Affirmative Action, Quality Circles, Quality of Work Life- to mention only a few. Encouraged by severe economic pressure, radical social changes, rising expectations of the workforce, and increased international competition, human resource management has become a predominant element in organizational management today.
An interesting side effect of the growing prominence of human resource management is the increased status of the traditional personnel administration department. Today top personnel executives are often part of the senior decision-making group in corporations. Reflecting this change, the salaries of top-level human resource managers have risen faster than those of most other groups in corporations over the last few years. This evidence, while strongly supporting the increased status of human resource management, also suggests that top management has opened the door to people with higher level expertise in managing human resources.
The term “human resource” itself connotes a move away from the traditional view of the employee as a necessary expense in doing business toward an understanding of the employee as a critical investment in the performance and growth of the organization. Many pressures have created a need for more institutional attention to people. Increases in international competition, organization size and complexity, educational level of the work force, changes in demographics, and values among employees have created a longer term perspective in managing people as potential assets rather than merely as a cost of doing business.
From an open systems perspective, human resource management is the umbrella under which human resource planning and, in turn, executive succession planning fall. Human resource planning focuses on macro issues, such as organizational goals; while succession planning deals with micro human resource issues, such as the identification of the type of managers who should be developing and moving into key positions in the organization.