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Assess the function of the Human Resource Management in contributing to organisational purposes

01 / 10 / 2021 Assignment

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Section 1 – Explain the difference between personnel management and human resource management


Distinguish between personnel management and human resource management


CIPD (2013) suggests that the development of personnel management began around the 19th century and was created on a reaction caused by harshness of industrial conditions. The First World War accelerated change in the development of personnel management with women being recruited in large numbers to fill the positions of men going to fight. It wasn’t till the 1920’s when large industries that had large factories started to introduce jobs with titles such as Labour manager or Employment Manager to handle the absence, recruitment, dismissal and queries over bonuses.


The 1930’s saw the economy beginning to pick up and big corporations saw value in improving employee benefits as a way of recruiting, retaining and motivating employees. By 1945 employment management and welfare work had become integrated under the broad term ‘personnel management’. Experience from the war had shown that output and productivity could be influenced by employment policies. The 1960s and 70s showed a significant development in employment and personnel techniques developed using theories from social sciences about motivation and organisational behaviour. Selection testing was more widely used and management training expanded.


Sison refers to personnel management as ‘the handling, directing and controlling of individual employees rather than employees as a group’. Sison (1985)

The aim of personnel management was to bring together the men and women of an organisation and take an interest in there wellbeing and in return get a strong work force that provides results.








Assess the function of the Human Resource Management in contributing to organisational purposes


The Management Study Guide (2008-13) suggests that there are four main functions of personnel management:


1)    Manpower planning is putting the right amount of people in the right place at the right time to ensure the organisations goals are achieved.

2)    Recruitment  is divided into internal and external requirements

a.    Internal requirement takes place within the organisation this can be in forms of transfers, promotions and re employment of ex employees. 

b.    External requirement comes at a cost and takes time. The external sources of recruitment include - Employment at factory gate, advertisements, employment exchanges, employment agencies, educational institutes, labour contractors, and recommendations.

3)    Employee Selection is the process of putting right person on right job. It is the process that matches skills and qualification to the organisation and job requirement.

4)    Training is the process that enhances current skills and updates knowledge to ensure performance is kept to a high standard.


The term ‘Human Resource Management’ originated from the USA and arrived in the UK around the mid 80’s and seemed to suggest that employees were an asset or resources like machines. Today’s HR profession encompasses a number of specialist disciplines, including, diversity, reward, resourcing, employee relations, organisation development and design, learning and development. CIPD ( 2012)


Mullins states that ‘The Personnel Management/HRM debate generally centres on the extent to which either: HRM is a new and distinctive philosophy with a paradigm shift towards a more strategic approach to people management; or simply new wine in old bottles and in reality no more than a different term of what good personnel managers have always been doing’. (Mullins, 2007, p.480)


Human Resource management emerged as a result of heavy employment legislation, and from this, core issues were established such as, methods of requirement and selection, training, and working conditions. Personnel Management emerged into

Human Resource Management where it could focus on partnership agreements with emphasis on the management of employees and where the function generally now is seen as a strategic function participating in corporate strategies as the core values are in place that only need tweaking when employment legislation and best practices prevail.

Some say Personnel Management and Human Resource Management are the same; they have no difference in there meaning and can be used interchangeably. CIPD (2013)


Prabhat Suggested “Personnel management is regarded to be more administrative in nature dealing with employees their payroll and employment law. On the other hand Human Resource Management deals with management of the work force and contributes to an organisations success”. Prabhat (2011). Pinnington and Edwards expand on this suggesting that ‘Human Resource Management is the new way of thinking about how people should be managed as employees in the work place’ (Pinnigton and Edwards, 2000). A case study published by The Times goes on to say that ‘Human Resource Management is an important asset to any business. It provides expertise in:

  • managing change and facilitating training and development
  • recruitment selection and employee relations
  • pensions and benefits
  • communicating with employees

(The Times, 2013)


Evaluate the role and responsibilities of line managers in Human Resource Management


A HR department has several functions and in many organisations many functions have been devolved down to the line managers. Foot and Hook designed a tablet that discusses several activities of HRM and also what type of involvement the line manager has.










Functions of Human Resource Management


Involvement of Human Resource Management


Involvement of Line Manager



Recruitment & Selection






Design policies and procedures for fair recruitment and selection in order to contribute to the fulfilment of the organisation’s corporate strategy. Carry out interviews or monitor and give advice on interview technique or on terms and conditions of employment.


Carry Out interviews


Employee Motivation


Involvement in design and implementation of techniques to assess effectively performance of employees in a way that links with the organisations strategic plan. Train, inform and involve people in performance management techniques and encourage

line managers to work towards a high performance work force.


Contribute to achievement of a high performance workplace by taking an active role in people management and performance management of his or her own department. Involve teams and individuals in setting and agreeing targets and monitoring performance. Monitor their success and give feedback.




Training and Development


Involved in planning learning and development opportunities for the whole organisation, to meet the needs of the organisation as expressed in its strategic plan and to meet the needs of individuals. These could be formal training courses, online materials or less formal approaches such as coaching and mentoring.


May also be involved in planning and provision of training and development opportunities to meet the needs of individuals and their departmental needs linked to the organisations strategic plan, primarily for employees in his or her own department.



Employee Welfare  


Establish appropriate systems for employee welfare in accordance with the objectives of the organisation. Monitor the cost and effectiveness of this provision.


Ensure the well-being of employees in his or her department and draw their attention to, and encourage use of, any provisions designed by the organisations to improve their welfare.


Managing diversity


Developing policies about diversity and promoting and ensuring a diverse work force so that the organisation can benefit from ideas generated by individuals from a range of different backgrounds.





Equality of opportunity


Involvement in design of policies to encourage equal opportunities. Train and inform managers and all employees throughout the organisation in these. Monitor the effectiveness of equal opportunities by collecting and analysing information.


May also be involved in and contribute to the design of policies. Will be responsible for ensuring that all employees for who he or she is responsible do not suffer from any form of unfair discrimination while at work.


(Foot and Hook, 2008)


HRM works alongside every department within an organisation to ensure each department is meeting there individual targets that make up the overall strategic plan. According to Rama Rao, good human resource practices help:

1) Attract and retain talent

2) Train people for challenging roles

3) Develop skills and competencies

4) Promote team spirit

5) Develop loyalty and commitment

6) Increase productivity and profits

7) Improve job satisfaction

8) Enhance standard of living

9) Generate employment opportunities.

Rama (2010)


A lot of the activities that HRM carried out have now been devolved to line managers. According to Foot & Hook ‘a line manager is a person who has direct responsibility for employees and their work’. (Foot and Hook (2008).

It is important for line managers to have the expertise of human resource specialist available. It is important for line managers to be involved in the functions and activates of HRM as line managers have the knowledge, understanding and expertise of how their department is running. Using the skills and expertise of both line managers and HRM organisations should respond better to changes and developments within organisations and the economy.


Analyse the impact of the legal and regulatory framework on human resource management


One of the main functions in Human Resource Management is to ensure the organisation is fully aware of any relevant legislation. All policies and procedures should be in line of current legislation. Legislation is something that is continuously changing so it is an ongoing task for all organisations. The Equality Act 2010 brought together acts such as Race Relations Act and the Sex Discrimination Act. The table below lists elements of the Equality Act 2010.







Sex Discrimination


Employers should not discriminate on grounds of sex. Sex discrimination covers all aspects of employment – from recruitment to termination of a contract, and training and pay. (ACAS, 2010)

Thorrington states that ‘The only groups excluded are ministers of religion, soldiers who may serve in front line duties and employed to work abroad’. Thorrington ( 2008)


Race discrimination


The Equality Act makes it illegal to treat a person less favourably due to their colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origins. Race discrimination covers all aspects of employment – from recruitment to termination of a contract, and training and pay.


Equal Pay


Employers must give men and women equal treatment in the terms and conditions of their employment contract if they are employed on:

  • ‘like work’ – work that is the same or broadly the same
  • Work rated as equivalent under a job evaluation study, or
  • Work found to be of equal value.

(ACAS, 2010)


Disability Discrimination


A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities. Employers:

  • must not treat a disabled person less favourably because of a reason relating to their disability without a justifiable reason.
  • are required to make reasonable adjustments to working conditions or the work place where that would help to accommodate a particular disabled person.

(ACAS, 2010)




European Working Time Directive


Pinnington says that European Working Time Directive ‘creates a legal maximum of forty-eight working hours per week averaged over a four month period although employees can work longer if they wish and a number of groups are

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