Human Resources Management: Art or Science?

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Human Resources Management > Best Practices > Human Resources Management: Art or Science?

Human Resources Management: Art or Science?
Philbert Kajeli James, Human Resource Manager, Tanzania, Member
Is the human resources management field a science or an art?

Is HRM an Art or a Science?
Ruben A. Villanueva
Human resources management for me is both science and art. Designing strategies to manage organizational behavior demands enormous effort of creativity but it has to be anchored on time-tested management principles already defined by masters and management gurus in our time.

HRM as an Art or Science
vanessa sesi, Cote Divoire (Ivory Coast), Member
There are as many approaches to the topic of management as there are writers and to me HRM is an art or science depending on your background. Personally I see HRM as providing the right atmosphere for your employees to give their best in achieving the objectives of the organisation. It becomes a science when you bring in the idea of experiments and its an art when you do something to arrive at a particular destination. So in other words: HRM is what it is from how you see it.

HRM an Art or a Science?
D P BABU, Strategy Consultant, India, Member
Human resouceses - people - encompass unique features and characteristics termed to be potential which need to be managed for serving organized purposes in the pursuit of its management. Hence HRM needs to be operated both as an artistic and as a managerial phenomenon. Attribution of art and science to HRM go hand in hand.

Depends on Number of People Involved
Jagdish B Acharya, Consultant, India, Premium Member
When HRM has to handle a situation involving a group of people, the techniques used are part of science of HRM. General established rules may be applied to a group of people in a scientific manner with higher chances of success.
When it is dealing with individual talents, strengths and ways to maximize individual output to cost, it is an art. For individuals, areas like psychology of people play a major role and HRM is more of an art.

HRM an Art or Science?
Dapo Akinloye, Student (MBA), Nigeria, Member
HRM in practice is an art. It is technical in approach - which is defined as building or creating through skills. However, HRM also involves volumes of scientific approach or technology, which is building through established processes. Thus, it is safe to say HRM is an art that uses scientific approaches to achieve set objectives.

HRM is an Art or a Science
saikrishna, Student (MBA), India, Member
As far as I'm concerned HRM is an art of science...

Human Resource is Science and also Arts.
Ghulam Muhammad, HR Consultant, Pakistan, Member
For me HR is a science when we formulate strategy and implementation of strategy is art.

HRM is an Art or a Science
Madaiah, Management Consultant, India, Member
HRM is a subject of concern with humans and their behavior in a given environment. Any given set of behavior in response to a specific environmental conditions occurs in patterns that are repeated. In this context the HRM is a science. The management functions of providing specific environmental conditions that are conducive to best perforce of task, as well as providing specific satisfaction to those who are engaged in it, is an art.

Is HRM an Art or a Science?
Denba, HR Consultant, Kenya, Member
I think, before this question is answered we must at least understand what an art is and what a science is. An art is any thing that is visibly done in patterns but hasn't any apparent definite rules. On the other hand a science has definite rules e.g. area of a rectangle = length * width. For a long time HRM has been an art where we observe how people will react to a given management initiative then make some conclusions, however as human beings we have a responsibility to leave this generation with standard operating procedures which work (formulas) and at that point we start to become scientific, when we establish definite interaction points especially after using statistical methods then we become scientific. As of now we still cannot say it is a science because we have not come up with a definite set of facts. We are still working with theories and testing them, for this basic reason it is essential that such forums are multiplied where can share research findings as we seek the land of facts.

Is HRM Science or Art?
Binayak Shankar, Student (University), India, Member
HRM is both science and art. As a science it is an established body of knowledge governed through some set of principles and rules as HRM is governed through various management principles and labour laws of the country.
But at the same time HRM is an art as there are individual differences in the practice of these laws and principles.

Individual DIfferences
Jan-Tore Clausen, Management Consultant, Norway, Member
I see results in different areas and HRM is both science and art because of the huge differences from leader to leader and workplace to workplace.
The main issue is to all get in the science box: we need better and clearer info on our workplaces.

Is HRM a Science or Art
Brereton Mitambo, Director, Malawi, Member
I believe that Human Resource Management is a science because there are principles and long-term practices that underline HRM.
On the other hand HRM is also an art because every manager has a personal approach to the whole practice, while not ignoring the fundamental principles, which I call 'formulae' of HRM.

Is HRM Science or Art?
FASESIN David, Manager, Nigeria, Member
HRM is a science and an art as a discipline.
It's a science in the case of scientific research on a particular phenomenon e.g. employee behaviour, employee motivation, decision making.
It becomes an art if the outcome of the research is to be implemented through identified changes needed for improvement.

Human Relation Management is a Social Science
Tiku Godwin Bissong, Manager, Nigeria, Member
Human relation management is a science, because it deals with complex human behavior, act, career formation and development, appraisals, reward and query.
All this is done through the collection of data (through empirical or scientific means).
We therefore say that Human Resource Management is not a pure applied science as physics and chemistry, but a social management science that comes out with results using scientific and qualitative tools to reach its findings.

HTM used to be an Art
Dattatreya, HR Consultant, India, Member
I was assigned to measure the EQ of HR personnel - almost 50 of them - in a large organisation. Test results showed 5 of them at average in empathy and social skills... Rest were below the average. It used to be called personnel function decades back and was practiced as an art... And even if there were unwritten & unspecified systems, people had faith and trust in them and followed religiously. Today with fully specified systems the spirit dies not exist. It is now like a science without considering humanity.
I wish all to think and apologize for being a bit provocative.

To Consider HRM as Art One Should Play the Role of Artist, Isn't So?
D P BABU, Strategy Consultant, India, Member
Systems are created by people who were systematic and artistic. Systems cannot carry away people so long as people not improve the systems with their artistic outlook. Hence HR professional need to play the role of artist.

Human Resource Science or Art
rene sirois, HR Consultant, Canada, Member
There is a paradox between science and art. Most companies orient their human resources in a system by creating programs, policies, using the last trends in science behaviors. At the same time they want to attract the best talent. For those they are looking for customized approaches, creativity. Based on the human being which is complex I believe we could use all behavioral work knowledge known at this point of time by science. It becomes an art how you will use it.

Human Resource: Art or Science?
rene sirois, HR Consultant, Canada, Member
HR is based on social sciences and becomes art by using the creativity in how we implement program or approaches.

HR is a Combination of Both
Farhan Abdul Rehman, Student (MBA), Pakistan, Member
Its theory gives an impression of arts but while implementing HR policies social, psychological science factors must present.

Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
HRM is an artistic science, and a scientific art: to give the best to internal customers and in turn to get the best from them.

Art and Science - Opposite Poles of One Dimension? Complementary? Or Two Dimensions?
Ulrich Schweiker, Director, Germany, Member
@Jagdish B Acharya: well, it is hard to make such a distinction: just when you mention "psychology" - it has many origins and you may find its roots in areas like philosophy, poetry, literature, history of civilization, cultural anthropology, sociology, politocology - but also in human genetics, zoology, biology, physiology, anatomy.
And you may make use of methods and tools from any art and science to improve your understanding of what is going on here...

How HR is Both a Science and an Art
Dattatreya, HR Consultant, India, Member
- In theory, it is science: What to do with Vision, Structure, Systems etc.
- In practice, it is pure art: Requiring spirit, Connections, Positively Motivated Actions, Passion for Action, Meaningful Engagement...

HRM - Art or Science??
Bhide Vishwas, Professor, India, Member
ART relates to actual performance; where as SCIENCE speaks about the basic principles. Handling Human Resource is undoubtedly an 'ART' (which involves high skill).
HRM has developed a good scientific base by considering fundamentals of Psychology, Sociology, Group Dynamics, Behavioral sciences etc.
Therefore, practicing HR is an ART whereas studying HRM through the experiences of others (books) and 'case studies' is science.

HRM is BOTH an Art AND a Science
Vinay Gunputh, Manager, Mauritius, Member
For me HRM is both an ART and a Science:
- The art of organizing or planning, delegating or even performing...
- A science, to understand the human psychology, behavior, attitude...
Well as HR Managers we are both artists and scientists too.. But once we find the balance it's one of the greatest job in the world.

Is HRM a Science or an Art?
Ulrich Schweiker, Director, Germany, Member
Again, this a question typical of our approach to life: divide and separate... For artist / scientists in the Middle Ages it was obvious that any artist needs a lot of scientific understanding of the material used, the tools and methods used, the response of material to any manipulation... - nobody would have discussed whether it is art or science... - where is the progress in discussing the differentiating aspects? - Shouldn't we rather learn when and by whom the differentiation is introduced (and for what purpose)?

Is HRM a Science or an Art?
Abaane Mohammed Abeo, Student (University), Ghana, Member
It is both a science and an art, because it combines features of both of them:
- It is considered as a science because it has an organized body of knowledge which contains certain universal truth.
- It is called an art because managing requires certain skills which are possessions of managers.
Knowledge is the output of science, while art deals with the application of knowledge and skills.

Fekadu Letike, Student (MBA), Ethiopia, Member
I think similar to Management, HRM is both science and an art.
Because science includes finding new methods, policies, strategies, procedures and different results through experiment and study. At the same time, this findings needs application. This means art.
So HRM for me it is both. In a changing world, the needs, behavior, attitudes, etc of clients change all the time. So to motivate and keep their satisfaction, it needs research (science) and applications (art).

HRM both Science and Art
Sheeba Ghaffar, Student (MBA), Pakistan, Member
HRM is both Science and Art, because a HR Manager has to find the right person to furnish the organizational goals and development of the company, has to develop new HR policies and strategies and has to motivate and satisfy the employees. The HR Manager is the back bone of any organization because without hiring the best employees, there are no chances for success of any organization.

Is HRM Science or Art?
D P BABU, Strategy Consultant, India, Member
Human beings engaged in an organization are a strategic resource to achieve the organization's objectives. The General Management aims at making these human beings resourceful to achieve the organization's goals. While the management discipline encompasses artistic and scientific skills, managing humans as resourceful beings requires a scientific approach in theory and artistic approach in practice.

HR, Science or Art?
Pedro Danilo Diaz Tueme, HR Consultant, Mexico, Member
Neither one of them, nor science or art...
The tittle name, Human RESOURCES Management, explains it for itself…
Our goal as HR is, to get the best personnel available, and prepare them with our best tools, managing and helping them out with their needs, always focused on company's goals...
It's a management task, and we're paid to perform it at our best.
Anything else is another thing, but HR is managing.

Is HRM Science or Art?
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
In HR an "art" component is applied in the form of emotional intelligence. For years, companies have invested significant time in developing, transforming, on-boarding and off-boarding processes to help facilitate the movement of employees into, around and out of companies.
An Art is anything which has been done visibly in a pattern, but has not been done using definite rules and regulations in the work.
Science has its definite rules in which there are patterns you need to follow.
Today HRM as an art has freedom of thinking within its own set rules and within the behavioral reactions to the situations. It is all about attitudes that make the difference.
So in my opinion, HRM is both science and art.

Is HRM Art or Science?
D P BABU, Strategy Consultant, India, Member
HRM requires to respond, interact and direct intellectuals to contribute their energies to achieve unique goals strategically aligned towards organizational objectives. The outcome are those results artistically assumed and scientifically achieved.

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