Modem societies prosper or decline through the productive contribution of their organizations. It is therefore not surprising that society takes an active interest in these engines of wealth. Legislative and judicial trends increasingly put individual rights above those of organizations. The success of this trend during the last sixty years has led to employers becoming vehicles of social policy. Equal employment laws and the affirmative action plans they spawned, for example, caused organizations to achieve more racial equality in one generation than did a civil war and a century of “separate but equal” policies. More needs to be done, but social planners, legislators, and judges have learned to use modem organizations as instruments of social policy. This trend is likely to continue.
Organizational and functional challenges
The HR function exists to further organizational effectiveness. Sometimes this entails pursuing societal objectives because doing otherwise may be illegal. Organizational challenges also mean that the department’s goals-goals of efficiency or professionalism, for example-must be balanced against the organization’s strategy and objectives. The HR department is a service department. When its members forget that, they cease serving the objectives of the organization