Differences Between Personnel Management And Human Resource Management Essay

Nowadays, we can see some changes that we all have experienced in social, political, economic and technological aspects in depth especially to the style and management regime of their goals that a company must make to achieve maximum impact of the rapid changes in the industry.

In our research paper we are concentrating on researching about the comparison between Personnel Management and Human Resource Management, it is related to the phrase “the same wine, only different bottles”. In this topic, we will try to clearly explain what is meant by the term Human Resource Management (HRM) and Personnel Management (PM), and clarify the differences and similarities between the both of them.

Our research begins with some differences and similarities of Personnel Management and Human Resource Management according to some references from the internet and books to apply to the phrase “the same wine, only different bottles “. Besides that, we will give our argument in favor to one of the approach to managing employees. In our argument we believe that Human Resource Management will be preferred to managing employees and we will give some our idea of Human Resource Management to help us in the future . We also have some examples to prove and demonstrate own opinions regarding our topic. Finally, we will have a conclusion summarize our research.

Differences Personnel Management and Human Resource Management

As we all know nowadays, management is very important in hospitality industry as well as the other industries. According to our research, we can find some differences between Personnel Management and Human Resource Management. We highlighted some of the differences for example, Human Resource Management create a more flexible condition whilst Personnel Management establishes rules and regulations. (Blurtit, 2007-2010), (Storey, 1995)

First of all, Personnel Management is a combination of a traditional routine, and it can also include reporting to administrative job as well as it is applied to support managers, while Human Resource Management does not only focus in the importance of employees, but also about the importance of obtaining continuous benefits for organization’s management team. (Blurtit, 2007-2010), (Storey, 1995)

According to the theory of Human Resource Management in planning perspective, it was also said that Personnel Management can be described as a reactive and it provides response to demands and concerns in a management, another way is a psychological contract which needs compliance from managers. For Personnel Management however, it includes procedures, consistency and audit, which mean that Personnel Management will usually need to take a look and let the employees know their responsibilities of the team or department, and they will also need to think about the emotions of their employees for example, how can they do or what are they thinking about their job. With Human Resource Management actions include to set up and organize needs, flexibilities and commitments, which are related to the strategies for managers and the development organizations of their team, it is proactive and long, and it is related to continuous development policies with purposes of improving to manpower. (Blurtit, 2007-2010), (Storey, 1995)

Now we move to control system of both of Personnel Management and Human Resource Management. In theory, Personnel Management has external control which they usually find some help from other function instead of dealing with it by themselves. By contrast, Human Resource Management is self control, which means for example, when a company has a problem they will be able to solve it by themselves and they do not need any support from the other departments or other teams. (Blurtit, 2007-2010), (Storey, 1995)

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The relationship between management and employees under Personnel Management rather than monitoring and control, because Personnel Management are like pluralist so they need to do a lot of different functions and normally Personnel Management have some difference in space amongst their employees for example, Personnel Management have some divide class with employee, sometime they think that their employees are not good enough to solve problems so they will contact the management instead of their employees and that is why there will be low trust from their employees. With Human Resource Management, they normally care about the benefits of an establishment so they tend to always to listen their employees and they also care about improving the problem of employee satisfaction, interest in working groups and effective for employee job, active participation, evaluation and reward policies and training cost for example, how can the employees control the work, so this is why we think that Human Resource Management is individual and has high trust from their employees. (Storey, 1995), (Blurtit, 2007-2010)

Personnel Management prefers a structure that is bureaucratic, which means that it always follows any decisions and they normally think they are always true so they are said to be a defined role in their job and Human Resource Management is a more organic and flexible role because Human Resource Management creates a good team work and they can help employees feel comfortable in their work, as we mentioned before Human Resource Management is a very flexible role because if their employees are not good for working, they can help send their employees for training to elevate their talent, for example. Human Resource Management is more individualistic. (Blurtit, 2007-2010), (Storey, 1995)

These are some major differences between Personnel Management and Human Resource Management as we have researched and explained before. Here is a summary of some main points according to what we have researched from Guest (1987) identifies the differences as:

Long-term rather than short term

Psychological commitment rather than compliance

Self control rather than external control

Unitarian rather than pluralist

Organic rather than bureaucratic

Integration rather than specialist

The Similarities of Personnel Management and Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management is defined as an administrative activity that relates with human resources planning, recruitment, selection, orientation, training, appraisal, motivation, providing benefits and incentives, etc. Human Resource Management aims at developing people through work. (Businessdictionary.com, 2010)

Although so, there have been many attempts to define what exactly Human Resource Management might be and as stated by Heery and Noon (2001):

“It has been recognized that Human Resource Management is a subject of considerable academic analysis and that, ultimately, “there is no common agreement on what Human Resource Management actually means.” (Heery & Noon, 2001, p.161)

According to Heery and Noon, there are a few definitions which they feel capture the complication and dynamism of Human Resource Management:

It is seen as simply being another name for personnel management and there is nothing different or special about it.

A convenient shorthand term that allows for the assemblage of a whole series of sub-disciplines that are mostly concerned with people management: such as employee relations, labour relations, personnel management and organizational behavior.

Used as a map to help guide to understand the concept and ideas associated with the management of people.

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Set of professional practices suggests that there are a range of personnel practices that can be integrated to ensure a professional approach to managing people.

A method of ensuring internal fit again sees the need to co-ordinate approaches to people management, also with other areas of the organization.

A method of ensuring external fit where the activities have to be fully integrated with the demands of the external environment.

A competitive advantage where by an organization can gain competitive advantage, a view best captured by the cliché of ‘our people are our greatest asset’.

A market-driven approach is that decisions will often be market driven and the needs of the business determine the manner in which employees are treated.

Manipulative device sees it as inherently exploitative and manipulative. (Heery & Noon, 2001)

However, Personnel Management is defined as an administrative discipline of hiring and developing employees so that they become more valuable to the organization. Personnel management includes conducting job analysis, planning personnel needs, recruitment, selection, orienting, training, managing wages and salaries, providing benefits and incentives, appraising performances, resolving disputes and communicating with all employees at all levels. (businessdictionary.com, 2010)

There is not much of a difference between the two as it was said that the newer alternative term Human Resource Management has been used rather than Personnel Management, reflecting the increased importance of this function in labor-intensive, service-sector industries. Here are the similarities between Human Resource Management and Personnel Management:

Planning employees’ needs

In charge of the recruitment and the selection of staff

In charge of the orientation and training of staff

Manage employees’ wages and salaries

Assess employees (appraisal)

Motivate and have constantly communication with employees

Provide benefits and incentives for employees

In addition, according to Armstrong (1992) there are similarities between the Human Resource Management and Personnel Management that has been summarized below:

Both of their strategies result from the business strategy

Both need line managers in order to manage people

One of their basic process is to put the right people into the right jobs

Both they use almost the same techniques such as rewarding, training, appraisal, etc.

Personnel Management prefers the “soft” version of Human Resource Management which stresses the significance of constant communication with the employees as well as respect for the individual. (Armstrong, 2000)

“The same wine, only different bottles”

In this case, we agree that both Human Resource Management and Personnel Management are “the same wine, only different bottles.” This means that it is just the names that are different, but the job descriptions and objectives are the practically the same. It is just stated that the Human Resource Management has a broader scope compared to Personnel Management yet what they do are basically the same, managing people. As stated above, both of their strategies result from the business strategy, both need line managers in order to manage their people in their organization, put the right people into the right jobs, manage their employees’ wages and salaries, they use almost the same techniques such as motivating, orienting, training, appraisal, etc. of their staff, as well as providing benefits and incentives for employees. (N. Madison, 2003-2010)

Human Resource Management is Preferred for Managing Employees

From the differences and similarities stated above, we strongly believe that Human Resource Management is the first-rate choice and that it should also be the favourable management for managing employees in every organization. Reasons are as follows:

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Human Resource Management is the most effective way of managing people

Human Resource Management is ideal in hiring the right people for the right positions in the organization

Any problems or complications that occur in an organization, the Human Resource Management are the ones to turn to, to simplify them

Human Resource Management involves ongoing strategies to manage and develop an organization’s workforce

Human Resource Management is proactive as constant improvement of functions and policies is important for the development of employees

Employees of an organization’s managers of all levels often involve themselves and their main goal is to have managers from a range of departments to develop the essential skills to handle every staff-related task

Having Human Resource Management in an organization, primary motivators like work groups, strategies for meeting challenges and job creativity are perceived

Human resource management does not only focus in the importance of employees, but also about the importance of obtaining continuous benefits for organization’s management team

Finally we have summarized a few points of Human Resource Management to help us in the future. They are as follows:

People are the most important assets that a business has. The success of the enterprise depends on the effectiveness of the “people management” of you-including the management of myself, managing employees, customers, suppliers and lenders as how?

Supply management, work environment you provide for your employees and how to communicate the values and goals will determine your success and the success of the business.

To achieve the objectives and implementation of strategic plans you need to link closely the personnel policies and procedures with business objectives. For example, you need to know when and why to recruit staff, what you expect from them, you will be rewarded and / or discipline employees can do to achieve their strategic business goals.


For the conclusion of our research, we believe that Human Resource Management it the best choice for managing employees. In addition, we also believe that if all the organizations in every industry use Human Resource Management, it is definitely better than Personnel Management in ways of their functions. For example, it can make their department harmonious and they can recruit the best people for the right positions. Also, the trouble of your organization can easily be fixed through the Human Resource Management department. This is because Human Resource Management are meant to and always there to manage their employees that they have as well as for their future employees, in every way possible. From our research, we found that with the ways of Human Resource Management, the employees find it easier to realize their values towards an organization. However, we also found that the Personnel Management and the Human Resource Management have their own way of management even though they have the same objectives.

Last but not least, we strongly agree that Human Resource Management is more effective than compared to Personnel Management based on the examples and the history that we have mentioned above. This project gave us the opportunity to understand more about the Human Resource Management and Personnel Management, and its effects on an organization. This is also very important for us to acquire the knowledge which we will definitely need for our future undertakings in the working industry.

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