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Definitions

Personnel Management - Personnel Management is thus basically an administrative recordkeeping function, at the operational level. Personnel Management attempts to maintain fair terms and conditions of employment, while at the same time, efficiently managing personnel activities for individual departments etc. It is assumed that the outcomes from providing justice and achieving efficiency in the management of personnel activities will result ultimately in achieving organisational success.

Human Resource Development - Human resource management is concerned with the development and implementation of people strategies, which are integrated with corporate strategies, and ensures that the culture, values and structure of the organisation, and the quality, motivation and commitment of its members contribute fully to the achievement of its goals.

HRM is concerned with carrying out the SAME functional activities traditionally performed by the personnel function, such as HR planning, job analysis, recruitment and selection, employee relations, performance management, employee appraisals, compensation management, training and development etc. But, the HRM approach performs these functions in a qualitatively DISTINCT way, when compared with Personnel Management.

Main Differences between Personnel Management and HRM

  • Personnel management is workforce centered, directed mainly at the organisation’s employees; such as finding and training them, arranging for them to be paid, explaining management’s expectations, justifying management’s actions etc. While on the other hand, HRM is resource–centered, directed mainly at management, in terms of devolving the responsibility of HRM to line management, management development etc.
  • Although indisputably a management function, personnel management has never totally identified with management interests, as it becomes ineffective when not able to understand and articulate the aspirations and views of the workforce, just as sales representatives have to understand and articulate the aspirations of the customers.
  • Personnel Management is basically an operational function, concerned primarily with carrying out the day-to day people management activities. While on the other hand, HRM is strategic in nature, that is, being concerned with directly assisting an organisation to gain sustained competitive advantage.

HRM is more proactive than Personnel Management. Whereas personnel management is about the maintenance of personnel and administrative systems, HRM is about the forecasting of organisational needs, the continual monitoring and adjustment of personnel systems to meet current and future requirements, and the management of change.

27 Points of Difference between Personnel Management & HRD

No. Dimension Personnel Management Human Resource Development
Beliefs & Assumptions
1
Contract Careful delineation of written contracts Aim to go ‘beyond contracts’
2
Rules Importance of devising clear rules/mutuality ‘Can-do’ outlook; impatience with ‘rule’
3
Guide to management Action Procedures ‘Business – need’
4
Behaviour Referent Norms/custom & practice Values/Mission
5
Managerial Task vis-à-vis Labour Monitoring Nurturing
6
Nature of Relations Pluralist Unitarist
7
Conflict Institutionalised De-emphasised
STRATEGIC ASPECTS
8
Key Relations Labour Management Customer
9
Initiatives Piecemeal Integrated
10
Corporate Plan Marginal to Central to
11
Speed of Decision Slow Fast
LINE MANAGEMENT
12
Management Role Transactional Transformational leadership
13
Key Managers Personnel/IR Specialists General/business/line managers
14
Communication Indirect Direct
15
Standardisation High (e.g. ‘parity’ an issue) Low (e.g. ‘parity’ not seen as relevant)
16
Prized management skills Negotiation Facilitation
KEY LEVERS
17
Selection Separate, marginal task Integrated, key task
18
Pay Job Evaluation (fixed grades) Performance – related
19
Conditions Separately negotiated Harmonisation
20
Labour Management Collective bargaining contracts Towards individual contracts
21
Thrust of relations Regularised through facilities & training Marginalised (with exception of some bargaining for change models)
22
Job categories & grades Many Few
23
Communication Restricted flow Increased flow
24
Job Design Division of Labour Teamwork
25
Conflict Handling Reach temporary truces Manage climate & culture
26
Training & Development Controlled access to courses Learning companies
27
Foci of attention of interventions Personnel procedures Wide ranging cultural, structural & personnel strategies

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