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Challenges for HRM in a competitive world

Human resource management is changing more rapidly than we imagine. It has to face many challenges in day-to-day life because of environmental and technological changes.

HRM - from Command to Orientation

To overcome these challenges, how should a Human Resource Manager behave in an effective way depends on how a Human Resource Manger perceives and understands these changes?

From Industrial Age to Information Age: Work performed in factories by machines is being replaced by work in offices or at computer terminals. And instead of working with things, people increasingly work with ideas and concepts. Information and knowledge have replaced manufacturing as the source of most new jobs.

From Restricted Markets to Globalization: Our old local regional vision is giving way to a new global economic order and business vision. The new demand is think globally and act locally. We are also used to dealing with restricted or concentrated markets. We need to become accustomed to dealing with business from a new global perspective.

From Bureaucracy to Adhocracy: The rigid organizational hierarchy with its monolithic chain of command is giving way to integrated team networks based on autonomy and flexibility. Rigid departmentalization is being replaced by flexible organizational structure - business units and profit centres that change rapidly.

We are used to working in mechanical, bureaucratic, vertical and pyramidal organizations. We need to become accustomed to working in organizations that grow and change as if they were alive.

From Stability to Change: Static, permanent organizations designed for a stable and predictable world are giving way to flexible, adaptive organizations more suited for a new world of change and transformation. Emphasis on permanence, tradition and the past is giving way to creativity and innovation in the search for new solutions, new processes, and new products and services. Maintaining the status quo is less important than a vision of the future and the organization's destiny. We are used to dealing with certainty and predictability. We need to become accustomed to dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity.

From Command to Orientation: The traditional hierarchical notion of authority based on vertical imposition of orders and instructions is giving place to democratic leadership based on the organization's mission and vision. Blind, reactive obedience is giving place to spontaneous, proactive collaboration, and employee commitment. We are used to working under authoritarian, autocratic command. We need to get used to working with democratic, inspirational leadership.

From Muscular to Mental Work: Repetitive physical labour that doesn't add value is increasingly being replaced by mental creativity. Routine and monotony are giving way to innovation and a break with tradition. in the past, people were considered to be merely workers, an old concept that associated people with things. Now people are considered purveyors of activities and knowledge whose most important contributions are their intelligence and individual talents.

We are used to dealing with physical, repetitive manual labour; we need to become accustomed to dealing with mental, creative, and innovative work.

M. Diluxshy, Eastern University, Vantharumoolai To be continued



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