Human Resource Management And The Bureaucratic Era

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Human Resource Management is a vital function in any organisation and operates in legal and social environments that are becoming increasingly complex. It is defined as the process and practice of managing and advising executives on staff recruitment, selection, retention and development (Clegg, Kornberger & Pitsis 2011). In the post-bureaucratic era, these management styles have altered to cater towards satisfying employees through intrinsic rewards by providing pride, relationships, meaning and a sense of accomplishment through their work (Clegg, Josserand & Teo 2006). Throughout this essay, the evolution of human resource management from the bureaucratic era’s ‘hard theories’ to the post-bureaucratic era’s ‘soft theories’ will be…show more content…
Taylorism is a management system which was popular in the late 19th century. It was designed to increase efficiency by breaking down and specialising repetitive tasks. This is exhibited as mentioned in ‘Selection and Development: A new perspective on some old problems’ that several jobs presently no longer consist of clusters of similar tasks, but are now process based collections of activities (Harrington, Hill & Linley 2005). According to Weber’s foundation of organisation theory; bureaucracy was portrayed as an “instrument or tool of unrivalled technical superiority which entailed charismatic, traditional and rational authority” (1978, cited in Clegg 1994). Thereafter, other theories derived based on the instrument being used as a form of manipulation. This is evident in Knights & Roberts’ (1982) concept of human resource management and staff misunderstanding the nature of power, treating it as if it were an individual possession, as opposed to a relationship between people (Knights & Roberts 1982). Subsequently, this led to the establishment of unions and increasing cooperative resistance in the workplace as employees seek change in the occupational structure (Courpasson & Clegg 2012). The change in this occupational structure was based around the ‘superior-inferior’ concept where managers prioritise their own success
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