Sarasvathi. V

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Management, in a very simple way, is defined as, ‘using what you have to get what you want? Here, ‘what you have’ means the resources at your disposal and ‘what you want’ means your aim or goal individual goal or family goal. Resources vary for individuals, communities, states, and nations. Each has different ones. The degree to which each occurs and each one’s availability also differs. When this term is used herein resources refers to those tangible and intangible components you use to achieve your goals, objectives, and to meet demands. The success of the management depends upon the recognition, allocation and use of resources. All resources are useful, but the usefulness of a particular resource varies from goal to goal. The resources are limited. The limitation may be qualitative or quantitative.


Resources – Meaning, Classification, Characteristics, Management of Human Resources, Role of Resources in Management, Factors Affecting the Use of Resources, Enhancing and Conserving Resources



Management is also defined as, ‘making use of available resources in order to achieve the goals. ‘Resources’ is a widely used term which is seldom defined précised.

Moloch and Deacon define “resources” as means which are available and recognized for their potential in meeting demands. They further define means as those things which have “want satisfying power” and which are instrumental in the reaching of desired ends.


Goals are what people want. Resources are what people use to reach their goals, the means they work with to maintain control over their lives. Resources are the tools and talents with which people build their life styles and attain their goals. By definition, resources are assets that can be used to accomplish goals. The three italicized words in this definition, “assets,- “used,” and “goals,” play an important role in the identification of resources and, thereby, merit closer examination. The distribution of resources determines the degree to which a family is actually striving toward a particular goal. It is easy to illustrate the use of resources in achieving certain goals. Time, money, energy and knowledge are necessary to fulfil these goals. An individual may verbally claim that the attainment of a particular goal is important to him, but only by the allocation of necessary economic resources to that that goal can prove his sincerity. Many are not aware of these resources.


Resources have uses: Use of resources is, however, as crucial as the assets themselves in determining the quality of life that people can and do achieve. It is not always what a person has but what he or she does with it that counts most in the long run. High motivation can cause people to exceed all predictions for success in school or work just as low motivation can lead many to fail or barely pass subjects they could easily master.


In discussing utility of resources, Gross, Crandall, and Knoll suggest that resources are recognized as such only after uses are found for them. However, these authors also consider as resources those which are held in reserve. The present authors agree with this approach to resources, for it is within this untapped reserve of resources that a better way of life can be found by people who are willing to develop and use their resources to a fuller extent. The definition of resources as assets that can be used in goal attainment does not necessitate use before consideration as resources.

Some resources are consumed through use; others are increased by use. Human resources—capabilities, skills, knowledge, and talents—are examples of the latter. With consumable resources, there is still the question of whether to delay use for attainment of long-range goals or to use them for short-term gratification.


Resources achieve goals: Goals are the third concept inherent in the definition of resources. Goals are ends toward which effort is directed—winning a track meet, learning to rope a calf, finishing college, or getting a job. Although a goal is loosely defined as whatever is desired by the person or group seeking it, – in reality, there are restrictions on the goals that are achievable with available resources. There are also restrictions on personal goals that are attainable without harming or threatening the rights of others.

Wants are usually more temporary wishes or cravings. Goals are usually more lasting, may be consciously planned, and are usually more realistic than wants. They should reflect the positive wishes of all the resources utilized and who will be affected by goal attainment.


Constraints: A potential resource, that is a liability instead of an asset is a constraint on goal attainment and is therefore, not operating as a resource. Underdeveloped resources may function as constraints, but they need only to be consciously assessed and constructively developed to o become take resources. Goals are often related to self actualization andrenewal. They may be consciously identified or they may be subconsciously held. Goals may be individually recognized and pursued, or culturally mediated by family, peers, or society. If resources are the tools and talents with which people attain their personal and group goals, these assets become constraints when they are not developed for use.If satisfaction is to be achieved from resource use, a variety of alternative resources will need to be recognized, considered, and used effectively pursuit of consciously chosen goals.


Characteristics of Resources


Most economic resources, with the exception of credit, can be recognized by sight. Money, houses, vacuum cleaners, food, and cars are easily identified by sight. However, since less tangible and human resources are not seen, some other way of recognizing and assessing them is needed. A list of at least four of their characteristics may help in the identification of resources: utility in goal satisfaction, accessibility to the user, interchangeability, and manageability.


Utility: In goal satisfaction, utility is one of the most undisputed characteristics of resources. It means value, worth, applicability, and productiveness for a purpose. Utility is often in the eyes of the beholder and may vary from person to person and from time to time. The utility of a resource is determined by the user’s knowledge because it depends upon his awareness of the potential that resources possess for goal satisfaction. Attitude also affects the utility of resources. There are times when the desired product or standards regarding the product will determine the utility of a resource.

Conscious evaluation of the utility of resources available to each individual and to the family as a unit can enhance the worth of resources possessed and can lead to greater satisfaction from resources held in reserve.




The second characteristic of all resources is accessibility. Assets must exist on hand or in reserve if they are to be considered as resources for goal attainment. Some resources require mobility to be accessible. Some resources demand self discipline and a conscious change of attitude to develop them. Some resources exist and are, therefore, accessible but defy measurement; the quantity and quality of others can be measured easily by existing standards. This difference in measurability is due to the varied forms that resources take. Some resources, such as material possessions or even rain, can be seen and their worth estimated. With others, such as interpersonal skills, communication, or talents, only indexes of the resources are apparent as evidence of their existence and accessibility.

The quality and quantity of accessible resources differ among persons and families. This is why some authors have considered scarcity or the limited nature of certain resources as characteristic of all resources. Bratton cited time and money as examples of limited resources and explained that continued use of them, for one purpose, will deplete their limited supply.


Interchangeability: A third characteristic of resources is interchangeability. All resources are inter-related to the extent that one may be substituted for or interchanged with another in the quest for goals. Equal substitution is not a requirement of resources, for it would be impossible to equate time with money or money with knowledge. A variety of resources may be substituted for commercially manufactured products and professional services. Raw materials from which home-produced items are made must be secured with time and usually money, transportation, and fuel. Quality of the finished home-produced item will depend on the skills, knowledge, and inclination, as well as the time of the operator. Attitude and appreciation also affect quality.

The relationship between resources varies with time and place, and especially with age. Mundell’s classes of change in work simplification may also help to explain the effect of substitution and multiple effects of resources. According to Mundell, each level of change causes changes in motions and, consequently resources in each of the levels below.


Exchange of one resource for the other entails both costs and risks. Resources are interchangeable, not only because they may be substituted one for another, but because resources have alternate uses. Although it is possible to emphasize the use of one resource for a period of time, such as studying for a major examination or looking for a new job, a balance of resources is needed to achieve maximum satisfaction with one’s way of life. Time, energy, space, air, and sound are resources that are interdependent—interwoven into the use of almost all other resources. The ongoing nature of time and energy and the fact that it is almost impossible to utilize one without the other, attest to the interrelatedness of these resources and the relationship between them and other resources.

Manageability: The fourth characteristic of resources is manageability. All resources are to some degree manageable. Although they may not be completely controllable, it is possible to exert limited control over all of them. Resource manageability makes it possible to focus on


Name of the Content Writer: Dr. Sarasvathy. V


development of one resource at a particular time, as in the case of an injured athlete learning to walk again after a severe accident. Manageability of resources also makes it possible to predict, with some degree of accuracy, the outcomes of resource use. Resource manageability means that goals may be achieved through conscious choice and application of resources in the management processes. A time plan can maximize time available for social interaction and civic service.


Factors Affecting the Use of Resources


Among the most prominent factors affecting the use of resources are motivation; the quality, quantity and mix of resources available; life cycle and family composition; education and goals; communication within the group; and customs, habits and life style patterns pre established by the group.


Motivation: It is a prime factor in resource use because it is an internal attitude. It is the way people use what they have that is important in meeting and establishing life’s goals. Motivation directs or limits the quantity, quality, and mix of resources that a person is willing to use in goal attainment. Motivation is a result of combined forces, some of which are recognized as resources.

Capacity: The ability to receive, hold, and absorb information and ideas is called capacity. Human capacity sets limits on the use of resources; but, as has been pointed out earlier in the chapter, most people’s capacity so far exceeds their attainment that the big task of management is to expose underachievers to alternatives and to motivate them to increase output.


Philosophy: Philosophy is closely associated with a person’s standard of living. It is expressed through the system of values by which people live; and it is exposed in the things people have. Patterns of individual and group behavior—especially patterns of resource use focused on satisfying desires—are compositely called one’s standard of living. Cole described a standard as a mental, physical, written, graphic, or other kind of representation of desirable qualities that is used as a basis to compare like products or procedures for identification or measurement of satisfaction, to which products and services are often made to conform.’`’ In today’s consumer-oriented world, there are many different kinds of standards that direct resource use.


When standards of living are defined in terms of quantity and quality of goods and services desired, they strongly affect resource choices. It is because standards are attitudinal and reflect people’s life philosophy, that they are such a strong force in determining which resources will be used in what quantities for attainment of specific goals.


Family heritage: It is an influential factor in transmitting values and establishing approved ways of satisfying wants. Heritage and subcultures limit or expand the traditional use of resources. Management patterns are influenced by the aged. Time is set aside by each family member to spend with the elderly. Their judgment is sought, and resources are devoted to their comfort and honor. Heritage is legacy and tradition passed down from one generation to another. Status and tradition within a group determine not only who will control the resources—who will make the decisions—but also the quantity and quality of the group’s resources that will be devoted to each person.


Resource quality, quantity, and combinations: Families with limited resources are forced to make careful decisions about the amount of one resource to invest in a given goal. Understanding the characteristics of substitution and interchangeability of resources can help such families to attain their goals. Timing, determining how much of a resource is enough to achieve the desired goal without over expenditure of resources, and deciding when to abandon goals and shift resources to a new goal are three of the most crucial factors relating to resource allocation. Juggling the quantity and quality of resources to be used at different times for different purposes can be learned with experience and deliberate practice.

Parkinson’s Law—that a job expands to meet the time available to do the job— illustrates the elasticity of some resources, even one as rigid as time. When time is limited and people are busy, they tend to squeeze many activities into a short span of the clock and seem to accomplish more during peak pressure periods than when under less pressure.


Classification of Resources: Resources are of two types – Human resources and non-human or material resources. This method of classification affords you the opportunity to put into two grouping those resources available for your use. It is the simplest method of classification. Using it one can readily identify those resources which originate internally and those which do so externally. This method of classification often aids in identifying additional resources

Human Resources include the personal characteristics and attributes i.e., education, occupational status, skills, attitudes, personality trait and other personal characteristics and also resources that are used for the productive purposes which includes, time, energy, abilities and interests.


Non-human or material resources are material goods, such as house, furniture, money and community facilities which include parks, library, government hospitals, schools, shopping and recreational facilities. Non- human resources are easily identifiable but are limited in their availability.

Although the resources generally included are similar, each system emphasizes a different characteristic of resources: the source of the resources, their function, characteristics of the environment, human versus nonhuman association, or economic elements of the resources. No single system of classification has yet received universal endorsement by management specialists. This diversity indicates that resource theory is still in a malleable stage of development.

In their revised edition, Gross, Crandall, and Knoll describe three classifications of resources: human versus nonhuman, economic versus noneconomic, and a classification based on sources in the various environments surrounding the family.


Human versus Nonhuman resource classification


Human resources are abilities and characteristics of individuals and other resources that cannot be utilized independently of people. In earlier editions of Management in Family Living, Nickell and Dorsey identified human resources as those existing within people— abilities and skills, attitudes, knowledge, and energy. They identified nonhuman resources as those existing outside people but controlled, utilized, or possessed by the family time, money, goods and property, and community facilities. Gross, Crandall, and Knoll expanded the usual list of human resources to include intelligence, creativity, awareness, and standing plans. To the usual list of nonhuman resources they added space and power.


Specific versus General resource classification


Liston proposed the classification with two headings—specific or general—eight basic types of resources involved in any managerial effort toward goal achievement. According to this system of classifying resources, space, time, natural environment, and cultural environment would fall into the general, broadly available classification; and human resources, community opportunities, property, and income during a given period of time would be considered as specific resources.

Liston defines a resource as the properties of an object, person, or circumstance that can be used as a means to achieve a goal. Time, a general resource in this classification, refers to clock time, biological time, perceived time, and the duration or sequence of time.


Space, another general resource, implies social as well as physical space, perceived as well as measured space. Income during a given period of time and property are considered as specific resources in this system. This is a fresh approach to resource classification. Its unique features are its simplicity, emphasis on community opportunities and consideration of human resources of group members, and the natural and cultural environmental classes.

Human, physical, and psychic capital resource classification: Rice classified the resources available to the family as: human, physical, and psychic capital. The term capital, in its broader sense, meant any form of assets used or available for use in goal attainment.


According to this system, the components of human capital are: technology, capacity, motivation, and time. Capacity is the ability to adjust, to innovate and change. Physical capital includes the frequency and amount of income as well as purchasing power, elastic income (credit), wealth and community facilities Psychic capital (the degree of satisfaction derived from expenditure of human and physical capital) is important because it regulates the amount and quality of other resources required in the pursuit of satisfaction by all family members.

Ecological classification of resources: An ecological approach to management and resource classification is also appropriate because of recent experiences with scarcity of natural resources.


According to this approach, the environment is composed of three elements: social, physical, and biological. Social components of the environment include social organizations (family, community, and other cultural institutions that embrace customs, habits, and norms), economic institutions (business, industry, stock market, banks), and political institutions (different levels of government).

The physical components consist of man-made objects (clothing, furnishings, tools, appliances, and dwellings), less tangible surroundings (air, light, sound, temperature, humidity, and space), and natural tangible surroundings (soil, terrain, and rain). The biological components of the environment are human (physiological, anatomical, behavioral, and psychological) and non-human (animal, insects, microbes, and viruses).


Social linkage approach to resource classification


A social linkage approach to resource classification, stressing the social orientation of the organization to which the resources belong, is still another possibility and could be more useful to the process-interaction approach to management than some of the previous approaches. Since any cooperative system is an organization, even an individual can be considered an organization within a social-linkage framework based on classification according to who uses the resource.


Interdisciplinary Human-Economic-Environmental Approach


Each resource classification system serves to increase awareness of specific resources as families seek goal attainment. An efficient system would combine the best elements from each system of classification into a logical and usable eclectic approach to resources. Since each author or team of authors has predominately refined one area, it seems profitable for managerial resource theory to combine elements of each theory into one mutually exclusive, broadly based system of resource classification. This type of system should increase awareness of a larger variety of resources available for management.

The following classification system builds upon the human, economic, and environmental approaches, utilizes some of the social linkage groupings, and combines them into one eclectic classification of resources available for family management.


Human Resources: According to this system, three large areas of resources are delineated: human resources, economic resources, and environmental resources. The classification of human resources is subdivided into four categories: cognitive, affective, psychomotor, and temporal resources. The first three terms are common in education relating to behavioral objectives and levels of learning.

Cognitive Resources: They are mental characteristics and are related to knowledge acquired through practice. They are intellectual abilities and include such human characteristics as aptitude, intelligence, judgment, goal orientation, and adaptability.

Affective Resources: Human traits pertaining to, or resulting from, emotions and feelings rather than from thought and reasoning, are affective resources.


Psychomotor Resources


Muscular activity and mental processes are combined through these resources in the development of traits and skills. They combine the ability to accomplish a job with proficiency in carrying out the activity; this usually requires some physical exertion. Some examples of psychomotor resources are energy, vitality, smell, sight, communication skills, and manners.


Temporal Resources


In this classification system, time is considered a human resource and refers not only to Sidereal “clock time”, that everyone possesses in equal amounts, but also to a person’s characteristic methods of assimilating and perceiving the passage of time. Perceived time is highly related to satisfaction with activity. Duration and time sequence are related to effectiveness of time planning for home-related work. People differ in their ability to gauge the passage of time or to estimate the amount of time that an activity will take.

Economic Resources: According to this classification scheme, these resources include money in-come, elastic income, and wealth.

Money Income: This resource is defined as a monetary benefit or gain derived from capital or labor. It includes not only the amount of gross monetary receipts to a person or family, but its characteristic pattern and frequency of flow to the family.


Fringe Benefits: These resources are advantages in goods and services derived as a consequence of employment but exclude money income. A typical package of employee benefits includes medical care services, medical and surgical insurance, life insurance plans, paid vacations, and a retirement program toward which the employer pays at least a portion of the cost.

Credit: Because of increased use of credit and its potential to expand the purchasing power of such a large segment of the population, elastic income has a category of its own in the proposed eclectic classification of resources.


Wealth: The last subcategory of economic resources is wealth. Wealth also refers to the family’s pattern of asset holdings, not just what is on hand at the present time. Environmental Resources :Environmental resources are classified as either physical or social. The physical environmental resources include two types of surroundings—natural tangible surroundings and less tangible surroundings. The former are the elements of the environment and climate that can be perceived by the sense of touch, such as soil, terrain, rain. and minerals. Non tangible surroundings are the elements of the environment and climate that are less tangible but include those that can be measured, such as air, light, sound, temperature, and humidity. Some non tangible surroundings can be heard (such as sound), and some can be seen when the quality has been polluted but are relatively invisible when their quality is high (such as air).





Management means planning, directing, guiding, co-ordinating, controlling and evaluating, the use of the human and the material resources of the family, for the purpose of attaining maximum satisfaction. The integration of all the available resources will lead to a satisfactory path to attain the goal. The use and abuse of the different types of resources affect the efficiency of the management. Quality of life is determined by the proper utilisation of the resources.

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