Institutional Manpower Planning: Rhetoric Versus Reality

by Elmer Burack, Thomas Gutteridge



The article discusses a number of critical issues about the current state of practice in human resource planning and, suggests some important directions for the improvement of manpower management systems as well as some priorities for future research. The persisting shortage of manpower in selected occupations and the rapid rate of technological change as a catalyst encourage the development of human resource planning systems. Human resource planning has at least moved into the consciousness of many institutional policymakers and personnel managers. For some, manpower planning has been a defensive strategy implemented in response to government legislation, or a desire to improve productivity and profit performance. For others, the interest in human resource planning stems from a recognition that social necessity and economic security are starting to merge as people become a critical factor in institutional performance, and that the human relations programs of the past are an inadequate answer to this phenomenon. Unfortunately, for many firms it appears that manpower planning is a sporadic effort at best, which consists mainly of numbers forecasting.

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