[Review of the books Managing the Human Factor: The Early Years of Human Resource Management in American Industry and Hired Hands or Human Resources? Case Studies of HRM Programs and Practices in Early American Industry]
[Excerpt] Bruce Kaufman has produced two volumes on the early development of human resource (HR) management that should become mainstays in undergraduate and graduate courses in the fields of HR studies and industrial relations. Not since Sandy Jacoby's pathbreaking book on the development of personnel management has such careful attention been paid to the inner workings of American corporations' personnel policies a century ago (Employing Bureaucracy: Managers, Unions and the Transforming of Work in American Industry, 1900-1945, 1985). Unlike Jacoby, who specifically analyzed how and why companies developed these policies in response to union movements and external pressures, Kaufman's purpose is to show that the roots of "modern" HR management can be traced to the late nineteenth and that “strategic” HR is not new.