Nothing is achieved in organisations without people. How often this truism is acknowledged in the clichéd “people are our most important assets”. Yet the reality of what many employees experience is that they are expendable “costs walking on legs”, mere “human resources”. How, asks Andrew Mayo, do we explain this dichotomy between theory and practice?

Nothing is achieved in organisations without people. How often this truism is acknowledged in the clichéd “people are our most important assets”. Yet the reality of what many employees experience is that they are expendable “costs walking on legs”, mere “human resources”. How, asks Andrew Mayo, do we explain this dichotomy between theory and practice?

There is no doubt that the dominance of financial management in both private and public organisations has a lot to do with it. Financial systems typically see people as “headcount” and make no distinctions between their different contributions — even in service companies they are almost reduced to a Marxian role as “instruments — and therefore costs — of production”. Of course it is a fact that people are, almost universally today, the major source of expenditure in an organisation. But the two lenses of people as both costs and value-creating assets need to be balanced, and that challenges traditional approaches to HR.

Human r

Want to read more?

This content requires a Croner-i subscription.

No Subscription?

;

Contact us to discuss your requirements.

Book a demo
Call an Expert:

0800 231 5199

Talk to us on

live chat