic approach viewed that this approach was adopted to overcome the problems posed by labour union movement as plenty of trade unions emerged which frequently interrupted work performance. Employers observed that workers were going out of their control and to overcome this problem, they implemented welfare scheme. Thus, this was a compulsion rather than a philosophy.
4. Scientific Management Era:
Around the beginning of 20th century, Taylor started to find out ‘one best way of doing thing’ based on time and motion studies. On the basis of his experiments, he was able to increase workers’ productivity considerably and wrote many papers based on these experiments and a book on scientific management.
The main principles of scientific management are:
(i) Replacing rule of thumb with science, (ii) harmony, not conflict, (iii) cooperation, not individualism, and (iv) development of each and every person. Scientific management techniques relevant to management of workers are- functional foremanship, standardization and simplification of work, and differential piece wage system.
5. Human Relations Era:
Around 1920s, management researchers gave a close look at the human factor at work and the variables that affected people’s behaviour. Before that, Hugo Munsterberg wrote a book on ‘Psychology and Industrial Efficiency’ which suggested the use of psychology in the field of personnel testing, interviewing, attitude measurement, learning, etc.
This brief period was termed as ‘Industrial Psychology Era’. In 1924, a group of professors from Harvard Business School, USA, began an enquiry into the human aspects of work and working conditions at Hawthorne plant of Western Electric Company, Chicago.
They conducted researches from 1924 to 1932 and arrived at the conclusions that productivity of workers depended on- (i) social factors at the workplace, (ii) group formation and group influence, (iii) nature of leadership and supervision, and (iv) communication.
They concluded that in order to have better productivity, management should take care of human relations besides the physical conditions at the workplace. Consequently, the concepts of social system, informal organization, group influence, and non-logical behaviour entered the field of management of personnel.
6. Behavioural Science Era:
In contrast to human relations which assume that happy workers are productive workers, the behavioural scientists have been goal and efficiency- oriented and consider understanding of human behaviour to be the major means to that end. They have tried several sophisticated research methods to understand the nature of work and the people in the work environment.
The contribution of behavioural scientists to management practices consists primarily of producing new insights rather than new techniques. It has developed or expanded a useful way of thinking about the role of the manager, the nature of organizations, and the behaviour of individuals within organizations. As against human relations model, they have given the concept of human resource model.
Major conclusions of the contributions made by behaviouralists are as follows:
i. People do not dislike work. If they have been helped to establish objectives, they will want to achieve them. In fact, job itself is a source of motivation and satisfaction to employees.
ii. Most people can exercise a great deal of self-direction and self-control and generate more creativity than required in their current job. Therefore, their untapped potential remains unutilized.
iii. Managers’ basic job is to use untapped human potential in the organization.
iv. Manager should create a healthy environment wherein all persons can contribute to the best of their capacity. The environment should provide a healthy, safe, comfortable, and convenient place to work.
v. Managers should provide opportunity for self-direction by their subordinates and they must be encouraged to participate fully in all important matters.
vi. Operating efficiency can be improved by expanding subordinate influence, self- direction, and self-control.
vii. Work satisfaction may improve as a ‘by-product’ of subordinates making full use of their potential.
Behavioural science era led to the development of two-way communication, participation of employees in decision making, joint goal-setting, group dynamics, management development, and management of change in the organization. These contributions of behavioural science era are backbone of behavioural approach of human resource management even in the present context.
7. Systems and Contingency Approach Era:
Systems and contingency approach has attracted maximum attention of thinkers in management in the present era. It is an integrated approach which considers management of human resources in its totality based on empirical data. The basic idea of this approach is that analysis of any object must rely on a method of analysis involving simultaneous variations of mutually-dependent variables. This happens when systems approach is applied in managing human resources.
8. Human Resource Management Era:
When the factory system was applied in production, large number of workers started working together. A need was felt that there should be someone who should take care of recruiting, developing, and looking after welfare of these workers. For this purpose, industrial relations department came into existence in most of the large organizations which was concerned mostly with workers.
However, as the time passed and the complexity of managing human resources in large business organizations increased, the scope of industrial relations department was extended to cover supervisory staff and subsequently managerial personnel. Industrial relations department was named as personnel department.
With the increasing competition for market share, competition for resources including human talents, and increased knowledge in the field of managing human resources, people were not treated merely as physiological beings but socio-psychological beings as a prime source of organizational effectiveness and large organizations changed the nomenclature of their personnel department to human resource ‘department to reflect the contemporary view.
Even the American Society for Personnel Administration, the largest professional association in the field of human resource management, changed its name to the Society for Human Resource Management in 1990. At the academic level, similar pattern was followed and the title of personnel management course was changed to human resource management. Since then, the expression is gradually replacing the hackneyed term ‘personnel management’.
1. Early Philosophy (Before 1900):
The history of modern Human Resource Management began with the efforts of Robert Owen. Owen is called the founder of Human Resource Management. In 1813, he wrote a book, A New View of Society. In it he propounded the need for better industrial relations and improvements in the service conditions. His attitude towards workers was very cordial, liberal and paternalistic.
He got good houses constructed for his workers by the side of his factory. He eliminated child labour and provided healthy working conditions. J.S. Mill, Andrew Yule and Charles Bewarage, contemporaries of Robert Owen, developed Human Resource Management as a science and supported the idea of wage incentives, profit sharing and labour welfare, etc.
2. Efficiency and Productivity Movement (1900-1920):
During the last year of the 19th century arrived the age of efficiency and productivity movement. The two decades from 1900 to 1920 were the years of scientific management movement. Taylor’s Scientific Management Thought was accepted during this period. Taylor opposed the idea of trade unionism and workers’ organization.
The main contribution of these two decades has been the increase in the size of units, introduction of scientific thinking into actions, job analysis, standards costing, scientific selection and training of workers and the idea of mental revolution.
3. Period of Welfarism and Industrial Psychology (1920- 1930):
Up to 1925, the Human Resource Management had taken a definite form. Staff line organization became the basis of Human Resource Management. The opposition of scientific management movement by workers introduced the need of industrial psychology.
Industrial psychologists developed many new techniques like psychological testing, interviewing, workers training and non-financial incentives. They helped to give a professional form to Human Resource Management. The Human Resource Management began to be realized as a profession and a specialist’s function.
4. Period of Human Relations (1930-1950):
When Prof. Elton Mayo and his companions conducted Hawthorn experiments, it was the beginning of recognition of the fact that human resources have greater influence on production than other psychical resources. A worker must be treated as a human being. His social, psychological and moral instincts should be fully recognized by the management.
Due to these experiments the commodity concept of labour changed to social concept. The decade of 1940-1950 was very important for the development of Human Resource Management. During that decade, many new techniques were developed for the selection, training and induction of workers. The human resource philosophy became people-oriented. Trade unions flourished and provision of fringe benefits for the workers became common.
5. Modern Times (After 1950):
The history of Human Resource Management since 1950 up to current times is the age of modern developments. It is the period of the citizenship concept of labour where the workers have full right to be consulted in determining the rules and regulations under which they work.
The concept of industrial democracy has imposed many new responsibilities upon the human resource managers of industrial houses. In modern times, Human Resource Management is widely accepted as an independent discipline. One finds two important developments during this period, after 1960, the Human Resource Management began to be realized as a behavioural science which centred completely on human elements with the study of organizational behaviour as its main crux.
After 1970s the belief of ‘open social and industrial system’ became very popular for business organizations. In modern times, Human Resource Management is fully recognized as a profession dealing with the management of human resources. These developments widened the scope of Human Resource Management.
Evolution of Human Resource Management – 3 Stages for the Growth of Human Resource Management
Historically, the beginning of HRM from the writing of Robert Owen, Charles Babbage and Henry Towde. Especially, the HRM growth was particularly marked in the inter-war era. It has branched out specifically along the domains of applied psychology and sociology. The latter in turn has evolved around the concept of the “welfare state”. While the former has proceeded as the behavioural science movement.
Human Resource Management (HRM) is relatively a very recent term considered for managing human resources in an organisation. HRM is still evolving to become an amalgam of organisational behaviour, personnel management, industrial relations and labour legislation.
Following stages explain the process involved for reaching to the current HRM stage:
1. Labour Welfare Stage:
Formal beginnings of HRM may have emerged from industrial disputes and conflicts. An enquiry on determining reasons for industrial disputes and conflicts gave light to several problems related to living and working conditions of employees across industries. This enquiry highlighted limitations of businesses that perceived human resources as machines for obtaining increased productivity and more profits at lower costs.
Workers worked long hours in strenuous working conditions that led to the formation of trade unions. These trade unions focused on protecting and promoting workers’ interests but faced resistance from the management of businesses thus leading to industrial disputes and conflicts.
2. Personnel Management Stage:
When labour welfare issues were provided legal assurances, organisations began focusing on behaviour of employees at all levels at an individual, group and overall organisational basis. A “Personnel” was appointed to manage the employee-employer relationship by managing issues related to human resource planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, performance and potential appraisal, promotions, transfers, quality of working life, compensation, compliances to labour laws and legislations.
3. HRM Stage:
Human Resource Management or HRM is a mix of labour welfare and personnel management. HRM aims at maximising employee performance in accordance to the objectives set by an organisation. HRM is a result of increasing organisational size, changing social and cultural norms, easy access to information (via technology) and globalisation. Accordingly, it attempts to build worker-employees relationship more humanely through motivation, training and development, retention, worker protection, etc.
Also, under HRM, HR managers need to obtain and incorporate knowledge about possible changes that may affect the overall organisation. HR managers thus attempt to execute relevant strategies to ensure smooth transition of changes without disturbing inter-relationships and avoiding disputes/conflicts within an organisation.
Evolution of Human Resource Management – From 18th Century to the Modern Times
In today’s global and competitive environment, human resource is the key to efficient running and survival of an organisation. The concept of human resource management has emerged from the personnel management. The term personnel management has emerged in 1945 after the World War. During this stage, the personnel managers distinguished themselves from other managerial functions, and personnel function being declared as a separate managerial function.
At that time, the scope of personnel function was criticised due to the ‘hire and fire’ policy of the organisations. The concept of HRM has evolved through various stages of Industrial revolution, trade union, scientific management, Behavioural science and human relations. Hence, the concept HRM has gradually replaced the term Personnel Management. HRM is the most appropriate name to deal with human resource, as it highlights the significance of the human beings working in an organisation.
The evolution of HRM has evolved through the stage of the industrial revolution in the 18th century to the modern times:
The momentum for the industrial revolution started in 17th century. Technical advances and improved agriculture methods resulted into mass production of goods. The advancement in technology initiated the need for skilled and trained labour and improved work methods for producing goods on large scale. Hence, this period witnessed rapid technological improvement and led to the beginning of the industrial revolution.
In 1776, Adam Smith in his work ‘The wealth of Nations’ proposed the concept of specialisation to increase efficiency through division of labour in the work. Adam Smith, considered as father of capitalism also lighted the term ‘Invisible Hand or Laissez Faire Approach’.
In the words of Rossouw, “according to hidden approach, the only responsibility of business is to maximise profits according to the market principle and within the constraints of the law. If government interference in business is restricted to a minimum, society will benefit automatically from the activities of the business sector”.
However, this approach failed to benefit the employees, as the government failed to protect the interest of employees. In 1832, Charles Babbage further elaborated the concept of division of labour in his work, and explained the advantages of division of labour.
Trade union is a group or an organisation of workers formed to achieve common goals. These trade union organisations may compose of workers, professionals, or unemployed workers. The working class also formed general union of all workers irrespective of the trade and industry.
The basic purpose of the trade union is to bargain with employers on behalf of its members for better ways. Working conditions grievance redressal, rules governing hiring and promotion, workers benefits i.e. maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment.
Trade unions become very popular in many countries during Industrial Revolution. These unions emerged as a result of concentration of bargaining power on the employer’s side resulting into exploitation of workers.
Trade unions are in the current scenario still an influential force to protect the social and economic development of its members in many countries around the world.
The concept of scientific management focused on professional relationship between employer, and employees to improve/enhance productivity. F. W. Taylor (1856-1915) is regarded as father of scientific management and a great leader of the efficiency movement. He advocated the principles of scientific management to improve industrial efficiency.
Taylor’s scientific management consisted of four principles mentioned as follows:
(i) Adopt work methods based on scientific study of the tasks instead of rule of thumb method.
(ii) Scientific methods of selection, training and development of each employee.
(iii) The managers should apply scientific management principles to plan the work.
(iv) Close supervision and detailed instructions to each worker in the performance of specific task. This principle stresses on the fact that workers should be capable of understanding the task they were doing.
The concept of scientific management advocated the payment of wages should be linked to productivity. The principles of scientific management have been challenged and criticised by trade unions, as well as social intellectuals.
Industrial Psychology is also known as I-O psychology (industrial organisational psychology) work and organisational psychology occupational psychology and personnel psychology. It applies psychology to industrial organisations and the work place. It attempts to achieve organisations goals by improving the performance and welfare of its employees.
Industrial psychologist includes research in job performance, job analysis, performance appraisal/management, compensation, work motivation, job attitudes, work/life balance, organisational culture, leadership, ethics, and technology in workplace, job design and human resource. Industrial psychologist believes in the “scientist-practitioner model”. Generally, I-O psychologist are employed within organisation, generally as a part of HR Department.
Human resource approach explored management from a social as well as psychological view. Advocates of this approach are concerned with welfare of the employees, and treat them as people. Robert Owen, Hugo Munsterberg, Walter Bill Scott, Mary Parket Follet, Abraham Marslow and Douglas Mc Gregor are Popular as behavioural theorist.
These behavioural scientists believed that the managers should focus on employee’s motivation, MBO and inter-personal communication, etc. instead of mechanist production. It would make the worker more satisfied and productive. So these theorist advocated the need for scientific study of human relations aspect of organisation.
Human Relations movement gained momentum as a result of contributions of management thinkers like Elton Mayo, Mary Parker Follet and Hawthrone Experiments. This movement identified and encouraged the human relation factors which help improve the quantum of production and the level of satisfaction of employees. Elton Mayo’s contribution in the development of human relations is unforgettable approach.
Mayo is known as father of Human Relations movement. This movement considered that organisation is not only a formal system but also a social system and principles of human relations and behavioural sciences can be successfully applied in it to achieve the organisations objectives. Human relations approach realised the significance of informal human relations in management.
Evolution of Human Resource Management – Brief Outline of Development of Human Resource Management
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.
A brief outline of the various stages of development of HRM stated below:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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 evolution of HRM can be described moving through four broad phases:
Phase # 1. Craft System:
From the earliest time in Egypt and Babylon, training in craft skills was organized to maintain an adequate supply of craft workers. The workers/craftsmen worked in their own homes/workshop with the help of their family members, with their own tools and implements.
A basic type of specialization of work such as shoe-making, blacksmith, carpentry, pottery, cloth weaving etc. existed during this age. Generally, the master craftsmen committed to teach his craft to some young persons who began their careers as apprentices. The apprentices were bound to work for the master craftsman for a specified period during which they would learn the craft. The master craftsmen possessed skill and ownership.
By the 13th century craft training became popular in Western Europe. Craft guilds supervised quality and methods of production and regulated conditions of employment for each occupation. The master crafts worker controlled the craft guilds, and the recruit entered after a period of training as an apprentice.
The craft system was best suited to domestic industry, which the master operated on his own premises with his assistants residing and working in the same house.
Phase # 2. Scientific Management:
During the first few years of the 20th century, productivity emerged as a serious business concern. This phase saw expanding business, readily available capital, experience as well as short supply of labour. Hence, managers started to look for ways to use existing labour more efficiently. In response to this need, experts began to focus on ways to improve the performance of individual workers.
This led to the development of scientific management. F. W. Taylor, Frank Gilbreth and Lillian Gilbreth were the earliest advocates of scientific management. At Midvale Steel Company in Philadelphia, Taylor observed that employees were deliberately working at a pace slower than their capabilities. Taylor studied and timed each element of the steel workers’ jobs.
He determined what each worker should be producing. He designed the most efficient way of doing each part of the overall task and implemented a piecework pay system. Rather than paying all employees the same wage, he began increasing the pay of each worker who met and exceeded the target level of output set for his or her job.
Phase # 3. Human Relations Approach:
The Hawthorne experiments conducted by Elton Mayo and his colleagues during 1930s and 1940s demonstrated that employees productivity was affected not only by the way the job was designed and the manner in which employees were rewarded economically, but also by certain social and psychological factors as well.
The human relations movement led to the wide scale implementation of behavioural science techniques in industry for the first time that included supervisory training programmes, emphasizing support and concern for workers, programmes to strengthen the bonds between labour and management and counseling programmes whereby employees were encouraged to discuss both work and personal problems with trained counselors.
The movement was also influenced by the growing strength of unions during the late 1930s and 1940s.
Phase # 4. Human Resource Approach:
Human resource approach deals with the people dimension in management. Over the past eighty years, various approaches to human resource management have been adopted by companies. The human resource approach currently in vogue, has redefined the way people are treated and managed in the organizational context.
This approach requires that employees or the work force be treated as resources and not just as factors of production (as in the scientific approach) or emotional beings with psychological needs (as in the human relations approach).
Evolution of Human Resource Management – From Industrial Revolution Era to Present Era
The real strength of the country lies in the development of the human mind and body. India is a very big country with people of different backgrounds. Organizations consists of all different people working under one roof.
The role of the organization in society is changing the demands of the organization in society is changing the demands of the organization and the expectations of the people that the employees perform their task and challenges according to the changes in the environment.
But some serious views were given and were applied for the effective utilization of labour force in organization after the Industrial Revolution started in 19th century. From the beginning of Industrial Revolution era to the present era, various stages of development took place.
It is classified as follows:
1. Industrial Revolution Era:
It started in 19th century. In this the emphasis was given on the development of machinery for better and large amount of production with so many people working together with these changes and the replacement development was there as use of machinery was there for production and unskilled workers were given training for the operation of machinery.
By this way large number of people migrated from their place of origin to their place of working creating housing problems. In this way method of production was changed from manual or small tools to mechanical with increasing emphasis on machineries.
2. Trade Union Movement Era:
The basic objectives of these unions is to safeguard the interest of the people and to sort out their problems like labour problems, child labour and poor working conditions etc. In this aspect various economic problems and wages, various benefits also became major issues. These trade unions started such weapons as strikes, walkouts etc. for the acceptance of their demand.
3. Scientific Management Era:
It started in 19th century. Taylor started to find out the best way of doing the things in proper time duration so that goals can be achieved. He was able to increase workers’ productivity by his experiment, based on time and motion studies and named it as scientific management.
The principles are:
(a) Harmony in group action
(b) Cooperation between management and workers.
(c) Development of workers
(d) Replacing rule of thumb with science
These principles were implemented through the following elements:
(i) Job Analysis:
It is undertaken to find out the best way of doing. It can be determined by taking up method time – motion – fatigue studies. To take minimum time for best performance with amount and frequency of required rest is the basic aim.
(ii) Standardization and Simplification:
It should be maintained in respect of instruments and tools, period of work, working conditions etc.
(iii) Financial Incentives:
It plays an important role as it can motivate the workers to put their best efforts. In this scheme basically a person who complete the work and those who do not complete the work are judged.
The person who complete the normal work on time gets higher rate per piece and who does not complete the work on time get lower rate. In this Taylor suggested that wages should be given according to the individuals performance and not on the position that the individuals hold.
(iv) Scientific Selection and Training of Workers:
Taylor suggested that selection of workers should be based on scientific approach taking into account their work for which they are most suitable. Proper emphasis should be given on training of workers which can make them more capable in performing the job and can increase the efficiency.
(v) Mental Revolution:
It all depends upon the mutual cooperation between management and workers. There should be a mental change of views and ideas in both the parties to avoid conflict and to have proper cooperation among each other. Taylor feel that it is one of the important feature of scientific management as without this no principle of Scientific Management can be applied.
During the period of Taylor, other persons also worked to develop workers efficiency and suggested some change in Taylor’s principles particularly in differential piece rate system.
4. Social Responsibility Era:
Robert Owen in 20th century an industrialist, reformer adopted the approach “the principal social and economic environments influence the physical, mental and psychological development of workers. Therefore in order to increase productivity, it is necessary to improve the conditions of employees by removing them from an adverse environment by providing them more satisfactory living and working conditions”.
5. Human Relations Era:
In this basically close look was given on human factors at work and the variables that affected people’s behaviour.
It included the following factors:
(i) Social factors at the workplace
(ii) Group formation
(iii) Type of supervision
(iv) Proper Communication
By this they observed that there existed a conflict between management and workers. In order to have better production, management should take care of human relations besides the physical conditions at the workplace.
6. Behavioural Science Era:
In this it is assumed that if the workers are happy they can do more and proper production as human behaviour can help in doing the work in a proper way. Behavioural scientists to management practices consists primarily of producing new insights rather than new techniques.
Major conclusions of the contributions by behaviouralists are as follows:
(j) People like work and they want to achieve their objectives through motivation and with proper job satisfaction,
(ii) Managers responsibility is to create a healthy environment, so that all subordinates can contribute to the best of their capacity.
(iii) Manager should provide self-direction by subordinates and they must encourage to participate fully in all matters.
(iv) Working satisfaction can be increased and improved by full potential utilization in right direction.
Behavioural science era led to the development of two way communication of employers in decision making, management development story of the organization. These are all necessary for the right approach of Human Resource Management in the present context.
7. System and Contingency Approach:
It has attracted maximum attention of thinkers in management in the present era. The basic idea of this approach is that any object must rely in a method analysis involving simultaneous variations of dependent variables.
It has the following features:
(i) It is a combination of various parts which can be known as subsystems. Each part may have various subparts and it has same features of a system.
(ii) System and subsystem are mutually related to each other and if there is any kind of change, it affects the other depending upon the relationship in between them.
(iii) A system has boundary which makes it different from other system.
(iv) A system is not only the total parts and supports but the arrangement of this as a whole plays an important role.
Contingency approach suggests that where the behaviour of one sub unit is dependent on its environmental relationship to other units that have control over the other sub units.
8. Human Resource Management Era:
When the factory system was started in production, large number of workers started together. After observation need was there that someone should take care of recruiting, developing and looking after the welfare of various activities taking place.
With the increase in the competition for market share, competition for resources including human talents and increased knowledge in the field of Human resource management.