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Human Resource Management - Essay Example

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Running Head: HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Name of student: School: Course: Topic: Human Resource Management Lecturer: Date presented: Introduction Modern organizations are faced with many challenges due to changes in political, social and economic climate. There has been increased demand by customers for their products to meet demands of current market conditions, pressure from shareholders for the organization to provide value for their money, and increased competitiveness…
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Human Resource Management
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Download file to see previous pages They have therefore devised innovative human resource management practices that empower workers to make decisions on matters that affect them. As a result, employee involvement and participation has become the central pillar of HRM. Employee participation and involvement (EIP) are often used interchangeably but as Hyman and Mason (1995) puts it; the two concepts have different meanings. Participation efforts are achieved through a legal framework designed by the government to enable employees to have a voice although at times they may exist in absence of such legislations like in Japan. On the other hand, involvement mechanisms are initiated by the management to enable them cope with the challenges of today’s economic climate. For the sake of this paper the two concepts will be used interchangeably since there is a very thin line between involvement and participation. The choice of the mechanism is determined by the political, social and economic conditions of the country and organization for which it is designed. Recently, there have been changes in the legal climate due to European Union initiatives aimed at improving working conditions and standards of living thereby initiating various participation mechanisms such as consultations (Knudsen, 1995). The paper will discuss the extent to which EIP initiatives have been a success. Definitions Employee involvement and participation can be defined as efforts geared towards empowering employees to influence decisions on matters that affect them by pushing responsibility for decisions down the organization hierarchy. The role of the employer in decision making process thus declines while that of the employee increases (Heathfield, 2011). This is done with the belief that by empowering employees, they will have a sense of ownership and hence gain morale, job satisfaction and commitment to organization goals. It is also believed that job satisfaction and commitment lead to improved retention as well attraction of the best talent in the labour market thereby achieving a sustained competitive advantage. Furthermore, the management requires to make quality decisions and this is enhanced by input from the workforce (Gennard & Judge, 2005). Participatory activities are also aimed at complying with legal requirements and in Europe it has led to increased role for trade unions. Historical Background Management efforts to improve productivity and efficiency began decades ago with the advent of scientific management systems advanced by Taylor and Ford. They believed that division of labour was the key to organization effectiveness and efficiency. Taylor thus concentrated on how to get most work done by analysing all tasks and designing jobs to eliminate wasted time. He ensured maximum job fragmentation and minimisation of skill requirements; employees were considered as stupid hence not able to make decisions (Bratton & Gold, 2001). Ford on the other hand, introduced assembly line method of production which entailed short-cycles and standardization of commodities and processes. The division of labour led to monotony and boredom, job dissatisfaction, high absenteeism and turnover as well as increased costs in terms of monitoring and cooperation costs. This led to pressure for better methods of management by the human relations movement. The human ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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