Literature on How to Be a Good HR Manager

by Ruth Mayhew
HR management literature is available through typical and atypical research sources.

HR management literature is available through typical and atypical research sources.

Mountains of literature are available to human resources managers, whether they're experienced professionals with several years in their fields or new HR professionals. The literature ranges from print materials, such as textbooks and magazines, to online resources such as general interest websites to government sites and publications about labor and employment laws.

Management Principles

Books about general management topics are helpful for HR leaders because, after all, HR is like any other department in many ways. The same management principles and practices are applicable, regardless of whether you're managing HR activities or managing the sales department. Also, books about developing management skills and embodying the principles that you want employees and staff to emulate are useful for HR managers who want employees throughout the organization to view them as competent and credible leaders. Books such as "How to Win Friends and Influence People," by Dale Carnegie, and "The One Minute Manager," by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, are several decades old, yet they're timeless resources for information about business environments and manager success.


Literature on being a good HR manager often is in the form of federal and state employment laws, regulations and pending legislation. HR managers must be well-versed in labor and employment law, so reading Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 are a start on the volumes of information that enable HR managers' effectiveness.

Discipline-Specific Tools

Books about discipline-specific topics help HR managers become proficient. Surprisingly, many of the textbooks written and edited by some of the well-known HR experts, such as Dave Ulrich, Edward E. Lawler and Jac Fitz-enz, are excellent resources for both aspiring and seasoned HR managers. The information that textbooks contain generally is unbiased, straightforward and written in a manner that explains the underpinnings of HR strategy, development and implementation. In addition, textbooks provide solid best practices taught in HR management and leadership courses throughout the United States and abroad.

Internet Resources

Human resources-related websites and blogs are sources for timely literature on various disciplines, management issues, best practices and exchanges among colleagues. Websites for the Society for Human Resource Management, the National Human Resources Association and the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration are among the well-recognized sites for HR professionals. In addition, professional associations also distribute publications that are useful for HR managers and their staff, such as "Workforce Magazine," "HR Magazine" and "Journal of Human Resources."

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew began writing in 1985. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry" and "Human Resources Managers Appraisal Schemes." Mayhew earned senior professional human resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute and holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images