Industrial Relations vs Human Resource Management

Difference between industrial relations and human resource management is that industrial relations is about establishing relationships among the stakeholders while human resource management is about managing the human resource in an organization. This article analyses these two concepts and the difference between industrial relations and human resource management in detail.

What is Industrial Relations?

The term ‘Industrial Relations’ (IR) is made up of the two words ‘Industry’ and ‘Relations.’ It simply means the relationships that exist between the stakeholders within the industry. According to Hyman, in 1975, industrial relations was the study of processes of control over the work relations.

Industrial relations initially begin with the employment relationship. The relationship begins when a person is willing to accept compensation in exchange for work i.e. employment contract. This contract has a legal dimension. For example, management has to pay wages and salaries, provide leave, safe working environment and other facilities defined by the law. Therefore, the decisions taken by managers and employers affect the industrial relations. In the case, if there are unfair discrimination practices, harassment, or disputes, the employees can take legal action against the employers.

The importance of industrial relations can be listed as follows:

  • It ensures a smooth flow of business operations by safeguarding the interests of employees and employers in the organizations.
  • It reduces industrial disputes, which will directly impact the productivity.
  • Industrial relations increase the morale of the employees as they are working in a peaceful and safe environment.
  • It promotes economic growth and development based on the performances of the employees and good leadership of the employers.
  • It discourages unfair practices as both parties (employees and employers) work according to the accepted rules and procedures.

What is Human Resource Management?

Human Resource Management (HRM) is a combination of two words ‘human resource’ and ‘management’. That simply means, the ways of managing the human resources. In the organizational context, HRM refers to the utilization of human resources in order to achieve organizational goals and objectives.

Difference Between Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management

HRM consists of a framework of activities and practices that support and develop a motivated workforce, while at the same time, complying with the legislation and regulations that govern the employer/ employee relationship. Effective management of human resources directly contributes to organizational effectiveness.

The purpose of good human resource management is to,

  • Create job opportunities according to the vision, mission and objectives of the organization.
  • Maintain the right mix of employee with the required competencies to accomplish the goals of the organization.
  • Provide fair treatment and pleasant working conditions for the employees.
  • Create a positive and friendly work environment.
  • Provide a structure to help the employees to be more effective at their work.

What is the difference between Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management?

  • Human resource management focuses on the ways of effectively managing the human resources in an organization and industrial relations is about establishing good relationships between employers and employees.
  • Industrial relations are a part of human resource management.
  •  There are four parties involved in IR such as the employees, employers, trade unions, and government. In HR, there are mainly two parties involved such as the employees and employ