chapter  7
22 Pages

Individualization of human resource management

Individualization of work The previous chapter on work and career transitions demonstrated how individualized the employment relationship has become. The theme that cut across that chapter was the management of more diverse relationships. In this chapter we concentrate and build upon the theme of individualization of the employment relationship. Why is individualization so important? We argue that individual capability (talent) and individual engagement (hearts and minds) is now becoming a key differentiator for many organizations in the effectiveness of the employment relationship. Yet, in saying this, as individuals, organizations and societies we face immense challenges in responding to this individualization without destroying the benefits that are derived from community and collectivism. The individual risks are high. For example, in Chapter 3 we outlined the view of labour economists on the growth of nonstandard employment. Mangan1 pointed out that non-standard employment covers a wide range of income levels and is associated with a range of experience in terms of desirability and job satisfaction. At the upper end of the desirability scale might be the self-employed, independent contractors and permanent part-time workers (where firms allow this option for retention reasons). These individuals might enjoy relatively attractive combinations of income, job stability and autonomy at work. At the opposite end of the desirability scale are those in precarious employment with low wages, low job security and little workplace discretion.