ADMN222(2) - Module 1: Need for Human Resources. Topic 2:...

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Module 1: Need for Human Resources. .. Topic 2: The Changing Role of HRM and Growing Professionalism within the HR Function HRM has changed dramatically over time and has assumed an increasingly important role. As explained in the first chapter of your textbook, the emerging role of the HR department as a strategic partner has been an evolutionary process, and changes over time reflect changes in the nature of the employment relationship as well as the need for professionalism. Changing Role of HRM In the first phase, at the beginning of the twentieth century, workers had fewer rights than they have today. Companies operated from the premise that they knew what was best for employees, and anyone who disagreed was fired. Attitudes at that time might be summed up by the phrase “There’s only one thing worse than being exploited, and that is not being exploited at all.” Welfare departments were started by many companies to look after the well-being of employees but were criticized for being paternalistic. In the second phase, from about the late twenties and early thirties, members of the labour force turned increasingly to unions to support them in their efforts to get a better deal from employers. Labour relations departments mediated management relations with unionized workers, while personnel administration governed the relationship with non-union members. Over the past couple of decades the employment relationship has been governed by theoretical assumptions of the human resources movement, which gave more importance to the attitudes and feelings of workers and assumed that people wanted to contribute to meaningful goals they had helped to establish (textbook, page 19). From a virtually non-existent role prior to 1900, the role of HR departments has shifted from that of protector and screener, to planner and change agent. HR departments now play an important role in: Improving productivity responsiveness and customer service Building employee commitment Developing and implementing corporate strategy (textbook, page 23) Growing Professionalism within the HRM Function HR practitioners are increasingly becoming more professional. Every profession has four major characteristics: 1. The existence of a common body of knowledge, developed through research and experimentation, that is widely communicated through professional literature and exchanged through conferences, seminars, and workshops sponsored by the professional associations 2. Requirements and procedures for certification of members 3. Performance standards established by members of the profession rather than by outsiders (self- regulation) 4. A code of ethics by which members must abide (textbook, page 22)
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A key development in HRM in Canada is the establishment of the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA), a national umbrella organization for nine major human resources groups in Canada. The CCHRA currently represents the interests of over 33,000 HR professionals across Canada, of
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ADMN222(2) - Module 1: Need for Human Resources. Topic 2:...

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