Words Matter: ‘Human Resource’ Denigrates Employers
Did I mean to say it denigrates employees? Not by a long shot, it’s the employers that get the black eye for this one.
Management guru Peter Drucker
Pete’s the dude who invented the term. According to Vitor Marciano, member of the Faculty of Business, University of Alberta in Edmonton,
“The term "human resource" was coined by management guru Peter F. Drucker (1954) in The Practice of Management. In this seminal work, Drucker presents three broad managerial functions: managing the business, managing other managers, and managing workers and work.”
Okay, I’m on board with that so far. It’s what Drucker gets into immediately after that riff on the function of management where I find fault.
It is in the discussion of the management of workers and work that Drucker introduces the concept of the worker as 'the human resource': "comparable to all other resources but for the fact that it is human" and, as such, having "specific properties" which must be considered by managers. Drucker argues that…