ABSTRACT

The 70s understanding of Personnel Management (PM), marked by the functional, collective bargaining and administration roles of policies and procedures (Legge, 1989; Tyson, 1987; Walton, 1980), was seriously challenged by the economic and political realities of the 80s. PM became associated with bureaucratic management thinking. This was replaced with Human Resource Management (HRM) which adopted a more holistic view of the organisation and dealt with all its human resources in a strategic way (Walton, 1980; Guest, 1987; Torrington and Hall, 1995; Purcell, 1989). The stereo-types of PM and HRM were highlighted by the comparisons which were made between the short term reactive, ad hoc managerial approach and the long term proactive, strategic and integrated views (Guest, 1987). Thus, emphasis was placed on high level 'commitment' as opposed to ensuring 'compliance' and maintaining 'control' within the enterprise (Etzione, 1975; Salanak, 1977). As Teagarden and Vonclinour (1997) aptly pointed out, 'HRM is evolving from being a mere support function to one of strategic importance under the light of globalisation'.