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HROD. Kaley Weber. What makes a job a “good” job?. Beginnings of HR. Human Resources was first known to the world as Personnel Management or Personnel Administration. ( Summut p.9).

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Kaley Weber


Beginnings of HR

  • Human Resources was first known to the world as Personnel Management or Personnel Administration. (Summut p.9)
  • The term human resources was actually coined by Peter F. Druckerin 1945. Drucker was born in Austria, and moved to the United States in 1937. He wrote several books and focused on the “human impact on corporate life.” (Ogilvie p. 255)
  • There were originally three main areas that human resources evolved out of: scientific management, welfare work, and vocational guidance. (Olgivie p.257)

Beginnings of OD

  • Organizational Development had its original foundation in the training and development function and was still a virtually unknown field to most people at the beginning of the 21st century. (Minahan p. 18-19)
  • It got its start, though, in the post- WWII era when war-torn countries needed help reconstructing and organizing the people returning from war with those who took over jobs during the war. (Schein p. 8)
  • “By the late 1940s and early 1950s, Lee Bradford and others formed the National Training Labs (now NTL Institute) that began to run group dynamics and leadership workshops in Bethel, Maine and Ojai, California.” (Schein p.8)
  • It developed as a spin-off of Human Resources as the HR department in most cases has become more strictly concerned with legalistic matters and the vision of the organization as a whole. (Minahan p. 19)

Why HR and OD?

  • Civil rights – new regulations were leading to lawsuits
  • Wars – labor shortage and people feeling as though they were indispensible
  • Economic pressures and cycles

(Sammut p.9)


Scientific Management

  • Early 20th century factory jobs were very different from the workplace today. Foremen, or the men in charge, ran the workplace using the “drive system.” There was a lot of yelling, but a lot of production. Jobs were very labor intensive and there was a large turnover rate. (Olgivie p.256)
  • As the first World War started and the workplace faced a shortage of workers, corporation owners knew something had to be done. This is when human resources developers or personnel managers stepped into the picture. They began to evaluate the job market and the workplace and set up planning departments to change employees’ attitude toward work and how the employees were impacted by their jobs. (Sammut p.9)
  • These planning departments were surprisingly not well accepted by employees to begin with. They presented big changes in the workplace and the planners, while not yelling like the foremen had for so long, were very remote in relation to the workers themselves. In time though, they were tolerated if not embraced. (Olgivie p.255-257)

Welfare Work

  • Welfare work had its foundation in religion and philanthropy and focused on the home and life of the individual worker.
  • It launched new sectors in the work environment such as libraries, recreational facilities, and hygienic stations.
  • Along with new arenas inside the workplace, welfare secretaries also sought to improve the quality of home life and its relation to the work environment. A majority of employees originally saw this as an intrusion into their private lives.
  • Labor unions disliked welfare work a great deal. (Olgivie p. 258-260)



Around the same time that all of this was taking place, some companies also felt that schools were poorly equipping students for their jobs. On the flip side, many schools also felt that jobs were not providing adequate opportunities for their graduating students.

This provided an outlet for vocationalists to inspire personnel management to take more interest in employee selection and career development.

Schools began keeping records on certain companies and both the workplace and the schools began to take an active participation in trying to match the “right people” to the “right job.” (Olgivie p.261-264)

DeVry University’s motto


Questions Raised

“Where is the balance between being “an advocate for employees (helping them), keeping records of their activities (monitoring them), and finding ways to make workers more efficient and less wasteful (fixing them)?” (Olgivie p.261)

Can human resources serve both the interests of management and employees at the same time?


HR and OD:

  • standardize and implement new codes and regulations
  • make sure the employees, management, and corporation all fit well together
  • through evaluation, helps reduce the turnover rate
  • ensure safety of and good treatment of employees
  • help foster a good work ethic amongst employees
  • provide incentives for growth and development in the workplace
  • help alleviate tensions and ensure cohesion as the world becomes more globalized and multiple cultures mesh in the workforce (Schein)

Impact on America

  • Works toward making jobs what we would label “good” for the economy, for the individual, and for collaboration with other nations.

“Economic theorists are coming to recognise that the central process of

economic growth is not so much accumulation of material resources as upgrading

of human resources along with technology. People must acquire

modern horizons, working habits and, above all, technical skills. As they

do, the economy increases its productive capacity and flexibility.” – Donald B. Keesing

(Columbia University, 1967)


HROD and Adult Education

“One of the misconceptions of our cultural heritage is the notion that organizations exist solely to get work done. But every organization is also a social system that serves as an instrumentality for helping people meet human needs and achieve human goals.” (Knowles p. 115)

  • According to Knowles, the following are important areas that HR and OD work in that apply directly to adult education:
  • Climate
  • Planning
  • Diagnosis of Needs
  • Formulation of Objectives
  • Design
  • Activities
  • Evaluation

Works Cited

Knowles, Malcolm S. “Human Resources Development in OD.” Public Administration Review 34.2 (1974): 115-123. Business Source Complete. Web. 2 Mar 2012.

Minahan, Matt. "OD And HR." OD Practitioner 42.4 (2010): 17-22. Business Source Complete. Web. 3 Mar. 2012.

Ogilvie, John R., and Diana Stork. "Starting The HR And Change Conversation With History." Journal Of Organizational Change Management 16.3 (2003): 254-271. Business Source Complete. Web. 3 Mar. 2012.

"Peter Ferdinand Drucker." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2011): 1. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Mar. 2012.

Sammut, A. C. (2001). HR & OD turfwar: Highlighting the need to establish a clear definition of OD. Organization Development Journal, 19(2), 9-18. Retrieved from

Schein, Edgar H. "The Role Of Organization Development In The Human Resource Function." OD Practitioner 42.4 (2010): 6-11. Business Source Complete. Web. 1 Mar. 2012.