The concept of human resource management

In 1982, at Harvard Business School of Management, a group of professors conducted a course.

The main thesis was that by managing human resources (not staff) companies can achieve their goals more successfully.

The thesis was based on:

  1. The theory of human capital;
  2. The Japanese style of government;
  3. New views in management theory and practice from the early 1980s on gaining competitive advantage through new forms of human relations.

Since 1952, there have been various definitions for human resource management. Reference: “The organization, the people, and their management“, Despite their differences, the definitions of human resource management are similar in two ways: (1) the assumption that human resources are paramount to achieving sustainable business goals; (2) the assumption that the organization can gain a competitive advantage by using people effectively, their expertise and empathy.

There are two popular models of human resource management. They have left lasting traces in modern human resource management practices in various companies around the world.

The first model, known as the “Michigan Model” (named after the University of Michigan, USA, where the model was created in 1982) is based on the thesis that the people in the organization are “resources” of the organization, as resources are money, buildings, machinery, materials, and raw materials. Therefore, they should be managed so that the organization can achieve its goals. Human resource management is considered “strategic” and is subordinated to the strategic business goals of the company.

The second model, known as the Harvard Model (named after Harvard University, where the model was created in 1984), is based on the thesis that human resource management should be aimed at involving people in the organization to the goals of the organization. This management creates “closer” results. For example, empathetic employees, competent employees, and achieving the goals of the organization.

Longer-term human resource management goals are related to employee satisfaction and organizational efficiency. In addition, it is believed that all human resource management decisions should be tailored to the situation as it is now, namely: the labor market, company technology, business goals, laws, and the interests of different groups such as shareholders, owners, managers, the public.

Despite the commonalities between the two models of human resource management, the main differences are: (1) The Harvard model is a “softer” approach to human management. This is no accident. His philosophy (involving employees in the organization) is related to the behaviorist school of management; (2) The Michigan model is “harder”, and less humanistic. His philosophy is related to the ideas and principles of strategic management.

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