Harseerat Kaur – 9114614
Human Resource management or Personnel management as it has been called before, has become a major portion to study in management principles. It has now taken its own deserving space with the academic importance of Finance, accounting, law etc. Two decades have been spent studying the emergence and the importance of Human Resource studies, majorly as two components: as a subject of study & as practice in the organizations.
A lot has been researched about the Industrial Relations been outdated and replaced by the core Human Resource studies and Organizational Behaviour. But such a replacement would also make it impossible for Human Resource Management to take into account the predominant factor of collective instructions and processes that were the key to Industrial Relations. But post Second World War, Kaufman (2008) argues that the founding paradigm is back in the context of Industrial Relations so that the management issues are in the hands of the Human Resource and employment relationships in the study of Industrial Relations. Therefore the Industrial Relations is not a discipline but a field of study having elements from sociology,law,pyschology etc.
As to compare and contrast the academic field of industrial relations and HRM , one needs to put into considerations the major elements that constitute the two models or areas of study.
The one model that we talk about in HRM is the basic Pfeffer model of best practices in the Successful Organization (1988). This model talks about the best fit model for an organization that drives efficient performance and embodies seven elements: employment security, selective hiring of new personnel, decentralization and self managed teams, high compensation, extensive training, reduced status distinctions, and extensive sharing of financial information within an organization. In contrast to such best fit models, we also take into consideration contingency models that become “fit” with the changing environment i.e. they adapt to certain changes in the organizational environment and then mould themselves to make policies that become the best fit in that environment.
The key elements while studying the Industrial Relations or the four main factors that give a base to centrally study work and people are
1) Work & life: People are brought up so as to grow up and work. It is such an important part of our life which cannot be avoided. It is the most dominant part of the life of people after education and retirement. So, the need to study people and work and their work-life balance is important as a public policy concern
2) Family & income: the social, family and personal component of our life depends on the income we get from the work we do. Employees are not only concerned about the size of the income but also its security and timing. Such security, if provided, would enhance the trust and effectiveness in the organization.
3) Source of personal Identity: The work we do in our daily life is also a source of personal identity and social image. Therefore any issue such as loss of work, unpaid labour goes more ahead of just the financial pain and leads to social stress as well
4) Employers & the state: Work is very important for the employers and the state as well. The corporate sector and the growth of the economy depend on the amount of skilled labour available and the employment policies and the practices. The public policies have constantly emphasised on maximizing employment and remove barriers to engage people in the labour market.
The above elements do signify how work is important not only for the fact that it pays us the income but also for other social and welfare reasons. A detailed study of the work, workers and employment relations is thereby needed so as to establish an organization where employees work effectively and productivity is peaking.
In the 1980s, personnel