Human Resource Management: Discussion Human Resource Management: Essay

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Human Resource Management: Discussion

Human Resource Management: A Concise Definition

It is important to note from the onset that human resource management (HRM) does not have an assigned definition. This essentially means that in the past, numerous authors and management experts have offered a variety of definitions with regard to HRM in an attempt to solve the ambiguity that has surrounded the said definition over time. Indeed, as Blyton and Turnbull (as cited in Collings and Wood, 2009) point out, the ways in which practitioners and academics have used the term "indicates both variations in meaning and significantly different emphases on what constitutes its core components" (p. 1). In seeking to wholly define HRM, I will take into consideration a number of definitions that have been floated in the past.

To begin with, HRM according to Beer et al., (as cited in Price, 2011) "involves all management decisions that affect the relationship between the organization and employees -- its human resources" (p. 27). In this case, human resources in the opinion of the author is an umbrella term for all those who work in a given organization. On the other hand, HRM in the opinion of the American Management Association (as cited in Price, 2011) can still be defined as "the organizational function accountable for obtaining and maintaining qualified employees" (p. 27). As per this definition, HRM is synonymous with personnel management. As an organizational function, HRM may therefore be concerned with activities such as the procurement, compensation as well as development of employees.

Next, we have yet another meaningful definition to human resource management as proposed by Cascio. According to Cascio (as cited in Price, 2011) HRM is essentially "the attraction, selection, retention, development...
...27). This is the definition of HRM that will be adopted in this discussion.

The Primary Functions of Human Resource Management

Human resource management functions could either be primary or secondary. In this section, I will concern myself with the primary functions of HRM which in the words of Sims (2007) include "human resource planning, equal employment opportunity, staffing (recruitment and selection), compensation and benefits, employee (labor) relations, health, safety, and security, and human resource development" (p. 321).

To begin with, when it comes to human resource planning, it is important to note that organizations must plan for not only the present but also the future especially with regard to the demand and supply of human resources. As Werner and DeSimone (2011) point out, HR planning activities come in handy in the prediction of how human resource needs could be affected by changes in management strategy.

Next, we have equal employment opportunity which as a primary function of HRM concerns itself with the various responsibilities an organization has as far as the enhancement of fair and just procedures as well as policies relating to compensation, appraisal, and hiring is concerned. According to Werner and DeSimone (2011), an organization has a number of moral and legal responsibilities it must adhere to and it is for this reason that it must ensure that it does not engage in discriminatory hiring, training, or even compensation practices.

Third, staffing (recruitment and selection) has got to do with…

Sources Used in Documents:


Collings, D.G. & Wood, G. (Eds.). (2009). Human Resources Management: A Critical Approach. New York, NY: Routledge

Price, A. (2011). Human Resource Management (4th ed.). Hampshire: Cengage Learning.

Sims, R.R. (Ed.). (2007). Human Resource Management: Contemporary Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities. Charlotte, NC: IAP.

Werner, J.M. & DeSimone, R.L. (2011). Human Resource Development (6th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

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