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Definition: Manpower

Manpower is defined as the total of number of individuals who are employed in a company or available for a particular project assignment or work. In an organization the manpower needed for a particular work and in future is estimated and planned through different techniques available. This concept is called manpower planning.

If in an organization, the number of people available are more than the work it indicates that the organization has manpower surplus. In this type of organization, some people will remain with out work. This would be an additional cost to the organization, but sometimes organizations keep some extra manpower with them just to use them when unexpected need arises. The manpower surplus maintained will be different in different industries.


For example, in software service oriented companies, it is advisable to keep high number of manpower in surplus. This is because the software service oriented companies get new projects at any point of time, and they must have sufficient manpower available to start working on that. The organization's capability to take up new projects will depend on its available manpower. The clients would also look at the available skilled manpower before allocating the project to a company. So the available manpower would play a key role in getting a new project from client.


In manufacturing companies and public sector companies, the surplus manpower would be minimum. And even though when they need additional manpower they get them in the form of contract labors. This is because the labor laws do not allow the companies to remove the permanent workmen from the work easily when there is work and the management knows the demand for their product. And also, the demand does not fluctuate suddenly.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Manpower along with its overview.

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