The Development of Human Resource Management Across Nations
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The Development of Human Resource Management Across Nations

Unity and Diversity

Edited by Bruce E. Kaufman

This volume contains country studies of the historical development of human resource management (HRM) in seventeen different nations. The nations span all regions of the world and each chapter is written by a national expert. Primary attention is given to HRM developments in industry, but university research and teaching are also covered. Human resource management is defined broadly to include industrial relations and each chapter places the historical development of HRM in a broad political, social, and economic context.
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Chapter 18: The origins, evolution, and current status of human resource management in the United States

Bruce E. Kaufman


This chapter describes the historical origins and development of human resource management (HRM) in the United States of America (USA), starting in the late nineteenth century and extending to the present time. In keeping with the overall theme of the volume, HRM is defined broadly to include all forms and methods of people management in organizations; part of the interesting story told here is how this generic concept has evolved over more than a century in terms of how it is labelled, organized, practiced, and theorized. This portrait is necessarily painted with a broad brush, given not only the lengthy time period covered but also the attention to important events and ideas in the academic and practitioner realms and the influence of paradigm-shaping contextual and historical factors. Conclusions and implications from this historical survey are provided at the end.

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