David works for a medium-sized company in the human resources department. His view is that: ‘The human resource is the chief asset of the company. It is also the major cost, taking up over 70% of the business’s costs in any one time period. It is therefore essential to gain the maximum possible return from this expenditure. People need to be motivated if they are to be made best use of. Anything which adds to the productivity of individual employees should be seen as an essential ingredient of human resource policy.’ Sarah also works for a medium-sized company in the human resources department. She agrees with John that the human resource is the key resource. She says: ‘Human resources should be seen as an asset by the organisation. The organisation needs to look at how it can best meet the needs of this asset in order to help people to develop themselves to the full. By involving people in decision making, it is possible to enable them to help the organisation to develop while meeting their own development needs.’ Questions (a) Are David and Sarah saying the same thing or can you see a difference in their approach? (b) How might the views of these two individuals influence the sorts of activities they would undertake in human resource management? (c) Can you give any specific examples of actions that David might take which would be different to the actions that Sarah would take?