Part IV – “People are our greatest Asset” – Human Capital Management

Part IV – “People are our greatest Asset” – Human Capital Management

“People are our greatest Asset” – Human Capital Management
By Mahesh Jayasinghe (Phd student, Management Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer & Lecturer)


Very often we hear managers say that people are their greatest asset. What do they mean by this? If people are an asset, why are they shown as a liability in company financial statements?  Do managers really value the buildings and other non movables more than their people?

This is the beginning of series of articles that will look into the evolution of human capital management concepts.

When we go into the history of evolution of mankind and history of origin of management we may be able to identify some connections between the people and the organization. Stages of Evolution of Management is given below

Early thought of management

If we look back into our history, Kings build great Dagabba’s, Stone Carvings, Statues for example Sigiriya Rock Castle, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa era buildings, which justifies a great level of management practices. Similarly the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt or the Taj Mahal of Agra India is some of the great creations of mankind.  If people can do such great wonders during the ancient era, why they are yet not treated like assets. Something to think about?

On the 6th Century, Sun Tzu, wrote in “Art of War” the initial taught on management, strategy and knowledge.  He identified the importance of strengths and weaknesses of personal who were involved in war in terms of planning and executing strategy. Chanakya wrote in Arthashastra in 300 BC, various strategies, techniques and management theories were written on management of empires, families and economy. Among the many writers of management, Adam Smith a Scottish Philosopher in 1776, wrote in the Wealth of Nations an efficient organization of work through specialization of labour. Smith described how changes in process could boost productivity in the manufacture of pins. Although there were some evidence of people being recognized for their efforts and skills, in most instances employees were treated like as they were the property of management.

Considering this phenomena even in today’s context we see organizations in private sector treat their employees as if they own them, in terms of their time and respect. Let’s elaborate this further going forward.

Classical Approach

The period under review was 1856-1915. Among the many writers of this era , Fredric Winster Taylor , The father of scientific management theory identified by analyzing work , one best way of managing people. He identified the importance of Division of Labour, Time and Motion Study, standardization of work processes and task, focus on systematic selection methods and payment for people based on piece rate. Since this was the beginning of the Industrial era, most of the organizations were manufacturing steel and heavy construction equipments, machinery and spare parts. The tasks were assigned to people based on their specialization. Employees were treated like “machines” were their activities were strictly monitored. Employees were made to feel that, if they do not want to work the way management wants them to work, the door is open. In today’s terms “my way or high way”? Since the production processes were designed as an assembly line operation where employees need to work together as a team to complete the finished output. However they were all paid piece rate. This led to many complications which gave rise Neo Classical Approach to management.

Today after 100 years, we still practice the concept of scientific management theory in our organizations. Employees paid on piece rate, division of task, standardization of work processes, work study to name a few. Although some of the concepts of the scientific management theory are applied after adapting to today’s context, we are yet to identify a scientific process of answering the question “Are employees our greatest assets”

to be continued…      

Comments (17)

  1. Thanks so much for providing individuals with an extraordinarily special opportunity to read from this site. It is usually very kind and packed with a great time for me personally and my office friends to search your website a minimum of 3 times every week to find out the new items you will have. Of course, I’m at all times fulfilled concerning the fabulous methods served by you. Certain two ideas on this page are undoubtedly the most efficient I’ve ever had.

  2. Thank you for all your efforts on this web site. Kate delights in working on investigations and it’s easy to see why. Many of us notice all about the powerful means you create both interesting and useful ideas by means of the web blog and foster contribution from other ones on the subject matter and our favorite princess has always been learning a whole lot. Have fun with the rest of the year. You are carrying out a very good job.

  3. I would like to express some appreciation to you just for rescuing me from this issue. Because of searching throughout the search engines and coming across techniques that were not productive, I assumed my life was done. Living devoid of the strategies to the difficulties you’ve resolved by way of your good site is a critical case, as well as those that could have in a wrong way affected my entire career if I hadn’t come across your web page. Your primary training and kindness in touching a lot of things was useful. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t discovered such a stuff like this. I can also now relish my future. Thank you so much for the impressive and results-oriented help. I won’t hesitate to suggest the sites to any individual who will need assistance on this subject matter.

  4. I simply desired to thank you very much again. I’m not certain what I could possibly have undertaken without these recommendations contributed by you on such a situation. It had been a real frightful issue for me, nevertheless considering the specialized tactic you solved that forced me to jump with contentment. Now i am happy for the information and then wish you realize what a great job you have been putting in training some other people all through your blog post. I’m certain you have never come across all of us.

  5. My spouse and i have been absolutely relieved that Peter could complete his research from your precious recommendations he was given through the web pages. It’s not at all simplistic to simply always be freely giving methods which usually some people have been selling. We take into account we now have the website owner to thank because of that. The most important illustrations you made, the easy web site menu, the friendships you help foster – it’s got all wonderful, and it’s making our son in addition to us recognize that the matter is amusing, and that is pretty important. Thank you for all!

  6. My husband and i have been quite excited when Louis managed to carry out his reports via the precious recommendations he got through the web pages. It is now and again perplexing to just be giving freely solutions that men and women may have been trying to sell. We consider we need you to thank because of that. The type of illustrations you have made, the easy blog navigation, the relationships you can help create – it’s most astonishing, and it’s really leading our son in addition to the family believe that the idea is exciting, and that is pretty important. Thank you for the whole thing!

  7. I precisely desired to thank you so much once again. I’m not certain the things I would’ve made to happen without those opinions contributed by you relating to such a question. It became the fearsome case in my circumstances, nevertheless looking at this expert way you solved that made me to jump with joy. I’m grateful for this support as well as trust you realize what a powerful job you were providing instructing many others through the use of your website. Most probably you’ve never encountered any of us.

  8. My husband and i were quite ecstatic when Edward managed to round up his investigations with the ideas he obtained when using the web page. It is now and again perplexing to just always be freely giving points which usually people have been making money from. And now we take into account we have you to give thanks to because of that. The explanations you have made, the simple blog navigation, the friendships you make it possible to foster – it’s many extraordinary, and it’s aiding our son in addition to our family do think this issue is pleasurable, which is certainly really vital. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  9. I needed to write you one very small note just to give thanks again over the breathtaking knowledge you have featured on this site. It is remarkably open-handed of you to grant unhampered what most people might have advertised for an e-book to make some bucks on their own, even more so given that you might have done it in case you wanted. These tactics as well worked to provide a easy way to understand that some people have the same eagerness just as my own to grasp lots more regarding this issue. I am certain there are lots of more pleasurable occasions ahead for individuals who read carefully your blog post.

  10. I definitely wanted to send a message in order to appreciate you for these nice instructions you are giving out at this website. My extended internet research has finally been honored with extremely good information to go over with my relatives. I would point out that we visitors are unquestionably blessed to dwell in a fantastic website with very many outstanding individuals with interesting things. I feel quite fortunate to have encountered your entire webpage and look forward to so many more amazing minutes reading here. Thanks once again for everything.

  11. I wanted to send a note to be able to thank you for all of the precious tips you are giving on this website. My time intensive internet research has finally been compensated with brilliant details to exchange with my two friends. I would mention that many of us site visitors actually are very endowed to live in a superb site with many marvellous individuals with insightful points. I feel rather lucky to have used your entire weblog and look forward to some more thrilling moments reading here. Thanks once again for all the details.

  12. Needed to create you this very little word to finally say thank you as before for all the marvelous opinions you have featured above. This has been quite unbelievably open-handed of you to allow openly precisely what a few individuals would’ve made available for an ebook to get some money for their own end, and in particular considering the fact that you might have done it if you ever wanted. Those pointers as well acted to provide a easy way to be sure that most people have a similar dream similar to my personal own to find out significantly more on the topic of this matter. Certainly there are thousands of more enjoyable occasions ahead for folks who scan through your blog post.

  13. I simply needed to thank you very much once again. I’m not certain the things that I could possibly have gone through in the absence of those tips contributed by you concerning that industry. This was a very depressing circumstance in my position, however , discovering your professional approach you solved that took me to leap over joy. Now i am thankful for the service and then wish you really know what a great job your are providing educating many people through your website. Most probably you’ve never met all of us.

  14. I and my guys came checking out the nice tips and tricks found on the website then quickly got a horrible suspicion I never expressed respect to the site owner for those strategies. The men were for this reason warmed to study them and have in effect honestly been loving them. Appreciate your turning out to be really kind as well as for deciding on these kinds of impressive ideas millions of individuals are really desperate to be informed on. Our own sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  15. I precisely wished to thank you very much once again. I do not know the things that I might have tried without the type of points shown by you about this area of interest. It became a hard scenario in my circumstances, however , discovering a well-written form you handled that forced me to weep for joy. Extremely happier for your service as well as wish you recognize what a great job you’re undertaking educating the mediocre ones via your site. I know that you haven’t come across any of us.

  16. I and also my pals have been reading the nice secrets found on your web site and immediately got an awful feeling I had not thanked the web site owner for them. Most of the young men appeared to be for that reason happy to see them and have in effect unquestionably been using those things. Thanks for getting considerably considerate and then for picking variety of fabulous subject matter millions of individuals are really needing to be informed on. My personal honest regret for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.

  17. I not to mention my guys have been reading through the excellent guides from your site and so all of a sudden I got an awful suspicion I had not expressed respect to the blog owner for those secrets. These guys were as a consequence very interested to see them and already have simply been loving them. Thanks for truly being so kind and for making a decision on this sort of wonderful subject matter millions of individuals are really needing to learn about. My personal honest apologies for not expressing appreciation to sooner.

Post a Comment