Differences between HRM and Personnel Management


HR and Personnel Management

A lot has been said and written about the topic, but still there is something that pinches every HR person, when he/she hears this term. I just bought an Old book with title Personnel Management published in 1972, and in those days it was Personnel Management, going through the contents of the book brought my attention to the topic, and i tought i would write something on this. Michael Armstrong (A Respected Author on HR) calls it "Old Wine in a New Bottle" and is off the opinion that both are the same, Guest and Storey belong to another school of thought, they regard both as completely different concepts. Searching through the Old book highlighted a few things, Personnel Management concepts were limited to basics, with no focus on strategy, role of employees in developing business strength and achivement of competitive advantage, almost no focus on employee development, knowledge management, Organisational development, Organizational Learning, Organizational Change and Workplace Culture.

All these now form a major portion of the research and books written in HR. This does highlight an important phenomenon that Businesses and People have evolved, so the subject area. The changing nature of business, bombardment of information onto the customers, increased need for more skilled employees, all have contributed to this immense change that is being witnessed in HR.

The Focus of Personnel Management was more on Managing the employees, whereas with Human Resource, one thing that is contantly being witnessed is the shift in focus, increased attention on the strategic aspect of people, creating a more learned organisation, an organisation where focus is on research, and knowledge development and sharing. In a nutshell, it could be said that it is the change of terminologies, but HR has more concerned areas of interest that Personnel Management, the change/move/shift can be attributed to the change of times, shift in competition, increased globalization or need for talented employees.