Human Relations

Organizational structures are relatively recent inventions in the history of humanity [...]

Organizational structures are relatively recent inventions in the history of humanity. They have become an obvious requisite for the growth of industrialization of countries since the end of the 18th century and attained “scientific” status in the early the 20th century.

Amongst the various aesthetic and procedural possibilities, it became convention to allocate structures to finance, operations, sales, marketing and people management practices. In some more specific cases, even including research practices and institutional relations.

Throughout decades, we have observed the evolution of these structures and, at the same time, the different principles of governance and management that shape them and are shaped by them.

The HR function has always been a central preoccupation in the organizational structure of a growing company, impacting its operational complexity. Assuring allocation of the necessary human resources for the development of the organization has been as essential as implementing successive waves in the search for productivity growth and quality.

Curiously, in spite of its absolutely strategic role, the HR area has also lost a lot of ground in the power dynamics of corporations, notably in favour of the powerful finance area and, in some cases, also in the equally vocal sales and operations areas. In these cases of unfortunate myopia, the HR area has quite often lost its seat on the executive board, having to be content with a secondary role, has even lost seat in the Executive Direction, being submitted to a secondary paper in the support area.

At the dusk of the 20th century, there was a change in the perspective of the People agenda in favour of something a little more protagonist: the human capital area became responsible for developing the human capabilities required  by the strategic agenda of the business. In Brazil, the area acquired the epithet of People and Management, emphasizing the relevance of the performance management process within the scope of management.

And in the context of the 21st century, as companies become these organizational biomes, a new metamorphosis seems to be  taking place within the HR function, highlighting its organizational aspect in relation to other stakeholders.  At the same time, the internal challenges of the organization around the aspects of organic contribution in agile and mental health models in the hostile context also raise the level of the area to beyond the mere transactional and functional questions.

Maybe now it is even more appropriate to refer to HR as Human Relations.

A new era for HR professionals! A new era for organizations! A new opportunity for improved Human Relations in the social context.


Daniel Augusto Motta, PhD, MSc

Founder & CEO BMI Blue Management Institute

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