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
M. Diluxshy, Eastern University, Vantharumoolai To be continued