1.1     background of the study

The term human resource management has come to the fore in recent years. There is a growing awareness by management and personnel specialist that the organization is an organic entity and that its parts are so inter dependent that a change cannot be introduced in one place without affecting the entire organization.

The importance of human resource of any organization whether public or private has long been identified. Human beings are resource to any organization, just like inventories or cash in bank. They are the most important asset in an organization. Organizational objectives such as profit maximization, market share, social responsibilities, cannot be fulfilled without human beings who co-ordinate the activities of the organization using other factors of production. The realization of the value of human capital to any organization has led to a proposal by experts that people should be classified as “assets” and to be so recorded in accounting records.

Investment in human capital is a worthy and necessary expenditure if an organization is to discharge its legal, statutory and social responsibilities to the owners, government, the public and society at large.

Where yesterday’s personnel administrators used to be mainly for keeping employees and managers from each other’s throats, today’s human resource managers bring together employees and employers as a partnership in profitable operation and global competitiveness.

Human resource management involves all management decision and practices, which directly affect or influence the people who work for the organization. It brings about improvement in the quality of work life, productivity, job satisfaction, training and development for change.

Human resource management is a modern term for what has traditionally been referred to as, personnel administration or personnel management. Some authors view human resource management as being somewhat different from traditional personnel management. They see personnel management as much narrower and more clerically oriented than human resource management. For the purpose of this study, we will use the term, human resource management.

Human resource management brings about improvement in the quality of work life, productivity, job satisfaction, training and development and readiness for change.

Human resource management is to improve the productive contribution of people to the organization in ways that are strategically, ethically, and socially responsible.

Human resources management embraces those activities designed to provide for and co-ordinate the human resources of an organization. It involves management decisions and practices that directly affect or influence the people who work in the organization (Ugbaja, 2002: 78). It emphasizes the individual employee as against collective relation between management and labour.

According to Metcalf (2003: 1), Human resources management involves management relying less on hierarchy and command but becoming more participative and open. The aim is to promote co-operative relations between management and employees and to avoid controversies associated with traditional industrial relations.

Human resources management requires a package of measures including employee involvement, relating pay to performance, care with selection and training and fair treatment of employees.

According to Nwatu (2000: 49), organizations operating human resources management policies devote resources to staff recruitment, selection, training and development as well as social welfare and security schemes. They are particularly keen to employ individuals who can operate flexibly and adopt to different tasks as opposed to keeping rigidly to defined job demarcations. They must also be able to adapt to rapidly changing work arrangement.

Some of the Human resources challenges that face most organization are in recruitment, performance management, training and development, motivation and compensation management. Recruitment has become an important element in human resource management.

Human resources determine every organization’s success. Human resources have become an indispensable factor of production system. Thus, every firm uses its human resources to achieve its goal. However, not all types of human resources are needed by all organizations. In 1950s automation (robotic Engineering) targeted at displacing workers with machine, Imaga (1996:288) became possible task. Rather than eliminating human labour, its consequence was improved labour quality (job skill and job satisfaction).

This is accomplished by training high-level manpower to operate and manipulate robot/machines. An insight into Japanese industrial revolution reveal that her greatest resource is either land which is relatively too small nor capital which lack a formidable base,  but it was her  human resource which is almost 100% literate and skilled as a result of training and development.

According to Lioyd L. Byars and Leslie W. Rue (1991:6-7) Human resource functions are concerned with variety of activities that significantly influence all areas of organization and include the following: