People as Numbers


Generally, it is accepted that modern human resource planning should have a wider perspective, in tune with the philosophy of HRM, including ‘softer’ issues such as competence, commitment and career development. Modern human resource planning continues to use the ‘hard’ techniques of manpower planning but also includes a new focus on shaping values, beliefs and culture. Anticipating strategy, market conditions and demographic change.

Nevertheless, in line with the tradition of formal, observable and ‘objective’ planning, numerical measurement and forecasting having been favored over quantitative studies on opinion, attitude and motivation. ‘Hard’ data allows managers and planners to sit in their offices and wait for information. ‘No need to to go out and meet the troops, or the customers, to find out how the products get bought … all that just wastes valuable time.’ The growth of information technology and management information systems has made numerical data readily available and possibly further discouraged collection of qualitative information. Numbers give a comforting feeling of unarguable objectivity and allow managers to detach themselves from shop-floor emotions. It is much easier to sack a number than a real human being.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

Defining Behavior


Behavior is what people do. It is any measurable or observable movement, task, or activity of a human being, whether this is covert or overt. This definition includes a wide variety of human activities, among which should be a sufficiently broad range of behaviors to suit practitioners from just about every theoretical orientation.

Thus behavior includes those activities which are readily observable to an outside observer. But it also includes the range of covert activities, such as thoughts, which many people have not thought of as behaviors. Thus it enwraps measurability and countability.

To be considered a behavior, an activity must be observable and countable by someone. Covert behaviors are also measurable and countable, especially by the individual himself or herself.

It might be somewhat more desirable to have as a target for intervention behaviors that are observable by others, since this potentially would allow for more reliable measurement. As long as they can be measured or observed somehow, any behavior can be considered a potential focal point for intervention.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight