Human resource management
Human resource management (HRM, or simply HR) is the management of an organization's workforce, or human resources. It is responsible for the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizationalleadership and culture, and ensuring compliance with employment and labor laws. In circumstances where employees desire and are legally authorized to hold a collective bargaining agreement, HR will also serve as the company's primary liaison with the employees' representatives (usually a labor union).
HR is a product of the human relations movement of the early 20th century, when researchers began documenting ways of creating business value through the strategic management of the workforce. The function was initially dominated by transactional work such aspayroll and benefits administration, but due to globalization, company consolidation, technological advancement, and further research, HR now focuses on strategic initiatives like mergers and acquisitions, talent management, succession planning, industrial and labor relations, and diversity and inclusion.
In startup companies, HR's duties may be performed by a handful of trained professionals or even by non-HR personnel. In larger companies, an entire functional group is typically dedicated to the discipline, with staff specializing in various HR tasks and functional leadership engaging in strategic decision making across the business. To train practitioners for the profession, institutions of higher education, professional associations, and companies themselves have created programs of study dedicated explicitly to the duties of the function. Academic and practitioner organizations likewise seek to engage and further the field of HR, as evidenced by several field-specific publications.
HR spawned from the human relations movement, which began in the early 20th century due to work by Frederick Taylor in lean manufacturing. Taylor explored what he termed "scientific management" (later referred to by others as "Taylorism"), striving to improveeconomic efficiency in manufacturing jobs. He eventually keyed in on one of the principal inputs into the manufacturing process—labor—sparking inquiry into workforce productivity.
The movement was formalized following the research of Elton Mayo, whose Hawthorne studies serendipitously documented how stimuli unrelated to financial compensation and working conditions—attention and engagement—yielded more productive workers.Contemporaneous work by Abraham Maslow, Kurt Lewin, Max Weber, Frederick Herzberg, and David McClelland formed the basis for studies in organizational behavior and organizational theory, giving room for an applied discipline.
Antecedent theoretical developments
Birth and evolution of the discipline
In popular media