Hired hands or human resources?: case studies of HRM programs and practices in early American industry

February 23, 2010

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.

Hired hands or human resources? : case studies of HRM programs and practices in early American industry / Bruce E. Kaufman.  Ithaca, N.Y.: ILR Press, 2010. xi, 254 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.   ISBN 978-0-8014-4830-0

For more information on the availability of this title from the University of Toronto Libraries catalogue, click here.

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