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Importance of Human Resources and Management

Organizational competitiveness lies within the capabilities of employees and the processes used to recruit, train, develop, and manage the human resources that contribute to the bottom line of our organizations. The idea that human resource management has some utility within organizations, beyond satisfying regulatory agencies and employees, is not new. In fact, the belief that individual employee performance has implications for firm-level outcomes has been prevalent among academics and practitioners for many years (Huselid, 1995).

However, introduction of the knowledge worker, increased communication due to technology, and the ever-growing global economy has created an increased focus on the best ways to manage human resources within organizations. All organizations find themselves in a growing global competitive market since entering the 21st Century. The days of simple job tasks and market domination are clearly over. The shift from an industrial to a knowledge society and the rise of human capital have created and environment that challenges organizations to stay competitive.

The last two decades have been met with a substantial increase in awareness concerning the value of human resources in business (Luoma, 2000). Kontoghiorghes (2003) noted that organizations realize that to be successful and competitive they must continuously improve the way they organize and manage themselves, stating that “competitiveness will ultimately depend on their capability to configure people and design a system for optimal execution of strategy” (p.

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28). Changing demographics, globalization, recent skills gaps, and worker shortages have had a profound effect on our nation’s ability to maintain its competitiveness. Without a well trained and well prepared labor force, businesses lose the ability to compete both nationally and internationally, resulting in decreased economic success (Laprade, 2005).

Rapidly advancing technology has also contributed to this constant state of change; change that is requiring organizations to identify and implement new strategies to recruit, acquire, and develop employees that will ultimately add to the value of the organization (Luoma, 2000). Employees must possess a wide variety of workplace skills and competencies that will allow them to work with advanced technologies and function in today’s high performing organizations.

These skills may include: reading, writing, math, computer and software knowledge, problem solving, critical thinking, ability to participate in meetings, and report writing. Once an organization successfully recruits and hires employees that meet the basic skill and knowledge requirements of the position, there must be organizational processes in place that motivate and develop employees to perform their jobs to the best of their ability, add to the financial success of the organization, and increase the organizations competitive advantage. (Hatch and Dyer, 2004)

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