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Human resources is a relatively modern management term, coined in the 1960s. 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, co-ordinating 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 corporations, reflecting the adoption of a more quantitative as well as strategic approach to workforce management, demanded by corporate management and the greater competitiveness for limited and highly skilled workers. 

 

Background 

The use of the term 'human resources' by organizations to describe the workforce capacity available to devote to the achievement of its strategies 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 economyand economics, where it was traditionally called labor, one of four factors of production– although this perspective has shifted as a consequence of further ongoing research into more strategic approaches.[1]This first usage is used more in terms of 'human resources development' of the individuals within an organization, although the approach can also be applied beyond the level of the organization to that of industry sectors and nations.[2] 

History 

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