Today’s human resource management practice and theory has gradually evolved over several years. The change and evolution of management field has played a great role in the development of knowledge regarding management practice.
In discussing the history of Human Resources Management it is important to offer a definition of the subject. Human Resource Management can be described as “The comprehensive set of managerial activities and tasks concerned with developing and maintaining a qualified workforce – human resources – in ways that contribute to organisational effectiveness.” (DeNisi and Griffin, 2004)
The Hawthorne Studies were a groundbreaking set of experiments conducted at the Western Electric plant in Hawthorne, Chicago by Elton Mayo. The studies were conducted from 1927 to 1932 and measured the relationship between productivity and working environment. The studies were based on preliminary experiments conducted in 1924 that measured the effect of lighting on productivity. (Bloomsbury, 2002).
The results of the experiments showed that changes in the environment did affect productivity, but this was not the sole factor. The workers considered management to be showing an interest in them and this improved motivation.
Chester Barnard, who was president of New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, introduced the idea of the informal organization — cliques (exclusive groups of people) that naturally form within a company. He felt that these informal organizations provided necessary and vital communication functions for the overall organization and that they could help the organization accomplish its goals. The studies were conducted in 1938.
Barnard felt that it was particularly important for managers to develop a sense of common purpose where a willingness to cooperate is strongly encouraged. He is credited with developing the acceptance theory of management, which emphasizes the willingness of employees to accept that managers have legitimate authority to act.
Mayo’s studies and the subsequent results were a significant break from the theories of F.W. Taylor in that the workers were not solely motivated by self interest. Mayo’s research has led to the understanding that workplaces are more than machine like environments in that there are social environments and human emotions that require consideration. Mayo’s studies led to the rise of the Human Relations Movement. The Human Relations movement ” argues that people are not just logical decision makers but have needs for creativity support, recognition and self-affirmation.” (Theworkingmanager.com, 2004). The movement presents an alternative and opposite approach to scientific management as it focuses on the individual and not the task.
In modern business the Human Resources Management function is complex and as such has resulted in the formation of Human resource departments/divisions in companies to handle this function. The Human resource function has become a wholly integrated part of the total corporate strategy.
When we discuss about the human, then it will not far away from their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and sensations. And all these factors play an important role as a main variables for understanding human as a resources and as a capital. at least that should be done to remain able to successfully communicate and convey information, to be able interpret others ‘emotions, to be open to others’ feelings, and able to solve conflicts and arrive at resolutions. and the eventual goal is the common goal of company.
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Conflict often occurs in a multicultural working condition due to lack of distinction and communication problems among employees both horizontally and vertically. Conflict increases when the difference in values and beliefs, and personal variables that quick respond with a trigger of conflict. Transform and conflict management is needed to minimize the consequences of dysfunctional conflict. In this case, the interests of various parties should be considered so as to create a functional condition. To achieve a functional state, it is necessary for a conflict resolution that can help restore the function of organizations is by reducing the differences, improve communication and understanding and clarify roles and procedures.
The organization is a place where there are common goals to achieve them together through the ranks and division of duties where management coordinate source material and human resources through a formal structure of tasks and authority. Berelson & Steiner argues that communication is a process of delivering information, ideas, emotions, skills, etc. through the use of symbols such as words, pictures, numbers, and so on. Correlation between communications with the organization is located in its review that focuses on the human beings involved in achieving the organization’s goals.
The history of Human Resource Management has progressed through the ages from times when people were abused in slave like working conditions to the modern environment where people are viewed as assets to business and are treated accordingly. The Human Resource function will have to adapt with the times as staff become more dynamic and less limited in their roles and bound by a job description. In future we may see employees being measured on the value they contribute to a business and not their cost to the business.