Organizations are familiar with the forces that have an effect on the way they function as well as the way in which they are managed. The advancement in technology as well as, product/ service, transforms challenge managers, the main challenge faced by managers is how to manage. The challenges experienced by managers are time and energy-consuming. The contradiction that exists is that in spite of the resources used to educate as well as train managers, they do not feel confident enough to deal with the challenges facing them (Redman and Wilkinson, 2006). This study aims to look at the proposition that treating people as human beings is not mutually exclusive in view of human resource management.
Employees as human beings
It is noteworthy that human resource management sees its employees first as human beings. It, therefore, gives a lot of importance to the humane aspect of employees in a meaningful way. In this case, employees are seen to constitute for the most part a very significant aspect in the public sector. When it comes to the management of employees in any organization it should be noted that the people side of the employee in an organization should be focused on. Secondly, an organization should fashion the value of the organization as well as the labor force as well as the definitive worth for the society. It does not matter the extent to which an organization’s size is, the goal of the organization as well as how advanced the organization is in terms of technology, what matters is that the populace is the determinant factor when it comes to facing challenges. Achievement or disappointment acts as the turning point on the capability of a company to draw, widen, retrain as well as motivate a dissimilar employee people who are skilled. It is the human factor in any organization which pushes an organization towards achieving its goals (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2001). Redman and Wilkinson (2006), argue that the basic dignity of human labor should be recognized such that employees are regarded as human beings forming the labor force.
It is noteworthy that associations are made up of a populace that has spirit and soul. From this populace, we have individuals who present a value system and peculiar code of conduct (Banfield and Kay, 2008). Moreover, each individual is unique in character and this is easily recognized from one employee to another. However, despite the diversity in each employee, the human aspect of an employee is emphasized in human resource management (Gilmore and Williams, 2009).
People as a resource and asset
According to Pilbeam and Corbridge (2010), it is a reality that people are an asset to an organization. He argues that though not every employee has the same potential as the other, they are however important to a company and these employees will steer ahead of the growth of any organization. It, therefore, follows that management of human resources is important to organizations especially in the twenty-first century. It is noteworthy that one of the most complicated resources to duplicate is human resources and this is what symbolizes the uniqueness of a company’s lead competitiveness. It is therefore imperative for a company to look for as well as recruit the most talented people available, and thus give those jobs that are significant to as well as rewarding to the employees. The environment should also be supportive, as well as develop and utilize their capabilities in a manner that will ensure that they will perform the job they occupy to the best of their ability.
The contrast in management philosophies
A company’s management philosophy refers to a set of common values adopted by the members of that organization. A management philosophy may form the basis for a good working environment and persuade a manager’s approach to motivation. A manager’s behavior towards the employees will influence the employee’s character. There exist a number of management philosophies. One such model is Porter’s five forces model. According to this model managing people involves a policy that is aggressive, in this case, aggressiveness as well as growth in the economy of states, nations, as well as regions plus the submission of competitive principles to social problems like the environment, health care, as well as corporate responsibility. He argues that decision making by managers is dependent on five forces which include:
- The bargaining power of suppliers.
- The bargaining power of customers.
- The threat of new entrants.
- The threat of substitute products and
- Competitive rivalry.
He further argues that managers have to take into consideration each market force with attentiveness through a subsequent principle. When looking at all these forces a manager has to keep in mind how these forces come into play in order to affect the growth of a business. His philosophy is more focused on the way administrative decisions are made and in a strategized way. This model deals more with the management plan as well as the CEO headship but it does not give any opinion on how people should be managed.
There is also Peter’s model of management. This model argues that the success of any organization comes from proper management of action, values, action, execution, as well as entrepreneurship. He argued that in order for one to become an excellent manager, one has to have various attributes. One such attribute is closeness to the consumer where companies pay attention to their consumer’s needs. Secondly, there has to be a bias for action (Peter, 2010). In this case, the operations of a company should not be delayed due to frequent postponing. There also has to be independence as well as free enterprise. This in turn ensures that organizations encourage innovativeness as well as originality in their workers. Fourthly the productiveness in people- a company should take care of their employees by treating them with dignity as they are not just workers but resources with great ideas. Fifth a company should have a philosophy that is value-driven. A good company should also ensure that it has managers who keep to the main business course and follow it to the end. The organizational structure of a good organization should also have a simplified management structure such that it does not have many workers at the top. A good organization should also have essential ideals that promote independence at all stages. Besides the management principles that he believed would steer a company ahead, he also advocated for the worker’s progress as well as empowerment.
When comparing the above management philosophies it is noteworthy that, both Porter and Peter’s philosophies of management are high ranking in terms of management even for years to come. The difference between these two models is that Porter’s focal point was on planning that was strategic whose main was to bring profits. The result of this would be shortsightedness. Companies utilizing this model should look into longevity firmness. As an organization gets more and more complex one must be cautious to ensure that one stays within the confines of the organization for the maintenance of a stable growth rate. Strategic planning is necessary when utilizing this model through the incorporation of employees in the decision-making process to ensure there is no resistance or lack of motivation, due to failure of involvement during the decision-making process. Companies like conduct have felt the impact due to failure of adaptation to the changing times. To circumvent this situation a manager should have up-to-date information about the changing environment and change with it (Redman and Wilkinson, 2006). Despite the fact that this model gives the provision of a strategic plan, it however falls short in the fact that it does not pay attention to the employees.
On the other hand, Peter’s model focuses on the management of customers, employees, employee innovation, values, entrepreneurship as well as the business culture. Porter’s five model main focal points is the bottom line. Peter’s model recognizes employees as the key to a company achieving its success. It recognizes that employees should be managed under stipulated aspirations as well as objectives; however, the manner in which these aspirations are achieved should be elastic away from the conventional strategic tactics which are non-elastic. Peter’s model main focal point is goal setting, empowerment, team building as well as visioning. The utilization of this model in companies ensures innovativeness among the employees and in turn the young managers, grow, learn as well as become innovative.
The ethical dimension – people as means to and end in a utilitarian capitalist system
Ethics in a utilitarian capitalist system borrows from the idea of Jeremy Bentham. Jeremy argues that resolutions are made on the basis of their consequences. Utilitarianism has also been criticized for being insistent on the full maximization of the good. It does not discuss anything about the allocation of this good. Beardwell et al (2004), criticize this school of thought for it does not put into consideration the issue of justice. If this principle is followed the interests of the majority will be upheld whilst the minorities are persecuted.
Firms’ bureaucratic and hierarchical form in a ‘free’ democratic society
According to McKenna and Beech 2002, the ideal type of organization is one that is bureaucratic. These bureaucratic organizations are characterized by various dimensions one being the fact bureaucratic organizations are hierarchical in nature. This bureaucratic nature is characterized by regulations, rules as well as precedents. Consequently, due to this over-commitment, there is compliance when it comes to authority from the top managers rather than experimenting they learn from mistakes, and respond in a creative manner to change the condition as well as the opportunity. In cases where the bureaucracy hierarchical system is strict, power, as well as instigation, comes from the top management to the lower levels of management. In this case, the top management really believes in relying on rules for them to ensure that they control their juniors. This then leads to inefficiency as opposed to efficiency due to the bureaucratic nature in these organizations which do not give room for innovation as there are strict rules to be followed.
HR systems at a collective level; managing people at an individual level
HR systems functions rely on policies of selective staffing, comprehensive training as well as pay for performance in combination to encourage employee commitment toward the organization and also maximize their contributions toward organizational performance. According to McKenna and Beech, (2002), employees are human beings first. Employees are human beings, as well as the human resource or capital of the organizations as they add value through a diversity of experience, knowledge, skills as well understandings. They also signify exceptional cultures significant to the organization.
A lot of emphases is put on human resource management in that employees are seen as the controlled whole empowered from different spheres of life be it political, social or economic. Human resource positions man at the center of development and acknowledge that man is more important than policies- rules and prescripts. During the process of human resource management, the distinctiveness of each employee, in an organization should be put in mind such that it is incorporated in an organization’s existence (McKenna and Beech, 2002). When utilizing the HR management systems it should be put in mind that employees are human beings and hence when dealing with them at an individual as well as the collective level they should be treated humanely.
When evaluating Human Resource management it emerges that the utilization of the Human Resource Model exposes one to paradoxes. A paradox comes in when something is ambiguous or inconsistent, whereby two or more situations which echo reason but are however conflicting. The paradox is intrinsic in Human Resource Management. It mainly occurs when managers pursuing a certain goal, carry out measures that are in contradiction to the goals that an organization is trying to accomplish. Critics of the HRM model call this a paradox of consequence that emanates from practices as well as policies, drawn from the Weberian idea. A case in point is when organizations have new designs introduced for the improvement of production as well as the independence of the employee. Nevertheless, the advantages emanating from the new organizational forms come with a lot of injurious outcomes on the psychological contract which, have the effect of undermining other espoused goals such as loyalty plus commitment. Moreover, vagueness comes in the definition of Human Resource Management, where the role cannot be clearly defined whether the role is to care or to control (Watson, 2004). Furthermore, these contradictions come in due to the capitalist employment relations as well as patriarchy.
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that the proposition that treating human beings as people is not mutually exclusive as valid. This is based on the fact managers in organizations realize that employees are assets that contribute greatly to a company’s success. However, utilization of some management philosophies, like the Porter five models does not appreciate the value of employees as their main focus is on profits. Peter’s model on the other hand appreciates this fact and is geared towards upholding an employee’s dignity. In light of utilizing bureaucracy in a democratic society does not focus on the well-being of the employee as the main focus is on following the laid down rules no matter what the outcome. It is imperative for ethics to be upheld in a capitalist system to ensure the well-being of employees. However, a paradox exists when human resource managers are carrying out their task which is either to care for the employees or to control the employees.
List of References
Banfield, P. & Kay, R. 2008. Introduction to Human Resource Management. Oxford: University Press.
Beardwell, Holden & Claydon 2004. Human Resource Management – A Contemporary Approach (4th edition) Pearson FT: Prentice Hall
Gilmore, S. & Williams, S. 2009. Human Resource Management. A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice (11th edition) London: Oxford University Press.
Kreitner, R. & Kinicki, A. 2001. Organizational Behavior. USA: Irwin McGraw- Hill.
McKenna and Beech 2002. Human Resource Management – a concise analysis Pearson FT: Prentice Hall
Pilbeam & Corbridge 2010. People Resourcing and Talent Planning, 4th Edition. FT: Prentice Hall.
Redman & Wilkinson 2006. Contemporary Human Resource Management – Text and Cases Pearson FT: Prentice Hall
Watson, T. 2004. HRM and critical social sciences. Journal of Management Studies, 41 (3): 447-67.