The Key Functions Of Management Essay

1651 Words7 Pages
It is important to note that the phrase "human resources" is relatively recent. When Drucker (1954) coined it, he described managing human resources as one of the three key functions of management (Marciano, 1995). Changing the function 's name from "personnel" to "human resources" reflected more complex understandings about worker motivation among HR practitioners and an interest in shedding the clerkish, bureaucratic image associated with the prior name. With the new name came new visions for HR and changing role expectations.
We are not the first to suggest that HR examine its past (see Ulrich et al., 1997). Yet, our call to honour the past as it pertains to HR and organisational change takes a slightly different view of what is meant by the past. Dave Ulrich, a well-known HR voice in the academic community, speaks of HR 's history in the singular. "We have a great heritage", he recently said about HR (Bates, 2002, p. 32). As we look to the past, however, we find no unitary history. HR 's great heritage is neither singular nor linear; it is comprised of diverse traditions and histories, making the phrase "great heritages" more accurate. The different heritages of HR reflect different interests and concerns, some of which may be comfortably reconciled and some of which may not be.
If we understand how the relationship between HR and change developed, we gain a deeper understanding of the uncertainty and divided loyalties reflected in the contemporary discourse
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