Human resources

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Human resources is a term used to describe the individuals who comprise the workforce of an organization, although it is also applied in labor economics to, for example, business sectors or even whole nations. Human resources is also the name of the function within an organization charged with the overall responsibility for implementing strategies and policies relating to the management of individuals (i.e. the human resources). This function title is often abbreviated to the initials 'HR'.

Human resources is a relatively modern management term, coined as early as the 1960s - when humanity took a shift as human rights came to a brighter light during the Vietnam Era.[citation needed] The origins of the function arose in organizations that introduced 'welfare management' practices and also in those that adopted the principles of 'scientific management'. From these terms emerged a largely administrative management activity, coordinating a range of worker related processes and becoming known, in time as the 'personnel function'. Human resources progressively became the more usual name for this function, in the first instance in the United States as well as multinational or international corporations, reflecting the adoption of a more quantitative as well as strategic approach to workforce management, demanded by corporate management to gain a competitive advantage, utilizing limited skilled and highly skilled workers.



The term 'human resources' as used in organizations describes the workforce capacity available to devoted to achievement of their objectives. The subject has drawn upon concepts developed in industrial/organizational psychology and system theory. Human resources has at least two related interpretations depending on context. The original usage derives from political economy and economics, where it was traditionally called labor, one of four factors of production. This perspective has shifted as a consequence of further ongoing research into more applied approaches.[1] The subject has expanded to 'human resources development', also called 'investment in human capital'. Such development may apply to individuals within an organization or applied beyond the level of the organization to that of industry sectors and nations.[2]

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