In a companion volume to Managing the Human Factor,
also from Cornell, Bruce E. Kaufman shows how American firms
transitioned from the traditional "hired hand" model of human
resource management (HRM) to the modern "human resources" version
popular today. Kaufman illuminates through fifteen detailed case
studies the structure and operation of HRM programs and practices
across a diverse range of American business firms spanning the
fifty years from 1880 to 1930.
Nine of the fifteen case studies in Hired Hands or Human
Resources? examine HRM before World War I and document the
highly informal, decentralized, externalized, and sometimes harsh
nature of the people-management practices of that era. The
remaining six span the Welfare Capitalism decade of the 1920s and
reveal the marked transformation to a more progressive and
professional model of personnel practice at some companies, along
with continued reliance on the traditional model at others.
Kaufman gained access to the richly detailed audits of company
HRM programs prepared during the 1920s by Industrial Relations
Counselors, Inc., and draws upon this trove of information to
present the most in-depth, up-close evidence available of how
companies of this period managed their employees and how the
practice of HRM evolved and developed. Hired Hands or Human
Resources? features new insights into key subjects such as the
strategic versus tactical nature of early HRM, alternative models
of workforce governance used in these years, and the reasons some
companies created autonomous HRM departments.
Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior
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