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Human Resource (HR) Dissertation Topics (2018)

1.0. Introduction

The aim of this guide is to assist in selecting a human resources dissertation topic and to provide practical advice on how to go about writing a dissertation. Human Resources dissertations incorporate numerous topics covering various aspects of organisational human resource management issues. Typically, writing a human resources dissertation involves questions such as how to report the features of the design and how to adequately report research results. Consequently, the latter part of the guide serves as a handy reference source to navigate the writer through the process.

2.0. Categories and dissertation titles

2.1. Strategic Human Resource Management

2.1.1. Measuring the impact of securing employee commitment through involvement and communication processes in the retail industry. A case study of Tesco

2.1.2. An evaluation of the strategic human resource management systems utilised in Indian SMEs. An empirical study

2.1.3. A resource-based view assessment of strategic human resources quality management systems. Achieving competitive advantage in the 21st century

2.1.4. A comparative study of strategic human resource management in Japanese and German automotive multinational corporations. The implications of culture and application to management

2.1.5. An evaluation of strategic human resource management theory and practice in UK call centres. A Quantitative study of call centre performance

2.2. Organisational Learning and Development

2.2.1. An examination of knowledge management and organisational learning for sustained firm performance. A case study of British Telecom

2.2.2. An assessment of the correlation between organisational leaning and firm competency development. An overview of approaches to learning and competence development processes

2.2.3. How valuable is Appreciative Inquiry in the development of an organisational learning cultureA case study of BP

2.2.4. How is organisational learning a by-product of individual learningAchieving balance and synergy between organisational survival and growth and employee development and aspirations

2.2.5. An analysis of leadership behaviours that foster organisational learning. A focus on leadership models for organisational learning in the NHS

2.3. Resourcing and Talent Management

2.3.1. Determining resource allocation for talent management in recession or times of retrenchment. A case study of the UK public sector

2.3.2. Managing and maximising organisational talent for enhanced firm performance. A case study on the operationalization of the strategic talent management process in UK accountancy firms

2.3.3. Designing talent management strategies for recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest. A case study of Research in motion

2.3.4. An assessment organisational development of talent pools and talent inventories for selection and succession processes. A case study of IBM talent management

2.3.5. An investigation into talent management for employee engagement: Gaining employee organisational alignment

2.4. Managing Employment Relations

2.4.1. An exploration of the tensions inherent in management requirement to control employees’ behaviour and performance whilst eliciting commitment and cooperation. A study of employment relations in the minimum wage fast food industry

2.4.2. En examination of the importance of public sector employee participation for improved deliverance of Government systems in the Cameroon public sector

2.4.3. An assessment of the impact of globalisation on employment relations policy. A comparison of two emerging economy countries: Brazil and Mexico

2.4.4. A comparative study of industrial relations in France and the UK. An assessment of trade union density and role significance in the European social context

2.4.5. An investigation into the classification of labour disputes and resolution procedures. A comparative study of Germany and the United States

2.5. Reward Management

2.5.1. Are a revised set of management information required for managing, evaluating and rewarding individual performance under the new public sector management of the UK?

2.5.2. An investigation into the performance impact of financial and non-financial rewards. A case study of interventions to improve performance of health workers in the USA

2.5.3. Is individual performance-based pay inconsistent with Total Quality ManagementAn examination of UK-based quality-focused organisations

2.5.4. A comparative study of employee reward systems in rapidly developing economies. A case study on China and India

2.5.4. An examination of the impact of rewards systems and leadership style on knowledge sharing in the mobile telecommunication industry

3. How to Structure a Human Resources Dissertation, Tips

For details on how to structure your HR dissertation, kindly check out the following post:

How to Structure a dissertation (chapters)
How to structure a dissertation (chapters and subchapters)
How to structure a dissertation research proposal

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Human Resource Management in the Hospitality Industry

Introduction:

There have been researches conducted on the importance of the human resource management and as the business environment has transformed into more competitive world, the importance of having an adequate and appropriate Human Resource Management cannot be neglected. The most important factor by which the HRM contributes towards the organizational success is to realize the differences between cultures while the business tends to experience internationalization. There have been many researches already being conducted in order to realize the different cultures, people having different attitudes towards the similar issues.

Due to several factors like globalization and internalization of the businesses, this has increased the focus of many authors to write about importance of culture and realize that removing the cultural difference will enable the company to improve the performance. In order for the business to prosper in the international market it is necessary to realize the difference in the local culture and realize the different norms and values in the local market, and this can easily be done by having proper Human Resource Management in the organization. There are many cases in which huge company experienced failure in order to enter the new market like China, this is mainly because the company is not able to realize the different and intense local culture, norms and unique values of the country, it creates difficulties in conducting operational and non operational activities like marketing and financing the company. Having HR department to support the organization, through intense communication across the company and also providing the required training and developing the needed skills in the employees can enable the company to become more competitive in the new market.

The difference in the culture and the importance of realizing the difference is very crucial in every sector of the business including the Hospitality industry. This industry is unique in kind since this is the only business in which the consumer is being brought to the product instead of taking the product to the consumer. Hospitality industry across the globe has experienced boost due to globalization concept, this research report is based on the book written by an author named Ulrike Ditzel, and the name of the book is Cultural difference in business life, understanding German and American Business Culture. This research study is being based on the importance of Culture in business related to the necessity of having appropriate HRM in hospitality industry. This report discusses the various issues that are being discussed by the author and the evaluation of the work is also being conducted which can be found during the research report many times, although this book makes it sure that realizing cultural difference is essential for hospitality industry.

Hospitality Industry:

In order to first realize that how HRM has grown to a more important role in the business especially in the tourism industry, it is first necessary to realize the current situation of the industry. After the industrialization of the globe the concept of viewing the world as a single market was introduced known as globalization; in other and simpler words, one country stop selling and other quits buying. due to globalization in the many people tend to travel more for many different reasons, especially for business purpose, tourism and many others, or it can be said that people are travelling more than before which has provided boost to the hospitality industry across the globe, and for many countries having adequate hospitality industry, it has become the major source of income, countries like Malaysia which has promoted itself as the best place for spending the vacation, places like Hawaii, these regions have experienced development due to the increase in the people travelling and visiting this place hence generating more income for the country (Knowles, Diamantis, Mourhabi, 2004).

Some places can be observed for having natural uniqueness providing those some benefits over other places, where people will love to spend their vacations, some places are very attractive for having historic background like Taj Mahal in India, or Moenjo Daro in Pakistan, people having interest in viewing the historic stuff love to visit this place. It can be therefore easily be said that the Hospitality industry has increased as compared to past years and tourism also played its role in the development of the industry, but still there are other factors like business which has more influenced the entire industry. For instance, Dubai one of the major financial hub before recession was the main country for many multinational companies to work and set their head office there, as the recession period is being over the state has again capture the sight of many businesses. Through the above discussion it can be observed that the main factor influencing the business sector is the globalization and therefore people travelling for business purpose has provided the fuel for the hospitality industry (Olsen, Zhao, 2008).

This can be considered that travelling for business purpose has also increased the people to travel for pleasure as well; there are many countries which are now connecting both industries in one form like Malaysia which is the most benefitted country amongst all, generating much revenue from this sector, since this country is being the technological hub for many countries and god has gifted this country with great many scenarios the management has able to maintain make it useful for the country. Therefore it can be said that the Hospitality industry has increased a lot and recently there are many factors which have played an important role in the development of this industry (Pizam, 2005).

By reading the research work conducted by the authors, the importance of Human Resource Management was observed and realized that the HR personal should always be present in the any business especially in the tourism industry. The following part of the report includes the various critical aspects of organization managing the adequate human resource management in working in the tourism industry (Tanke, 2000).

Importance of Human Resource in Hospitality Industry:

Likewise many businesses and industry, the hospitality industry has also realized the fact that employees are the most important asset of the organization. Especially in hotel business, having a good, qualified and hardworking workforce can distinguish between which hotel is good and which is bad. The human resource managers are able to cover almost every aspect of the hotel; this makes human resource management an integral and significant part of the management in the hospitality industry. After going through the document it is being realized that since hospitality industry is about providing better services to the consumers, therefore the quality of the hotel depends upon the labor force working in the hotels (Chon, Mair, 2009).

There are many different areas, improving them is the duty of human resource manager resulting in the overall better performance by the entire organization. The HRM department is responsible for hiring new employees, the newly hired employees can seriously affect the performance of the hotel which makes it necessary for the managers to hire the best and qualified workers present in the market by following appropriate hiring process, in which every candidate is critically evaluated and only those with the spark are being hired. The most important task for the HR manager is to get the most appropriate people for particular task, since in hotel industry, many workers tend to just participate in the work, as they think that there is nothing else to do, whereas hotel services require proactive employees which can make decision on the spot and can satisfy the customer query in time (Brotherton, 2003).

This report will also discuss the issues that are related with the HR manager in terms of managing the different tasks in the hospitality industry, but the most important task of the HR manager is to retain the highest quality employees, the main problem in doing this duty is the fact that many of the people do not want use this industry as the ending career, therefore the employee turnover in the hospitality industry is relatively much higher than other industry (Albercht, 2001).

After analyzing the document that is being also discussed in the start of the report, reading the document helped to realize that HR manager has to more strategic in terms of handling HRM issues in the industry (Aswathappa, 2010). In more critical aspect which can be realized is that since hospitality industry, the management need to handle the customers coming from different countries having different cultures and unique attributes, that’s what makes the HR department to have a broader perspective of duties in the Hospitality industry. Therefore the importance of Human Resource Management cannot be neglected in this industry, having customers coming from different cultures do have separate living standards and also the expectation varies. Therefore the training and development provided by the HR manager should enable the employees to cope up the issues related to the cultural issues arising (Brewster & Harris, 1999).

Moreover, when any company wants to open a hotel in the international market, or in other words a hotel which needs to go beyond the boundaries, it has to face some difficult issues in terms of managing the cultural factors (Browaeys, 2008). There are many examples of huge companies facing failure when entering into different countries. HR department has to play a significant role in this regard while maintaining the significant corporate culture and also to cope up the issues regarding the external environment (McManus, 2006).

Moreover in the global context in terms of hospitality industry, the HR manager also has to be more strategic in terms of rewarding and motivating the employees through different processes. Hotels which are able to provide appropriate training to the employees resulting in the enhancements of the skills and abilities of the employees make it possible for them to go upward in the career (Dash, 2007). Having appropriate HR department in the hotel provides the employees a gateway by which they can have proper guidance regarding any issue related to the performance or with the daily operational activities. Moreover this provides with the sense of security to the employees that they do have someone who can look after them whenever they commit a mistake (Edwards, 2007).

The above discussed importance of having appropriate HR manager and department is being extracted from the document that was supposed to lead. In that particular document, it was analyzed that having human resource management in the hospitality industry is must (Ferraro, 2006).

Importance of Culture in International Hospitality Industry:

There are many cultural factors that prevent the company, in this case hotel to operate in the other regions, this was observed during the analyses of the document that was required to consider, these issues become more critical when they are not properly treated, and for the providing the appropriate treatment organization needs to have appropriate human resource management. In order to manage the different factors, it is first essential to identify these factors and then the role of the HR manager in order to cope up with the issues, some important elements are (Hellibrand, 2008):

Social Structure:

This is very important for the hotels that are planning to open a new business unit in any other country. The social structure here represents the way people live in different countries, this is important to realize since, HR manager needs to hire the employees and train them accordingly. In different regions people do have different perspectives and different living standards, resulting in diversified population to target and attract, and also to hire people that are also from different social structure. HR manager in the hospitality industry can enable the organization to understand the basic difference in the social structure of the country from the country of origin (Keegan, 2002).

Language:

This comprises of the most difficulties from all the different factors in culture, a hotel going international or entering into a new country needs to face this issues, there are many examples like Coca Cola entering China and changing the pronunciation, as first it did not mean what was expected from it, moreover like many other businesses the importance of employees is also being realized by the hospitality industry and now businesses considers employees the most important asset of the organization, therefore HR manager needs to be proactive in dealing with the issues related to language problem in the new country. moreover HR manager in the hotel will able to develop the understanding in the upper management about the local culture and what are the different jargons and what are the norms of the language (Luger, 2009).

Even if the business is not international, hotel needs to accommodate people from different nations having different languages and act in their language can mean harmful whereas can also mean very normal in the local language in which the hotel is being working. Here comes the strategic role of the Human Resource Manager who needs to fill the gap that is being created by the language issues by holding appropriate session related to training the employees and also telling the management about the language differences (Paul, 2008).

Education:

Here the education means the level of literacy rate in the country, this has become a critical issue for the HR management because, organizations working in the country having low literacy rate will make it hard for the organization to find the most appropriate employee for the position. Moreover sometimes hiring less educated people will harm the services provided by the hotels, since hiring inappropriate employee in hotel can alter the services at very rapid pace, since in hotels direct customer interaction is being conducted, hence affecting the image of the entire organization (Poole, 1999).

Interests and Values:

HR manager has to realize that what elements are different in terms of interests in the new country, it is also possible that one thing which is given the most value in the country of origin means nothing in the new country, hence resulting in the failure of the entire business. Therefore the Human Resource Management needs to realize the difference between the interests and values of the culture and try to pose the hotel in an acceptable manner and decorate it in the similar way, so that potential customers can feel that they are in their own culture.

Economics:

Different currency rate, different factors driving the economy, varying financial sector, these issues are less related to the HR manager, but international hospitality industry needs to cope up with these issues that occur when management decides to internationalize the entire business.

Effects of Culture on Hospitality Industry:

After analyzing the hospitality industry in the context of the human resource management and cultural affects, it has been noted that the there are various elements that effect the cultures for the hospitality industry. Some of the key elements are discussed below;

Consumer Behavior:

One of the main important elements that has noted is that the consumer behavior is hospitality industry is changing with significant rates. As compared to the last couple of decades the behaviors of the customers have been changed and the main reason behind this change is the mode of globalization. As discussed in the above report that the since the business world has entered into globalization mode, the hospitality industry has managed to grow faster than ever before because the visitors now find this easy to move from one region to another easily and with many facilities (Mondy, 2008).

And since the customers have now visited many places across the world, the roles of human resource personnel have become more critical. Today, the human resource personnel have to ensure that they design the organizational policies and regulations according to the consumer behavior. But the changing behaviors of the consumers are restricting the human resource personnel to do so. Many of the companies and their HR departments are now planning and redesigning their strategies to ensure that the consumer behaviors are properly understood. As compared to the past few years, the HR personnel in hospitality industry have become more responsible to understand the needs and requirements of the customers and act accordingly.

Local Demand:

A part from the above critical factors of changes in consumer behavior, the local and regional demand of the customers has also noted to be changed. Especially after the global and economical crisis, the visitors do not prefer to visit the other locations outside the regions because it requires them to pay the expenses and due to financial crisis, every individual is suffering from the shortage of finances (Schuler & Jackson, 1999).

The HR department of hospitality industry again has to ensure that it clearly understands the local demand and design the organizational strategies accordingly to attract the potential customers and increase the sales and profitability. As this is the only way which is remained to adopt otherwise sustaining in hospitality industry is not an easy task to perform.

Brand Image:

Maintaining the brand image is also one of the critical jobs for the organizations and HR departments are one of the responsible departments to do so. The regional culture also creates many complications for the hospitality industrial companies to ensure that the brand image is saved from any harm. Today it is noted that many of the companies are operating efficiently and successful across the world and it is because of the regional culture (Rae, 2000).

Human Resource Issues in the Hospitality Industry:

Different levels of hotels big and small in the hospitality industry face difficulty in order to manage the human resource and also the relationships with the employees in any country or countries they operate in. There have been increase in the employees issue regarding the organizational culture; the cases for sexual harassments have increased which ultimately costs the organization to give from its profit (Wvans, 2010). There are many cases observed in which hotels are not following the health and safety issues regarding the employees or the customers and even different services provided to them in different phases. Many hotels are observed to have high employee turnover or highly staffed labor, which means the organization is having more employees than required. This is because of the lack of appropriate HR manager and department which are not fulfilling the different needs of the organization, as now days the HR department should be playing more strategic role instead of only restricted to traditional ways.

There are few major issues regarding the HR personals in the hospitality industry which was observed during the reading of the document presented by the author (Price, 2007):

Job Description: the main issue for the HRM in the international hospitality industry to is to develop an appropriate job description which can cover the entire employee area of the organization. The issue concerning this element is the fact that HR manager needs to incorporate every level of employee in order to deliver better services to the customers (Smith & Mounter, 2008).
Policies and Procedures: in order to develop the policies regarding the employees in the organization, the HR manager needs to be more proactive, since working in the international business environment needs to incorporate different cultures, as it has been discussed above in the report. Moreover the HR manager needs to deal with different laws and regulations depending upon the country or the countries they are working in. this mean that the HR manager needs to develop policies in which every aspect is being taken care off so that the management is able to have better relations with the employees. These policies must incorporate the different operational issues like sexual harassments and other problems that the employees are facing in their duties.
Inductions Process: it has been already being discussed above that the most important asset of the company are the employees, therefore working in the international business industry, hotel needs to have the most appropriate and hardworking employees so that they can perform much better. The entire induction process of the company should be strategically followed by HR manager (Wierzbicka, 1999).
Conclusion:

As the business environment is getting more competitive, organizations in different industries need to gain some access to those resources in which they have gain the competitive advantage to increase the profitability. The above report is being constructed in this similar regard, in which it was required to select an author which has written on the topic of culture and then the concepts earned through that book was being incorporated in this research report which is based on the importance of Human Resource Management in the international industry.

Therefore the report is constructed in a logical manner followed from the evolution of the Hospitality industry, in this part the different factors have been discussed which has resulted in the boost of the entire industry; the main factor which has influenced is the globalization. Then the importance of culture is being discussed and how the realization of the culture is important in the international business environment and also different factors of the culture are being discussed.

In the end part of the report, the importance of Human resource management is being discussed and how human resource manager can play its role in the development of the organizational performance. There are few issues also discussed in which the basic emphasis was on to have an appropriate inductions system by which the organization will be able to hire best employees.

References:

Albercht M H, 2001, International HRM, Wiley Black, USA & UK

Aswathappa K, 2010, International Business, Tata Mc Graw Hill, India

Brewster C & Harris H, 1999, International HRM, Routledge, USA & Canada

Brotherton B, 2003, the international hospitality industry, Butterworth-Heinemann, China

Browaeys M J, 2008, Understanding Cross Cultural Management, Pearson Education, India

Chon K, Mair T, 2009, welcome to hospitality, Cengage Learning, Canada

Dash A, 2007, IRHM, Tata Mc Graw Hill, India

Edwards T, 2007, International HRM, Pearson Education, India,

Ferraro E, 2006, Cultural Anthropology, Cengage Learning, USA

Hellibrand J, 2008, Cross Cultural Competences, GRIN, Germany

Keegan W J, 2002, Global Marketing Management, 7th E, Pearson Education, India

Knowles T, Diamantis D, Mourhabi J, 2004, The globalization of tourism and hospitality, Cengage learning, UK

Luger E, 2009, Hofstede Cultural Dimensions, GRIN, Germany

McManus J, 2006, Leadership: Project & Human Capital Management, BH, UK

Mondy R W, 2008, HRM, 3rd Edition, Pearson Education, India

Olsen M, Zhao J, 2008, Handbook of hospitality strategic management, Butterworth-Heinemann, UK

Paul J, 2008, International Business, PHI Learning, India

Pizam A, 2005, international encyclopedia of hospitality management, Butterworth-Heinemann, UK

Poole M, 1999, HRM, Routledge, USA & Canada

Price A, 2007, HRM in a Business Context, Cengage Learning EMEA, USA

Rae L, 2000, Effective Planning in Training & Development, Kogan Page, GB

Reddington M, Williamson M & Withers M, 2005, Transforming HR: Creating Value Through People, BH, GB

Schuler R S & Jackson S E, 1999, Strategic Human Resource Management, Blackwell Publisher, GB

Sims R R & Vares J G, 1999, Keys to Employee Success in Coming Decades, Greenwood Publishing Group, USA

Singh S, 2006, HRD and Managerial Development, Global Vision Publishing, India

Smith L & Mounter P, 2008, Effective Internal Communication, Kogan Page Publishers, India

Tanke M, 2000, HRM for hospitality industry, Cengage learning, US

Wierzbicka A, 1999, Emotions Across Languages & Culture, Cambridge University Press, GB

Wvans P B, 2010, The Global Challenge, Tata Mc G

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Human Resource Planning and Development

Introduction:

Tesco is largest present day British retailer. Started by Mr. jack Cohen from small grocery stall in east London in 1919. The Tesco brand appeared five years later in 1924 as a result of Mr. T. E. Stockwell brought consignment of tea. Tesco name designed by combining the initial letters Te- s- co in 1929 to open first Tesco store in Burnt oak , North London.(source: www.thetimes100.co.uk)

Since then Tesco expanding by getting hold to the market by understanding customers need in the right way. In the United Kingdom Today Tesco have more than 2200 stores (source:www.thetimes100.co.uk). From large hyper market Tesco Direct to small Tesco Express. By maintaining the variety product range from grocery to general merchandise. Tesco diversified their business in sectors like electrical good, telephone equipment, banking , airtime, insurance services and now a day Tesco providing electronic shoppingservice via their web site to attract their customers, achieving their primary aim ‘to serve customers’

(Source:www.thetimes100.co.uk)

As the company grown up and spread worldwide from one man and one stall. Its efficient work force also amplified.

(sourse:www.thetimes100.co.uk).

Task 1 :

Human Resource management

Personnel management is old style name of HR management. HRM is particularly focused to develop peoples and nurture to achieve organisational goal.

Traditional view of HR have mainly four objectives.

Staffing objective: Staffing make sure that make right staff available for right work at the correct time. By means of that identifying feature of the job and executing recruitment process, select to assure correct match and retaining the same.

Performance objective: once staff is at right position they need to encourage to perform. This is achieved by development process, giving target and appraisal system. .

Change management objective: These needs if organisation are in constantly developing in modern competitive world .

Administrative objectives: These need to fulfil for organisation to run smoothly. These include paying the employee regularly, Employment legislation needs. Maintainproper and accurate records. Administration also deals with the legislation, equal opportunity, managing diversity, and also with recruitment, retaliation , training and rewards.

(Blosi,W,2007)

Human resource activities:

Strategic HR management, following the equal opportunity employment, fulfil the staffing need of the organisation, human resource development,

Dealing with the compensation and benefits to the staff. Dealing with health, safety and security aspects, performance management.

General goals of HR are enhancing productivity and quality, complying with legal and social obligations, promoting individual growth and development and make progress in organisational effectiveness.

Personnel Management: Personnel management is term which describe the policies of the organisation, and process to manage people at work . It is old fashion name of the human resource management. It works in same fashion to HRM strategy and the business strategy. It state that line manager is responsible for managing peoples. personnel management is activity aimed primarily at non managers .it influenced line management.

Legge (1989)

Difference between Human resource management and personnel management

Human resource models:

Number of models are available for human resource management.

Matching Model:

Fombrun et al.’s(1984) focus on the resource feature of HRM.

and use peoples towards objectives.

HR should be get cheaply and use to the fullest.

(source: Fombrun et al.’s(1984))

HR should be managed according to organisational strategy.

The matching model say’s that human resource cycle consists of standard functions.

(Fombrun et al.’s(1984))

That is selection of most appropriate resource. Proper Appraisal depending on performance, Rewards for achievement to encourage future performance and fourth is development developing high quality employee through training.

Fombrun et al.’s(1984)

Harvard frame work model:

Depend on view point , how organisation want to see employees and their development. It underline the human aspect. related to organisation-employee relationship. It also consider the interest of shareholders related to objectives of organisation

Ref: Beer et.al (1984)

Model based on the four policies:

Human resource flow in the organisation,

reward system fallowed by management, influence of the employee and

work system in the organisation.

Ref: Beer et.al (1984)

The result that HR policies need to attain are commitment, competence, equivalence and cost effectiveness to maintain mutual trust and improve performance. Line managers set HR policies.

Ref: Beer et.al (1984)

It is extended through four policies first is setting goal.

Integration of strategies, highly commitment to the goal,

And giving high quality.

Ref: Beer et.al (1984)

Task 2 :

A) Recruitment selection and retention:

For new store I need to ensure the exact number of staff at right work at perticular time.

For the new store staff will be required for different activities. As the store is in the small village I should select the staff from same locality, considering their availability for job and cost.

For Recruitment first step is to understand the job requirement. Nature of the job. Then the method to recruit them.

Internal recruitment : process in which current employees looking to move to the new store either at same position or on promotion. Internal recruitment helps to motivate for promotion and to improve performance. I first look for the employees internally from the database of the Tesco.

(Source: www.thetimes100.co.uk)

External recruitment: It is fulfil the position by recruiting the staff .Once decided to recruit selection of appropriate candidate and following cost effective method is important.

(Source : www.thetimes100.co.uk )

For a new store I require line managers, Sales assistant, Check out staff, stock handlers, supervisors, warehouse employees, security, cleaner.

Line managers :(05)

Sales assistant :(25)

Check out staff: (15)

Warehouse employees: (15)

Stock handlers:(20)

Security: (10)

Cleaner:(10)

Job description:

1) Sales assistance:

Job Title: sales assistance

Responsible to: shop manager

Hours : 45 per week

Typical work activities include

Customer handling in all areas of sales

Should match and sets sales targets in busy and pressured environment.

Giving suggestion to the customers

Handling customer complaints.

Arranging delivery dates .

awareness of particular retail area may be required for some roles. Successful sales assistant should have good negotiation skill.

(Sourse lorriaine, 2009)

(Source: www.prospects.ac.uk)

Person Specification: Sales Assistant

Essential

Should have Experience of working within a sales field.

To be honest, dealing of cash and card handling.

Should have excellent communication skills

Should have understanding of customer care.

Desirable:

Experience in working witha similar shop.

Experience in working as volunteer.

Knowledge of Health and Safety issues.

(www.greenandaway.org)

2) Job description security guard:

Job Title: security guard

Reporting to : line manager

Hours : full time

Patrolling of premises to insure security of doors, windows and gates

Monitoring and authorization of entrance and departure of employees.

Reporting of daily activities and irregularities.

Call police or fire department in case of emergency

Inspectingand adjust the functions of security systems, equipments, and machinery.

(Sourece:www.careerplanner.com)

Personnel specification for security guard:

Recruitment process involves Advertisement of the job, Inviting applications, screening of application, Interview, Selection of the appropriate candidate.

Advertisement: Advertisement of the job vacancy is crucial to attract the right candidate. Advertise the vacancy through internet, News papers, TV, radio, educational institutions , Public employment agencies, labour union.

For new Tesco store I will advertise the vacancy on the Tesco carrier website and in local news papers, and putting the advertise on the site location as well as in the central place in that village. As peoples of that village are not well familiar with the use of modern technology like internet. Considering these facts I decided to put advertise in the village.

Application forms : from the advertisement peoples will apply for the suitable post. After dead line of submitting the applications I will collect all the applications for further process.

Screening of the applications ; from the all applicants CV I will scrutinise the appropriate applications and send letters to the selected candidates inviting them for interview.

Interview: It is the most important stage of recruitment. For interview planning some issues must be considered like schedule of interview, Panel for interview, setting the room for interview. number of candidates etc.

Assessment of candidate can be made by tests and interview

Employment tests used to judge a person’s knowledge, skills and other characteristics.

Different tests are ability tests like aptitude tests, Physical ability tests, Job knowledge test and Work sampler test

Interview : After the tests the number of candidates short listed is relatively low as they can be easily interviewed and easy to judge right candidate. At the time of interview candidates is first time face to face. you can assess by asking the set of questions to candidate. We can gather more information about them. Questions about their qualification, experience, skills, hobbies interests, and personnel and family background etc.

After interview we get clear idea about the applicants. From them appropriate candidates are selected.

Then successful candidates are offered a job.

B) Retention:

Once the successful candidates are appointed it is very important to keep staff turn over very low to keep the cost down. As recruitment process is very costly.

Retention is process by which staff is maintained within the organisation. As a long term policy of HR. Technical and talented staff is asset for organisation. Furthermore organisation have invested money on recruitment , training and development .

Pay : Rising pay level reduce staff turnover. Payment is first aspect responsible for staff turnover .so it is important to give right pay level and increment to staff.

(Sturges and guest 1999,p.19)

Managing expectations: As organisation expect performance from the employee. Employee also expect from the organisation certain things like work environment, job satisfaction, and other facilities. We should understand their expectations and manage them timely.

(Jenner and Tayler 2000,p.155)

Appraisal: appraisal is process when you discuss the performance of employee. What is performance during the last year or specific time. Whether it is satisfactory or not. Then giving the pay rise or benefits for doing well and motivates them for future tasks.

Induction: Effective timely induction to staff is necessary. So that staff can learn new things new roles in various sections and know more which can give him job satisfaction.

Family friendly HR practise must be fallowed.

Training and development: Training to the staff must be given time to time regarding their job. So they can improve their knowledge and get opportunity to develop and learn new things and skills.

(Green et al.2000,pp 267-72)

Improvement in the quality of the line management

C )Legal and ethical issues considered during the recruitment:

Employment protection act 1978:

According to employment protection act 1978 after selection procedure offer of employment will be made at that time it is up to the applicant whether to accept it or reject it. Terms and contracts of employment must be clearly defined. also it must contain job title and date of commencement. Terms of payment is clearly mentioned. It also must contain details about working hours , Number of holidays given, Pay of the sick leaves , and pension. It must provide details of termination. It should also contain disciplinary procedures.

(source:www.opsi.gov.uk)

Sex discrimination act 1975:

It is against law to discriminate by gender.

men and women should be considered equally in all conditions of employment.

Organisation must provide equal terms and conditions of employment. This act applies to all sectors. Law applies for both direct or indirect discrimination.

(source:www.opsi.gov.uk)

Race relation Act1976:

According to race relation act 1976 one cannot discriminate on racial grounds and racial groups related to colour ,race ,religion ,nationality ,ethnic origin.

(source:www.opsi.gov.uk)

Equal pay act 1970:

The act says to stop discrimination in terms of payment. Men and women employed should paid equally in the same work.

(Source:www.opsi.gov.uk)

Disability discrimination act:

This act is in forced to protect disabled peoples. Disabled peoples should not be discriminated when they apply for job.

Law state that they should get chance to give interview. Place where they doing job must be made accessible to them.

(Source:www.opsi.gov.uk)

Rehabilitation of offenders Act1974:

This act is made to rehabilitation of convicted peoples. Law says that conviction of imprisonment for more than 30 months may be erased. if the offender does not commit further serious offence during rehabilitation he is eligible and we cannot discriminate him.

(Source:www.opsi.gov.uk)

Task 3:

a)

Paul is 44 year old supervisor. It has been reported that recently he is coming late to the work and living early. He is working for Tesco since last 22 years but now days he is not disciplinary in his work. This has happen to him recently living early and coming late to work regularly specially on the Monday.

When the complaint comes to me I call Mr.Paul in office and discuss the problem with him I enquire about his irregularities in work and whether he have any problem. He did not give any specific reason. So I give him first verbal warning and ask him to be regular.

After first warning I observe him for next three months. I gave him chance to overcome. But within these next three months he didn’t improve. So I call him again and give him second verbal warningtold him that if you don’t improve this time I will take action. This time I told him that if he wants to bring a friend with him he can bring or if he wants to come with any union representative. Gave him another chance for next three months for improvement

But within these three months his improvement was not satisfactory so this is the time for me to give him written warning. So I call him and told him to bring one witness with him friend, relative or a union person. He came with union person. I discuss his problem in front of union person and give written warning that it is his last chance for improvement if didn’t improve I will take action against him. The union representative try to cover him and told me that give him chance this time he will improve. He also told that he had some personal and family problems that’swhy he is not regular and unable to concentrate in his work. The union representative assure me that this time he will improve. So I again keep him under observation.

Till this time I document all that had happened and collect the evidences recorded like his in time and out time to the job. So that it is useful for me to take further action. And observe him for next three months.

This time I recognise improvement in his behaviour, he is coming in time and also going on time. Also his awareness of job is improved.

So there is no need to take the case to the next level.

b)

Sheena is 28 years of old and she is a machine operator in a packaging department. Security staff reported me that he found her stealing some finished products and partly finished products. She is working for company since last 3 years. She has been told to report me next morning at 9.00 am.

I took this complaint seriously when she came to my office I ask her about the incident and the explanation regarding to case. But as she has caught red handed she does not have any explanation. As it is first time I gave her strict verbal warning. I told security staff to keep close watch on her.

For a few days her behaviour is normal but one day I again got complaint against her about stealing ofpartly finished goods. So this time I called her and told to bring any friend or relative or union representative with her. She came with union representative. I discuss the case with them. As case is very serious but union representative wants me to give her another chance and he is strongly defending her. So this time I gave her a written warning in front of union representative. And also tell them that she is not going to work in the same department. I transferred her to another department where only raw material is processed. So that she has nothing to steal there. And also warn her that it is her last chance.

I document all the events and evidence to support the case and told security to keep watch on her.

I gave her another chance to improve. But she does not improved after one month I got complaint against her this time I decided to take the case to next level. I collect all evidence and write a notice to her.

The notice must be given by hand or by recorded post. So I called her to collect the notice and told her if she wants come with someone with her. She came with union representative.

As a evidence one person must be there and it must be recorded. I told union representative that it is very serious matter and we have given her chance to improve but she did not. So there is no other alternative. I have to terminate her. But union representative is arguing with me but she does not have any strong point to defend her. So now the time to give her letter and sack.

But union representative request me not to sack her otherwise her carrier may be in dark as she is young and no one will take to her for next job. So consider about her future.

Then I told her to resign and she resigned from the job.

Conclusion:

Setting of work force is most important part for any business. To fulfil the demand of the staff. It consists of recruitment of new staff, selecting the appropriate staff. Train the existing staff. Motivate to work to achieve organisational target. And retain the staff.

Tesco have many job opportunities. Always need people with correct skills to maintain the development. Tesco has very good organisational configuration for carry out job.

Tesco have clear, easy and well defined procedure of recruitment and selection. So can manage its changing demand for the staff.

Recommendation:

As Tesco is developing very fast they must manage and maintain the work force. Tesco is spreading their wings in rural areas and villages to different countries. It must require additional work force so they should maintain the present staff. Train them to develop.

Most important is to attract new innovative talent to their organisation. Specially recruit young staff management students. They should search from different colleges and also the trainee graduates. Understand the different needs of the different locality.

And Tesco should enter in many other new fields of retailing to fulfil the customers all needs.

Bibliography:

1. Blosi,W.(2007),”An introduction to human resource management”,

Berkshire,McGraw-Hill Education.

2. Sission,K.(1989).”Personnel management in Britain”, basil Blackwell Ltd.

3. Trorrington,D.(2008 7th ed),“Human resource management”, England, Pearson.

4 .Yeung,R.(2008),”Successful Interviewing and recruitment”, Kogan page

limited.

5.The Times 100 website: www.thetimes100.co.uk

6. http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/case-study–recruitment-selection–132–323–1.php

7.http://www.prospects.ac.uk/p/types_of_job/retail_sales_assistant_job_description.jsp

8. http://www.careerplanner.com/Job-Descriptions/Security-Guards.cfm

9. www.greenandaway.org/objects/sust/SalesAssistPersonSpec.pdf

10. www.devonjobs.gov.uk/attachments/1263/TBE7141PS.doc

11.http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1978/cukpga_19780044_en1

12.http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1975/pdf/ukpga_19750065_en.pdf

13.http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1976/cukpga_19760074_en1

14. www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1970/pdf/ukpga_19700041_en.pdf

15.http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1995/ukpga_19950050_en_1

16.http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1974/cukpga_19740053_en1

Categories
Free Essays

Human Resource and Cross Cultural Diversity of Holiday inn

Introduction

This report is a research about human resource and cross cultural diversity of Holiday inn. Almost all professional’s work with different cultural backgrounds and communication styles. Developing communication skills with different people requires honesty, trust and respect. In this report the main objective will be about how holiday inn manages its employees and the aspects of managing cultural diversity.

There will be descriptions about the HR policies and how holiday inn overcomes its problems relating to HR.

Company background

Holiday Inn is a subsidiary of Intercontinental Hotel Groups (IHG).IHG operates 7 brands of hotel worldwide and the headquarters are in the UK. The chain includes

intercontinental hotels and resorts
crown plaza hotel and resort
holiday inn express
stay bridge suites
holiday inn hotels and resort
hotel indigo
candlewood suites

Holiday Inn is a stylish hotel which offers refreshing simplicity. Holiday Inn is the most recognized hotel brand in the world with a global reputation for service, comfort, value and location.

After the prelaunch of Holiday Inn, today it has come up with its many chains and sub branches like holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Club Vacations and Holiday Inn Garden Court.

With over more than 3000 branches worldwide and 65 in the UK it has become the largest hotel chain.

Its main aim is to full fill customer’s desire and employees need. That’s why holiday inn has come up with value offers; priority club rewards occasion’s offers for the comfort of its customers. For easy access it also provides online booking, lend rooms for meetings, conferences and many other such facilities for more comport and ease of customers. This hotel is conveniently located and you can find them through out the world or just outside the Airport. Today, Holiday Inn is proud to be an Official Olympic partner 2012 in London.

This will include hosting the world’s athletes and welcoming them to Holiday inn family. They also be providing flexible employment so that they can earn while train.

History of the Company

The foundation of Holiday inn was in 1952. It was opened in Memphis, Tennessee by Kemmons Wilson. He also wanted to provide less-costly accommodations for families. So he teamed-up with Wallace E. Johnson. Kemmons Wilson first came up with the idea to team-up following a road trip to Washington, D.C. He claims to have been so disappointed with the quality of the roadside motels he encountered, that he wanted to do something that would bring change. The name of the Holiday Inn franchise was originally provided as a joke by architect Eddie Bluestein. Bluestein was making reference to the Bing Crosby movie. The chain grew dramatically in 1957, following the chain’s official renaming as Holiday Inn. Within one year, there were over fifty Inns throughout America. In 1968, the 1000th Holiday Inn opened in San Antonio; Texas. In 1970’s The Holiday Inn chain led the motel market, putting a huge amount of financial pressure on more traditional hotels. It also set the standard for copycat competitors like Days Inn, Ramada Inn, Best Western and Howard Johnson’s. When Wilson was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in 1972, there were over 1,400 Holiday Inn hotels worldwide. The decision to include indoor pools at many of the chains, further brought customers flocking through the doors. Wilson retired from his work with Holiday Inn in 1979. Holiday Inn lost its dominance over the market in the 1980s. In 1988, the franchise was bought by Bass Brewers, which would later become the InterContinental Hotels Group. Two years later, the Holiday Inn Hotels located in the United States were also purchased after Wilson sold his remaining interest in the company. Holiday Inn is still a name that can be used by leasing the brand franchise from InterContinental who holds the rights to it. In January 2002; the company produced a new 130-room “Next Generation” prototype hotel to rebuild the brand. It included a bistro-like restaurant and an indoor pool. The first of these prototype hotels, the Holiday Inn Gwinnett Center, was built in Duluth, Georgia, in 2003.On 24 October 2007; IHG announced a worldwide prelaunch of the Holiday Inn brand. The prelaunch is “focused on delivering consistently best in class service and physical quality levels, including a redesigned welcome experience [and] signature bedding and bathroom products…” The first prelaunch Holiday Inn opened in the USA in the spring of 2008. Currently there are more than 2,500 prelaunch Holiday Inn brand hotels around the world and the Holiday Inn global brand prelaunch process is on track to be completed by the end of 2010. In September 2008, IHG announced the creation of a new timeshare brand, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, a strategic alliance with The Family of Orange Lake Resorts. Holiday inn relaunch was the biggest relaunch ever in the history of hotel industry.

Jane Bednall from Holiday Inn said: “The Holiday Inn relaunch is all about focusing on what matters most to our guests – a modern, contemporary hotel with friendly efficient service and offering a great night’s sleep. We’ve teamed up with Diversity to bring this to life for our guests in a fun and entertaining way and to mark our 100threlaunched hotel in Europe. The “Dance Inn” not only shows off what a relaunched Holiday Inn hotel looks like, but also gives people some great moves for the dance floor.”

Features of Holiday Inn

9 Floors
120 Guest rooms
68 Double Bedded rooms
52 Single Bedded rooms
8 Suites
1 Special rooms for disables
Downtown
Cocktail Longue
Gym
Swimming Pool
Travel Desk
3 Restaurants
Car Rental desk
On-site business facilities
Kid Suites room

Organizational Chart

Holiday inn organizes its management in a very authentic way. The organizational chart is a vertical one where the General Manager is the main head of the organization and if in absences of him/her the executive secretary is in charge. The chart shows a centralized power and formal control system. This essentially indicates that there is a routine task for every department and strictly emphasis on its rules and regulations. This helps to smoothen in the operation of the organization which clearly defines who is responsible for what. Also, helps to provide a consultation on what the organization core and culture is about and how to proceed the organization infrastructure to support those needs.

The HR holds the responsibilities in formation of the hotel and its employees. HR has

HRM Activities

There are certain rules and process to be carried out by the HR department for a refined performance in the hotel by the employees and the heads themselves.

PLANNING

Planning is a process to accomplish goals. It should be real depending upon the activities. Holiday Inn basically follows 5 planning rules.

a. Long term plan

Long term plan is achieving respect from every traveler by being the number one choice and to earn revenue for the establishment of a better business.

b. Short term plan

It’s main focus to be friendly and caring with all its customers and to give comfort feeling of stay.

Normally, Holiday Inn focuses in short term plan. The plans are made accordingly to its financial matters entirely by the management department. Furthermore, the term “Manning” is also applied by the HR manager in the hotel. In this process the HR has to maintain a proper record of employees working in a specific year and to maintain the number of employees.

c. Benchmarking

As Holiday Inn is a franchise of Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), it has to maintain a standard of benchmarking of hotels competing against ING.

d. Contingency Planning

Every organization has a contingency plan for every department. For Example, In Holiday Inn, The contingency plan in the HR department is, if the chief chef leaves the hotel for any reason the hotel will hire a trained chef for a certain period of time under contract basis until Holiday Inn finds its own chef.

By having a contingency plan it helps the organization to avoid halt of operations during emergencies and helps to cope with unexpected situations and developments.

e. Participatory Planning

This plan refers to involvement of every staffs and workers in the hotel to formulate and carry out a plan. Different employees inspire different plan which helps for further decision. The HR is responsible to make sure every employee has an implemented plan, this leads for a better efficiency of work in the hotel.

The main objective of planning is to focus on future demand and to get the right people with right number of employee in the organization. The Human resouces Process needs to be implemented which helps for future personnel needs , cope up with sudden and future change, create highly talented personnel and internal expansion with good reputation of the company.

JOB ANALYSIS

HR plays the major role in job specification, description and performance standards. The first step is to complete a formal job analysis for each position. Holiday inn evaluates the information provided by concerned department heads. The observation and interviews are the major sources taken care by the HR department.

Holiday inn has a certain rules for job analysis where step by step process is implemented.

Firstly, they check the job information with accuracy then write a job description based in the information proved and determine the skills, abilities and knowledge that is required.

In this process all the involvement of employee is untaken for collecting job related information’s, duties and responsibilities. Mainly job analysis is considered as gathering information, processing them, giving job description and specification.

Holiday Inn makes its analysis by observations, interviews and questionnaire’s where specialists are assigned in co operation with manages, supervisors and employees. To design a job, the specialists are required where HR plays the role in recruitment, Selection, training and other practices in the Hotel of employee. Lastly, the job analysis form or samples is printed with job title, job description, reporting person duties and responsibilities.

Employee Recruitment

Employee recruitment in simple term is recruiting qualified employees. There are certain regulations to be followed by the HR manager for recruitment process. The HR manager is responsible for designing and implementing the process that will fulfill the industry’s needs. Furthermore the HR is responsible for finding sources of applicants, writing and placing the advertisements, contracting agencies and schools.

Holiday Inn divides its recruiting process in two terms:

Internal Recruitment:

This type of recruitment is mostly in practice in Holiday inn. Here, it focuses in present employee’s application for required position. Then if there is any reference from current or former workers is taken under consideration.

External Recruitment:

External recruitment is a difficult part for the HR manager. Finding a candidate from outside the organization needs a lot of thinking. The effectiveness and success of the organization depends on the external recruitment process. External recruitment done in this hotel is placing advertisements in new papers/radio/television, contacting universities/colleges/institutes or agencies, walk-in interviews, etc

The HR department of Holiday in practices its recruitment process in six stages.

Planning
Strategic development
Searching
Screening
Evaluation
control

SELECTION

Different hotels have different selection process. It basically depends upon the managerial policies. Selecting a candidate is a long process from the time of interview to final contract. HR manager has all the responsibility to hire the person/candidate with the best abilities, skills and knowledge. The format of Holiday Inn in selection process is

Taking application forms
Screening the forms
Interviews selected forms( job interview and personal interview)
Testing( oral and written tests)
Selection in probation ( which takes 3 months time)
Background and reference check
Physical examination
Hiring on the basis of permanent or part-time contract.

Once a candidate is hired his/her performance is evaluated every month by the supervisors. Holiday inn selection is made positively supporting the diversity and selection is made according to the requirement of the job.

Orientation & Placement

After the selection process is over Holiday inn introduces each employee to its new job, co workers and organization. This is done for the comfort of new employees. Orientation about every department and every employee is given which normally takes 2-3 weeks. Placement is giving the right job to the new candidate. Mainly assessment classification is placed for newly hired employee.

Training & Development

Training and development activities are carried on in order to implant specific skills, knowledge and ability in an employee. Holiday inn believes that effective training is the success of a hotel.

There are two techniques which holiday Inn implies:

On-Job Training:

This type of training requires planning and supervision for effective development in practice and employee oriented capabilities. This training is cost effective. Assigning workers in sales, food & beverage department, check in, check out positions are practically done in training. Furthermore, list of sequel steps are that should be correctly followed and required materials/tools are provided for effective training. In the end, feedback from every candidate is undertaken and evaluated.

Off-job Training:

The three main focus of off-job training is in-house, external and independent.

Where, in In-house lectures, demonstrations and technical knowledge is provided.

External focuses on discipline concerned with hospitality and finally independent focuses on training methods controlled and managed by the learner himself. Which includes, computer assisted learning and interactive visual learning.

The training process of Holiday inn is categorized as:

Assessing training needs
preparing the training plans
specifying training objectives
designing the training program
selecting the structural methods
completing the training plan
conducting the training
evaluation the training
placing further training (if required)

This process helps in developing the potential in every employee to make a long term successful career.

PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL

Performance appraisal is the actual performance of an employee, behavior on duty and potential for future. It is generally done for the promotion or termination on an employee. There are different methods of appraisal in different hotels but commonly used is rating scale method which is either done on day to day performance or questionnaire.

Challenges of performance Appraisal In Holiday Inn

create an Excellence in culture and environment for every employee
encourage the employee to make their own decision without the fear of failing
provide and implement new challenges
Developments of growths for skilled employees.

The main process of Appraisal is:

To set objectives of Performance Appraisal
Establish job expectation
Design an Appraisal programmer
Performance interview
In use of appraisal data.

360 DEGREE PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

360 DEGREE appraisal involves process of receiving feedback from people whose views are considered useful for future. 360 degree feedback is typically provided in a form indicating skills, behavior, and scoring judgment process.

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

Taking in consideration, with the ride of misbehaviors and unethical practices taking place in age, gender, religion discrimination and harassment, there needs to be a fair treatment to every employee. The HR department acts in involvement as liaison between entities, agencies and employees who should properly address and resolve the issues. For better performance, positive relation between organization and employees should be well maintained. Holiday inn basically concerns better relation of employees in the following:

Employee remuneration

The HR department determines the remuneration policy. In holiday inn, the external and internal factors are taken under consideration which deals with factors like cost of living, labour laws, economy, ability to pay the employees, performance appraisal, incentive payments. The hotel provides incentives to its well being employees which is decided by the HR manager.

Employees Benefits and services

The benefits and services provided by the hotel is Insurance, social secutity, worker’s compensation and even pay for not working hours such as annual leaves, sick leaves, casual leave, maternity leaves.

The furthermore services provided are:

One time free lunch and twice tea break
Discount on hotel rooms and food
Appreciation letter
Award for employee of the month.
Employee Welfare

The term refers in taking care of the worker’s. it also refers in recognizing the value of workers, motivating them, building up local hotel reputation and minimizing social evils. The HR department has one more role to participate in and keep the record of health of every employee.

Industrial relation:

Holiday inn firstly established its relation with Gulf Oil Corporation in 1963, which was a long tern contract but ended up in 1982. In the past, the hotel went through many conflicts due to its name and logos. After the relaunch of Holiday Inn and becoming a subsidiary of Intercontinental Hotel Groups, it became success in establishing its reputation again in the hospitality industry.

Today Holiday inn has many contacts with many other industrial brands such as a collective agreement with national automobile, aerospace and transportation of Canada. IHG announced in August 2010, that it has signed a franchises agreement with Alianza Fiduciara for building up a new branch of Holiday Inn in Columbia. There are more than 55 holiday inn brand in German’s and some is under constructions. Holiday Inn plays a major role in participating in IHG’s guest’s loyalty programmer.

Managerial Diversity

Managerial diversity is simply the differences between people of different gender, ethnic group, personality, color, background, education and so on. The Hr manager needs to effectively deal with the change, adaptability and communication of the employees in the organization. Holiday Inn is ready to spend resources in the management of diversity. But there are some challenges of diversity which arises such as communication which is a major problem in an organization, the resistance to change, which majority of the employee do not accept. The implementation of diversity in workplace is important aspect to think for the HR. holiday Inn one of those hotels which allows every employee to express its views and ideas.

Recommendations

When strengthening competitiveness take place many industry choose internal management actions including training and education and announcing employee pay role which is a lot of burden for the HR department. In Holiday Inn, to achieve progress there should be innovation of culture within the organization, which can help to cope up with arising challenges. The HRM should participate on more advice of management at all levels about implication of various practical policies. Programs such as job enrichment, incentive system should be purposed. More female worker should be introduced without any discrimination. The communication barriers needs to overcome and should be ready participation on adapting change. Many workers refuse to accept the fact of cultural changing in workplace. There should be proper tranined, motivated and more importantly flexible workplace. There is a very lengthy process of recruitment which should be minimized. Involvement of every employee should be taken in consideration of executive diversity. The hotel should permit the employees to join the crew on a permanent basis. Lastly, the hotel should participate in some corporate social activities as it is a part of the social well-being.

Conclusion

Hotel industry has similar work policy. Holiday Inn is a well known hotel which changes according to traveler’s need. It has made ease for every customers with online reservation facilities. The good HR policy will not only be the policy which only considers HR function with care but consider them as a culture of hotel policy. In Holiday Inn, employee care is the first policy. This gives a comfortable feeling to the employee which motivates them to work with interests. The working environment is quite friendly which helps employees to discuss their problems without hesitation. There is no discrimination made regardless age, gender, color, nationality, disabilities and so on. The responsibility of HR is much higher in Holiday Inn. The problem arising in HR department is systematically resolved .The cultural diversity is sometimes the major problem which should be taken under consideration .Lastly, as economy became global the work force becomes diverse .The Hotel’s success depends on how it manages the diversity in the work place. Therefore, evaluation of organization diversity policy and plans for the future is completely necessary.

REFERENCES

1. http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/12514/careers_and_job_hunting/how_hr_works_to_get_the_job_done.html

2. http://www.scribd.com/doc/27129689/Holiday-Inn

3. http://www.scribd.com/doc/20896686/Holiday-Inn-HRM

4. http://www.qualobster.eu/doc/Definition%20of%20Diversity%20Management.pdf

5. http://www.scribd.com/doc/22945926/HR-Practices-in-Hotel-Industry

6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holiday_inn

7. http://www.ihgplc.com/index.asp?pageid=409

8. http://download-reports.blogspot.com/search/label/Hotels%20and%20Recreational%20Business

9. http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/1168259/Holiday-Inn.html

10. http://www.answers.com/topic/cross-cultural

11. http://www.ihgplc.com/index.asp?PageID=57&NewsID=2370

12. http://www.lrb.bc.ca/cas/WTI19.pdf

13. http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4050312.html

14. http://www.diversityworking.com/employerZone/diversityManagement/?id=9

Categories
Free Essays

Human resource management

Introduction:

Human Resource Management is also a strategic and comprehensive approach to managing people and the workplace culture and environment. Effective HRM enables employees to contribute effectively and productively to the overall company direction and the accomplishment of the organization’s goals and objectives.

As competitors strive to win the war for talent, effective human resource management is necessary to gain true competitive advantage in the marketplace. Three challenges faced by nations and companies in 19th century are shown in Curtis (2006) “The Century of the Self” Part 1 are sustainability, technology, and globalization.

Curtis (2006)

Sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions.

Globalization requires attention to “more than conducting business across national borders but also entails expanding com­petition for almost every type of organization presenting management with the challenge to operate in diverse cultural settings” (Edwards, 2006)

Globalization represents the structural making of the world characterized by the free flow of tech­nology and human resources across national boundaries as well as the spread of Information Tech­nology and mass media presenting an ever-changing and competitive business environment.

Globalization makes national culture an increasingly strategic issue that has to be faced and properly managed. The problem is the balancing of the global trends in human resource management with the influence of national culture because many aspects of HRM are affected by differences in national culture. Custis (2006) analyze the problem of balancing seemingly opposing forces (globalization and the influence of national culture) and to identify trends in HRM during 20th century across coun­tries: USA, Germany and United Kingdom.

Curtis (2006)

Technology not only changes the administration of human resources (HR), but also changes organizations and work. HR professionals must be able to adopt technologies that allow the reengineering of the HR function, be prepared to support organizational and work-design changes enabled by technology, and be able to support the proper managerial climate for innovative and knowledge-based organizations.

By far the most significant drivers of strategic change in the world today, globalization and technology innovation, are accelerating at a pace that will make them even more important in the decade ahead. Globalization is proceeding differently in different industries , driven primarily by: increasingly similar demands of end users for global products: changing needs and capabilities of global customers , underlying economics of scale and scope in research , product development , and manufacturing . Technology enables firms within an industry to capture economics of scale and scope by going global, global firms rely on technological innovation to enhance their capabilities. Technology is thus both driven by, and key driver of globalization.

Asian and Western Management Styles

Management style is the set of philosophies or principles by which the management exercise control over the workforce and bind diverse operations and functions together in order to achieve organizational goals. Earlier research found that firms which tend to employ the participative (or Western) management style favor allowing workers to enhance their professional skills. In contrast, it has been suggested that centralized decision-making, the traditional Asian management style, which is characterized by paternalistic leadership, collectivist orientation and greater power distance between managers and workers, could impede individual creativity (Thompson, 1965) and hence hold back the development of professional skills.

Western Management Education:

It is now widely accepted that HRM, as a concept, was initially popularized in the USA . In fact , the teaching of management and business as education subjects was first pioneered in the united states. Wharton Business School, which was created in 1881 .In contrast, Cranfield School of management and London Business School, which were the first two schools in Europe , were created in 1965. (Locke, 1989)

The Americans were first into the field not only of management, but also of human resource management and arguably have developed hegemony in what the subject involves and what is good practice (Brewster, 2000). HRM is viewed as a logical and rational system. From this viewpoint of seeking, Fomburn et al.(1984) state that the activity of managing HR consists in a five-step cycle: selection , performance, appraisal , rewards and development. Indeed, all firms have to manage this (or a similar) process regardless of where they are in the world. However, it is helpful to consider the management of HR not as a strict system of ‘rational’ processes but as the process of managing people. People cannot be ‘managed’ in a vaccum, they are managed within a context.(e.g. cultural, social, educational, religious, geographical, legal, historical). The process of HRM is therefore not neutral, it is surrounded by cultural, social and other norms characteristic of human behavior. Although the American development of HRM first appeared akin to a scientific process , a number of writers have since put it into context and characterized a so-called US- Model of HRM or in some formulations, a ‘uni-versalistic’ model, since its proponents argue that it can be applied anywhere in the world. It is important to spend some time reflecting on what underpins the notion of American HRM as it follows other complementary positions to be refined. (Harzing & Ruysseveldt, 2004)

The findings summarized here provide an illustration of nationally bounded collective mental maps about organizations that seem to resist convergence effects from increased professionalization of management and intensity of international business. Neighboring western nations seem to be forming fairly differentiated images of organizations and their management. This attempt to use a comparative phenomenological approach to the study of organization seems to elicit findings that cast serious doubt on the universality of management and organizational knowledge and praxis

It may be very well be that the management process in these western countries is as much culture blund as their cooking , and that international management has to avoid the trap of international cuisine. National cultures may still offer some genuine recipes.

Eastern Management Education:

Human resources management in East Asian

With the reforms of the employment system, a new system, a new terminology of human resource management came to China in the middle of the 1980s.Warner(1995, 1997). Initially, HRM as an academic concept was introduced by joint teaching arrangements between Chinese and foreign universities as well as in management practice in foreign-owned enterprises, mainly from japan, the US and Europe (warner ,1995). The translation of HRM into Chinese is renliziyuan guanli (with the same Chinese characters as in Japanese) which means ‘labour force resources management’. But in fact , some people now use it misleading as a synonym for ‘Personnel Management’ (renshi guanli) and indeed treat it as such (Warner,1997). This form of older personnel management practice is still very common in SOEs and a fair degree of conservatism continues to pervade the administration of personnel in such enterprises. Certainly, it is still very far from the initial concept of HRM as understood in the international community (Poole, 1997).

In parallel, attempts were made to import ‘enterprise culture’, a ‘code-word’ for adopting and adapting the Japanese model (Chan, 1995). This is normally found in firms entering JV arrangements with Japanese multinational companies or where the Japanese have set up wholly owned firms on site.

East Asia has been surge economic growth since 1960s. Its cultural background has undoubtedly played a significant role in this process. There is a core value- system based on the combined characteristics of Confucianism, Daoism and war strategies which still has a strong influence on Asian HRM, although clearly exceptions also apply.

Indian Human resource Management:

Indian Management practioners and academics have developed a distinctive approach to Human Resource Development. HRD approaches are increasingly playing a role in organizational responces to issues arising from liberalization. Accustomed to operating in protected markets, organization are having to learn to manage combining the virtues of conflicting market models , rather than relying exclusively on a single set of pre-conditioned theoretically validated policies. HRD therefore addresses the need to arrest deteriorating values, building up organizational and cultural strengths, broadening the philosophy of tolerance and sacrifice and displaying deep concern for people (Rohmetra, 1998). HRD as a ‘humanistic ’ concept and a subsuming norm that guides management approaches to its employees has come to assume a critical role in Indian management philosophy , HRD involves a paradigm shift from old approach of control to the new approach of involvement and self-development (silvera,1988) and would be more closely aligned with the ‘soft’ approach to HRM.

HRD is similar to the concept about the rights and duties of human beings about which democratic constitutions the world over consider inalienable and inseparable from human nature, and has similarities to the United Nation Development Programme’s concept of a nations human development. HRD is therefore a humanistic concept that places a premium on the dignity and respect of people and is based on a belief in the limitless potential of human beings. It emphasizes that people should not be treated as mere cogs in the wheel of production, but with respect as human beings.

As humanistic concept HRD proposes that human beings should be valued as human beings , independent of their contribution to corporate productivity or profit. The various underlying attitudes symbolizing respect for people’s dignity, trust in their basic integrity and belief in their potential, should lead to the creation of an environment in companies in which individual should find fulfillment in work and seek newer horizons for themselves and the enterprise (Rohmetra, 1998).

HRD practices in Indian companies attempt to blend western and eastern ideas and systems of people management. This concept of HRD attempts to be more comprehensive and meaningfull than utilitarian concepts evolved in Anglophone countries. It has come to denote a planned way of developing and multiplying competencies, and the creation of an organization climate that promotes the utilization and development of new competencies. Culture building is seen as a part of its agenda.

(Jackson, 2002)

Future Assumptions Observed to be a part of human resource management:

Legge (1999) states that the new assumptions observed to be a part of human resource management are:

Proactive, system – wide interventions with, emphasis on fit, linking HRM with strategic planning and cultural change.
People are social capital capable of development
Coincidence of interest between stakeholders can be developed
Seeks power equalization for trust and collaboration
Open channels of communication to build trust , commitment
Goal orientation
Participation and informed choice

Management Education:

Management education in schools of business and public administration has received less attention than other aspects of the study of management.

There is a contradiction on Management Education which is not being adequately confronted. As attempts is made to change organizations or some part of them to more democratic structures, so the ability of education and training to facilitate that change seems to be losing ground. There is no single reason for this, yet it seems to be chiefly because our collective skill in the design of education or training experiences has outstripped our understanding of some of the fundamental process involved. In particular, it seems to have overlooked the function which education servers in preparing people for membership work organizations.

Research in management education has not been a source of inspiration, Although problems abound , certain basic issues are generic. One issue is the criterion problem in management education research. Criteria that have been utilized have often been chosen for convenience rather than for therotical or practical relevance.

Freedman and cooper (1982)

Challenges for the management education:

One of the challenges for the management educator is to make a judicious choice amongst the teaching methods is to ensure that individually or in combination they facilitate translation and / or transfer , and that this facilitation is not achieved to the general detriment of either of the learner reactions identified. Meeting this challenge, teaching methods require a certain robustness , contributing to the solution of two separate if related problems , whilst achieving their goals and maintaining their appeal to an audience which is most likely to be heterogeneous in respect of the learners reactions it displays.

To meet the challenge the management educator must be able to justify the learner reactions of participants prior to observing their consequences. Reflecting on past courses, conferences or other learning events, we can often identify participants whose behavior, in one or more sessions conforms to the broad descriptions, almost stereotypes, that have been outlined. Fortunately, a number of sources other than observation can also be used to estimate the extent and nature of an audience’s heterogeneity. Evidence for the range of orientations can be gleaned from pre-event questionnaires. Such questionnaires, by identifying the balance of participants are a useful aid when determining the particular mix of teaching methods which can be effectively used.

The need for the continued growth of knowledge and practice in the field of HRM and management education is a viewpoint and collaboration between management scholars, academicians and practitioners and also between the disciplines of business, psychology, engineering and economics. Specifically, ones need to develop and incorporate into ones thinking an appreciation for the practitioners and academicians share the same concern for accurate description of present work conditions, yet the data itself needs to be provided by the practitioners.

Beck and cox (2003)

Conclusion:

One means of ensuring that HR practices are consistent with labor-market requirements be to staff the HR function with host country nationals. This paper shows differences in HR practices in different nations.

European history has been charged with conflict and alliances for two thousand years. Yet, from the beginning, there have been attempts to unify Europe. It may be that, in future as flexibility, adaptability and agility increasingly become sources of competitive advantage , the value of coherence and unity enjoyed by countries such as the USA and Japan is lessened and the value of diversity increases. If so, then regions like Europe, with its capacity to draw on substantial diversity , may be in a better position to respond to the challenges of the modern era.

Social entrepreneurship has significant potential to make positive and sustainable changes for the betterment of society’s long-lasting and problematic issues, such as pervasive poverty and widespread hunger.

References:

Brewster, C. (2000), ‘European Human Management’, in M. Warner (ed.), International Encyclopedia of business and management: Management in Europe . London: Thomson. Pp. 81-93.

Beck , J and Cox, C. (2003), Management education, Department of management Sciences , The university of Manchester Institute os science and technology chapter 1.

Curtis, A. (2006) The Century of Self. [Online] available from [accessed on 13 July 2011]

Edwards T., Rees Ch., (2006). IHRM: Gloaba­lization, National Systems and Multinational Com­panies. Prentice Hall 310, pp.

Freedman, R.D and Cooper C. (1982), Management Education Issues in Theory , research and practice, university of Manchester UK chapter 1.

Fomburn, C., Tichy , N. and Devanna, M. (1984) Strategic Human Resource Management , New York : wiley.

Jackson, T. (2002) ,International HRM: A cross-cultural Approach, London, 2002, Chapter 10, pp.

Legge,K. (1999) Human resource management Critical perspectives, vol: 1, pp209 – 260.

Locke, R. (1989). Management and higher Education since 1940, The Influence of America and Japan on West Germany , Great Britain and France. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rohmetra, J. (1998) Human resource development: Experiences, Intervention, Strategies, New Delhi.

Silvera, D.N. (1998) ,Human resource development New India publications.

Thompson, A. (1965), Bureaucracy and Innovation, Administrative Science Quarterly, chap: 10, pp1-20.

Warner, M. (1995) The Management of Human Resourses in Chinese Industry, London: Macmillan.

Warner, M. (1997) The Management- Labour Relations in the new chinese Economy, Human Resource Management Journal, 37(4), pp. 30-34.

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Free Essays

International Human Resource Management

INTRODUCTION

The essay will be focused on discussing the Network Society as a new type of Social Structure or Organization of the Information Age. I will be using Castell’s theory on The Information Age to explain how the Network Society affects culture, individuals, institutions and various societies around the world.I will also touch on the Power of Identity, what it entails and its connection to various individuals in the global business environment…

After this I will talk about cross cultural management, its challenges and how it is implied in the business environment, analyzing the impact the theory of the Information Age has on this type of management and its challenges.

I will also discuss the critiques of other theorists to this Castell’s theory and conclude with the negative impact of globalization and the need for cross cultural management in organizations.

First and foremost I will touch on a relevant theory of globalization that relates to the Information Age and Cross Cultural Management.

THEORY OF GLOBALIZATION

There are various theorists, who have given their opinions and views on the theory of globalisation. I am going to phrase a few of them and focus on only one of these theories for the purpose of this essay.

“Anthony Giddens (1990: 64) ‘the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa’. “

“Globalization refers to “the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole” (R. Robertson, Globalization, 1992: 8).”

Robertson sees the globalisation theory as the coming together of the world as a single entity through a set of global ideas and putting aside the distinctiveness of cultural, societal and ethnic differences to be used in the home environments and during academic discussions

“From the social theory perspective, globalization involves the flows of commodities, capital, technology, ideas, forms of culture and people across national boundaries via a global networked society “(Castell’s, 1996, 1997, 1998).

“The transmutations of technology and capital, work together to create a new globalized and interconnected world. “(Castell’s, 1998)

Manuel Castell is the theorist that I will be focusing on in this essay. He talks about the theory of the network society, which is an information based society where everyone and everything is connected through digital networks. The networks are the people who control or rule the network society; they are the elites of the society who have the upper hand, are more knowledgeable and have power over the excluded individuals.

“A network society is a society whose social structure is made of networks powered by microelectronics-based information and communication technologies.” (Castell’s, 1996)

“The Net stands for the new organizational formations based on the pervasive use of networked communication media. Network patterns are characteristic for the most advanced economic sectors, highly competitive corporations as well as for communities and social movements. “(Castell’s, 1996)

The Network Society is an emerging social society or structure whose communications rely on digital networks. A digital network being global means that a society running on them would be a global society i.e. The Network Society is a Global Society.

The Network Society came about as a result of the ever changing society which occurred due to the dramatic changes in technology which are controlled by the networks.

Castell explains that although everyone is affected by this society, it doesn’t mean that everyone is included in it. People who aren’t part of it try to defend themselves from it. He cites the reason for everyone being affected by these networks as the fact that all central activities that manipulate and form human life around the world are being organised by global networks.

The Network Society works on an Inclusion/Exclusion basis; this is a feature of it and while it searches for important add-ons that will benefit the network, it will also bypass any activity, territory or person that will not contribute to the goals or tasks assigned to the network.

Part of Castell’s assumptions is the fact that under the network society, there is no class among individuals in our society and that the powers now lie in the hands of the networks.

With the network society, there becomes a need for individuals to affirm their identity; this is known as the power of identity. People tend to search for their identities in order to give their lives a source of social meaning. This is a reaction got mostly from the individuals who have been excluded from the network society. Castell realised two types of reactions from these people. They either make up their own networks or exclude the networks from their lives.

This power of identity is also known as the Self.

“The Self symbolizes the activities through which people try to reaffirm their identities under the conditions of structural change and instability that go along with the organization of core social and economic activities into dynamic networks.” (Castell’s, 1996)

CROSS CULTURAL MANAGEMENT AND CASTELLS THEORY

WHAT IS CROSS CULTURAL MANAGEMENT?

CROSS CULTURAL MANAGEMENT

“…is a system designed to train people in the global business about the variations of cultures, practices and preferences of consumers around the globe. It poses as a challenge for companies who participate in the global market. As time passes by, the diversity in culture, practices and preferences significantly increases, and so is the need for cross-cultural management, to be able to bridge the communication gaps for every culture.“Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

Cross Cultural Management is the examination or assessment of the human behaviour from an international perspective.

With cross cultural management, managers are aware of the different cultures that exist in different industries in different parts of the world. It realises and tries to manage these different human behaviours, culture and communication issues so as to bring people together without any disputes or problems.

This information age has brought about the rise of technology and the use of the internet. This network society has changed the way businesses operate; whereby almost every part of an organisation is controlled by some sort of technology. Most jobs are now done through the internet by some e-commerce organisation, which in turn reduces the number of physical labour needed.

With the rise of the global society, cross cultural management is becoming more essential for global companies to be successful with their employees as well as their consumers. It is needed to tackle the challenges that any global business might face in relation to culture and human behaviour.

In order to tackle some of challenges brought about by these changes in regard to culture and human behaviour cross cultural management is essential.

Some Cross Cultural Challenges that could occur are:-

Mixed cultures and languages brought about by globalisation

The recent growth and need of the internet as a part of management and easy processing

The increasing need for a knowledge worker in knowledge driven organisations

The increasing need for flexible workers and jobs

There are many more challenges but the network society being a global society has helped to deal with some of these problems. Due to the compression of time and space, companies find it easier to employ the people that will be relevant for the required jobs.

Also with the individualisation of labour and the growing flexibility of workers, they are able to adapt and adjust to the growing temporality of jobs. Companies now have the option to choose either part time workers and pay them for the hours worked rather than employing full time workers who are expensive and are not required most of the time.

Castell talks about the network society sourcing valuable add-ons that can contribute to the goals and objectives of the network to integrate into its system and excluding those it has no need for who he says make up the ‘irrelevant planet’, this feature of the network society has contribute to some modern business challenges where there is the need for knowledgeable workers.

He says that the work process is a globally integrated but labour has become individualised and therefore has no class again as ultimate power goes to those that are in charge of the networks and determine what happens in it.

But his theory also says that labour is divided into two; the self programmable and generic labour. The former is skilled and flexible with the ability to learn new things, processes, tasks are able to adapt to change and are knowledgeable while the latter is unskilled and can be easily exchanged or disposed of.

There are many critiques towards Castell’s theoretical assumptions. Many theorists believe that our society is still divided into classes and are against the faceless capitalism which Castell talked about.

Theorists like Webster and Garnham believe that the network society is not a new type of social structure or system, and that it has been in existence over time. They argue that this network society is a gradual development of the former industrial society and is not completely a new one.

They also argue that the society is still in the hands of the capitalists, as they are still the elites who have access to technology and education, and the members of this capitalist group are heading companies in the top managerial positions. The people in this positions are who Castell says are in charge of the networks so therefore the capitalists still matter in the society.

It is also difficult to accept his grouping of labour, as the people in the groups do not share the same values or interests.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

However globalisation can sometimes lead to the exploitation of workers in some third world countries that offer cheap labour. Many of these workers are paid less than the normal UK or US standard of payment, making the big international companies exploit them, and some of them do not offer job security or workers rights.

With this network society business do not consider the interests of their workers and are more interested in the opportunities and goals of the networks and look for people that they can integrate that will contribute to their goals. They pay less attention to cross cultural management.

This is not advisable to do because in order to be successful as a global company, they need to understand the cultures and practices of the countries they move into. They need to work on integrating the local workers, consumers and culture with their own organisational culture in order to be successful in that country

LIST OF REFERENCES

Castells, M. (2000).The Rise of the Network Society, Second Edition. U.S.: Blackwell Publishing

Castells, M. (1996, second edition, 2000). The Rise of the Network Society, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture Vol. I. Cambridge, MA; Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Castells, M. (1997, second edition, 2004). The Power of Identity, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture Vol. II. Cambridge, MA; Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Castells, M. (1998, second edition, 2000). End of Millennium, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture Vol. III. Cambridge, MA; Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Webster, F. (2002). Theories of the Information Society. U.S.: Routledge

Garnham, N. (2001). Contribution to a Political Economy of Mass-Communication. In M.G. Durnham & D.M. Kellner (Eds.), Media and Cultural Studies (pp. 225-252). U.S.: Blackwell Publishing.

Manuel Castells , ‘An Introduction to the Information age’ City 2: 7, 6-16

Castells, M. (2000). Materials for an exploratory theory of the network society. British Journal of Sociology Vol. No. 51 Issue No. 1 (January /March 2000) pp. 5–24

Giddens, A. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity, Cambridge and Oxford: Polity and Blackwell.

Kiely, Ray, 1964–The clash of globalisations: neo-liberalism, the third way, and anti-globalisation/by Ray Kiely. p. cm. -(Historical materialism book series, ISSN 1570–1522; v. 8)

R. Robertson, Globalization (London: Sage, 1992)

The network society: a cross-cultural perspective / edited by Manuel Castells. p. cm.

Castells, M. 1983. The City and the Grassroots: A Cross-cultural Theory of Urban Social Movements. Berkeley: University of California Press.

http://cross-cultural-management.bestmanagementarticles.com/

Categories
Free Essays

Identifying and understanding that how human resource management plays an important role in Primark plc employee excellence.

Chapter 1

1.0 Introduction

HRM (Human resource management) is a calculated and logical approach to the organization of an organization’s mainly appreciated resources the people working in that organization who independently and cooperatively contribute to the attainment of the objectives of the company. One of the most important key for the achievement of any business is the performance that is why many organizations are concentrating to improve their employee’s performance. Davenport (1999) suggested that human capital is the currency that people bring to invest in their job it includes ability, behaviour, personal energy, and time. All the investment to improve performance can turn up as an expense as well if that investment is not evaluated time to time.

1.1 Aim of this project

The main purpose and importance of this project is to discuss some important issues related with the human resource management of Primark plc UK and to give best possible solutions for it. The main topic area covers the general human resource management of the Primark management.

1.2 Rationale of the project

In this project I’m going to research the human resource audit of the Primark stores ltd. So the general HRM practices and the each and every individual company’s principles will differ and hence it may rise to some issues with their own performance. Employee’s performance will be determined by the two ways first is the companies principles and practices then the next one is the self (employees) motivation on whatever work they do. Primark stores is one of the successful organization in UK even in rescission a widespread decline in the GDP and employment in UK goes down but still Primark is the one of the noticeable organization in UK opening new stores and making better profitable business. But still even in this time period then can perform well develop and adopt the new human resource practices which would be suitable for their company. And hence in this project I’m going to take interviews and surveys from Primark employees and to identify the problem they are facing in their day to day work. And hence after realizing the problem and issues faced by the Primark employee then I can suggest best possible solution for the companies HR management so that the company can expect an error free work from their employees.

Chapter 2
2.0 Back ground study of human resource management

2.1 emergence of human resource management

The olden times of HRM is believed to have started in England in the early 1800s for the period of the craftsmen and apprenticeship period and additionally developed with the influx of the industrial revolution in the late 1800s. In the 19th century, Frederick W. Taylor recommended that a mixture of scientific management and industrial psychology of employees should be introduced. In this case, it was planned that employees should be managed not only from the work and its efficiencies but the psychology and maximum comfort of the employees. Furthermore with the radical changes in technology the expansion of organizations the increase of unions and government concern and intervention resulted in the improvement of personnel departments in the 1920s. At this point, personnel administrators were called ‘welfare secretaries’ (Ivancevich, 2007). And later the HRM is become an important department in all the organizations. And hence the HRM become the back bone of the all organizations in the world “HRM is a key principle the intentions of the corporation both explicit and covert, toward the management of its employees, expressed through philosophies, policies and practices “(Tyson 1995). Then later the organizations have followed some important objectives like staffing, performance, change management, administration objectives. There is long term discussion going on through scholars about the personal management and the human resource management. David guest (1987) emphasises the two differences approaches in his model illustrating ‘stereotypes of personnel management and human resource management.

HUMAN RESOURCE MANANGEMENTPERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
Time and planning perspectiveLong term, proactive, strategic, integrated.Short term, reactive. marginal
RolesHighly integrated into line managementProfessionals and experts and specialists
Employee relation perspectiveUnitarist, individual, high in trustPluralist, collective, low trust
Control systemSelf control systemExternal system
Psychological contractcommitmentCompliance
Preferred structures/systemsOrganic, devolved, flexible roles.Bureaucratic / mechanistic, centralised, formal defined roles.
Evaluation criteriaMaximum utilization.Cost minimization

Source: david guest (1987).

2.2 General HRM and Primark’s HRM practices

The HR management functions of Primark is pretty much common with the general HRM practices like following the generic terms as follows, Strategic aspects of the organization like planning (jobs and people), organizational design, communication and information, interactive skills. Resourcing like identifying the employees analysing the employees needs and trends, contracts for employment, determining the vacancy and the method of recruiting and further selection methods. Staffs retention: Payment for employees, managing expectation, induction for new staffs, training and development process, ending the contract. All the above said procedures were performed in Primark’s management in their own style so in this project we are going to see the problems occurred during processing these function. We are going to discuss these above said key HR principles in literature review and later in the research findings we are going to see the problems faced by the Primark employees in their day to day work environment. And finally I’m going to give conclusion for the issues. Further suggestions and the practices will be help full for the company to become more profitable than the usual result.

Chapter 3

In this chapter I’m going to present some of the literature findings and saying on the Human Resource Management, the overall project main criteria is to Identifying and understanding that how human resource management plays an important role in Primark plc employee excellence and finally I’m going to explain the conclusion.

3.0 Literature review

3.1 Introduction

Studies demonstrate that Human Resource Management acts as a significant role in formulating and implementing organisational approach. – Myloni et al. (2004) found that also HRM can be seen as part of the overall strategy of the firm. Most research suggests that HRM is very important in direct for an organisation to attain organisational achievement – Barney, (1991), Jackson & Schuler, (2000), Pfeffer, (1994). Characteristically, HRM is considered to be fundamental in command for an administration to attain its achievement by enabling the administration to maintain reasonable improvement. Literatures on strategic HRM even point out that HRM practices and systems contribute to the making of a continuous competitive benefit for the company (Arthur, 1994; Gerhart & Milkovich, 1992; Huselid, 1995; Macduffie, 1995; Terpstra & Rozall, 1993).

As a result, it is significant that a company implement HRM practices that make use of their employees. Many researchers have established an optimistic impact of HRM on organisational performance. For example, Becker and Gerhart (1996), Becker and Huselid (1998), and Dyer & Reeves (1995) observed study establish that companies which make straight their HRM practices with their business strategy will attain better outcome. MacDuffie (1995) study worldwide auto get-together plants found that some HRM practices are related to effectively and quality of the organization. Aswathappa (2005) explains that the human resource management is a useful thing which is useful for the managers in selection of staffs, staffs recruitment, training and development, etc.., to their employees in their organization. Despite even that the human resource management is a very popular term; there is still no fixed definition about its concept. Human resource management is a kind of relationship in between the employees in the company – Boxall et al (2003).

3.2 Organization

Alfred chandler (1962) stated an idea called ‘structure follow strategy’, in that he explained that the strategy for success the company pursued, the structure of the business followed and reflected the demands of the strategy. Mission statement is the always in the top spot, a broad goal based on the organizations planning premises, basic assumption about the organization’s purpose, its values, its distinctive competency, and its place in the world. A mission statement is a relatively permanent part so an organization’s identity and can do much to unify and motivate its members – (stoner and freeman 1992, page number- 188) paradbles. ed schein (1985, page no. 239) stated that ‘ stories and legends as one of the key mechanism for articulating and reinforcing the organization’s culture.

3.2.1 Planning

An article in the Hayward business review by Henry mintzberg (February 1994, page no. 108) distinguishes between the strategic thinking, which is about involving synthesis, intuitions, creativity to produce a not-too-precisely articulated vision of direction and strategic planning, which is about collecting the related data to stimulate the visioning process and also programming the vision into what needs to be done to get there. It is helpful to look at human resource planning in the same way, which is demonstrated in the below shown in tabulation.

Strategic planningStrategic visioningStrategic planning
Providing HR data, ideas asking difficult questionsDefining a vision of the future(organizational and HR)Programme the vision – HR objectives targets action plans

Source: mintzberg (1994)

Lam and schaubroeck (1998) finds three specific ways in which human resource planning is critical to strategy, as it can be used to identify as the gaps in capabilities which would prevent the strategy being implemented successfully, in other words lack of sufficient skills, people, and knowledge and so on in the organization.

Surpluses in capabilities that may provide opportunities for the efficiencies and responsiveness, in other words the organization could consider new opportunities and ventures that would capitalise on these human resources.

Poor utilization of the people in the organization that is suggesting inappropriate human resource practices which could be reviewed and altered.

Hussy (1982, 1999) stated that the planning for a human resource is more complicated than the financial planning. And he also stated the problems of moving the people around the organization and the cost of overstaffing and the importance of treating the people as a people and not as an inanimate resource.

Walker (1992b) stated that the human resource plans becoming more flexible and shorter terms, which has a clear focus on the human resource issues, similar data analysis and emphasis on action planning and implementation. The human resource planning needs to be user friendly and it should be owned by the line managers rather than the personnel ones (Greer et al. 1989). Ulrich (1989) points to the need of human resource plans to be seen as the means to an end on achieving the vision, rather than an end in them.

There are particular important difference in terms of process and purpose. In the human resource planning managers are considered in motivating the people – a process in which cost, numbers, controls and systems interact to play a part. In manpower planning the manager is considered with numerical elements of forecasting, supply demand matching and control, in which people are a part. Therefore important areas of overlap and interconnection but there is a fundamental difference in underlining approach – (bramham 1989).

HR planning activities are all independent, methods range from sophisticated statistical technique to simple diagnostic tools to analyse the judgemental data. It generally deals with people; planners need to plan for what is acceptable as well as what is feasible. It is a continues process rather than a one-off activity. Importantly covers the people planning, communication, training and development, appraisal, and pay. – (Derek Torrington 2008)

3.2.2 Organizational design:

It is a useful thing for an organization to begin their entire organization from initial starting point and still most of the companies consider it as a modifying tool. The determining the task and obtaining the job structure are its fundamentals. The organizational design is a substitute for the entrepreneurial, bureaucratic, matrix and independence – Torrington Derek (2008)

The world is of different countries, people, and culture. So the organization in each end every country are different from each other with different people with particular believes and values and different cultures. And the cultures are affected by the technology of the type of work and also the organizations aim and the people working with them. – (Handy 1983, page no.180)

The modern organizational designs are listed out by reduced head count, growth by diversification, mergers, takeovers and alliances. The employees spiritual believes are called as the culture of the organization. Organization does not have single unified culture. A person who follows in the interest of the organization objectives is all from the corporate culture. – . – Lauren hall (2008).

3.2.3 Communication and information:

The main importance of the communication in the organization is to help the managers to understand the employee’s potential and to problems, and it is helpful for the manager to keep in touch with them. Employees can contribute and participate within the organization and it is an important part of employee motivation. – Cully at al. (2000).

The communication is a vital thing to be obtained in every organization to achieve and improve the organizations, managements, and employee’s performance. And it is also used to develop greater trust and increase the job satisfaction among the employees.

– ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) (2000).

The organizational communication is used to communicate the public people or customers, and also the employee. For example a social web site company needs to inform their employees and also to publish news to the viewers or customers. – Lauren hall (2008)

Modern technology has provided many useful things to run an organization for example in information handling as well as communication. – kossek et al. 1994)

Information which are used for operational and strategic purpose by Human resource management are of three types they are individual employee information, aggregate employee’s information, HR systems and information. – kossek et al. (1994).

3.3 Resourcing

The important work in the Human resource management is to identify and bring the people into their organization the people who will key for their success. Not only the people who work for their organization but also some special people like business consultants, contractors, project developers, project management experts etc.., and these people may be appointed for a permanent or fixed term or temporary contracts. –Torrington Derek (1931)

Resourcing in an organization is depends upon the changes taking place in the government and the labour market. – culley et al. (1999)

In UK there is a lack of people in highly qualified people for example there is a lack of highly qualified IT, science, and engineers and many people have lack of numeracy skills and literacy skills. The British government estimates that seven billion adults in UK are innumerate and behind the basic levels (office of national statistics 1997)

Every organization has a different choice of recruiting external and internal people in their organization which may vary to labour market. – cann, T. (1993).

3.3.1 Contracts

Every organization set a contract for their staff’s employment, the below shown points clearly explains the checklist for preparing a contract for an employee.

1)Name of the employee.

2)Work or employment starting date.

3)Job title and description.

4)Rate of pay.

5)Working contracts and related information’s like breaks.

6)Holiday pay time period of holiday

7)Employee sickness

8)Employee’s pension.

9)Disciplinary rules and procedures.

10) Arrangement for handling employee grievances

11) Maternity pay and holiday period

12) Paternity pay and holiday period

– Source: (Torrington, Derek/Taylor, Stephen/Hall, Laura, 2008)

The work patters changes considerably. There are new work shifts arrives and the breaks the traditional weekdays Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm into weekends contracts and work from home options. The latest technologies and innovation allow people to work from home and it benefits both company and people in many ways this results in new challenge to the human resource management – (D.P and MacKay, 1986).

3.3.2 Recruitment

The recruiting is a process of short listing the people required for the role set by the organization and interviewing them for finding their quantitative level and finally the offer is maid and accepted. – Barder (1998).

Pros and cons of different methods of recruitment,

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Job centres.The applicant can be selected through the wide range of available computer data base throughout the country. It is a secure process. Applicants can be quickly appearing to the interviews. Free service of employers.This process is mainly on the unemployed people rather than the qualified people for that desired roles.
Employment agencies and employment consultancies.It is a well know process of filling the particular vacancies.Easy process for the job seekers and needy people.Cost effective for the people looking for the labour jobs.Widely distrusted by the employers’.
Management recruiting consultants.It will be a great offer for the expert applicants anonymously.Mainly for the employers who is seeking for a change.The employers inside the organization won’t get these offers.Cost more for certain employers.
Executive search consultantsWell known people will be recruited easily.It is very convenient for the employers who don’t have any previous experience in that field.The applicants will stay on their data base and can be called again for different offers.Cost constraints.Some potential applicants outside the list won’t be considered.
Recruiting graduates from universities/ campus interviews.Fresh graduates will good required skills will be shortlisted and recruited.It is the most common thing among the students.Cost more for the companies to travel to many universities for the process of selection.And give them training and development is again a cost more for the organization.
School leavers.More beneficial for the organization. For example the rate of pay is very less for the teen agers the minimum wage in UK for below eighteen year old person is ?4.53.Potential applicants are limited only.

Source: Torrington Derek (2008), Lauren hall & Stephan Taylor (2000) and knolls (1983).

On recruitment advertising (Plumbley 1985, page no.55) say that the company needs to send their requirement in the text format no matters how many publications going to use it. Then the publisher will allocate a space to paste the companies’ layout. The company going to verify the displayed advert and a payment to the publishing agency’s bank account.

Advertising agencies and news publishers will always tends to publish a wealth of information’s in it to make it sure that their company attains the maximum and regular readers. – Barder (1983).

Some advertisements are making the applicants to ask a question during their interview ‘how much I will get paid’ .The most important and most resent famous process is the e – recruitment. This provides great advantage for the employee’s to search for a job but not so effective in the present. – Barder (1983).

The various methods of job advertising adopted by the companies and their pros and cons are listed below in the tabular column as follows,

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Advertising for job vacancies within the company.The news will reach all the employees within the organization. The process of recruitment will be doing among the employees.There will be a great offer for the seniors and the talents people within the organization to look for a promotion over their current position.HR work will be reduced because no need to give induction for the appointed applicants.

Time and cost will be reduced for the organization.Limit to the number of applicants.The company might get better talents from outside.
Advertising for job vacancies outside the company.Cost less for the company for advertising. For example if the premises is in the popular high street.Displayed vacancies can’t be viewed by all the people.The full job details and description won’t be displayed.
Advertising for job vacancies in the national press and media.The job advertisement reaches more number of people throughout the nation.Many people will be regular readers of the national news papers and publishers.This process of advertising cost more.Company will receive inappropriate CV.
Advertising for job vacancies in the local press and media.It will reach only the people in the local area.It will reach only few people and the company will receive only few applicants.The highly skilled people and professionals wont prefer local news papers.
Advertising for job vacancies in the technical press.The specific people will get it and the company won’t have to much cost.Choice of publication.Even small technical error in the publication leads to inappropriate applicants.
Advertising for job vacancies in the internet.It reaches many people than any other method.It cost very less for example a company can publish its job vacancies in their own company web site’s career column.The process is very quick.

It is very beneficial for both company and the job seekers.

Even the company can shortlist the people through the online interviews.Company can receive many unwanted applicants who don’t suits for the required role.Human resource management will receive more work.

3.3.3 Selection method and design

The selection of employees differs in two ways selecting a potential employee and a potential employer both decisions on selection. The selection process can be made upon the job, management ease, time, cost, accuracy and the ability of the selection of staff. – Allan, J. (1990).

The testing will be very useful to find the accuracy, but correlations with job performance are not particularly high and test results are therefore not necessarily effective identifiers but however it’s increasing in the current selection method. – Barclay, J. (1999).

The more valid method of selection is the assessment centres. They can give a full range of selection method. – Barclay, J. (1999).

3.3.4 Staff retention

Employee turnover tends to increase and decrease depends upon the situation in recession it decreases and if the country faces an economical success then it will rice. In UK the average tenure has not reduced in past thirty years. – Torrington Derek (2008).

Employers who offers more attractive salary package will attain a lower attrition rates than those who pay less.( Gomez-Mejia and Balkin 1992, page no. 294 – 4) and hence this leads to many organizations use pay raise as a tools to retain their staffs.- ( Cappelli 2000 page no. 105 – 6).(IRS 2000A and IRS 2000B) internal revenue service.

Among the graduate employment the challenge work will compensate the pay, pay will never compensate for having to do boring, unstimulating work. – (Struges and guest 1999, page no.19)

3.4 performances

The traditional human resource management approach is to enhance the individual performance has displayed on the employee assessment and the allocating the reward.

– (walker 1992).

‘Try your best’ becomes ‘go for it’ – (Guest 1999).

Guest (1992) suggested that the performance of the employee is measured by the commitment level of the employee and the commitment related with personal characteristics of the employee, the work experience in or she got in the job role, structural factors, and professional practices and policies. And the overall rationale of adapting the human resource management is to ensure the commitment level can reach to next level and that can ensure the positive result for the organization. Pfeffer (1998) and Wood and Albanese (1995) declare that the employee commitment is the core variable in all the organization. Employee Commitment in the work will leads to better quality, lower turnover, greater innovation, more flexible employees which leads to the achieve the goals and objectives of the organization.– Walton (1985).

In UK many organizations have influenced over many American and Japanese companies on adaptation to HRM strategy on the performance improvement. – Huselid (1995).

Source: guest (2000) ‘human resource management, employee well-being and organizational performance’.

3.4.1 Organizational development

Organization development is a process for bringing about and implementing changes in the organization. The effectiveness of the organization and developing improvement plans. Systems, structures, process, resources, problem solving, effective decision making, effective work practices and cultural change will have impact in the organizational development. – Purves (1989).

The two main important variables used in organizations performance and development is the Total quality management and learning organization, both are need to have long term practices, TQM has two types of people handling issues one is the hard stand and the people centred soft stand. – Honeycutt (1993).

3.4.2 Managing individual performance

Performance is being seen as a institutionalised through the specific systems and procedures in some organizations but it shouldn’t. It should come out from the individual ability and motivation. – Walker (1992).

The three aspects of the effective performance are the planning the performance, supporting the performance and reviewing the performance – Armstrong, M and baron, A. (1998).

The performance management was introduced by training a series of nominated department managers in a organization. The managers would get review from other members of the team as well to train the staffs, appraisal is most often thing carried out by the department mangers. Performance management has generally been adopted in a piecemeal way with a lack of integrations between performance activities. Behavioural changes and other individual performance activities will be carried out by the manager’s 360-degree feedback method. – Barlow, G. (1989), ‘Journal of management studies’.

3.4.3 Team performance

If some people work together for a common purpose with agreed norms and values in a company is called a team work, members of the team will have different and they will contribute it together to achieve their goals. – Moxon (1993).

The team based work has been increasing due to the belief that this empowers staffs and encourages them to use their full potential and to get better work for them. Although these are not achieved in practice or it will take some time to achieve it. – Torrington Derek (1931).

Katzenbach and smith (1993) they tell the difference in the teams and work groups, and identify teams as comprising individuals with complementary skills, shared leadership roles, mutual accountability and a specific team purpose, amongst other attributes. All these things will be happen in organization if the team members are fully committed to work.

Salem, Lazarus, Cullen (1992) stated that the higher level management should encourage and reinforce both the individual and team members as a whole. Management tools are stimulating questions designed to motivate the individual to examine himself or herself in relation to the attainment of the group’s or teams objectives.

3.4.4 Leadership and motivation

Leadership is a role occupied by the higher level management people in the organization in which an individual influences other group members towards the attainment of group or team’s targets. – Shackleton, (1995).

Directing.Low relationship behaviour, high task behaviour, followers are unable and unwilling or insecure.Coaching.High relationship behaviour, high task behaviour, followers are unable, but willing or confident.
Supportive.High relationship behaviour, low task behaviour, followers are able, but unwilling or insecure.Delegation.Low relationship behaviour, low task behaviour, followers are both able and willing or confident

Source: Hersey and K.H. Blanchard (1980).

Goleman (2000) stated that the leadership is cannot be attained by following only one style and he derived six different style of leadership they are, coercive style in which leaders demands on the immediate compliance, authoritative style: people in this style will work towards a vision, affiliative style: this style deals with the bonds and harmony, democratic style: the people in this group use participation to build consensus, pacesetting style: in this leaders except excellence and self- direction from followers. Coaching style: people who follow this style will give training to staffs for the future.

3.5 developments

The human resource development does not own HR development alone it must be owned by the organization as a whole, HR development strategy should focus on the organizations strategy and it should be used to identify the skills and competencies required. – Handy (1988).

3.5.1 Competencies, competence

Competencies refer to behaviour – Whiddett and Hollyfore (1999).The competence in an employee means the special or specific characteristic of an employee who with effective or excellent performance in the job he does. – Boyatzis (1982)

Behavioural competencies are appreciated as important method in the HR process but issues with it are backward and not forward looking, and are limiting and misleading some time if it is used alone. – Hayes et.al (2000).

3.5.2 Learning and development

While doing his work employee will learn things from the experienced managers and he understands how to deal with things in his work – Kolb et al. (1984).

Honey and Mumford (1989) described four stages in the learning they are activity, reflectors, theory building, and pragmatists.

The people who are trying something out without a preparation, they are eager to do role play tasks and easy to take risk on their work in other words people having a go are called as Activists.

Reflectors are the people who have keen eye on analysing on what happened and why and they are good in listening and observing.

Theorists are those whose strength is in building a concept or theory on their analysis. Their learning will start by reading a referred topic.

Pragmatists are those who are very keen to use whatever they learn and how it will work out when they apply it in real situation. They will plan everything before they get into act.

3.5.3 Career development

Career development is first concern for all the employees who are in whatever position they are, and they will update them self in both skills and general knowledge to overcome career setbacks. Most of the organization in this modern world will advice there , support, and encourage in individual career planning and management by giving them he career grids, feedbacks, opportunities for employee career exploration. But some companies use this as a image for their organization – Arthur, M (1994).

Greenhaus and Callanan (1994) describes the career development in five different stages first the occupational stage, organizational entry, early career, mid-career, and late career.

– Occupational stage is the early stage of the employee’s career and also who is preparing for work. In this stage they measure their strength and weakness for developing an occupational self image.

– Organizational entry it’s the second stage in which the employee seek for information and following the observed information from the company. In this stage they will develop technical skills, ignoring other skills such as communication skills, influencing skills, and internal politics handling skills which will occur in the organization.

–Early career is a stage in which the employee will get into the organization and identifies how the things are done in their company. In this stage they attain the achievement in showing experienced behaviour and authority and responsibility.

– Mid career is the stage where the employee will work on the further development and advancement on the company on which they work. In this stage they become a mentor of others on by giving training fresher’s.

– Late career is a stage in which the organization will give task to the employee to encourage people to continue performing well. And in this stage the employee will plan for retirement.

3.6 employee relation

Employee Relations is the HR function with a subject of interaction between the all of the employees in the organization. It is normally the initial HR interference on common employee problem occurred on their work and they will be solving it quickly because to prevent escalation or avoiding potential problem for the organization. Employee Relations provides counselling and coaching to supervision and management to support resolution of issues by first line supervision whenever possible. Employee Relations contributes significantly to maintaining rapport between employees and the employer. This lead to better work output for the organization. – Guest .D (2000)

Employee relations refer to the communication that takes place between representatives of workers and employers. To a large extent of the employee relations involve HR management and employers working together. – Bamber, G and Lansbury, R. (1998).

3.6.1 HR roles in Recognition and consultation

There are three type of roles are practised by the human resource management in the recognition and consultation, first is the facilitating in this role HR people do more than what they usually does they will send circular information’s and they arrange meeting for their managers and other team members. Next role is the advisory, which involves with the legal matters and procedures, planning and decision making with their managers. The third role is the executive in which the HR managers will do negotiations, chair consultative matters and are mainly responsible for the decision making concerning matters such as recognition.

– Hart. T (1993).

3.6.2 Health and safety

Health, Safety is another important Human resource management function. In this process they will be aware and keen to reduce the risk and occurrence of injury and they will understand the employee’s physical health problems during work in other words ill-health and they work according to it. HR management will act to the unexpected accidents, near misses and incidents of Violent.

HR department will have some important things for safety reasons things like first aid box, safety equipment, protective clothing, radio for managers, floor cleaners equpment, manual handling, electricity, working at height, hazardous substances, lone working, use of display screen equipment, theft and security alarm, and Fire Alarm. – Eva, D. and Oswald. R (1981).

3.6.3 Grievance and discipline

Grievance is a complaint about a real or imaginary wrong thing that causes resentment and is ground for action but these days’ grievance and discipline are the awkward word in UK, they certainly have no place in the thinking of Britain’s favourite entrepreneur.

– Sir Richard Branson

The business will get expand and become profitable if the company put right people in the rite work and trust them and treat them properly and hence they will produce happy to customer and company. – Handy, C.B. (1999).

The grievance and discipline is a role handled by the human resource management but the other managers can also work on it in other words a ambitious department managers wants to advice his own staff by personnel communication. – Handy, C.B. (1999).

Pigors and Myers (1977, page no. 229) stated three different approaches they are, dissatisfaction, complaint, and grievance.

Dissatisfaction: anything that disturb an employee from work whether or not the unrest is expressed in words.

Complaints: it is an employee’s dissatisfaction in work which is brought to the manager or supervisor through direct communication or letter or e-mail.etc.., the frequently asked complaints from the employee’s which is really hard to operate by the managers are, the machine is out of order, the stocks are damaged, this adhesive won’t work, the work is messy, this job is too tough. And some other most difficult complaints are the supervisor plays favourites, the pay were low, no respect for seniors.

Grievance: a formal complaint presented to the management officials or to government unions.

Discipline procedures are pretty much similar to the grievance. HR managers have this control as well they will have the employee’s track record on the discipline on their work for example time keeping. The lateness, sick calls and inattentive in work, misconduct or misbehaviour in the working area are all the disciplinary things to be monitored by the HR manager. HR managers can do demotion in work, suspension, fines, and warnings actions on undisciplined employee. This may alert the staffs to do their work properly. – Torrington Derek (2008)

3.7 pay

The pay is nothing but the compensation given by the company to the workers for their work in monthly or annual intervals, organizations use this as a strategy to get better and professional employee in the way of offering competitive salary. The Human resource management in all the organizations should be truly fair to this on their employees. – Armstrong, M and Murlis,H. (1994).

Current NMW rates in UK is listed below,

There are four different levels of National Minimum Wages; it is depending on your age or if you are an apprentice. The current rates are listed below,

1) ?5.93 – the main rate for workers aged from 21 and over

2) ?4.92 – for the workers aged from 18-20 rate

3) ?3.64 – the workers aged from 16-17, rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18

4) ?2.50 – the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

The age at which one becomes entitled to the main rate was reduced from 22 to 21 on 1st ofOctober 2010. The apprentice rate was introduced on the same date. If you are of compulsory school age you are not entitled to the NMW. Some of your other employment rights are also different.

Source: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/TheNationalMinimumWage/DG_10027201

The main elements of the payment are the basic pay rate, benefits, premia, overtime, incentives and bonus. Procedural equity is essential to the design of successful payment systems. – Armstrong, M and Murlis,H. (1994).

3.7.1 Job evaluation

The job evaluation involves using a standard system to measure the significance and importance of jobs within single employee in an organization. Systems can be technical and no-technical as well. The computer based modern systems uses the technical way. The growth of the job evaluation is because the development of equal value law which uses the principles of job evaluation as the basis for deciding cases. – Hastings, S. (2000).

3.7.2 Overtime

Overtime is a thing utilized by the employees for working for more hours which is outside their contracted hours and they will get more pay for the overtime usually 10 to 50 percent more than the usual pay rate. This process is not fixed but the employee will be keen on attaining it and there will be always an opportunity for the employees to get provision of overtime. – Bloom, M.C (1998).

3.7.3 Incentives

Incentive is a payment schemes which will be payed to the employees in the way of the bonus or reward or the added amount of incentives in their regular pay. This process is used to the appropriate use to the business and in which it can clearly contribute to the organizational objectives. Performance related pay system is also a part of incentive system and it is mostly on the points based and the amount of target achieved. And the skill based incentives are those depends on the employees education and qualification levels. – Thompson, M. (2000) ‘salary progression systems’.

3.7.4 Pension and benefits

The benefit plans are the considerable deals to offer the employees. Around 20 to 50 percent of the employees pay bill is moved to the provision for extra benefits. Occupational pension provides a tax effective means of providing funds for retirement over and above what is provided personal pension plans. – Ginns, J. and arber, S (1996).

Company car allowance and fuel for running it is also a beneficial thing for the employees who work in the higher level in the organizations. But in UK due to environmental issues the car and fuel allowance is reduced considerably. – hopegood, J (1999).

3.8 chapter summery

As I conclude this literature give more information about the function and importance of the Human resource management how it should be and how it shouldn’t. So for my project I’m going to make some research questions on by interviewing the Primark employees and then I’ll give the suggestion for the raised issues and by compare it with the literature findings. Primark stores Human resource management was doing a excellent job followed by their procedures but it there is some issue are caused by or to employee and it may result in negative way to the organization. So the final suggestion will be give to the organization to debug those errors.

4.0 Research methodology:

It is the analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a procedure. Research methodology is the one which contains procedures, definitions and explanations of technique method which is used to collect, store, analyze and present information for the project under research. Research methods are considered as an option that helps to resolve a problem and guide a system for arriving at a solution for the intended study – (Ghauri and Gronhaug 2005). Research is the thing which is directed towards the solution of the problem. Research is one of the ways to find answers to ones questions. The main goal of the research is to produce the cause and effective relationship between the variables. The research is based on the observed data collection and experience or empirical evidence.

The aim of the research methodology is to produce and analyse the variable methods of researches, by also light on its limitation and available resources, clarifying their supporting and consequences, relating their potentialities to the twilight zone at the frontiers of knowledge. It is done with a view to venture generalisations from the success of particular techniques, by giving new ideas, to unfold the specific bearing of logical and metaphysical principle on concrete problems, and suggesting new formulation. – Y.K. Singh (2006).

According to Kumar (2008) the research will comes under the three main parts application of the research study, objective in understanding the research, and final enquiry method.

4.1 Research process

The research process is mainly used to produce a idea of the research strategy which is adopted by the researcher. The three main parts of the research process are the research approach, strategy or methodology of the research, and the data collection methods. – Mark Saunders et al (2009).

Saunders et al (2009) mentioned that the research process consist of steps necessary to find out the aim of the research. The process is follows below,

Define research problem,
Present observation with a reference of past observations findings,
Structuring the hypothesis,
Design of research,
Collection of data,
Analysing the data,
Final validation of report and result.
Collection of information.
Availability of the research technique.
Problems and reasoning explanation.
Time availability of the research.
Availability of the research.
Based on the research design information the researcher should precede their work.
The researcher should choose the right set of research tools to handle their project.
They should choose the research pattern in order to cater for constraints.

4.2 Research design

The research design is based on the certain purpose and importance of the research. It is based on the following steps,

4.3 Research approach

Mark Saunders et al (2009) have mentioned some points which all the research should practise before starting their project,

The researcher should decide what type of research he should go for and what he should choose some of the research type mentioned by v.v. khanzode are, Descriptive and analytical, Applied and fundamental, Non empirical and empirical research, and qualitative and quantitative.– v.v. khanzode (2005).

4.3.1 Descriptive and analytical:

The descriptive research process is the collection of data or news which is exist in the present situation and the information’s are collected through the fact findings survey both comparative and correlative method and direct enquires where the research is involved. The analytical research is completely opposite to the descriptive method because the dates and the information collected through this method which exists in the past that is it exists already.

4.3.2 Applied and fundamental:

Applied research method is the process which is used for providing immediate solution for the project which is under action. This applied method gives solution for the social business problems as well, market research and business analysis will comes under the applied method. The fundamental method is the method which involves in getting the fundamental information which is helpful for the research, the fundamental research is also related with the formulation theory’s.

4.3.3 Non empirical and empirical research: the conceptual or non empirical research method is the method involves in the intangible idea or the theory. The conceptual research method is mostly practised by the researches and philosophers and scientist who is looking for new innovation. the empirical research method will produce information from the observations and the experiments which is related to the research which is under action.

4.3.4 Quantitative and Qualitative: quantitative research method is based on the particular phenomenon or it is related with the human behaviour. And the qualitative approach is the method based on the quantity and the amount of data or information. – v.v. khanzode (2005).

4.4 chapter summery

In this chapter (research methodology) i have explained some important research methods which i have followed in this dissertation. Mostly i have carried out the quantitative method. Most of the research findings i have done was from the interviews and the surveys, in the next chapter im going to explain the data collection and interpretation. Most of the information i have collected are from the primary research. The i have did a interview with the Primark’s deputy store manager in Bromley store and i have presented all the information in the following chapters, the reason for conducting the interview is to get the exact information which is required for the project.

4.0 data collection and interpretation

4.1 data collection

Data collection is the method used to find, identify, preparing and collecting data of information which is used for the business project or any other research analyzing from the researcher. The main purpose and importance of the data collection is to gather information’s to keep in the data base, which is used as a solution for certain issues related with the research and also used as a solution for the future researchers. The preliminary data are collected to produce dates for the specific or particular area. – r.paneerselvam (2004)

Data collection is the process which involves in the all part improvement of the research, and the data collection plan mostly involves in the plan of pre collection process which involves targeting of dates, setting goals, and setting methods and definitions to follow. The pre data collection is the main part of data collection. And then presenting of findings which generally involves in the presentation of the dates and analyzing. The interview may carry the incorrect information which may leads to the improper research finding, but by processing a pre data collection method in the data collection the interviews can be carried out in the structured and systematic format which may leads to obtain a proper findings which is required for the research and hence it is used to achieve the research goals. – r.paneerselvam (2004)

A structured and formal data collection method should be carried out to get information in the defined and accident ways, also in ensure that the researcher can get the data which really required for the particular research which is under process. This makes the research to get out of the topic.

The data collection will be mostly carried out by processing through internet or e mail questionnaires, and also by conducting direct interview with the person who involved in the project. Conducting general surveys and the census are the other important data collection methods used. Mostly the surveys are conducted inside a particular environment for example the organization with particular amount of people to gather some information’s which involves the human feeling, census method of data collection is used to collect data from everyone from the company or even in the public, by practicing the census method the researcher can get detailed information and accurate to and in other way its cost effective too. The survey method also like census method which can be accurate and the researcher can get detailed information by conducting surveys as well. – r.paneerselvam (2004)

4.2 primary data research

Primary research is the important method of research which is used to get the exact information about the thing which is under observation of the research. The primary data are the information which are collected and gathered directly and is current information which doesn’t exist. The primary research is process for getting specific answers for specific questions. – Rajender kumar (2008).

In this dissertation i have carried out a primary research for example,

Recently the company started rewarding the staffs like giving them the best employee of the month certificate with 20 pound gift card. What is your view on it
We can see some mangers in Primark having no qualification or any management related studies in their history of their education. So defiantly they will lack in knowledge. What’s your view on this– (researcher)

A researcher should undertake direct research to gather primary dates, direct research like

4.2.1 Direct one on one interview: this means gathering of data through direct interviewing the people who are the important person who involved in the research for example if a researcher conducting a interview with the HR manager of a company and the project is about the problems faced by HRM in that particular company. In this research i have carried out a direct one on one interview and it was presented in the following chapters.

4.2.2 Online surveys: it is the process of conducting a survey through online and the survey questions will have a closable option for the viewers and the online surveys are processed to gather feedback from wide range of people.

In this research I have gathers some useful information through the staff’s surveys the main reason for adapting this method is to obtain the information from the staffs, to gather information regarding their knowledge in the HRM policies and the problem faced by following it.

4.2.3 Questionnaires: it is set of questions which is used to get feedback regarding the research from customers and employees and people

4.2.4 Focus on group: conducting a meeting with a set of people or group of people in a organization where the research in involved.

4.2.4 Telephonic interviews: this is another type of interview used for generating primary data through telephone.

The main benefit of conducting the primary research is to get the latest data and information’s, to gather unique information’s for the specific needs of the research, the data can be obtained quickly through the telephonic interviews and online surveys and the primary data will be the current information’s which won’t be available anywhere.

The noticeable disadvantages of primary research are that they are difficult to process; it will be cost, time and energy effective and thus research will take long to finish. Direct one to one interview can miss lead on getting different or irrelevant feedbacks. – Rajender kumar (2008).

4.3 secondary data research

The secondary research data are the information’s which are used to support the primary research data. The secondary data can be gathered easily by the researcher, the data can be obtained from an organization, or from a market, and even the information about the products and materials can be gathered.

The secondary research data are gathered through the internal and the external data’s

The secondary data’s through external data source can be gathered from the following areas,

General business publications
Magazine and newspaper articles
Companies annual reports
Library
Computerized bibliographies
Syndicated services.

The internal data sources are as follows,

The internal information from the company for example product price
Product receipt
Customers feedback
Marketing or sales person

The main advantage of conducting the secondary research is,

It consumes very less time comparatively with the primary research.
It cost effective as well compared to the primary research.
The researcher doesn’t need any unique skills to undertake this research.
Secondary research charges are incurred by the inventor of the information.

There are some disadvantages on by using secondary data are follows,

The data required for the research is only limited and the insufficient for the researcher to undergo his research
The level of data accuracy is less compared to the primary research and less reliability.
Information may be in a different format and meaning which is not required for the researcher.
Most of the secondary data are many years old and may not match the current or present market conditions.

4.3.1Litrature findings:

This is the method involves on the research on finding the objective of the research through he literature saying and findings. This ensures the researcher to observe the information from the past which would be helpful for his research. It is also helpful for the researcher to update with the past data, data source and previous result. – r.pannerselvam (2004).

4.4 questionnaires

Questionnaires are the commonly used primary research method for collecting the information required and the information which is very useful to work further in the research. The questionnaires are the only source from which the researcher can get the information which he or she can’t get it any secondary sources like books or journals or internet sources. The information from the questionnaires will be fresh and unique. The questionnaires are mainly used to find the people’s opinions on their product or services or the policy. By analysing the questionnaires result one can obtain the accurst result and values of the product or services which is under the observation, the customers view, customers quires on the past and existing product, customers awareness and knowledge on the product or services or the company. Questionnaires are the main basis for market research and the researcher can obtain the better result out of questionnaires by producing a better quality and structure of the questionnaires. By making improper questionnaires the obtained result may be irrelevant to the research or it may be wrong and miss leading one. – Rajender kumar (2008).

In this dissertation the questionnaires are the important research method followed by me to get information about the HRM functions.

4.5 interviews

The interview method is the method used for collecting data which involves in the presentation of the oral or verbal stimuli and reply in terms of same response. This method can be conducted in two types they car personal interview and the telephonic interview. – Dr. C .R Kothari (2008)

4.5.1 Personnel interview:

This is the usual method practiced for the interview by the interviewer and it was practiced still because it is the best possible source to attain the required data properly. It has got some problems like getting appointment with the person to be interviewed. – Dr. C .R Kothari (2008)

4.5.2 Telephonic interview:

This kind of interview is practiced by the researcher when they are really forced to do it or if the occasion occurs. For example if a person from UK wants to conduct a interview with a another person who is in INDIA in this case the telephonic interview will suits much. – Dr.C.R Kothari (2008)

4.6 Validation

The main issue in the qualitative research is the validity. The validity can be done by staff checking, interviewer corroboration, data debriefing, prolonged engagement, negative case analysis, audit ability, conformability. – Dr.C .R Kothari (2008)

4.6 chapter summary

In this chapter the data collection methods have been discussed and in this assignment I have practices most the above mentioned data collection methods especially primary data research and secondary data research which really allows me to get into the topic. the research i have carried out for this assignment are the primary research on by conducting one on one interview with the deputy manager of one of the Primark store(Bromley). And then i have conducted a staff’s survey, which was mainly adapted to get the information from the staffs point of view. Then in the secondary research i have analysed many HRM books the literature findings, and some online resources regarding the HRM functions, policies and problems faced by the HRM team.In the next chapter I’m going to explain the data analysis and the interpretation.

5.0 Analysis and interruption of collected data’s

In this chapter I’m going to present the feedback answers which are replied from the deputy manager of one of the Primark store (Bromley) in UK. And I also made a survey with the staffs of Primark store in Croydon and the main reason for conducting this survey is to obtain the view of staffs on the HRM practices in store. In this interview and survey I have gathered much information which is really useful for my research and this overall the primary research of conducting the interview and survey is the best available option for me to get the rite and required information for my dissertation.

5.1 Interview Questions and Feedbacks

“Interviewer: How do you think HRM is important for Primark’s overall performance?

Manager: HRM is the process which is the one of the important thing behind Primark’s success and future success as well. The HRM is not only the practised by Primark all the organizations in the existing world uses the HRM for the several function like recruitment, staffs pay role, employee retention, employee consoling etc.., these function are often practised by the Primark’s HR management. In Primark the HR management is vital thing for running the store because the staffs recruitment, staffs contract hours planning, staffs discipline check up and several functions like pay roll, overtime allocation are been done by the Primark’s HR management these function will take more time and energy to process on day to day work without the HR team it is impossible to image all these works. There are some burdens for the HR management in Primark something like for example the staff’s recruitment, much number of staffs will be recruited during Christmas season and the HR management also have to do other HR faction during the Christmas season so it will be extra burden for the HR team. In Bromley store we have one HR manage, HR supervisor and the staffs level HR member. So we have almost five hundred staffs in store which includes people who works in the shop floor people who work in the stock room and the cleaners, trainee managers, department managers and senior department managers, asst. Assistant manager, deputy manager, and the store general manager. All the above said employees work from start to finish will be monitored by the HR management. So the HR management is the main important function behind the Primark’s performance.

Interviewer: As an employee of the company how will you consider the HRM policies in the company?

Manager: as an employee of the company I have great respect on the HRM policies and practices. As a deputy manager of the Primark store I know the importance of the HR functions and its toughness. From my day to day work I have analysed that the HRM policies have gradual upgrade like increasing staffs pay every April, from my point of view ill support many HRM policies and I really disagree some few policies done by them. Things ill support is their common HR functions like staffing, performance appraisal, compensation and benefits, training and development for the newly appointed staffs, employee and labour relation, and health and safety as well, all the above said function where really done in the best possible way by the Primark’s each and every stores HR management, they always look forward to provide a solution for the problems faced by the staffs during their work and the problems occurred to a staffs by others etc.., and the another important HR practices to mention is the staffs clock in time monitoring, each and every staffs in the store had got allocated working hours contract and there is a possibility of miss conduct in this process by coming late and coming in earlier to their work, and these problems are monitored properly by the HR management by doing such work the staffs will do their clock in clock out properly and hence it save lots of money for the store and the lots of work can obtained by the staffs. And the HR policy which I don’t agree is the employee relationship with them and I think their relationship with the staffs is not so good. And it should be rectified in order to expect a proper work performance from the staffs because they are also the important key members behind the Primark’s success.

Interviewer: What is job retention principle used in the company and what’s your opinion.

Manager: employee retention is not practised at the best level in the Primark stores, managerial staffs will have some retention polices and the retail operative dint gets much into this retention, because the main Primark’s management really concentrate on giving more benefits to the managers rather than the any other staffs in the store. The Primark’s should look forward to this issue this is a part of employee motivation and this can improve the staffs work performance for sure. The company HR management need to reduce overall staff turnover because recruiting new employee’s costs more for the company. Having a proper and reasonable employee retention policy is an important one for every company without practicing it the company can miss their best employees. So the Primark’s management should introduce a new and attractive retention plans which can improve staffs performance.

Interviewer: Training and development is widely used in all the organization. How we can develop further or any change in it.

Manager: training and development is the also practised by the HR management in the Primark stores, once the staff is recruited then he or she will be give the induction section in that section they will be informed about the companies rules and procedures, then they will be given a detailed explanation by one of the staff member in the store about the day to day work for them. And then they will be given training for about three months from the day they got appointed, then the successful employees during the training or probation period will be given a new contract for the further permanent work, the employees will get a session to attend during their work with the HR management peoples in that classes they will be though about the good customer service tips and strategies and other class like shop merchandising, stock management, working in shop floor and stock rooms will be conducted as well, and hence in these ways the employees training and development process will be done in the store. And for further change i would recommend to introduce new development programs every month for the retail operative level staffs and for the managers the Primark’s management will give special programs in Reading Primark’s head office occasionally i would suggest this should be conducted often. These programs will be useful for developing the stores and the manager’s personnel work carriers as well. And they can introduce new project management class for their managers and hence this will ensure that the Primark’s mangers will have a structured work planning and they can perform well during some project held in Primark for example new store launch.

Interviewer: What is the employee’s performance appraisal systems used in the company.

Manager: as we seen in the employee’s retention process the staff’s performance appraisal is an important factor involved in the improvement of the staff’s performance. By motivating the staff’s in the rite will ensure better work output from them. Recently a new employee’s performance appraisal scheme is practised by the management by giving them the gift card which is worth for twenty pounds cash on it. Twenty pound cash price for the employee of the month may sound not good, it’s all about getting the recognition it’s not about the money they give. This has really encouraged all the staffs in the Primark store, there is a serious competition among the staffs now in the store to prove them self who is the best. This will unlock the employee’s working potential. And by introducing new scheme like this will definitely motivate the staffs and hence finally the company will get benefited by obtaining better, more and aggressive work from the staffs. These are the performance appraisal method practised by the company now; in further I would recommend the company to give more money least fifty pounds for the best employee of the month. And for the managers the pay rise may be a better idea, this can be practised yearly once or in other words the best managers who produce better sale on their department in the belonging year can be give an incentive or bonus or even pay rise. This will definitely produce serious compotation among the staffs and it’s a good strategy for the employee motivation. The important thing to be mentioned now is the store manager and the deputy manager will get a cash bonus yearly once which depends upon the stores performance like sales, stock losses, stock management, wages, and store standards.

Interviewer: Primark is a successful organization in UK and still they are paying less pay rate compared to other retailers like marks and Spencer and ASDA in UK.

Manager: In the companies point of view it’s a best strategy applied, but from the employees point of view it’s not. I have work is retailers like Tesco, Sainsbury, and TK maxx, and I know better that which company pay more and less pays. According to the HM revenue the employees in the adult age that is above 21 years should get 5.93? per hour pay and the teenagers will get 4.53? per hour pay that the government wage rule, but in our store the employees above 21 years old will get 6.080? per hour and that really good pay up to my view, and even further the staffs working during the night shifts will get 15? extra pay and if the week day staffs who work during the bank holidays will get double pay of 12.016? per hour. While comparing with other store the pay given by our store is less. The company i know (don’t wish to mention companies name) will offer 10? per hour for the employees who works during Sundays and during night shift they will pay 11? per hour. In other point of view the Primark store offers more working hours that is the overtime to their staffs compared to the other stores this the point to mention, it will be beneficial for the employees and the staffs as well. And finally I would suggest that the companies pay rate was really reasonable and good, and still if the company decide to give more money, and then they can give extra more pay for the night shift staffs. This would encourage them to work during late nights. The reason for mentioning the night shift staffs is because it’s the difficult part of the work in Primark stores.

Interviewer: Primark having issues on handling rude Customers and how you can avoid them.

Manager: we are facing serious issues on this question; the very important thing advised by all the staffs by the HR management is to welcome the customers with a smile and to greet them in the proper way. The customers are of different type most of the customers are good and regular ones with these customers we won’t have any problem just better sales and some other customers will cause problem for unnecessary reason in these situation we will just handover them to the security people straight away. The things what we can look after is the problem for the customers which is occurred by the staffs can be retied. Staffs miss conduct like responding in the rude way or not responding them in the rite way will make the customers to behave bad and to get out of the shop without shopping, recently we faced a issue with a customer who was shouting at a staff and later we come to know that the problem is with the staff not the customer, then we solved the issue immediately. So the too rude customers can be handled by the security team rather than us and we are doing our best to avoid the customers getting rude or making them unhappy etc.., and finally is would suggest to the management that the company should inform their staffs to behave in the respectable way to their customer to avoid such bad circumstances.

Interviewer: Staffs dissatisfaction in work environment with misunderstanding or misbehaviour from their team mates or even with manager. What is the solution for this issue?

Manager: staffs dissatisfaction in work may because of many reasons it may be because they don’t like the work or maybe they don’t like to do such work or even they won’t wish to work in such environment etc.., for the above mentioned issues we can’t give proper solution for it. Staff dissatisfaction due to other staffs miss behaviour can be solved by the respective department managers or their supervisors, staffs may be discouraged or can be treated in the bad way will leads to the staff’s dissatisfaction in their work environment, these issues will leads to improper work from the particular staff. The only solution for this problem is to alert the managers to have clear monitoring on the staffs during the work, as per the Primark management rules the employees are not permitted to talk or chat during their working hours, so the managers or the supervisors should look after to this, and they should watch their staffs properly. And the staffs who feel dissatisfied on their work should have personnel counselling with the HR management or the respective department managers, this can permanently get a solution for this issue and this is the only way to get an employee’s view on his or her work dissatisfaction. And also the staff’s employees are not willing to work in this retail shop environment should be given a warning because they can’t work properly and it not beneficial for the staff and company as well.

Interviewer: Primark is recruiting many school leavers from 15 to 17 year old people. Is it a strategy of Primark by paying them less (pay rate of 4.53 per hour) or is it making carrier for the school leavers.

Manager: yes I agree with this question, Primark recruit few not many school leavers, this was started in the late 90’s and it is not for paying very less money to their staffs it’s for the teenagers who can work during their school holidays, they can make money during their holiday leaves instead for going to picnic spots. And I would like to mention it’s definitely not a strategy it’s an offer for the school leavers to start with their carriers It’s all about how they work it not about what they know. The 4.53? is the minimum wage for teen agers who work in UK, but in others hand we can see some school leaver who continued their carrier in Primark itself from the time they left their school and hence it is a reason for less number of students willing to go to university these days in UK. I can show some employees who are all work as a department managers who started as a school leavers. If an employee who are quick learner, active, energetic, flexible for working in different hours in a day, team player, cooperative, these are the required things for a successful manager in the Primark store.

Interviewer: If two or more staffs comes together for a holiday or a sick call it’s going to affect the work in the stores how you can handle this.

Manager: all the staffs are allowed to take three weeks holiday continuously in a year and he or she can take another week holiday separately in a year so totally the store allows a staffs to take four weeks of paid holiday in a year. If two or more staffs request for the holiday at same time then the HR management can recruit an employee temporary to cover the hours of the staffs who are in holiday period and even they can give overtime to other staffs for covering the hours and hence in these way the holiday hours can be solved. And the sick call by the staffs will be the more difficult one to handle, in this situation the managers or the supervisors can call the other staffs to cover these hours and this need to done as soon as possible if not then it will be a big pressure on the manager’s shoulders and hence in these way these issues can be rectified.

Interviewer: Recently the company started rewarding the staffs like giving them the best employee of the month certificate with 20 pound gift card. What is your view on it?

Manager: we have already discussed about this question in the employees appraisal, this are the thing should be practised for sure by all the companies this will motivate the employees to perform well than their usual work. This will motivate the employees to try and innovate new things on their work. As I mentioned the company can give more cash to the best employee reward rather than giving just 20? they can make it to 50? that will be reasonably good and this will make more competition among the staffs in their work and hence the company can get benefit by obtaining more and better work performance from the staffs and the staffs can get benefit on better work satisfaction, good recognition in the working environment, and getting better work experience in the work, learning new things and in many ways the staffs can be beneficial as well. And finally I would conclude this is a best performance appraisal practice ever done by the Primark’s management and its really good thing to see that it would set examples for other retailers in UK.

Interviewer: We can see some mangers in Primark having no qualification or any management related studies in their history of their education. So defiantly they will lack in knowledge. What’s your view on this?

Manager: I think this work in the Primark store doesn’t requires much knowledge. We don’t require a java programmer or an investment banker to work in the store we require a people who can work in the retail store shop floor and stock room, each and every managers in the Primark store have waste of in store experience they are really qualified for that the role what they do. We have a many highly educated staffs who works as a managers in the store for example Kimberly is a HR manager in Bromley Primark store she did her master in the business and accounting and I hope she is more qualified for this role and I can spot many managers who don’t have good education history but they have excellent work experience, they can perform really well in stores management especially during stock take which happens every three months, so as I say the managerial role doesn’t require a high level education qualification.

Interviewer: There are no offers in the Primark stores for their staffs purchase. What’s your view on this?

Manager: yes there are no offers for the staffs it up to the Primark’s higher level management, it may be because it is a cost-effective retailer, and the staffs are not allowed to buy the S&D (soiled and damaged) goods from the store. But I can see that the employee can buy the stocks which are the sale and they are the first one to buy it rather than the customers, so as I conclude the reduction in the staff purchase is not required much.

Interviewer: Nearly 500 staffs are working in the each grade ‘B’ Primark stores is it more or less?

Manager: honestly to say it is less, as a staff you know about it very well, the grade B store one million per week and thus do you think is five hundred staffs would be enough for it definitely not, and the company is facing these issue for very long time, the HR management should look after to this issue by appointing experienced staffs for the required roles and if they recruit too many staff then it will cost more for the company, there are different working shifts are allocated they are morning shift 10:00am to 12:00pm, 12:00pm to 4:00pm, evening 6:00 pm to 10:00pm and full day shift 10:30am to 8:00pm and night shift from 8:00 to morning 7:30am. These shifts fit for the permanent employees in it. And there are weekday and week end staffs. So according to this the staffs should be allocated and the HR management should make it sure that they should not exceed budget allocated to the particular store.

The above presented interview was conducted by me,

Date of interview conducted: 16/3/2011

Interviewee name: MR. Neil k (deputy manager in Primark store in Bromley)

Interviewee mobile no: 07515821336

5.2 survey questionnaires and feedbacks

These survey where conducted on the retail operative of the Croydon Primark store, the main reason for conducting this survey is to get the opinion from the staffs who work in the shop floor and stock room about the HR policies. And I hope this survey will show how the staffs in the Primark stores agree and disagree with the stores HR management policies and procedures.

Gender

Out of my survey I have managed to get the feedback from fifty staffs of Primark store in Croydon, about 32 staffs are male and rest are female.

Age group

There are about 50% of people age from 21 to 30 and 20 % of people below 20 years and 30 % of people in and above 30 years of age.

Nationality

About 40% of staffs are belonging to Britain, and 15% from India and 20% from Pakistan and 25% in other countries.

How long you are working in Primark store?

­­On asking this question I have found about 40% of employees where working for more than 4 years, and 20% of employees working from 2 to 3 years, and 30% of people working for more or less 1 year.

Are you satisfied with the Primark’s store HR management policies

About 85% of people say yes and only 15% of employees say no for this question.

Are you facing any problem with the HR policies in Primark store?

It’s same as the previous question 85% of employees say no to this question and 15% says yes.

Do you think the wages your paid is rite for the job?

65% of employees say no to this question and the 35% of employees say no.

Chapter summary:

So from this chapter I have gathered all the required information from the Primark stores employees like managers and operative staffs. This interview and survey have given me so useful information which is good for me to conclude this dissertation. So in the next chapter I’m going to give detailed brief on conclusion and further recommended strategies for the Primark HR management.

6.0 Conclusion

In this research I have started with the identifying the problems faced by the employees of Primark stores ltd, in particular problem through HR policies. This research topic is “identifying and understanding that how the human resource policies play an important role in Primark plc staff performance”. I have planned and did two kinds of researches first is the primary research and the second is the secondary research. In the primary research I have managed to conduct a interview with the Primark store deputy manager and I have obtained the required answers from him and from his view and experience I come to know that the HR practices were very important function behind the structured work, and reportedly mention that the HR management is also behind the Primark success. Through the interview I have gathered some internal HR policies information of the Primark management. Primark HR policies were uniquely designed for the store and it was differed from other retail stores in UK behind each and every move maid by them will have strong reason behind it. For example the staff performance appraisal, in which they give only 20? as a Primark gift card, that gift card can be used only inside the Primark store and other most important thing is the staff recognition among other staffs. Then later i have decided to conduct a survey among the Primark staffs and i have gathered some useful information from the survey as well. In that survey first thing to mention is most of the staffs (85%) agreed with the Primark HRM policies and rest doesn’t. And i also come to know that all the staff has same knowledge on HRM. Almost every one mentioned that it gives better work format and procedure for them. The next kind of the research i have taken is the secondary one, in which I have gathered much information through the literature findings, and some internet researches like online Google books in which I have loads of information.

So finally i can present the problems faced by the employees by following the Primark’s HRM policies and they are listed below,

Identified main problem is the pay wages most of the employees have agreed that Primark is paying less compared with other retailers in UK, rite now Primark is paying ?6.08 per hour for the employees who are aged above 21 years and for the teen agers they are paying 4.53? per hour. They have some attractive incentives for the week day staffs who work in the bank holidays in other words the week day staffs will get double pay if they work on bank holidays. Then for the night shifts they give 15? extra for one night shift. But even still the staffs are not convinced on this they expect more or equal pay which was paid by other similar retailers, during my research i have found that the supervisor (both week day and week end staffs) in Primark get 7.53? only which was the normal operatives pay in the another successful food retailer in UK. This is because Primark is a store which sells cheap goods that what the reply i get while asking a manager this question, but up to my research Primark is a very successful organization which shows financial profit in the last consecutive years, AB foods are the main owners of the Primark, the AB foods ltd have many business under, but Primark is the most successful one out of it. And hence after having such financial success they can increase the pay, they can increase the wage by 50 pence will make much difference, and hence it will motivate their employees to do the best out of them, by increasing the pay the employees work performance will definitely improved.

And the next identified problem is in training and development, the process carried out now by the HR management for the training their staffs is really good but still from my view then can improve it by giving special training sections for the newly recruited staffs for example if a newly appointed staffs for week end work won’t have enough time to interact with their managers or supervisors during the busy weekends so i would suggest to give them proper training before they start their work in the shop floor or in stock room. Especially for the stock room staffs the a advance training should be given before they are getting proper knowledge on handling the stock room instruments like baring machine etc.., and the employees who work in the shop floor should have proper understanding before they start their work especially the staffs who works in the customer services desk. Because without having proper training how can teenagers can handle a customer’s query. So the HR management in Primark should consider this training process to make it more precise they should make change in it. And in the development functions the Primark is giving special training to their managers which are purely based on the HRM. But the higher level managers like the HR managers, store assistant manager, deputy, and store general manger have given opportunity to attend this class, but the trainee managers, department managers, and senior department managers haven’t given this opportunity, so my suggestion is to give training for the all managers in the store. And hence it will be beneficial for the entry level managers to gain such knowledge in HRM functions like performance development, grievance, health and safety, project planning, work development etc.., and it would be better for the entry level manager’s carrier. And hence in this way the development for employees can be carried out.

Other important problem like staff relationship with the HR management, employee retention, working hours allocation, change of working contract are the other few issue faced by the staffs of Primark. The employee relation should be good but should not be too friendly; the employee should have proper communication with the HR management. while working on my research i have found several issues can be solved by have proper staffs and HR relationship in other words, an employees working hours will be monitored on the HR system and the staffs can check it regularly hence by checking their clock in clock out timing they can avoid doing extra hours, by doing more extra hours the company needs to pay more money and the overseas student who work in UK is restricted to do only twenty hours in a week and they can avoid doing over extra hours by checking their clock in and out timing sheet and hence it is beneficial for both staffs and the company as well. Employee relations refer to the communication that takes place between representatives of workers and employers. To a large extent of the employee relations involve HR management and employers working together. – Bamber, G and Lansbury, R. (1998).

The employee retention should handle from the start the staff should be informed about the all benefits and allowances during their induction itself. And another important issue faced by the staffs are the change of contract; most of them have reported that the HR is not ready to give new contract for them and I agree with the Primark’s HR policy on it, because the HR policy is if a employees (who have sick leave, lateness for more than five days and improper time keeping) are not allowed to change their contract. And the staffs should maintain a proper record for twenty four weeks to have change in contract or store etc..,

7.0 further recommendation and limitations of the research

The below shown strategies are recommended for the Primark HR management to get better performance from their staffs,

1)The staffs of Primark have given a hand book which explains all the HR policies about their work and i would recommend they should have practical section on it before they start their work.

2)To obtain a better job retention i would suggest the HR people to explain during the interview or publish in their website which explains about the job retention schemes.

3)To obtain a highly talented staffs the company should invest more on the salary package for the managers and they should provide better compensation package as well.

4)I would suggest the HR management can organize a staff seminar regarding the HRM policies and procedures.

5)Staffs pay can be increased to 50pence to one pound if possible. Because most of the staffs are not satisfied on their pay rather than any other thing in their work. So the company should think after this, but increasing the pay they can expect a satisfied work from their staffs for sure.

6)Staffs should get flexible working hours and it should be allocated in the best possible way by the HR managers.

7)Team work should be practised and hence it will useful to get better understanding among the staffs.

7.1 limitation of the research

While working on this dissertation I have faced several problems which stopped me to produce more information and some of the problems are shown below,

During this project I have faced some problem on conducting primary research, the interview and survey was not done as i planned, because the managers were busy and they are not ready to spent time for my interview,
Lesser time is given for this dissertation i have managed to give much information on this research topic but still I can produce more information i have more time and other sources like money.
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Michael Armstrong, A. B. (2002). the key to improved business performance.

Mick Marchington, A. W. (2005). Human resource management at work: people management and development. CIPD Publishing.

Panneerselvam, R. (2006). research methodology. new delhi: ashok goash, prentice hall.

Robert L. Mathis, J. H. (2008). Human resource management. Cengage Learning.

Robert L. Mathis, J. H. (2008). Human resource management. Cengage Learning.

Robert L. Mathis, J. H. (2008). Human resource management. Cengage Learning.

Rowena Barrett, S. M. (2008). International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM.

Storey, J. (2007). Human resource management: a critical text. london: jeniffer pegg.

Susan E. Jackson, R. S. (2008). Managing Human Resources. Cengage Learning.

Torrington, Derek/Taylor, Stephen/Hall, Laura. ( 2008). Human Resource Management. 7. Aufl., Harlow: : Financial Times Prentice Hall. Trompenaars, Fons/Hampden-Turner, Charles.

V.v.khanzode. (2007). research methodology: technique and trends. new delhi: s.p.nangia.

Wayne Goddard, S. M. (2005). Research Methodology: An Introduction .

Y.k.singh. (2008). Research methodology: techniques and trends. delhi: s.p.nangai.

In your research methodology

Brief introduction which should outline the methods u used and details in the research process
Interview : why have you chosen it advantages of the interview, justification of each and every questions,
Surveys same
Limitations
Conclusion which should contain further reason for why u chosen interview

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Is Human resource management the most indispensable part of an organization?

Introduction

Human resource management is the indispensable part of an organization as it helps an organization run in a smother path with a level of continuity. Motivation is a part of human resource management. Employees should be motivated as it acts as a driving force which helps them in achieving their goals. Motivation can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. People are intrinsically motivated when they are self- motivated and are drive by any interest or enjoyment in the task. They won’t have to depend upon others or any other external forces.

Extrinsic motivation is the rewards that are given to the people like benefits, money, grades, etc that comes from outside or external forces. Extrinsically motivated people perform better in order to win and beat others. Frederick Herzberg’s has proposed two factor theory of job satisfaction, employees are influenced by two sets of factors namely the motivator factor and the hygiene factor. According to his theory, these factors if present leads to job satisfaction as the employees are motivated.

The term “hygiene factor” is used to make sure that its presence will not make an employee healthier, but its absence might lead to demotivated employees. If the hygiene factor is missed it might cause dissatisfaction in employees, but if increased it do not necessarily motivate the employees.

Example 1: According to the doctoral study conducted at BI Norwegian Business School by Anders Dysvik, “staffs try to perform better only when they are motivated at work.” His research was based on 2,900 employees working at both public and private Norwegian organization. He has pointed out some main things about the motivated employees like:

They perform better and show an increased willingness to help their colleagues.
They are loyal towards the organization.

He has suggested four tips for the best performance of the employees in an organization which are as follows:

Give employees training and development.
Make the employees feel that they are important for the organization.
Before hiring staffs, the organization must search for the employees who has the potential to maintain commitment towards the work and has willingness to learn and develop new things.
Human resource activities should be viewed as a complementary because it helps in increasing the employees’ competency, social relation, autonomy.

Compensation and benefits are the important part of employee motivation and is the main function of human resource management. Without this a company cannot run successfully because if a company doesn’t have a motivated employee then there is a less chances of its prosperity or sustainability. Besides the payment, employees even want some more from their monotonous job, therefore, direct and indirect compensation both makes an employee get motivated. It is a part of human resource and management, which is focused on policy making and is also known as total reward in the UK.

Even though the benefits provided to the employees have a great value, there are a lot of issues regarding its devaluation made by the employees. As the benefits costs a heavy investment, the company should look forward its value made by the employees. It can be done through minimizing the communication gap in between the management and the employees.

Employee should feel that they are being cared and the company values their contribution. Eisenberger, Huntington, Huntington, & Sowa, 1986; Rhoades & Eisenberger, 2

http://humanresources.about.com/od/glossaryh/f/hr_management.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compensation_%26_Benefits

1. Literature review:

Different writer has different views on what exactly is compensation and benefits. In the words of Mathis and Jackson (2008, pg.361), “Direct compensation is the employer exchanges monetary rewards for work done and performance achieved. Base pay and variable pay are the most common forms of direct compensation.” Whereas Garry Dessler (2007 pg.4), “employee compensation refers to all forms of pay going to employees and arising from their employment.” Here, “all forms of pay” include both the direct and indirect compensation excluding the non- financial benefits. The following part best describes the benefits and compensation:

1.1 Employee Benefits:

The term “benefits” also known as “fringe benefits” or “perquisites”, “perqs”, or “perks”, is the employee benefit which is given as the remuneration to the employee and is not the part of wages. Benefit is a part of motivation and in the time of recession managers are not using non-financial tool to motivate their staffs because they know that this will need a lot of commitment and time.

Its scope deals with the various form of indirect compensation. Employee benefits are tangible and intangible. The tangible benefits can be indirect financial or non-financial payments that the employees get for continuing their employment with the company.

Example 2: Following are the benefits for the employees:

Pay for time not workedInsurance benefitsBenefits after retirementPersonal services family benefitsOther job related benefitsExecutive perquisites
Unemployment insuranceWorker’s compensationSocial securitySubsidized child careEducational subsidiesManagement loans
Vacations and holidaysHospitalisation, insurance for disabilityPlans for pension and retirement plans and lawSick child benefitsSalary guarantees
Sick leaveTrends in employer health care cost controlElder careRelocation benefits
Parental leave and the family and medical leave actTime offOther perks like- time off with pay, outplacement assistance, company cars, chauffeured limousines, dining rooms for the CEO, physical fitness programs, club memberships, tax support, children’s educational subsidies, etc.
Severance paypart-time and contingent workers benefitsFamily friendly benefits and the bottom line
Supplemental unemployment benefits

Some of the benefits listed out by national compensation survey, United States, 2010 are listed below:

Retirement benefits
Health care benefits
Holiday, vacation, sick, and other leave benefits,
Life disability benefits,
Others.

The following data shows the frequently provided employee benefits scheme which taken as a source from Stephen Miller who is a manager of the SHRM online compensation and benefits focus area.

The above listed benefits are all tangible benefits. The intangible benefits provided by the company can be less direct and can be only felt by the employees. For example: appreciation from the boss, good office environment, possibility of promotion, etc.

Historically, unions of the employees tried to negotiate these benefits through collective bargaining. Benefits are the motivating factor which is provided in order to increase the employee productivity so that they can perform well and achieve the common organization goals. With the use of benefits, employees get an economic security, whereas, the employers will be able to attract, retain and recognize their employees.

Employee benefit is an important part of an investment in human resource and it needs to be altered according to the needs of the old employees.

Example 3: Even during the time of recession, Barclays Bank was able to be a pioneer bank among all the other banks in the UK because of its tangible benefits provided both to the employees and its customers. The bank paid 2.25 billion pounds in divided to its share holders in 2007, which include many of the pension funds, mutual funds, and insurance companies. The bank paid 7 billion pounds in employee salaries and incentives in 2007 and contributed, 301 million pounds to the employee pension plans and retirement benefits.

http://www.barclays.com/sustainabilityreport07/economic_impact.html?AddToPrintBasket=true

Example 4: SHRM 2008 Employee Benefits Survey reports that after job security, benefits are the most important job satisfaction factor for employees.

Even though employees don’t appreciate and understand the value of the benefits scheme, their employers are giving the benefits more than ever.

1.2. Compensation for employees:

It is the payment made to the workers and arising in the form of employment. It has two main components namely:

Direct financial payments: These are the wages, salaries, incentives, commissions, and bonuses.
Time- based payment: Clerical workers or the blue color workers get the hourly payment or daily wages, and in contrast, the top level staffs get the salary weekly, monthly or yearly.
Payment for performance: Piece work which is the compensation to the total amount of production, and the sales commission are the good examples of payment for performance.
Indirect financial payments: These are the employer paid insurance and vacations. The following chart shows the parts of direct and indirect financial payments:

2. The main components of compensation and benefits:

There are four main components of employee compensation and benefits namely:

Guaranteed payment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compensation_%26_BenefitsIt is the reward given in cash which is used by the employees for the instant consumption like basic salary, which can be paid hourly, weekly, monthly or annually. It can also be known as minimum wages.
Variable payment: It is even a cash reward but is provided only when the performance is achieved for example: bonus schemes, commissions, overtime payment, etc. For example: Avon cosmetics UK pays its sales representative 20% commission out of its every 78 pounds and over sales.
Benefits: Benefits are often not provided in cash which include all the employee benefits like part-time off, pension contribution and company car plans, paid sick leave, insurance benefits, etc.
Equity based compensation: It is the employer compensation plan in which the shares of the employer’s are used as the employee compensation. Stock option is a good example of equity based compensation.

2.1. Advantages of compensation and benefits to the employers:

2.1.1. Decreased turnover:

Employees will stay loyal with their company if the company in return provides them a good reward for their job, therefore, there will be a low turnover in the organization.

2.1.2. Easing of their cash flow:

In this case, the company induces the salary sacrifice system, where the employees give up a portion of their salary in return of their benefits.

2.1.3. Tax advantages:

With the cooperation with the employer, the employee should be able to negotiate the benefits which will provide tax advantage. Example 4:If a company pays the telephone bills then it is known as the non-taxable benefits. It is the sundry benefit that represents a significant tax saver within a year period.

2.1.4. Decreased absenteeism:

A properly designed compensation and benefits will create a less chances of employees getting absent. If they have a good working environment, with a good salary and benefits they’ll be more encouraged to go to work.

2.1.5. Satisfied employees:

The organization will have a satisfied employee if they give them a fair enough compensation or benefits. This will result in the happy workers who will be effective and efficient towards achieving the common organization goals.

2.1.6. Motivated employees:

The employees are automatically motivated and can be directed towards the organizations targets, when the company provides them the benefits and the compensation.

2.2. Advantages of compensation and benefits to the employees:

2.2.1. Secured life:

Employees will be secured and happy when they are motivated. They’ll feel a secured life more than ever before.

2.2.2. Employee efficiency:

Employees will be efficient in their work and perform better than before in order to get those benefits more and more.

2.2.3. Peaceful mind:

Employees will feel the peace of mind that will lead them towards doing their work more efficiently and effectively.

2.2.4. Self confidence:

When the employees are rewarded their self confidence will be automatically increased that will make them excel in their performance.

3. Benefits are undervalued by employees:

In the UK rule of employee benefits, often the benefits are taxed at individual tax rates. Therefore, this can be expensive if there is no availability of the financial advantage to the individual from the benefits; therefore this is a disadvantage to the employees. Following are some examples that discusses on benefits undervalued by the employees.

Example 14: Billions of pounds wasted on Under-valued cost of benefits

Posted by HR Zone in managing people

According to Adrian Humphreys of employee benefits administrator, WPA Protocol, Five Billion pounds per year that could be better expensed to young employees has been wasted on under-valued cost of benefits. His survey was based in the current NOP World survey of 100 HR Director and Managers amongst the top 1500 UK organizations out of which 63% of the employers who provides the benefits think that the benefits doesn’t affect their employees’ career decision. In contrast, according to the survey, 96% of the employees found the benefits scheme to be either fairly or very important.

According to WPA Protocol, there should be a standard reward package particularly for the highly skilled knowledge workers, who will be responsible for the economic boost in the near future. Small and innovative firms are providing an increased salary by making their employees to choose their own portable benefits on their own. If they had a choice to cut off the benefits, 75% said company car, 14% said to reduce the pension plan, and 11% vote out for the health benefit cost.

According to him, reducing the expenditure is the main point to decrease the yearly escalating cost of benefits and the employers are re-evaluating the best way to remunerate their employees. He has even further added up that, if we shift towards the knowledge based economy then we’ll see that the employers have the perfect benefit package to motivate and retain better staffs.

Example 5:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employee_benefit#United_KingdomAccording to the UK law, UK system of state pension provision is dependent upon the National Insurance Contribution (NIC) payment. If there is no financial advantage then this kind of benefits will be too expensive to the employees.

Example 6: 2008 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey, there’s a disconnection in between the total amount spend on the benefits by the employers and the employees’ perception of the value of their benefit package. Even though the benefits are important element to the employees, they don’t understand its value; therefore, the Human Resource professional should help their employees understand all the options and the value provided to them in the benefit package.

Example 7: According to colonial life survey report, at Columbia, S.C. on February, 28, 2011- research shows that less than 19% of the employers think that their employees have an excellent know how of the provided benefits and about 5% of the employers think their employees have no knowledge about the benefits. Even though the employers spend a lot of money in their employees’ benefits, maximum number of employers thinks that their employees don’t understand their benefits package.

http://www.coloniallife.com/en/BenefitsCommunication/~/media/acrobat/product/Value%20of%20Benefits%20Topic%20Sheet%2070060.ashx IMPORTANT ONE

Example 10: http://www.hrmguide.co.uk/recruitment/job-ads-benefits.htm according to Gary Smith, a senior consultant at Watson Wyatt, “Employers won’t highlight the benefits that their organization offers at the beginning because they know that employees traditionally try to undervalue their benefits mainly the pension benefits”. Therefore most job advertisements don’t focus on employee benefits program. According to Watson Wyatt’s survey, the mostly mentioned benefit was pension for low paid jobs and only when the organisations could offer the final salary program advertisements for the high pay jobs they’ll refer to pensions.

Example 11:

http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Articles/Pages/2009EmployeeBenefitsSurveyReport.aspx

According to 2007 Benefits Survey Report made by (SHRM) Society for human Resource Management, 40% of United States organization’s payroll shows the cost of benefits to its workers.

Even though employees harmoniously rate benefits as a main factor in job satisfaction, there is a disconnection in-between the expenses the company makes on their employees’ and the perceived value of the benefits made by the employees. Therefore, Human Resource managers should help their workers understand the total benefit scheme, its options and the actual value provided by the benefits. The survey exposes that the huge number of Human Resource managers check their benefits scheme at every year. Therefore, the organizations should also improve the competitiveness of their scheme. They can do this by the use of various survey reports and needs assessment, benchmarking tools, to meet the employee needs by staying inside the state and federal laws and regulations.

Example 12: According to the 2006/07research from Origen, employer expends 20-30% of their employee benefit scheme. Out of them only 13% of the employees gives a high value on their worth.

Even though employees are equipped with various kinds of benefits package, they don’t appreciate and value it.

3.1. Reasons for employees to undervalue the benefits:

In order to make the organization groom in a right direction, it should find out the reason why the employees are not satisfied.

Example 13: According to Brook C. Holtom, Ph.D. there is a chance that the employee benefits are not giving the employers the payback they deserve in increased employee satisfaction and appreciation. The employers, on the average, spend about approximately 29% of the total employee compensation scheme. The most current research indicates that the employers are spending about 43% of the total salary on the various types of employees’ benefits. One of the researches posted in a journal, Personnel psychology, states that the employees can understand and appreciate about the cost of benefits in between 31% to 68%. The employees try to undervalue their benefits due to the following sets of reasons:

Lack of proper communication by the employers towards the employees about their benefits.
Lack of choices or options in the employee benefit schemes.
Lack of proper understanding shown by the employees towards the market value of their provided benefits.

In order to maximize the value of employee benefits expenses, the employers should allow their employees to make the choices on their benefits. They should use lots of information as their tools to attract the employees. They will have to make the employees to think about the value of their benefits through the following ways:

Interactive computer quizzes,
Employee benefit fairs and exhibitions,
Landline hotlines,
Posters at the workplace,
Movies or documentaries related to employee benefits, etc.

Organizations that want to increase the value of their employee benefits expenses should make a research on their employees by asking them which benefits will they value the most and why with the specific reason, so that the employers will know the preferences of the employees towards the benefits provided.

Organizations that provide and offer various schemes of benefits will automatically experience optimistic employee morale and will retain employees better than the organizations which do not.

Conclusion and recommendation:

As benefit gives an employee the social and economic support, therefore it becomes an indispensable instrument to improve the good working quality of an employee. According to the question, I disagree with the view that even if the employees are undervaluing the benefits, company should rather add more direct compensation without cutting the cost. The main assets of an organization are the employees without which the organization can’t run in a smoother path. If the organization finds that its employees are undervaluing the benefits provided then they should use a strategic tool in order to motivate and retain their current staffs. The tools can be an effective communication made by the top level management with the staffs.

Example 9: Colonial life WWW.coloniallife.com is an accidental insurance company which provides the benefits solution in a clean package. It’s leader in the market for providing benefits to its staffs with best communications, enrollments, personal insurance goods and services that helps to make the benefits count for both the employers and the staffs.

Example 8: According to SHRM 2008 Employee benefits survey, Human resource experts should understand how to increase their employees’ level of understanding through communicating the value of their benefit scheme. The experts can use some methods of communications like- the total compensation statements, employee meetings and workshops, etc.

Reference:

http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=32b87bc8-d81c-411b-8ea3-90cce3a0401c%40sessionmgr13&vid=5&hid=17

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Integrating different human resource processes in a retail store using SAP, Oracle and other Employee Management Systems

Introduction

In current scenario, Information Systems plays an important role in every business. Managing the human resources of an establishment is one of the key challenges faced by the organizations. There are several solutions to manage the human resources that are currently available in the market.

Currently major supermarkets in the UK like Sainsburys, Tesco, ASDA, B&Q etc. uses different HRMS provided by leading vendors like SAP, Oracle etc. which are extremely efficient and also comes at a price. These advanced and efficient systems are not within the scope of upcoming supermarkets and superstores in the UK and in other developing countries which definitely need an efficient, robust, simple and cheaper solution to manage the various core processes that come under the human resources management which include Payroll Management, Time and Labour Management which includes managing attendance, holidays management etc. and finally Employee Self Service. There is a strong need of an application which would integrate all these solutions and provide a single solution with various modules to perform various tasks.

The advent of open source technologies has revolutionized the entire world as it has made some of the most expensive information systems and other software less expensive sometimes the similar systems are available for free. The Employee Management Systemwill be totally built on various open source technologies like Java, JSP, XML and JavaScript which would further reduce the costs to the company and also would make the system available for various categories of supermarkets from large scale to small scale stores.

Initial Research

Human Resource forms one of the vital resources of any organization which is the important driving factor for success of that organization. Managing human resource that human resource efficiently and effectively reduces the costs and increases the productivity. Information Systems which manage the human resources is called Human Resource Management System.

Human Resource Management Systems are “The systems which provide link between Human Resource Management and the Information Technology”.

There are many HRM Systems provided by major vendors like Oracle, SAP Labs, Ascentis etc. which are efficient and robust. These systems have four core modules of a Human Resource Management Systems namely

Payroll Management Module

In this module, payroll process is completely automated. Based on total working hours, holiday pays and tax deductions a specific pay check and tax report is generated for each employee automatically.

Labour and Time Management Module

In this module attendance management and holidays management of employees is taken care of and it calculates the cost of each employee to the company. It provides the company with valuable data about the usage of labour resource.

Benefits Administration Module

The benefit administration module helps the HR department to monitor and manage the employee participation in benefit programs offered by the company. Benefit programs include health insurance, pension schemes, stock options etc. This module is clearly outside the scope of proposed employee management system because the system is mainly targeted at smaller and upcoming retail stores.

HR Management Module

This module consists of different HR solutions starting for recruitment to retirement. This module assists HR department to manage its human capital pool in an effective manner. It consists of various functionalities like training and development, online recruiting etc.

The initial setup costs and further maintenance cost of these systems provided by popular vendors are expensive and are not affordable for smaller retail stores. Also the smaller and newer retail stores would require just the basic functionalities and a cheaper solution to run within the allocated minimum budget. Hence there is a strong need for an HRMS system which is developed using open source tools and can be made available for free.

Aims and Objectives

Aim

The aim of this project is to develop an information system which integrates different process that are related to Human Resources of a retail store.

Objectives

To research on various processes that are related to human resources of a retail store.
To research on current systems being used for managing human resources of retail store.
Gathering the requirements for building a system for smaller retail stores.
Designing and Implementing the simple system which incorporates the core modules required in a HRM System.
Testing and Evaluating the system.

Design

An employee management system for a retail store would involve many users like a normal employee, supervisor, team leader, manager, HR manager and a general manager. Some of the most common user roles include an employee, manager, HR Manager, General Manager and an Administrator. The following use case diagrams illustrate the various functionalities provided for different set of users.

The system would be built entirely on model-view-controller design (MVC) where view classes forms the front end of the system, controller classes directs the request and response to appropriate modules based on the type of request and model classes consists of the business logic of the entire system. Employee management system consists of various modules which are basic requirements for any start-up retail store. The following diagram depicts the structure of proposed Employee Management System.

Payroll Module

This module based on attendance and tax deductions automatically generates the pay check at the end of the pay period which can be 2 weeks or 4 weeks or a month depending on the company policies. At the end of the payment period, employee can view his pay check and HR/Admin can view all the employees pay checks.

Attendance Module

This module keeps track of employee attendance. It allows employee to mark his attendance and also notifies manager and HR if employee takes unauthorised leave.

Holiday Management Module

This module manages all the holidays of the employees. It allows an employee to request holidays and notifies the manager of the same. When manager approves, the shift will be marked paid/unpaid leave depending on the type of leave applied.

Performance Analysis Module

In this module performance of the employee is calculated based on the factors that determine the performance for a particular job role. The factors set aside for every job role depends from company to company and from store to store. There will be a basic framework built for this module and depending on the company it can be customised.

Shifts Management Module

In this module Manager can allocate a shift to an employee which has to be approved by HR.

Some of the user roles of this system at basic level are Employee, Manager, General Manager and HR. The uses-cases are as follows:

Employee Use-Case

Manager Use-Case

HR/Admin Use-Case

REFERENCES

[1]Automatic Data Processing Inc. Available at: http://www.adp.com/solutions/employer-services/professional-employer-organization/small-business/peo-overview/human-resource-management-system.aspx (Accessed: 19-03-2011)

[3] Gui Ying, Tang Bin, Gao Xiao-hui (2009) ‘J2EE-based human resources management Information System design and implementation’, pp.20-03-2011.

Appendix

[1] Project Proposal Form

[1] MSc Project Proposal Form

AY10/11, Semester 2

Student Number

1002269
Student Name

Ramchaitanya Rallapalli Balasubramanyam
Degree Course

MSc Computers and Internet Applications
Supervisor Name

Rob Manton
Title of Project

Employee Management System
Description of your artefact

There is a strong need for an employee management system which is simple, efficient and free for upcoming retail stores to quicken many processes. Currently many supermarkets like Sainsbury use different HRM solutions provided by major vendors like SAP, Oracle etc. to manage different HR department functionalities which are not within the scope of smaller retailers.The aim of this project is to provide a low cost efficient system which integrates all the necessary functionalities to manage the human resources of the retail store.Some of the main features the system includes are:The system monitors the employees’ attendance.

Allows Employee to apply for their paid holidays and check their pay slips.

Provides manager with various functionalities like allocating shifts, approving holidays and monitoring performance.

Notifies manager of any unauthorized absence of an employee.

Allows HR department to add, edit and delete employees and approve holidays.

The artefact will be a web application totally developed using struts framework and will be deployed on a tomcat server. The backend will be developed using MySql Database.
What methodology (structured process) will you be following to realise your artefact?

The entire application will be designed based on MVC architecture where the business logic is separated from the presentation part and hence making the application reusable and customisable to any business.The entire application will be developed using open source technologies. There are 4 modules namely Payroll management, Attendance Management, Holiday Management and Shifts management which will be implemented fully and Performance management modules basic framework will be implemented which can be customised and built based on the business requirements which describes the governing factors for performance.The entire process will be divided into different phases and developed according to simplest software development life cycle model that is waterfall model where entire project is developed linearly starting from requirements gathering & analysis and terminating at maintenance.
How does your project relate to your degree course and build upon the units/knowledge you have studied/acquired

As part of MSc Computers and Internet Applications I have studied various modules like Internet development, multimedia applications, applied programming and Online Database applications which will be helpful in developing this project.
Resources

Tomcat server, eclipse IDE and MySql database.

Have you completed & submitted your ethics form?

Yes

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Critical Study of Human Resource Management (HRM) at Infosys technologies pvt

Infosys, INTRODUCTION

Infosys technologies is a leading outsourcing IT services multinational company having headquarter in Bengaluru, India and is having its branches and development centres in China, UK, Japan, Australia with a large workforce of 1,27,000 employees all over the world. They have a flat organizational structure HR structure directed by Nandita Gurjar with a few levels of management between software developers and managers, and thus the employees have more involvement in decision making. That is why, they have been rated best employer by business world/Hewitt.

They offer software development, business consulting, product engineering, maintenance, integration systems and validation services to the companies like Microsoft, SAP, Google, Yahoo, Oracle etc. They are 2nd largest software multinational company in India after TCS with an approximately revenue of US$ 5.7 billion in 2010 and employees a chunk of skilled employees. Infosys created a great global picture of software outsourcing of India all over the world because of which they attracted a large number of talented engineers across the world. There has been a burgeoning growth in the workforce in recent years,

Due to the interlinked and fantastic international HRM structure they were rated “Best companies to work for” by HAY group. Females contribute to more than 30% of their employees making them awarded by NASSCOM for gender empowerment. Their HRM have given importance to each employee and given a fantastic place in their company. Due to all this for last two decades they are attracting very talented engineers and software developers resulting in burgeoning growth of their organization. In recent time, they are getting big projects from big companies, for which they need skilful and talented employees. But in last four years they are dramatically facing the problem of attrition. A recent survey showed that in October-December quarter of 2010 there was 17.5% attrition, which is an alarming situation for them, that will affect their started projects massively. According to financial express, attrition has become a major trouble for them, and they need to solve it as soon as possible. The most striking point is the continuous increase in attrition rate in last 2 years, making it a big challenge to their HRM department. Interventions of solving this can be done by increasing compensation, training and feedback.

BRIEF HISTORY AND PROBLEM IN DETAIL

Infosys was founded in 1981 by N.R. Narayana murthy and six entrepreneurs with a very small capital of US$ 250, which was signed up with client Data Basics corporation in New York. And in same way in 1983, it relocated its corporate headquarters from Pune to Bengaluru. After that they, opened their branch in USA.Subsequently, in early 1990s they introduced modern human resource management program and got a certification of ISO-9001, which was a great achievement for them. Also in the same year there shares were shared with public sector. Also, they opened a development centre in Fremont, Las Vegas , USA which was a significant milestone for the company. They were accessed at CMM level 4 in 1997 that was their global success. They started enterprise solutions also called packaged application practice. In same year its one big division “Infosys business consulting services was launched. Next year they opened offices in France, Hongkong and other development centres in USA, UK and Canada. A big achievement in their HRM was achieved when they were rated best employer for 3 consecutive years. In 200-2002. They were accredited with many other organizations like “MAKE” because of their innovative HRM structure.

Its HR department made a massive increase in employees in next years. But after then it has been facing problem of attrition massively. The attrition rate is peaking to a hight rate in the early 2010, in this period the attrition was 13.4%. According to NASSCOM website, there is huge demand of IT professionals in the past few years, hence the demand is too high, so there is a big reason to worry about attrition recently.

With new and new projects coming up, the services need to be build up its skilful employee sale to meet the requirements. As the market is having more opportunities so either employees are leaving companies. During this quarter 7833 people left the organization that was like a backlash in the productivity. Usually in this quarter employees are started their MBA or MTECH degrees. About 90 left for higher education and 2215 left to join other companies. Company invest a huge amount on their training and in return they want certain required work, but surprisingly, they get the resignation letters from employees, which is a big loss for the company. Even their competitors like TCS and Wipro are also

facing attrition of 21.7% and 14.4% respectively in last quarter of 2010. Though the IT bell added 14,624 new employees in 2010 during the quarter but there was alarming exit of skilful 6,618 employees taking the total to 122,468 till September 30 2010 . Infosys wanted to g=hire about 10,000 more engineers in 2010 which has been highest record till now because of booming projects.Their HR head can put some strict and affective policies to reduce attrition.

INTERVENTION 1: INCREASING EMPLOYEE’S COMPENSATION

A very effective way to reduce the attrition is to increase their basic salary because most of the times, employee leave because of limited compensation and go to better paying companies. A perfect example is of HCL technologies which is a competitor of Infosys technologies also faced attrition of 30% in 2004.(Frauenheim A. , 2008). HCL’s leadership thus decided to focus on employees and followed A policy “goal of employee reforms by increasing transparency” made them understand that employee needed compensation and increments. So HCL decided to pay higher fixed salaries significantly to get valuable input from the employees. This policy was built to make trust in employees. Resulting in decline of attrition to 15% and their revenue jumped to 146% and production to US $ 1.9 billion in no time. Infosys today is as global as HCL, so they must follow the same way and increase compensation of employees. Their one more rival Satyam computer services pvt ltd was facing the problem of attrition in July 2006. (Market watch, 2007). So they increased the employee’s wages by 18% hence reduced attrition rate and they managed to meet their productivity. One more example is of Microsoft who also faced attrition of 9% in fiscal year 2004 that made the HR worried when they were losing mangers, engineers and marketers. Their director of platform evangelism left for internet phone Skype technologies, for a better salary and a long list of employees were moving to Google. The reason was compensation and profits. So there were Microsoft compensation moves that made a hike in their salaries. And they rated their employers by top performers and the pay scale was decided by high performer to average performer.” It creates competition in the ranks, when people really want community” said Microsoft vice president, and thus they were able to retain their talented employees. (Green, J. 2005) Similarly, Infosys can also divide the top performers and

average performers and hike their compensation accordingly which will create a competition to reach optimum targets to get better pay scale, resulting in self motivation. So by increasing compensation of employees will be a great way of reducing attrition.

Intervention 2: TRAINING OF EMPLOYEES

Training will make the employees comfortable with work and reduce their problems. Many times, employees are not able to adjust with their work and start losing the interest, in such cases they need a motivating and technical training. An article by Bob Harris says training an employee by building new ideas with learning experience to software developers will enhance confidence and loyalty in words (Harris, B. 2005). And thus training will impart a moral boost and build long term relationship with company and simultaneously competitive work.

With training, proper positioning of employees in their work will develop a harmonious relationship in organization resulting in reduction in attrition and retaining skilful employees. (Goldenkoff, R. 2007) As a trainer we can avoid unnecessarily frustrating the techies by giving them that task which they are not capable of. And because of new technology coming up there is need to train them with new methods of developing software with less time consuming and with less errors. A better approach during training should be adopted to put no communication gap between trainers and the trainees, they should be exhibited with all the skills they need in their work. (Peter, A. 1977).Training to be offered timely and feedback on it is necessary especially on new policy and techniques, their conflicts with supervisors should also be considered and then resolved by mutual understanding in proactive training. Training should have a dual affect of new skills and personal relationship with supervisors and managers. Motivation and encouraging toward the commitment toward work will create a sense of loyalty in the employee; as a result it will create a sense of responsibility and their own importance in their company.

INTERVENTION 3: SURVEYS AND FEEDBACKS

Significantly, employee’s feedback data can support exit data. Such as annual federal employee viewpoint survey that includes asking employees whether they are leaving the organization in next period and why (to know the reason). The responses of those who say they are considering to leave next year are-(1) they do not like the work, (2) they are not satisfied by reorganization they receive (3) they are not happy with the compensation.(Sitzmann, T 2010) Hence this will give a clear idea to the HR department about the exit reasons of their employees.

A research has shown that positive effects of prompting, self-regulation, minimizes the doubts of both management and employees. Using the method of prompting questions and reflective approach to the queries resulted in decrease of attrition and created confidence in employees. (Korrapati, R. 2010) The intervention of questioning and answers from employees moderated attrition. A questionnaire can be given to the employees asking for the response of their basic needs in work, interested work, incentives, promotions and working shifts. The basic design for the surveys can be alteration in person interviews with telephones and mail out surveys periodically. (Lavigna, B. 2011).This will give a brief idea of their unmet need which can be fulfilled and van be helpful in retaining them in organization

. Sometimes the employees are not happy with the manager, so the manager can be changed and instead of loosing employee. In some cases it is found that employees are not happy with workload and pressure, so the HR team can put more people on that work in order to equally distribute the work and put such kind of work that he can do. An article by national longitudinal survey says that by survey methodologies impact of attrition can be reduced. . If its I consistent with its objective, continuous rounds are there that totally consider each, the targeted incentive reasons data can be achieved, and finally longitudinal survey that convince and offer attention, making them confident that they are providing their study in a right way, and thus with all these attrition knowledge will be achieved helping in reducing attrition. (Randall, J. 2005) The HR will be retaining them for long term by meeting their needs. With the help of survey and feedback from them, It will eliminate all the unwanted shifts, and will lead to mutual co-ordination between management and organization, hence leading to satisfaction an reduction in attrition. If all these feedback are unbiased and done accurately, this will reveal all the pros and cons, bringing a clear picture of the organization

CONCLUSION

Overall, it is concluded that attrition is causing trouble for Infosys that is caused by unmet needs like overtime, stress; low fixed salary or low motivation in employees which can be solved by hike in compensation, feedback, surveys and training. We have to implement these way according to circumstance. Out of this feedback from employees is very essential that reveals the general idea to HRM, about the root of this problem which can be solved with discussion and meeting of these needs, such kind of responses will lead to future planning also and it will further reduce the future attrition. But, will it really solve the problemSometimes, the best surveys even do not work accordingly and employee still leaves the firm, so a proper planning has to be made during the feedback to get correct data and implement the solution carefully. Also, any confidential way of surveys and questionnaire should be implemented. Similarly the intervention of more compensation should be implemented in company. The better the work, the better he should be paid, because of the competitive world and new competitors, the HR have to visualize the correct pay scale for the employee when compared with similar talents and should not be biased.

Is it there any competition in employees regarding pay scaleHow employees can be motivated to get more incentives .These questions should be in consideration of HRM and will result in positive effects. While training, the real motive of retaining the employee for long term has to be considered. What questions have employees in their mindWill the training will be affected and will he be in company for more time after trainingAn effective and practical policy should be adopted which will work on this special project considering these, the HRM should go for training because if training does not solve the problem, what will be use of itAll these ways have to be followed by HR head Nandita Gurjar and monitor , the managers while doing so, if the ways are working they should continue in same way and if not they should be rebuild and closely monitored. Subsequntly, The HRM can make future planning also so that this problem will not occur and is the policies are periodically followed. Then only the HRM will be able to retain talented engineers in company for long term. Hence, through all these ways we can solve the serious problem of attrition in Infosys technologies which should be adopted by Hr department of Infosys technologies.

REFERENCES:

(1) Textbook: Global Human Resource Management. Managing people in developing and transitional countries authors: Willy McCourt. Derek Eldridge

(2) Infosys: http://www.infosys.com/about/what-we-do/pages/index.aspx

(3) Lavigna, B. 2011 Do you know who is leaving your company and whyvol 34 issue 1 p9-21. Accessed in Business source complete

(4) Sitzmann T., Ely, K. and Brown K. ,2010 Sometimes you need a reminder Academy of management learning & education, vol9 issue 2, p169-191, Accessed in Business source complete

(5) Randall J, 2005 The problem of respondent attrition: survey methodology is key. monthly labor, Vol , 128 issue 2 p63-70, 8p Accessed in Business source complete

(6) Goldenkoff R. 2007 Home land security: DHS’s actions to recruit and retain staff and comply venations reform act.GAO reports 2007 p1 76p Accessed in Business source complete

(7) Korrapati R. and Edara V. 2010 A study of the relationship between software project success and employee job satisfaction. vol 14 issue 1 p 22-25 Accessed in Business source complete

(8) Frauenheim, A. 2008 HCL technologies: Workforce management Volume 87 Issue 17, p25-25, 1p. Accessed in Business source complete

(9) Market watch, 2007 Satyam: profit lag as attrition problem continues. Full Market watch Vol 6 Issue 4 p157-15 Assessed in Business source complete

(10) Greene, J.et al. 2005 Troubling exists at Microsoft issue 392,p98-108, 9p Accessed in Business source complete

(11) Harris, B, 2005 Bust attrition by fostering loyalty. SDM: security disturbance, Vol 35 issue 10, p130-130 1p Accessed in Business source complete

(12) Peter, A. 1997 Downsizing strategies that minimize layoffs American business review Vol 15 issue 1 p57 By: Business source complete

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Discuss the importance of Human resource management (HRM) alongside the recruitment needs of a business

Introduction

Human resource management (HRM) is the strategic and coherent draw to the management of an organization’s most appreciated assets — the people working there who individually and collectively put into the getting of the objectives of the business. The terms “human resource management” and “human resources” (HR) have mainly replaced the term “personnel management” as a description of the processes involved in managing people in organizations. In plain language, HRM means employing people, developing their capacity, utilizing, maintaining and compensating their services in melody with the job and organizational requirement. Harshly

Human Resource Management can be described as “The comprehensive set of managerial activities and tasks concerned with developing and maintaining a qualified workforce – human resources – in ways that contribute to organisational effectiveness.” (DeNisi and Griffin, 2004)

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the role within an organization that focuses on staffing of, management of, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. Human Resource Management can also be performed by procession managers.

The Human Resources Management (HRM) tasks include a range of manners, and key among them is deciding the recruitment needs of a business and whether to use sovereign contractors or employ employees to fill these requirements, recruiting and training the best workers, ensure that they are high performers, dealing with performance issues. Activities also include managing your approach to employee remuneration and reparation, employee accounts and personnel policies. Usually small businesses have to carry out these actions themselves because they can’t yet afford part- or full-time help. However, they should always ensure that employees have—and are aware of—personnel policies, which conform to current regulations. These policies are often in the form of employee manual, which all employees have.

Case Study of British Gas The role of human resource management

To control a successful large business involves acquiring, developing and maintaining a wide range of assets. These capitals include materials, buildings, land, equipment, technology and, people. Any establishment needs good workforce who has the right skills to get the company’s aims and objectives. Human resource management (HRM) is the business function that focuses on the people characteristics of an organisation. It is responsible for ensuring that an organisation has the right people to carry its overall business plan. Centrica, the parent corporation of BGS, has to deliver long-standing productivity. Its shareholders expect the business to show a return on their investment by making profits, now and in future. BGS needs to add to these profits. This means time after time meeting the needs of its customers with comparatively priced products and services that give good returns to the company. BGS’s core customer base is housing consumers across the country. These customers suppose to top-class service at fanatical prices. If BGS does not meet this model, the company may lose business to competitor. To ensure customer liking, BGS engineers must have the technological skills to undertake work to the obligatory standard and the people skills to take away good customer service. Through its engineer enrolment team, the British Gas Academy must therefore ensure that the company attracts and retains the best engineer. This involves several harmonizing tasks. It requires setting up to assess the BGS’s future needs for skilled employees. It requires a recruitment and selection programme to bring new people into the company. It requires a training operation to prepare new recruits and existing employees with the right skills.

Case study of Scottish Power The role of Human Resource Management

People are one of the most important resources used by any organisation. Scottish Power recognises that it is ‘powered by people’.

Human Resource Management (HRM) is apprehensive with organising and looking after people in the place of work. On a day-to-day basis this includes recruitment, selection, training and development and assessing staff presentation. An important part of HRM is staff planning. This involves getting the right people in the right position at the right point in time. It also involves identifying the numbers of people required to enable the business to operate at full effectiveness. These people need to have the right skills to do the profession.

Part of labour force planning therefore involves planning growth opportunities. Growth increases the skills of the current workforce. The energy industry is changing quickly which means it is important to recruit and train people with the ability to carry out new jobs. This is particularly essential in the growing renewable energy sector.

Scottish Power aims to offer a positive recruitment and selection experience for every employee and potential employee. Scottish Power is committed to equal opportunities for everyone regardless of factors such as race, sex, age or disability.

The significance of HRM’s historical development

History of Human Resource management

The history of human resources management had startedapproximately end of 19th century when the protecting representatives had come into life form they are all women’s and are only Worried about the defence of rest of the women’s and children effected their harshness of industrial conception had an effected

coupled with pressures arising from the extension of the franchise, the power of trade unions and the labour association, and the disturbance of progressive employers, often Quakers, for what was called ‘industrial betterment’. As the role grew; there was some stress between the aim of moral defence of women and children and the needs for higher output.

The First World War accelerates change in the growth of personal management with women being recruited in huge numbers to fill up the gaps absent by men going to battle, which in turn meant reaching agreement with trade unions and accepting unskilful women into craftsmen’s jobs and changing manning levels.

During the 1920s, jobs of ‘labour manager’ or ‘service manager’ came into being in the business industry and other industries where there was a large industrial unit, to handle absence, recruitment, dismissal and queries over bonuses and so on. Employers’ federations, mostly in engineering and shipbuilding, negotiated general pay rates with the unions, but there were local and regional variations, and it was a lot of scope for disputes.

During the 1930s, with the economy started to pick up big corporations in these newer sectors saw the value in improving employee benefits as a way of recruiting, retaining and motivating employees. However, older industries such as textile shipbuilding, etc. which were hit by the worldwide recession did not adopt new techniques, seeing no need to do so because they had no difficulty in recruiting labour.

The 2nd World War brought about interests and staff work on a permanent basis at all establishment manufacturing war materials because an extended Ministry of Labour and National Service insisted on it, just as the Government had insisted on voluntary workers in weapon factories in the previous clash. The government saw the specialist personal management as part of the drive for greater efficiency and the number of people in the personnel function grew significantly; there were around 5,300 in 1943.

By 1945, employment supervision and voluntary work had become included under the broad term ‘personal management’. Experience of the war had shown that output and productivity could be influenced by employment strategy. The role of the Human function in war time had been mainly that of implementing the rules demanded by large-scale, state-governed production, and thus the image of an emerging profession was very much a bureaucratic one.

Following the development of poor industrial relations during the 1960s a Royal Commission under Lord Donovan was set up. Reporting in 19681, it was critical of both employers and unions; personnel managers were criticised for lacking negotiation skills and failing to plan industrial relations strategies. At least in part, Donovan suggested, these deficiencies were a consequence of management’s failure to give personnel management sufficiently high priority.

During 1960s and 1970s employment started to develop considerably. At the same time personnel techniques developed started using theories from the social sciences about recruitment and selection, motivation and organisational behaviour etc. Selection testing became extra broadly used, and management of training long-drawn-out. During the 1970s, speciality fields started to develop, with reward and benefits.

Around the mid-80s, the term ‘human resource management’ arrived from the USA. The term ‘human resources’ was an interesting one: it seemed to propose that employees were an asset or resource-like machinery, but at the same time HR also lead to highlight employee commitment and motivation.

Today’s HR profession encompasses a number of specialist disciplines, including diversity, reward (including compensation, benefits, pensions), resourcing, employee relations, organisation development and design, and learning and development. Most recently, in developing the new CIPD HR Profession Map, the CIPD has defined ten ‘professional areas’ covered by the HR profession.

Human Resource Management

The Human Resources Management (HRM) now a day’s functions include a variety of manners, and key between them is deciding what staffing needs you have whether to use independent contractor or hire employees to fill those needs, recruiting and training best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various set of laws. Activities also include managing your move towards to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policies. The organisation should always ensure that employees have — and are aware of — personnel policies which conform to current regulations. These policies are often in the form of employee manuals, which all employees have

Human resources management comprises several processes like –

Recruitment
Orientation and Induction
Training and development
Performance appraisal
Retention
Recruitment:

Recruitment refers to the method of screening and selecting people for a job or post within an organization. Staffing is the process of attracting qualified individuals for a specific job. The assignment of recruiting new staff is a vital but time-consuming process, so companies often prefer to hire an expert agency to source suitable candidates. The objective of a recruitment consultant is to build relationships with clients, source job vacancies, and find suitable candidates for each role.

Now there are various types of methods where a company can recuruit employees

Traditional recruitment agency
Online recruitment websites
Head-hunters
In-house recruitment

Traditional recruitment agency

Recruitment agencies in the past have a physical location. A candidate visits a local branch for a short interview and an appraisal before being taken onto the agency’s books. Recruitment Consultants then try to match their pool of candidate to their clients’ open positions. fitting candidates are with potential employers.

Online recruitment websites

Online recruitment websites have two main features: job boards and a resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV) database. Job boards allow member companies to place job vacancies. on the other hand, candidates can upload a resume to be included in searches by member companies. Fees are charged for job postings and access to search resumes.

In recent times the recruitment website has evolved to encompass end to end recruitment. Key players in this sector provide e-recruitment software and services to organisations of all sizes and within numerous industry sectors, who want to e-enable entirely or partly their recruitment process in order to improve business feat.

Head-hunters

Head-hunters are third-party recruiters often taken when usual recruitment efforts have failed.

Head-hunters are usually more belligerent than in-house recruiters. They may use higher sales techniques, such as firstly posing as clients to gather employee contacts, as well as visiting applicant offices. They may also purchase expensive lists of names and job titles, but more a lot will generate their own lists. They may arrange a candidate for the interview, help negotiate the salary, and conduct conclusion to the search.

In-house recruitment

Larger employers tend to take their own internal recruitment, using their Human Resources department. In addition to coordinate with the agencies stated above, in-house recruiters may advertise job opportunity on their own websites, coordinate employee referral schemes, and/or focus on campus graduate recruitment.). Otherwise a large employer may choose to outsource all or some of their recruitment process.

Orientation and Induction

New employee orientation is the process you use for salutation a new employee into your organization. New employee orientation, often spearheaded by a meeting with the Human Resources department, generally contains information about security, the work environment, the new job account, benefits and eligibility, company culture, company history, the organization chart and anything else relevant to working in the new company.

Traning and Development

In the field of human resource management, training and development is the field anxiety with organizational action aimed at bettering the performance of individuals and groups in organizational settings. It has been known by several names, including employee development, human resource development, and learning and development.

In simple terms, training and development refers to the instruct of unambiguous skills, capacity and information to an employee. A formal definition of training & development is… it is any attempt to improve current or future employee performance by increasing an employee’s ability to perform through knowledge, usually by changing the employee’s attitude or increasing his or her skills and knowledge. The need for training & development is determined by the employee’s performance shortage.

References:

http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/factsheets/history-hr-cipd.aspx#link_0

http://ezinearticles.com/?What-is-Strategic-Human-Resource-Management?&id=549585

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Practice of human resource management (hrm) policies and its influence on employee attitudes

Chapter 1

Introduction

It is necessary for an organisation to meet the obligations towards its major stakeholders like its major shareholders, its employees, and to the wider society. In order to fulfil its obligations and in order to earn long term corporate objectives it is necessary for the management to develop an effective and good relationship between the organization and its employees that will satisfy the constantly changing necessities of both parties. On the one hand the organization expects that its employees will perform consistently the tasks assigned to them in an effective and efficient manner while fulfilling the standards set for the employees and to follow the rules and regulations that have been established to administer the organisational departments. Management often expects that the employees will take initiative, manage them, will continue to learn new skills, and be responsive to business needs. On the other hand employees have the expectations that their organizations will provide them reasonable salary and pay according to the market rates, will provide them good and safe working environment, and fair conduct without any sort of discriminations (Beer et al 1984). The organisations across the world are facing many challenges including the global completion, changes in technology and societal changes. The organisations should survive and adapt to cultural and technological changes (Kane, 2000). One of the key challenges organisations faced is high employee turnover rate. The turnover rate highest in the knowledge based industries. The human capital is very central to the organisational performance (Paauwe, and Boselie, 2005). The companies should find the ways to motivate the employee organisational commitment and retain them for long period of time. The practices of effective human resource management policies achieve the employee motivation and retention.

According to the Flynn (1998) historically majority of remuneration programs and appreciation programmes within the organisations were very ambiguous and often given in response to a manager’s perception of when an employee performed exceptionally well. In the past there were typically no fixed standards by which organisations could measure exceptional performance it means that anything from having a good attitude, assisting another department, or being consistently punctual. But this is not the case today, as Majority of the organizations recognize and give importance to the great gains derived by linking rewards and good human resource management policies to their business strategy. Across the World retaining highly talented people has become difficult due to increased completion and industry always looks for talented workforce event at higher price. There are several loses for company by loosing an employee including lost productivity, lost business opportunity, cost recruitment of new talent, training and development. It is estimated recruitment a new resource cost as much as 25% annual salary of employee. Assuming a rate of employee turnover rate of 6% for a company with 50,000 employees would cost about $18m per year (Paauwe, and Boselie, 2005). There are several developments in the human resource management practices and human resource management policies are aligned with strategic objectives of the organisation. The practice of strategic human resource management (human resource management) has shown significance results in the organisational performance. The knowledge based industries are driven by the human capital and are corner store to the organisational productivity. In the 21 century information technology (IT) playing a pivotal role to the economy. All most all of the sector are directly and/or indirectly depended or influenced by the developments in the IT sectors. The IT sector is also characterised by the high employee turn over rate across the World. Understanding of the human resource management practices in the IT industry and their influence on employees is a valuable contribution to the human resource management subject (coombs, 2009). Information technology sector plays a very significant role in our day to day life and everybody needs internet facilities to perform both its personal and professional tasks. In the current economic recession conditions it will be easy for everyone to manage and buy computer facilities therefore internet services providers proves a cost effective way to use internet and communications facilities.

The IT industry is solely depended on the human capital to develop and build the solutions and providing the services. The present study is focuses on the human resource management policies in it companies and their influence on the employee attitudes and employee retention. the study will be undertaken in the two organisations namely champ it systems and guda tech ltd. the specific objectives of the study are as follows; To critically review the Human Resource Management Practices in the Knowledge based industry, to Develop the framework for studying the human resource management practices in the it sectors, conduct a case study in the two IT organisations to evaluate the human resource management practices, analyse the study the results to establish the relationship between the human resource management practices and employee attitudes, to identify the human resource management practices which result in the employees react positively for organisational commitment and retention.

The current study has lot significance in the current global context. Organisations are having real difficulties to attract the talent and retain them. The employee attrition can be costly to companies. The present study identifies the human resource management practices which help to create positive opinion towards organisation and higher retention. A set of recommendations will be produced from the study will be useful to different organisations in the sector.

Chapter 2

Theoretical Framework

2.1 corporate strategies and the human resource management

Corporate Strategy of an organisation is the process of making decisions which represents organisations’ short term objectives and long term aims. It includes making of plans and policies to achieve objectives of the company. It sets the range of activities of each process of the organization from purchasing departments to customer departments. It also caters the non-economic needs of the company. These strategies are related to all groups related to the company like employees, shareholders, suppliers, customers etc. It is the process depends on the behaviour, structure and situation of the organization. To analyse this corporate strategy is further divided into two parts formation and implementation. Formulation involves identifying the opportunities which the company can grab and threats from which the company has to escape. It includes making policies to achieve aims but before setting policies management has to define its range, weaknesses and strengths. Implementation is the second process after formulation. Actually this mainly comes in business strategy rather than corporate strategy. It involves implementation of the policies set up by the management in the proper way to achieve annuals goals, objectives and long term aims. Human Resource strategies help the organizations in achieving organizations corporate strategy and company’s long term goals and aims. Human resource policies are in essence flexible and dynamic and may require adjustment to a variety of circumstances. Therefore its implementation will be inspired by sound judgement, compliance with local market laws and common sense, taking into accounts the specific context. Its spirit should be respected under all circumstances. Within any organisation Human Resource Management is that function that deals with various organisational issues related to people within the organisation such as hiring , training , organization development, performance evaluation of the organisational members, safety issues, employees wellness and benefits, employee motivation enhancement programs, etc. Within an organisation the Strategic Human Resource refers to the Business Strategies related to the employees of an organization and their welfare. Over the years the Human Resource Management policies shifted dramatically from the Personnel Management towards a more motivational and development based issues. Since its establishment in the first quarter of 20th century there are drastic changes in its nature and working. In Personnel Management problems like workers unrest and workers inefficiency were catered but Human Resource Strategies are the part of Business Strategies. Human resource managers always try to link the Human resources Strategies with the Business Strategies which are further linked to Corporate Strategies.

2.2 Human resource management and the organisational structure and organisational culture

an Organizational culture of an organization can be defined as an organizational concept which describes the approach and views of an organization’s creator, its approaches, , beliefs and values of organizational members both personal values and cultural values of an organization. An organisational culture is the specific set of values and norms that distinguish an organization from its competitors and that are shared by people and groups within an organization, organisational cultural factors affects the way the organisation members interacts with each other and within the organization and in the external environment of the organization. Usually the organizational structure of a company contains several actions and parts for example how the actions within the organisation will be completed. It will also explain the jobs; the hierarchy of the coordination and control, these all will help an organization to achieve organizational goals in an efficient and effective way. Organizational structure works within a broader organizational culture. For an organization the management can develop its organizational structure in various manners. It will depend on the broader organisational goals and objectives and the overall all organisational culture. For example many organizations have hierarchical structures as it allows a systematic decision making. An organization’s organizational structure allows it to allocate responsibilities for different departments and functions and then controls the outcome of these activities. An organization’ Organizational structure impacts on organizational accomplishment in various ways for example, organizational structure provides the foundation on which standard operating procedures and routines rest. Within an organisation the organizational structure also governs which individuals get to share in which decision-making processes, and thus to what extent their views shape the organization’s actions.

Within an organization’s organizational structure there will be a Human resource management function but it will work totally under the pure organizational believes and culture. Human resource management (HRM) of an organization is the combination of organizational approaches to the management about the organization’s most significant assets e.g. the employees, the people working there who individually and collectively contributes to the achievement of the objectives of the business. Today Human resource management is a very vast field it includes hiring valuable employees for the organization, providing them training and developing their abilities, exploiting employees skills, maintaining and compensating their services in tune with the job and organizational requirement. Organizational culture consists of various shared beliefs and values established by the organization’s founders. Organizational structure then communicated and reinforced through various methods, ultimately shaping employee insights, behaviours and understanding. Simply speaking, a company’s structure and design can be viewed as its physique, and its culture as its passion. Because industries and situations vary significantly, it would be difficult and risky to propose there is a “one size fits all” culture template that meets the needs of all organizations. Nonetheless, research does propose that if an organization’s culture is to improve its overall performance and effectiveness, its culture must be strong and provide a strategic competitive advantage and its beliefs and values must be widely shared and firmly upheld.

2.3 Human Resource Management Practices

In many organizations human resource management (HRM) act as a facilitator between human resource management strategy and human resource management end effect. According to Sheppeck and Militello (2000) human resource management strategy falls into four sets: these four sets are highly employment ability, effective work rules, compassionate working environment, good and efficient performance measurement and policy strengthening and implementation program and market organization.

The Guest 1997 splits the human resource management policies into three categories; differentiation on innovation, stress on quality and cost reduction. There are many descriptions for Human resource management in formerly researches on Human research management strategy but in the end all the human resource management strategies in all strategies used to achieve the same organizational goal through effective and efficient Human Resource Management practices. According to Siva Subramanian and Crock (1995) different viewpoint on human resource management can be related to the concept of organisational fit or organisational integration. Guest (1997) proposes that the different kinds of human resource management can be classified into two classes such as organisational internal fit and organisational external fit According to Guest the organisational External fit describe the human resource management and its effects on employees’ attitudes as organisational strategic integration. On the other hand the organisational internal fit can be described as an ideal set of organisational practices.

Several researchers try to inspect which organisational fit; internal or external organisational fit is appropriate for the organisation human resource management. In such a research Youndt et al. (1996) concluded that the organisational external fit shows more precise fit between the high performance of the Human resource management practices and the quality of the overall human resource strategy that will eventually impact on the employees’ attitude in a positive or negative way.

In 2005 Stavrou Costea argued that an efficient and effective human resource management can be the significant factor for the long term strategic success of an organisation. Lee and Lee (2007) supported this idea by concluded that human resource management practices in organisations on various areas like on the organisational business performance, training and development programs , cooperation between the workers and between various departments, organisational rewards and incentive, human resource planning, performance appraisal, and employees job security etc. these all issues help organisations in improving their overall business performance which also includes increased organisational employee’s productivity, enhanced product quality and organisation ability to be flexible in various situations.

The subject of human resource management (HRM) is not so simple and as straightforward as it might first appears. Human resource management (HRM) includes and covers the key activities concerning the management of people for the human resource management. These activities include human resource planning within the organisation, recruitment and selection of employees from the various sources like internal and external sources, training and development, reward and motivation, career and succession planning, induction, performance appraisal, dismissal, retirement and redundancy polices etc.

The Human Resource Management encompasses functioning starting from attracting the talent, recruiting, training and development and exists from the organisation. The entire life cycle of people and their needs and aspirations are handled by Human Resource Management. Many companies focus on the needs of the people and motivate them to for organisational development (Wright and Boswell, 2002). The organisations give flexibility, required freedom and provide training, so that employees are committed to the organisation and contribute towards organisation. The various human resource management practices interact with people behaviours to influence them towards organisation (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Human Resource Development Model (adopted from (Wright and Boswell, 2002)

To develop high achievement organisations, the human resource management practices create enabling conditions in the company. In the high performance organisations people are highly committed towards organisation and its strategic goals. The modern day human resource management professes for policies for high employee commitment. The human resource management policies also should high commitment practices (huselid and Becker, 1997). In the high commitment human resource management practice have a philosophy getting more from people by giving them more (figure 2). The high commitment policies also encourage people to take more responsibility and ownership to their work. In the high commitment organisations employees are pivotal at all stages and have decision taking authority, and are self-managing.

The development of high commitment and high involvement organisations need large sums of investment for human capital development. The large investment is justified the future returns from increased productivity. The organisations invest when they see human capital is vital to the organisational success. The previous studies have indicated the high commitment increases the employee commitment, but also increases the cost of employee leaving from the company (Delery, 1998).

Figure 2: Employee interaction methods (adopted from Wright and Nishii, 2007)

With extensive study of about 1000 organisations huselid (1995) divided human resource management practices two types. The human resource management practices which results in skills development leading to employee motivation. The study has shown a high correlation between skills development (recruitment and training) and performance and retention, the employee motivation (pay and appraisal) and employee productivity. The strategic human resource management focuses on the human resource management practice resulting positive impact on the organisational productivity. In general the contingency approach tries to link human resource management with organisational goals and strategies. the configuration approach strives to fit between the human resource management practices and organisational strategy. There are seven practices identified which are of strategic importance to organisations (delery and doty, 1996). These seven practices are as follows; creating internal job opportunities, imparting training and development to employees, fair appraisal systems, performance based and profit sharing, long term job security, Job description and Employee participation

According to May-Chiun and Maw (2009) there are two components of human resource practices these two main components are; training and development and information technology. According to May-Chiun and Maw these two basic components have a direct impact on an organizational performance. In 2007 Ruwan examined the six human resource organisational practices that includes; accurate job, correct and timely information, fair job analysis, the balance between the work and family, long term career development, compensation rates and supervisor and management support. He then evaluated the six human resources practices and their likely effect on the organisational Executive Turnover especially in the marketing department. The Results of his research indicated that in various organisations the human resource practices on job analysis are strong predictors for the organisational Executive Turnover.

In 2009 Zaini, Nilufar and Syed showed that four human resource management practices like training and development, team work, Human Resource planning, and performance appraisal have a positive and significant impact on the business performance.

In 2010 Altarawmneh and al-Kilani inspect the influence of human resource management practices on organisations employees’ turnover intentions. These results indicated that an effective and efficient job analysis had a very significant impact on employees’ turnover. But they were not able to found any statistical evidence regarding the impacts of other human resource management practices on employees’ turnover aims.

Their study proposes that organisational incentive plans based on various rewards, bonuses, salaries enhancement, and performance appraisal reports could be useful organisational strategies to be reconsidered by the management of organisations. Human resource management utilizes various organisational practices in particular internal fit as a perfect set of practices. These practices identify basically three variables in human resource management namely; job supervision, job training and development, and organisational pay practices. Theses human resource management practices believed to influence employees’ job satisfaction and impact toward organisational turnover of the employees.

2.4 Human Resource management Models

Human resource management highlights that organisational employees are significant in attaining workable competitive advantage. JohnBratton and Jeffrey Gold (1999) argued that human resources policies in the organisations need to be cohesive with the overall corporate strategy of the organisation. They also argued that the human resource experts can help organisational management to meet its two basic objectives of efficiency and fairness. Both of these management experts also argued that the importance of human resources for the achievement of competitive advantage for the long term growth of the organisation,

Human resource Management experts also stresses on the relationship between human resources procedures and the organisation’s strategy. This relationship has been the centre of attention for many Human resource management researchers in recent years. Several attempts have been made to clarify it by developing explanatory models for the human resource management. They argued that human resources practices in the organisations need to be integrated with the overall corporate strategy of the organisation and that human resource experts should help organisational management in meeting both efficiency and fairness objectives. They have also stressed on the importance of human resources for the attainment of competitive advantage for the long term growth of the organisation,

Human resource Management experts also stress their concerns on the association among human resource practices and policies and the organisation’s strategy. This relationship has been the hub of courtesy for many Human resource management researchers in recent years. Several attempts have been made to clarify it by the development of explanatory models for the human resource management.

One human resource management model that explains the relationship between human resource management activities and organisational strategy is the guest model of human resource. This model was developed in 1997 by David Guest, a professor of organisational psychology and Human Resource Management at King’s College, London. The basic idea of his model is that human resource management practices should be designed to produce high-quality employees who are both flexible in their approach and who are highly committed to their organisation.

David Guest explains that employee commitment plays a vital role in human resource management aftermath. According to him human resource management is concerned with binding employees to the organisation and obtaining the behavioural outcomes of increased effort, co-operation, involvement and what he calls organisational citizenship.

According to him High-quality employees give importance to the issues of workplace learning and the need for the organisation to have an able, qualified and skilful workforce to produce high-quality services and products. The model focuses on the link between human resource management and performance of the organisational members. According to the model, there are three human resource management outcomes i.e. quality, commitment to the organisation and flexibility. When all of these three human resource management outcomes are achieved can we expect improved behavioural and performance outcomes.

According to the Guest only when a coherent strategy in an organisation directs organisational human resources policy goals that are fully integrated into business strategy and fully supported by line management at all levels. While On one hand the Guest model is a very important and useful tool for suggesting relationships between human resource management practices and the organisational strategy, there is another model developed by Mary Anne Devanna, Charles Fombrun and Noel Tichy in 1984 which emphasises on the interrelated nature of Human resource management activities.

The major strength of this model is that it shows the unity of internal human resource management policies and the importance of matching internal policies and practices to the organisation’s external business strategies. It is also a simple model that serves as a useful framework to explain the significance of key Human resource management practices. It is important to note that the overall performance of the organisation depends on the effective operation of each of the components and their co-ordination with the business’s strategy.

Useful though both of these models are in explaining the relationships between different Human resource management practices, they are limited in scope because they do not take account of factors external to the organisation or even all internal factors. External factors include industry characteristics such as the type of business, the level of union organisation, the nature of the competition, the extent of change and regional characteristics such as economic conditions, legal requirements and the socio-cultural environment. Internal factors include organisational structure, the competitive strategy employed and the organisation’s culture. Some of the more complicated models, such as the Harvard model and the Warwick model described in Human Resource Management, Theory and Practice, do take these factors into account. A third reason why human resource management is complicated is that human resource management specialists and their line management counterparts often have different approaches to it.

These have been labelled hard and soft. The hard version stresses the word “resource” and takes a rational approach to managing people i.e., aligning business strategy with strategy and viewing people as a cost to be controlled. The soft approach, on the other hand, emphasises the term “human” and advocates investment in training and the adoption of “commitment strategies” to ensure that skilled, loyal employees give the organisation a competitive advantage. It also stresses the importance of learning and enlightened leadership. Most soft human resource management models assert that human resources are assets, not a variable cost. Assumptions about the nature of human potential and the ability to tap it are based on organisational behaviour theories developed by psychologists such as Abraham Maslow.

The fourth reason why human resource management is often more complicated than is seems is because of national and regional differences. Human resource management approaches can be seen as characteristic for each nation as a result of specific historical traditions and the cultural, economic and legal environment. A major factor is the degree of state interference. In Eastern Europe, human resource management is largely determined by law, leaving little to be decided by individual organisations. In western Europe, state interference is also considerable and the European welfare and education systems strongly influence the labour market.

In Japan and the US, state interference is relatively low, but the impact of this on human resource management differs in the two countries. in japan, this lack of a legal structure is partly substituted by cultural factors, especially collectivism. this issue leads to another major factor affecting human resource management in different nations: the degree of collectivism versus individualism.

As Geert hofstede noted in culture’s consequences (1980), while the Asian nations and the socialist countries in Eastern Europe can be characterised by a high degree of collectivism, human resource management in the US by contrast is individualistic. Western European nations lie somewhere in between In such a brief article it is difficult to cover the many factors that affect the conduct of human resource management in a particular organisation in a particular country, but i hope that it gives some idea of the complexity involved

The framework to manage the human resource is called the Human resource Architectural model. In the last 30 years the human resource management has under gone several changes with downsizing and mergers across the World. These developments have transformed the human resource management models. The Atkinson flexibility model (Atkinson, 1985) suggest that organisational productivity is achieved by designing the proactively and flexibly to meet the demand. Under this flexibility model there are three types of labour modes a) flexibility in numbers, b) flexibility in functionality, and c) flexibility in cost. There are two types of labour one is “core” employees and “temporary” employees (Lepak and Shell, 1999). The temporary /contractual labour is used to adapt to the numerical flexibility depending upon the market demands and workloads. The functional flexibility is achieved by core/permanent employees. The core employees trained to handle the multiple functionalities to take care of change in the product design. In the IT sector core employees are trained multiple technologies to adopt changes in the technology. The financial flexibility is practised by companies, where the compensation is linked to performance and share in the profit.

The other human resource management model is developed by Hand (1995) which provides enough flexibility to meet its operational and productivity needs. The model contains three types of workforce a) permanent, b) temporary, and c) non-essential. The permanent employees carry out the most of the work and temporary work aid when the resources are in demand. The non-essential work is carried out companies /individual who do not have significant impact on the company. In addition to above two models Lepak and Shell (1999) proposed four compartmental human resource management architecture model (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Human Resource Architecture Model (adopted from Lepak and Shell, 1999)

There can be multiple human resources architecture models in the same organisation. The models advocate varying levels of investments for different types of people. Some resources may be scarce and valuable to organisation, and whereas others may be available in abundance (Mintzberg?1983). For example companies would like to outsource the work which is of generic type and develop internal human capital for core functionality. Traditionally the organisations have been with permanent employees (Schein, 1985). During the organisational changes and downsizing, the employers made very flexible work relationship with employees increasing uncertainty and job guaranty. The market forces also demanded more flexible human resources model to adapt to changing conditions. The modern day organisations are made of following group of employees

a)Core employees, small group of people are multi-skilled to handle variety of jobs

b)Supplementary Workers, these people can be brought just-in time and removed depending upon the need

c)Outsourcing – companies outsource whole product development.

These changes made the relationship between employee and employee much weaker and creating insecurity for both employer and employee. The practices also reduced the loyalty of employees to companies and lower employee retention rates.

2.5 The human resource management and Employee Retention

The changes in the relationship between the employer and employees decreased employee retention. There are several factors which can contribute to lower employee retention rates. The companies are focusing ways to increase employee retention rates. There is a growing realisation among human resource management practitioners that human resource management practices can play a significant role in increase in the employee retention rates (yoon, 2000). The previous studies have shown that effective implementation of human resource management policies can result in increased motivation, reduced absenteeism and increased quality. The following human resources practises are found to be effective to retain the employees.

Providing training and development to all employees.
Organising the work force in project where staff is allowed to develop skills in multiple areas
Staff empowerment
Creating a balance between the personal life and work
Creating a flexible working environment
Implementing transparent performance appraisals
Compensating the employees adequately for their contribution
Understanding the personal goals and aligning with organisational goals
Developing team culture in the organisations

The practices can be implemented by organisations to increase employee commitment and decreased turnout rates. The all of the above human resource management factors can be broadly categorised into human resources factors – person and organisation fit and organisational factors. the interaction and perception of human resource management practices and employee attitudes can be analysed in the context of person and organisation fir (p-o fit) and person and job fit (p-j fit) context. The two concepts capture widely practiced human resource management policies and employee attitudes and act as mediators between human resource management and employees (gamble and huang, 2008).

As per the Kristof (1996) the P-O Fit occurs when the both share similar characteristics, one party takes care of other needs or both. The P-J is about the employee and job characteristics and performance (Kristof-Brown et al., 2004). The match between needs of organisations and employees results in the stronger P-O and P-J with high achievements and long term relationship. The Attraction-Selection-Attrition framework can explain the P-O Fit and P-J Fits. The companies attract and select the people they want to for their organisations. The people who do not fit into the organisation leave the organisation. In the long term organisation become homogenous in nature.

The human resources policies send signals to the employees. The interpretation of signals by employees varies and depends on the person needs and abilities. The perceptions have strong influence on the employee outcomes as well. As per the wright and nishi (2007) the employee attitudes are results of perception of employees rather than the human resources policies itself.

Good organisational Pay Practice plays a very important in the employees’ retention. In organisations the Pay practice is one of the human resources management practices that normally refer to wage, pay, salary and benefit etc. The good pay practice has a very significant and important role in the implementation of human resource management strategies and employees retention. A high level of organisational pay and non-cash benefits relative to the pay rate so the competitors will ensure that the company will attract and retains its high-quality employee, but perusing this policy might have an adverse impact on the organisation’s general labour costs.

According to Noe et al (2006) another bad effect of this strategy is that by tying pay to employees based on their performance, the organisation can inflame specific activities and level of performance from employee. Generally in organisations good pay practice is very important for the organizations, it could help organisations to attract effective and efficient employees to apply for the job as recruitment. On the other hand, the workers have to keep their high level of performance in order to show the organisation their quality of work, if they fail in doing so they will lose their work. Good Pay practice has correlation with the job satisfaction. Ting (1997) concluded that the important of good pay is strongly help organisation in managing the levels of job satisfaction. He explained two different types of effects of pay practices on the employees’ job satisfaction. One Job satisfaction with pay itself and secondly job satisfaction with financial prospects in the future. There is an enduring interest of two matters which are correlated with the job satisfaction.

It is clear that the stable relationship between the organisational pay policy and the employees’ job satisfaction is very critical to effect motivation of employees’ work in order to achieve higher output. Even many efficiency theories of wages confirm that sometimes paying higher wages and salaries to the employees can have a positive effect on the employees’ productivity.

According to Katz (1987) the efficient wage theories address three main ways by which wages can raise productivity. In the first way the organisation assumes that the efficient workers work the higher is the cost of being caught shirking and the higher is the probability of being caught avoidance. Therefore A higher wage increases worker effort due to the greater cost to workers of losing the job (meaning workers want to reduce the chances that they are caught shirking). In other word, the wage or pay practice is influenced employees’ work and turnover as well. Second, a higher wage increases effort by increasing workers’ loyalty to the firm (Akerlof, 1984). As this point of these theories implies that not easily for the high wage employees to turnover their job. As supported by the following in third channel of these theories, affirm that a higher wage reduces firms’ turnover and recruitment costs. In addition, if introducing employee involvement increases monitoring costs (plausible since it is harder to observe whether a worker produced a good suggestion than whether she met her production quota), increases the return to costly-to-measure effort, and/or increases employers’ return to worker skills and retention, then plants with employee involvement should pay higher wages. The relationship between pay practices and job satisfaction is ambiguous in the efficiency wage theories. However, there are some distinct studies such as Steijin (2002) examine the overall job satisfaction of Dutch public workers with respect to their pay. The results show that there is positive effect of the existence of HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practice which refers to pay practice on the job satisfaction. Likewise, Bradley, Petrescu and Simmons (2004) observe the impact of human resource management practices and pay inequality on workers’ job satisfaction. On their study employ many HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices such as work organization, recruitment and pay practice as independent variables and job satisfaction as dependent variable. The results show that the pay practice is positively associated with the job satisfaction. Furthermore, on their works clarify satisfaction with pay is high where seniority and individual performance-related schemes are in place. The attractively turn to the relationship between pay practice and turnover, Katz (1987) study about the efficiency wage theories: a partial evaluation. The result on his/her study confirms that a higher wage reduces firms’ turnover and recruitment costs. In other word, the wage is negatively *related to the turnover and recruitment cost. If the employees have the higher wage the firms or organizations should have lower levels of voluntary turnover (quits

2.6 Employees work Satisfaction and the Human resource management

We can define Job satisfaction as one employee’s approaches or his state-of-mind towards the nature of their work. Employees’ Job satisfaction can be effected by a number of factors, these factors are ; pay rates , excellent standard of employees relationship with their supervisor or with higher management, the quality of the working environment in which employees have to perform their tasks and work. In an organisation where all these factors prevail employees’ turnover is always at its lowest point. We can define employees’ turnover as a rate at which organisation gains or losses or retain its employees.

For example, if in an organisation there is a high turnover it means that employees of that organisation have a shorter tenure or working contact than other organisations in that same industry or sector. We can easily relate Job satisfaction with the employees’ turnover rate. Therefore we can easily say that job satisfaction has directly positive effect on the organisational turnover rate. These two variables in the field of human resource management are very important and there is huge amount of literatures exist on this significant relationships between these two variables. Such one study was done by Pierce, Hazel, and Mion in 1996. They examined the effects of a professional organisational human resource model on the job satisfaction and turnover rates of nurses.

Pierce, Hazel, and Mion in 1996 tested the implementation of a Professional Practice Model as the basic features for the decision making process, organisational control over work practices, organizational motivational process, mutual relationships between employees and the organisation based on equality and fairness; open and unbiased communication, fair rewards and bonuses linked to professional work effectiveness and efficiency. Pierce, Hazel, and Mion in 1996 concluded that the turnover rate is significantly positively correlated with increased job satisfaction among the employees of the organisation. In fact, their study helps us and gives us an idea about the existing correlated relationship between job satisfaction and the employees’ turnover

There are generally some factors that are associated with the employee’s job satisfaction. According to Hackman & Oldham (1975) these factors are supposed to be related with the higher output of employees, lower absence rate, and lower employee turnover. In 1989 Wong concluded that the effects of the job satisfaction on the intention to change jobs among secondary school teachers in Hong Kong. He concluded that low job satisfaction tend to have low level of commitment and productivity. They said Organisational employees prepared to leave their jobs if an alternative job with a higher salary became available. So we can say that with a lower job satisfaction level in the organisations management can easily predicts about the employees intention to leave the organisation and the current job role.

According to Griffeth, Hom and Gaertner (2000) there is a negative relationship between job satisfaction and bad employee’s turnover. There is a long-lasting concern about the relationship among job satisfaction and the employees turn over. In 1997 Glance, Hogg and Huberman explained the relationship between the employees’ turnover and the productivity levels stressed that the lower turnover is positively correlated with the employees productivity levels. In 2009 Amah concluded that the job satisfaction of employees was found to have a direct negative relationship with turnover intention. The research indicated that the impact of the employees job satisfaction on turnover can be improved basically by adopting these two ways; one, when employees in the organisation find similarity between their occupation and their self-identity, and secondly when the participation in such jobs roles enhances their overall life pattern and life satisfaction. In another research by Khilji and Wang 2007 concluded that we can consider employees turnover as the cost of running a business. They concluded that the influences of labour turnover on organisation lower level employees could be categorized into direct costs and indirect costs. For any organisation the direct costs are essentially financial consequences that include administrative costs as a result of increased recruitment and training expenditure of new employees.

2.7 Various legal issues around the human resource management and human resource management policies of the organisation that will influence on the employees attitudes.

Various legal and regulatory issues surrounding the human resource management of an organisation are as follows; disability issues, discriminations issues, employment and labour laws, training issues of the organisational members. As many organisations are operating on a worldwide basis, it is essential for them that local legislation and practices are to be respected everywhere. Also to be considered is the degree of development of each market and its capacity to advance in the management of their human resources

2.8 Concept of Business Partnership and its impact on Human Recourse policies and employees attitudes

Organisations use the concept of Business Partnership. Acting as business partners, the Human resource managers, advises and offers solutions which results in positive impact on the organisation’s effectiveness During the last few years many organisations have created various centres of knowledge in their various Human resource issues like; Recruitment Services department, Talent Management programme and International Human Resource issues, Learning and Development programme, Information and Administration, Rewards and Employee Relations.Organisations then sent its Human resource Business Partners out in to the various departments at all the operational levels, so that they will be able to go and focus on business partnership with its employees as a team and will also help to improve the efficiency of the employees as an individual. Since 2000 Human resource management Have comes a long way. Organisations have contributed an enormous amount to the business.

Organisations Relationship with Unions and other legal and regulatory associations also plays an important part in employees’ attitudes and satisfaction

Organisation that uphold the freedom of association of its employees and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. Gain much needed higher satisfaction level. Organisations wishes, also through their relationship with unions and other representative associations, to sustain the long-term development of the Company, both to the benefit of the employees and of the Company, by maintaining a level of competitiveness adapted to its economic environment. Industrial relations are a clear responsibility of local management and will be handled at the appropriate level: first at site level (factories, warehouse) subsequently at regional or national level, according to local law and practices. Organisational management will ensure that direct and frequent communication is established with its employees, both union members and non-members, as mentioned in the organisation Management and Leadership Principles. Relations with unions will be established under strict observation of national law, local practices as well as those international recommendations to which the organisation has adhered to on a voluntary basis as stated in the Corporate Business Principles. In The good organisations Human Resources Policy Contacts with union delegates should create further opportunity to provide information allowing their members and other representative associations to acquire a full understanding of the business activities and the goals of the organisation.

Organisations and the local legislations regarding employees’ rights

In accordance with local legislation, organisations will refrain from any action restricting the employee’s right to be or not to be affiliated to a union. Organisations will not engage with any union or other representative association in activities or discussions other than those relating to employment and working conditions as well as issues relating to the workplace. Whenever negotiations take place, they will be duly prepared with the full involvement of line management and take into account both the Company’s and the employees’ legitimate interest. In dealings with unions, it will be ensured that management prerogatives be properly maintained

Employees’ attitudes about the policy of long term employment

Many organisations favour a policy of long-term employment. Whenever, an operation/ activity cannot be maintained within the organisational sphere, reasonable steps will be undertaken to avoid overall loss of employment by identifying an external business willing to take over activity from the organisation, whenever this is possible

Human resource management and the policies regarding Discriminations and Harassment

Organisations consider that it is not enough to avoid discrimination or harassment. It is essential to build a relationship based on trust and respect of employees at all levels. Therefore, it is indispensable for each manager to know how her/his employees feel in their work. In larger units it may be necessary to organise such feedback on a regular basis, using internal surveys or other valuable approaches

Health and welfare issues in the organisations

Many organisations provide a working environment which protects the health and welfare of the employees according to the highest affordable standards of safety, hygiene and security. Each employee should not only care for her/his own safety but also that of her/his colleagues. Therefore, suggestions for improvement are welcome and will be given prime consideration

Fair remuneration and attractive compensation according to the market

Successful organisations favour competitive, stimulating and fair remuneration structures offering an overall competitive and attractive compensation package. Remuneration includes salary, any variable part of remuneration as well as social, pension and other benefits. Each operating company will establish a compensation practice taking into account relevant external compensation levels as well as the requirement of internal fairness. It is recommended to undertake regular surveys so as to gather relevant information on the remuneration levels practised at a local or national level.

Therefore organisations policy is to strive to position it as an employer offering remuneration levels above the average of the relevant benchmark. Organisations review regularly its competitive position with other companies so as to keep in line with the market trends. However, the evolution of remuneration is in the first instance determined by the capacity of the Company to improve its productivity. Wage and salary structures should be kept simple and avoid unnecessary complexity so as to provide effective compensation and reward. Remuneration structures should specifically facilitate the implementation of flat organisational structures and be flexible so as to be able to adapt to the evolution of the market conditions. This means broad spans allowing sufficient flexibility to effectively reward high professional insight and performances as well as individual potential. It is the responsibility of each manager to propose, within the framework of the company policy, the remuneration of her/his employees, taking into account the local market, individual performance, skills and potential for development.

Free communication flow within the organisations

It is also the responsibility of each manager, if needed with the support of Human resource management, to communicate properly, clearly and with sufficient transparency, the individual remuneration of each staff member taking into account her/his professional performance and her/his specific responsibilities. The quality of communication in these matters is an essential part of the dialogue that each manager will have with her/his employees on remuneration matters. Specifically at management level, the variable part of the remuneration may be substantial. This part will be linked to a combination of group, business and or team target achievements. The higher the remuneration level, the more important will become the variable part. It should be realised that, however important remuneration is for each employee, it is not remuneration alone that will stimulate the motivation of the staff. The human resource management sees to it that the implementation of the remuneration policy is fair throughout the organisation and that its spirit is duly reflected Therefore In order to remain competitive and attractive in the market place an organisation needs to develop its long term corporate strategy and then work with all of its strengths to achieve its goals. For any organisation its human resources play a very significant and important part in achieving its corporate goals. Organisations tend to develop its human resource policies in such a way that it will not only satisfy the basic legal and regulatory requirements but also satisfy the significant workforce and organisational members. Various legal and regulatory requirements for the human resources like; polices regarding fair hiring, discriminations, harassments during work, health and safety issues, etc., are there to make sure that both the organisations and their workforces enjoy a much coordinated relationship that will benefits both in terms of financial profits but also in term of a prosper society.

2.9 Human resource management in the Information Technology Sector

The Information Technology is very dynamic sector with rapid changes. The industry is knowledge based industry primarily driven by the Human Capital. The IT industry across the World has high employee turnover rate (Morello and Claps, 2000). The turnover rates in this sector were about 30% during 19905 and about 15% during early 200s (Coombs, 2009). The recruitment and retention of talented people in the IT sector is one of the top 5 challenges faced by the Management. The major drivers for high attrition rates are higher salaries, personal development and career growth. The companies are always innovating to reduce the employee turnover rate. The present study also focuses on the same direction (Coombs, 2009, (Luftman and Kempaiah, 2007).

CHAPTER 3

LITERATURE REVIEW

The term Human resource management is a flexible one, it is not fixed to some fixed concepts we can find a range of definitions and terms for Human resource management. There is no single definition of the human resource management (Storey 1989). Human resource management can be referred as a management system with human management activities in organisations or it can be referred as a strategic approach to the people’s management. According to Beer et.al (1984) human resource management includes all those actions and organisational decisions that will affect the relationship between the organisation and its employees. Keenoy (1990) elaborated that for nay organisation the human resource management is a way of increasing and maximising its returns from its labour resources, according to Keenoy (1990) organisations can maximise their returns by integrating their human resource management policies into their overall corporate strategy. Armstrong (1992) described the human resource management as a strategic and broad approach to the management and development of organisations human resources. According to Armstrong (1992) Human resource management is an n integrated management process with an organisation’s overall strategic corporate strategy. He described human resource management as an ideology for the organisation. A later study by the Armstrong (1994) concluded that human resource management is a simple concept of “how people can be managed in the best interests of the organisation”. Storey (2001) described human resource management as a distinctive methodology of management that helps an organisation to achieve competitive advantage through the development of an effective and efficient workforce. A study carried out by Cascio (1998) described that human resource management of any organisation consists of various policies of attracting the workforce, selection processes, retention policies, training and development of the workforce. These all policies and processes help organisation and individuals in achieving their personal and organisational goals. The American management association (2000) described the human resources management and a set of organisation functions that are responsible for the attracting, retention and maintaining qualified workforce. This major function enables organisations in fulfilling their corporate goals and objectives. Watson (2003) further elaborated this concept by explaining that the human resource management policies enables an organisation to interact with its social, economic and political environment in a more effective and efficient way. Within any organisation the human resource management consists of various policies, practices, and systems that influence employees’ attitude and behaviour and thus have a significant impact on employees performance and career growth (Noe et al. 2007).

In the research of human resource management the relationship of the human resource practices and job satisfaction are studied at a large scale all over the world. It is widely assumed that the human resource management practices are related with employees’ job satisfaction. Many researchers believe that sound and effective human resource practices result in improved level of job satisfaction which results in higher organizational performance. Steijn (2004) described that human resource management policies and practices has positive effect on job satisfaction of an organisational employees.

According to the Byars and Rue (1997) and Moorhead and Griffin (1999) for an organisation the main factors of employees job satisfaction include employee’ s needs and desires, employees and organisation social relationships, organisational and management style, quality of management decisions , job pattern, financial benefits ,organisational working conditions, market conditions of similar jobs . Employees Job satisfaction has a very important effect on employees’ organizational commitment, per employee turnover, absenteeism, delay, organisational social responsibility etc.

In organisational behaviour the basic research focus on two very significant aspects; these are the relations between employee attitudes and organisational performance and the human resource policies and its effect on employees’ attitudes. According to Koys (2001) and Park et al. (2003) the foundation for a connection between employees’ attitudes and organizational level performance is that employees with positive attitudes such as high job satisfaction and high job commitment could have a positive impact on the organisation performance. Employee’s positive attitude can affect an organisation in two ways: first, employees with positive attitudes are more likely to work for the betterment of their organisation. Second, their positive attitudes would lead to better customer services, better customer satisfaction and higher level of customer loyalty. Which in turn have a positive effect on organisation profitabilityThis will help an organisation in achieving its organisational goals.

David Guest (1997) described the relationship between human resource management activities and organisational strategy in his famous the Guest model of human resourcesin his model he explained that human resource policies should be designed in order to produce highly productive and high quality employees who are flexible and motivated and committed to their organisations. Guest (2002) concluded the suitable human resource management practices in organisations lead to the higher level of commitment from their employees. He argued that highly committed and motivated employees as a result of effective human resource policies could achieve two significant benefits; they can function effectively alone or groups and at the same time to be able to work without little or no supervision. But this could happen only if the employees have all the essential knowledge and skills gained from training and development programs.

There are very few research studies that have observed the relations between human resource practices and prospective or current employee’s perception about the organization. In a study Greening & Turban (2000) concluded that job candidates and employee perceptions of an organisation’s human resource policies and Corporate Social Responsibility determines their attractiveness towards the organizations. According to Cropanzano et al. (2001) in organisation employees attitudes and behaviours are greatly influenced by organizational decisions and human resource policies. The attractiveness of an organization as a desirable workplace to work in is mainly effected by the way the employees are treated within the organisation and the quality of its products and services. Zappala and Cronin (2002) described that having worthy relations with organisational members allows an organisation to gain some very important benefits including increasing employee self-esteem, improving public image, and enhanced support from the society. Therefore the human resource function in organisations must recognise that effective human resource policies means incorporating respect for different cultural, differences, values, philosophies and beliefs when establishing human resource policies. For the last two decades it has been recognised that within organisations employees are the most valuable resources in order to achieve the organisational objectives. For example (Accenture 2011) famous phrase reflected this thing by saying ‘people are our most important assets’.

Effective implementation of Human resource management practices needs an effective and efficient management commitment. Effective human resource planning need to incorporate various tasks ranging from planning and selection to orientation, to training and development, to employees performance appraisal, promotions and retention, and retention.It is clear from the findings of different researchers that academic researchers and organisational professionals recognise the importance of effective human resource management policies of employee’s involvement in any organisational success. But still human resource experts are not sure about the question of that how the internalization of corporate social responsibility culture can occur with the help of human resource department that will impact on the motivational level and attitudes of the employees.

In the last two decades it has been recognised that people are most valuable resources to achieve the organisational objectives. It has been in now accepted that people are the most important assets to the knowledge based industry sector like Information Technology (IT) (Accenture 2001). It has been showed compared invested in the people (Truss, 2001) and like to achieve competitive advantage. As per the industry studies people are leaving the companies within two years. Many of the organisations are trying to increase the retentions rates with offering higher salaries and bonuses. In recent years it has been understood that employee retention should be dealt with strategically not by piece-meal approach (Coombs, 2009).

CHAPTER 4

ANALYTICAL THEORY

In organisations and in real life everyone has gone through the processes of recruitment and selection in some form or another, everyone has experienced some sort training and development and therefore everyone is familiar with the idea of using rewards systems to mitivate the prople. This idea is not bad as because the subject matter is something to which we can all relate. The term Human resource management is really about employees with in the organisations, but the word resource is potentially confusing. It suggests that human resources are similar to other resources, such as plant, equipment and buildings, and should be managed accordingly. While it’s true that labour in the form of people is required in the production process, it’s also clear that people are not like any other resource. It’s stating the obvious, but we need to remind ourselves that the human resources in any organisation consist of individuals like ourselves. They can be motivated or demotivated; they can co-operate with the management or resist it; and they can think, create, imagine, plan, learn, feel emotion and perform a huge number of activities. The second reason for the complexity of human resource management is the extent to which its activities relate both to each other and to the organisation more generally. Before considering these relationships in more detail, it is useful to review the overall purpose of HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT.

JohnBratton and Jeffrey Gold (1999) arguedthat within organisations Human Resource Management consists of that portion of the managementprocess that focuses on the managementof individuals in work environments. Human resource management policies emphasise on the point that organisational employees are significant in attaining workable competitive advantage. JohnBratton and Jeffrey Gold (1999) argued that human resources policies in the organisations need to be cohesive with the overall corporate strategy of the organisation. They also argued that the human resource experts can help organisational management to meet its two basic objectives of efficiency and fairness.

Both of these management experts also argued that the importance of human resources for the achievement of competitive advantage for the long term growth of the organisation, Human resource Management experts also stresses on the relationship between human resources procedures and the organisation’s strategy. This relationship has been the centre of attention for many Human resource management researchers in recent years. Several attempts have been made to clarify it by developing explanatory models for the human resource management. Over the years human resource experts and researchers have reasoned that Human Resource policies and practices in the organisations have a very significant impact on the organisational employee productivity and obligation because the way employees are treated directly effects organizational long term and short term performance.

Huselid (1995) argued that human resource policies and practices impacts on the organisational revenue, productivity and corporate financial performance. This all will help the organisations to better payoff the employees in terms of their salaries and other benefits. Delaney and Huselid (1996) concluded that human resource practices impact on the perceptions of organizational performance. Pfeffer (1998) and Pfeffer and Veiga (1999) argued that organizational success is based on how employees are fairly treated and that there are seven Human resource practices that together lead to employees satisfaction, organizational success, profitability and survival. Barney and

Wright (1998) argue one way to gain a sustained competitive advantage is to find exclusive ways to attract, retain and motivate effective and efficient organisation employees; thus, their argument focuses on specific human resource practices in order to obtain organizational competitive advantage. Yoon and Thye (2002) concluded that organizational human resource practices are connected to employee emotions and cognitions that shape an employee’s organizational commitment, suggesting that employees carefully process organizational actions concerning employee matters. Very few studies, however, have looked at the connection between HR practices and employee perception of the organization in the aftermath of an economic bad phase.

CHAPTER 5

DATA AND EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS

5.1 Research Methodology

There are several research methods available to study the problem. The research methods are exploratory, descriptive, analytical and predictive research. The type of the research method chosen depends on the nature of the problem and the previous understanding of subject. The exploratory research is used when the problem is not well understood. The human behaviouralissues best studied by the exploratory research, using the case study approach (Tsui, 1997).

The case study is best available to establishing the casual relationships and answering questions like how and why. This approach gives an opportunity to observe the events and individuals involved can be interacted regarding some certain decisions and actions (Miles and Huberman, 1994). The data collected from the case study can be used to formulating the theories and testing them as well. The case study data can be combined other sources of data to get a deeper understanding of the problem and have more reliable analysis of problem. However, the case study approach some times lacks global picture. The case study can be single case or multiple cases approach. The single case approach gives an opportunity for deep understanding of the problem, to establish and casual effect relationships. In the multiple cases approach can improve the results with cross comparison of the results. The multiple case approaches can show up the potential similarities and/or differences between different cases. The multiple case approaches can be used for lateral analysis of results and results can be more acceptable (Miles & Huberman, 1994). In the present study we have chosen multiple case study approach to collect, synthesise and understand various human resource management practices in the organisation and their influence on the employees towards motivation and employee retention.

5.2 Selection of Companies

We have chosen two Information technology (IT) services companies which are doing business. The Champ IT systems is IT services company which provides IT services to cargo Industry with clients from all over the World. The company has operations UK and with global customer base. The company has about 300 employees and practices the Strategic human resource management. The Guda Tech. Ltd has operations in UK and India with global workforce about 400 employees. The company attracts talent from different cultural backgrounds. With studying the human resource management practices in these two companies gives a good understanding of human resource management practices in IT sector, similarities and differences between both companies (Watosn, 2001).

Today Nestle is really proud to be recognised as one of the most advanced Human resource functions within the industry. Human resources managers and their staff are there to provide professional support in handling people matters but should not substitute themselves to the responsible manager. Their prime responsibility is to contribute actively to the quality of human resource management throughout the organisation by proposing adequate policies, ensuring their consistent application and coherent implementation with fairness

Nestle Recruitment and Human resource policies in the United Kingdom

Nestle consider its employees as one of its Human resource Business Partners, Nestle expects from its members that they will need to be able to get to the bottom of the business issue . It is also expecting from its human resource team to research the issue properly rather than only giving an ordinary Human resource solution. Nestle encourages its human resource teams that instead of Rather than charging in with opinions at the ready, intuitively listen to the employees problems, review and question the matter properly before giving any final decision or before making organisational decisions. Within the Human resource department employees will need substantial experience in good Human resource practice but the most significant point is that the employees have focused more on people and organisation strategies. In return the Nestle provides its employees such operating environment where the Business Partner model has never before been executed with such unnerving commitment, company wide support and individual empowerment. The Recruitment Services team in the United Kingdom is recognised within Nestle globally as the benchmark in leading recruitment practice. The Recruitment Services team do not just fill the jobs. Instead, The Recruitment Services team work with the business to proactively identify and fill their talent gaps. The Recruitment Services team constantly stand back and work out new ways to attract the very best and keep ahead of the competition, but it isn’t always easy. Predominantly based in Croydon and York, The Recruitment Services team provide a service to Nestle, Purina Pet Care and Nestle Waters, managing the full recruitment cycle for management, staff and some factory roles. Acting as internal consultants, The Recruitment Services team responsibility is comprehensive initially taking the vacancy briefing, defining the attraction strategy, designing the selection process and managing the offer. The communication skills of the Human resource staff must be appropriate to deal with all delicate matters as they occur frequently in human relations issues. They gain their credibility not only from their professional contribution but also through the care and the excellence of their communication skills.

This project covers a short term period. For the testing of various variables only two companies in the Information Technology sector were selected. These companies are; The Guda tech limited and the Cham IT systems. This project uses the historical data of the employees satisfaction based on the human resources management policies of the organisations over the sample period. The related data were acquired through questionnaires from the employees of the organisation with the help of their human resource department.

5.3 Sample Size Selection

The sample size for the study should be representative and valid. For the present study sample of employees will be selected representing all aspects of the employees. The sample will be selected representing different employee types from permanent, temporary and non-functional. The sample will include broad spectrum of different qualifications, age, gender, job level and cultural background. The sample size should be large enough to conduct meaning statistical analysis for establishing cause-effect relationships.

Currently India is one of the most important emerging markets in the world especially in the Information technology sector. In global competition India is providing huge amount of IT skilled managerial and technical manpower. This huge supply of manpower will match the best available manpower in the world. In today’s competitive market environment organizations are competing head to head with their rival organisations for the control of their consumers and customers, their market share and their revenue in order to achieve a significant leadership position in their chosen sector. For this study the target population consist of the employees in the information technology industry. I have selected the companies who are doing their businesses in India and in United Kingdom.

The structure of the sample for this study comprised of various employees in two information technology firms in India namely The Champ IT systems and The Guda Tech. The employees who took part in this study were in the various units of the organization. All the employees working in the two organizations were asked to participate in the questionnaire. Employees who took part in this research included a range of staff from business analysts, managers, and assistant managers’ team leaders to supervisors, programmers, project leaders, to finance consultants etc.

A convenience sampling was used in this research In order to obtain a broad relationship of Human resource management policies and practices, and their impact on the employees’ attitudes and their motivational level and their intent to leave. Selection error may occur when the chance of being chosen is greater, and it was controlled by crossing out list of duplication. Before the research the human resource management department checked thoroughly that checked all the employees that took part in the research. In the research Frame error occurs when the list of the participants are not up to date. For the research the research I got the updated list of employees from the Human resource managers.

The organisational survey questionnaires were distributed to around 183 employees working in the various departments in the two organisations. Out of 183 employees only 131 employees have submitted the fully filled questionnaires. This was good as I was able to get around a response rate of 71.60%. Out of theses 131 completed responses 91 questionnaires were fully complete; therefore I was able to attain a usable response rate of 50%. This further suggests that the consequences of this study will not be conditional, or generalized to a greater population so sampling error was not controlled in this study as it occurs when an attempt is made to generalize to a larger population in spite of using non-representative and non-probabilistic sampling.

According to the Hair et al. (1998) the research sample size is very critical in any research as it has a direct influence on the power of statistical analysis and the generalizability of results. According to Hair et al. the small sample size increases the chance of the Type II error or the chances of the higher beta (?). The higher beta reduces the chance of obtaining lowering statistical power. In the statistics the term poweris refer to that probability that explains that the statistical significance will be showed if the data shows the statistical significance (Hair et al., 1998, p. 11).

We can calculate the statistical power by subtracting the Type II error from the type one error. We can define the Type II error as “the probability of failing to reject the null hypothesis when it is actually false” (Hair et al., 1998, p. 11). In the research with small samples, we need greater R2 is required. A greater R2 is needed to be significant for the multiple regression analysis. But on the contrary if there is a very large sample size, then it will be very sensitive as it will detects almost any smaller or greater relationship that is statistically significant.

In research The Sample size also has a very direct effect on generalizability of results. As per Hair et al the suggested ratio of the observations in relation to the independent variables is greater than 5 to 1. Hair et al. (1998) explained that this ratio should never fall below that this limit which is 5 to 1. Hair et al. (1998) concluded that a lower ratio then 5 to 1 will results in an absence of generalization of findings. It is because the research results will be too specific to the sample of the population. Although the minimum acceptable ratio is 5 to 1 at the same time the anticipated level is between 15 to 20 observations for each independent variable. As I explained before the he total number of variables in this study was eighth Human resource management practices and two dependent variables that is intention to leave and includes six demographic variables.

Although in this research the sample size meets the minimum eligibility requirement, the sample may not be fully representative of the entire population. So, the outcomes of this study may not be comprehensive to the population. Thus it is suggested to select the small sample size when results are explained.

5.4 Data Collection Methods

For this research Data were originally collected through a questionnaire survey. Ary et al. (2002) explained that questionnaire surveys offer advantages such as advantages to researchers to contact large number of subjects in various locations and at a lower cost. Furthermore other advantages of using this method is the accessibility to reach certain data populations and offer them confidentiality and or anonymity over the data collection.

According to Dillman (2007) surveys have the following advantages over the over data collection methods like prompter returns from the subjects, lower rate of survey non responses and higher percentage of complete answers to open ended questions. Therefore in an effort to take advantage of this aspect I have utilized a survey data collection method through the help of a well devised questionnaire. But one disadvantage of using questionnaires for the collection of primary data might be the fact that some employees may not be able to properly interpret the questions in the questionnaire. Therefore in order To resolve this problem I have included very simple and easy to understand questions were included in the questionnaire.

Another vital drawback of the questionnaires method of data collection is that it has the low return rate in some situations. In order To resolve this problem I have selected the convenience sampling. For this reason the human resource managers of the Champ IT systems and The Guda Tech. Ltd organization was first contacted in an effort to convince them to encourage their organisations to participate in the research. I have explained them the implication and the importance of the research in hand and explained that how the results can be beneficial for the two organizations.

As part of the data collection process I have devise a survey questionnaire. This survey questionnaire was developed and sends to the human resource manager of both the organisation; The Champ IT systems and The Guda Tech. Ltd for the final approval and then distribution in their respective organisations.

The human resource managers in The Champ IT systems and The Guda Tech. Ltd have provided this questionnaire randomly to various employees. The human resource managers distributed theses questionnaires along with the detailed letter explaining the purpose of the survey, the confirmation that this data will not be used in any way and I will not pass on this data to any third party or source, confidentiality issues and the survey return dat. The human resource department in two organisations have distributed this data to all 183 employees randomly.

During the first week of sending the data I have received 51 employees responded; of the 51, there were 33 completed questionnaires. During the second week I have received 41 responses. Out of theses 41 responses 30 employees completed the survey questionnaire. At this time a reminder was sent to the all employees the organisations to encouraged employees so that they will be able to respond to the survey. Therefore During the third week, I got 39 responses from the employees. Out of these 39 responses 28 respondents completed the survey questionnaire in full.

There at the end of three weeks there is a total of one hundred thirty one (131) employees responded out of 183. This yields approximately a 72% of response rate which is quite good. Out of theses 131 responses only 91 respondents were found with a fully usable response of survey which generated a usable response rate of 50%.

The data for exploratory research can be gathered from direct and indirect methods. The organisations collect and store the data about the employees. The possible sources of the data are human resources department files, and company annual reports and strategy documents. The direct methods collect the data during the study period. The data can be collected using the interviews and questionnaire using structured and semi-structured questions. The structured questions are pre-pared and responses to questions are crisp, in the form of multiple choices and rating scale. In the case of semi-structured questions, the responded can give his/her responses. The interviews can capture the verbal and non-verbal responses and attributes from the respondent. The questionnaire can be distributed large sample size and can be administered even people work remotely. The questionnaire is anonymous in nature and employees can answer without any fear. The present study both interviewing and questionnaire methods will be employed to collect the data.

As the part of research we have sent the questionnaires to the relevant human resource departments of both the organisations who assign a team of four members to distribute the questionnaires to employees about the human resource practices and policies and their impact on the employees of their organizations and about the organisations employees attitudes toward their employers, as well as their perceptions of organizational justice, trust and commitment. Using traditional qualitative analytic methods, we have found strong, consistent relationships between variables. Findings suggest that organizations may benefit from treating all employees fairly including low-income employees, as valuable human capital so that employees may feel more committed to helping the organization in achieving long term benefits.

5.4 Design of Questionnaire

For this particular research a self-administrate questionnaire was developed to study the element consisting of two components. The first component of this tool comprised of several type scale items. The questions in the questionnaire are attempting to get answers and to assess Human resource management policies and practices and their impact on the organisational employees attitudes and their intention to leave. The first part of the questionnaire tries to identified employees data like employees demographic data such data on employees as age, employees gender, their education level, their current job position, employees tenure with the organisation and within the current job role, and data about the job turnover rate. The questionnaire and the research instruments were subject to some sort of measurement error. Therefore In order to confirm the righteousness of the data collected has addressed both validity issues and the reliability issues.

According to Ary et al. (2002) the validity process of the research process is defined as follows “the extent to which a measure actually taps the underlying concept that it purports to measure”. In this study the tools used was assessed for the face validity and for the content validity. This face and content validity will be conducted by the human resource department who formed panel of experts. This panel comprised of individuals with significant experience with the questionnaire learning content, composition and statistics.

It included two human resource department members of both the organisation The Champ IT systems and The Guda Tech. the members of the panel were asked to individually analysis the questionnaire components, their clarity, questionnaire format and its length, the wording of the questionnaire and the overall appearance of the questionnaire.

Furthermore the members of the panels were asked to check whether the items involved in the questionnaire in reality are able to measure the proposed outcomes. They were also asked to give response on whether the contents of the questionnaire are fully understandable. After their validity check they gave me some suggestions in order to make some improvements in the questionnaires. Based on their suggestions I have made some of the questions simplified so that it will be easier for me to get a more understandable and clear and understandable questionnaires. Even though the questions comprised in the questionnaire were from developed studies with established reliability score, the members suggested that leading a reliability test. Finally, the members also compared the items included in the questionnaire with the research objectives

The questionnaire will be designed to capture human resource management practices and the employee attitudes and retention. Based on the previous research there are about 38 human resource management related practices to study (Ten Brink, 2004). The participants will be asked to rate the perception on 5-point Likert scale. The topics covered in the human resource management policies include recruitment, selection training and development, teamwork, leadership, benefits. The study also captures the needs of the employees and their perception about how far they are met, and factors of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, reasons for leaving. The questions will be based on following hypotheses:

the high performance human resources policies positively contributes to person-organisation and person-job fit
the high performance human resources policies positively contributes employee commitment, productivity and negatively towards attrition
person-organisation fit acts a as bridge between human resources policies and employee motivation
person – job fit mediates between the human resources policies and employee job satisfaction

The full structure and contents of the questionnaire is as follows;

Questionnaire

This questionnaire will focus on nine dimensions that will focus on employees’ satisfaction and motivation.

Q. Are you Male /female?

Q. How old are you?

12345
Age band18-2526-3536-5050-60>60

What is your educational background
12345
Vocational trainingA levelsBachelorsMSc/MBAPhD

Regarding your current job, do you agree, or disagree, with the following statementsPlease tick one box.
12345
Strongly agreeAgreeNeither agree or disagreeDisagreeStrongly disagree
My job is very demanding
I have always less time to get my work done
I have an secure job
I am not sure about my job progress

How satisfied are you with the various aspects of your present jobplease tick one
12345
Very satisfiedsatisfiedNeither satisfied or satisfiedDissatisfiedVery dissatisfied
Your influence on the job
Your pay level
The respect level from mangers
The respect level from subordinates
Sense of achievement

Have you ever discussed with your manager. please select all that apply
12345
Progress on the jobPromotion opportunityTraining needsSalaryNone

During the last 1 year, how much training (paid or unpaid) the organisation had provided youPlease select one.
12345
10 days or more5 to 9 days2 to 4 days1 dayNone

Q. Would you be able to obtain any of the followingPlease select all applicable

12345
Flexible working hoursParental leave2 to 4 daysSharing job arrangementsNone

Q. How often in your organisation employees are asked by higher management to take part in the following activitiesPlease select one box per row.

12345
FrequentlyRegularlySometimeHardly evernever
Future strategic plans
Future operational plans
Hiring and staffing needs
Bringing change in the work place
Health and safety issues
Salary review
Other benefits
Evaluation of other staff members

Q. According to your point of view what is the best manamnent quality in your organisation please select one box per row

12345
ExcellentVery goodGoodPoorDon’t know
Dealing fairly with employees
Dealing with work based problems
Taking employees point of views
Communication proposed or planed changed
Motivating employees

Q. How would you describe the working relationships between employees and management?

12345
Very goodGoodNeither good or badPoorVery poor

Regarding your current job, do you agree, or disagree, with the following statementsPlease tick one box.
12345
Strongly agreeAgreeNeither agree or disagreeDisagreeStrongly disagree
I share organisational values
Staff encourage me to develop skills

I like to tell people about my workplace
Managers provide up to date information
Providing chances everyone to commit on changes
Organisation treat employees equally
The relationship between mangers and employ are very good

Q. what key organisational factor motivates you to achieve success in your job career with that organisation?

Q. Is employee turnover (employees who left their jobs, who were fired are made redundant) a problem at your company?

Yes/NO

Q. What are major section methods in your organisations, please select all applicable.

Recruitment methodsYesNo
Referral
Application form
Interview (one on one)
Group interview
Test
On job evaluation
Assessment of technical skills

Q. Is there a standard induction program designed to introduce new employees to the company?

Yes /n

5.6 Data Analysis

The data will be analysed using qualitative and quantitative methods. The qualitative methods are more descriptive in nature and used when the there is not sufficient data to analyse using the mathematical analysis. The conclusions drawn from qualitative methods can attract criticism from peers. The quantitative methods are used when there is sufficient data to under take the statistical analysis. In the present stud the test will be tested for reliability. The methods will be used are coefficient analysis, regression analysis and factor analysis.

The methodology

The methodology for this study charted some basic qualitative research and logical techniques. This methodology has followed the techniques as defined by Berg (1998) and Locke (2001). Employees from the Champ IT systems and The Guda Tech. limited were the subjects of this study. Interviews through questionnaires were conducted with the help of releventat human resource department to whom I have sent the questionnaires.

Employees in The Champ IT systems and The Guda Tech were approached randomly as they are working in their respective departments. The employees were asked by their human resource management department officials on my behalf that if the employees are willing to give their responses on the questionnaires.

Therefore we can concluded that Human resource management practices like good supervision, job training and good pay will positively affect job satisfaction among the organisational employees and their attitudes in a positive way that will results in slow down the employees turnover rates and enhanced employees productivity etc.

The employees were also told that they their responses will be totally anonymous and as part of a study about the effects on their attitudes and motivational levels by various human resource management practices and policies.

According to data approximately two thirds of those employees approached were agreed to answer the interviewer’s questions. In this research there are basically Eight Human resource management policies and practices are involved as independent variables. There are two dependent variables in this research that will judge the employees responses and the effects of organisational human resource management policies on the employees attitudes. These are Organizational commitment and employees intention to leave due to the organisational policies. These eight independent factors are as follows; employees training, employees performance appraisal, staffing policies, rewards policies , employees non pay benefits, employees working conditions, unbiased and equal employment opportunity and the level of information sharing within the organisation. In this research there are basically two mediators. These are namely employees’ perceived organizational support and psychological contracts. For this purpose of the data analysis before conducting an analysis to test the hypotheses. The data was examined for its linearity, normality, and outliers. High level of intercorrelation among the independent variables creates Multicollinearity in regression analysis.

For this Research the one objective sought by describing the employees of two information technology organisations in the India; by age sex, current job position, number of jobs quit in five years, job tenure with their current company and education level. As the following table shows that there are 91 employees who were able to complete the demographic section of the survey. It was found from the survey that majority of the respondents were male. Total n = 53 which is 58.25%. It further explained that the average age of the employees was 28.70 years, with a median of 28 years and the mode of 26 years.

Table 2. Demographic Characteristics of Subjects

Characteristicsn%MeanMedianModeStandard deviationRange
SexMale employees
Male5358.2
Female3842
Positionother
Staff1718
Supervisor1516.51
Manager1314
On training33
Higher managers00
Others staff4347

Numbers of job positions quitNerve quit
never3841
Once quit1718.7
Twin times1617
Three times1415
Four times44
More than four times22
Job periodOne to two years
Less than six months1213
6 months to I year1920
1 to 2 years2224
2 to 3 years1314
3 to 4 years44
More than 4 years2123.1
Educational levelsbachelors
Bachelors4751
Masters2628
College33
High school11

With respect to the employees’ current job positions in the two organizations; the results shows that the majority of the employees are categorised them sets as staff members n = 17 which is 18.7%, followed by employees categorised them self as supervisors, whereas n = 13 i.e. 14.3% employees categorised themselves as managers, at the same time n = 3 i.e. 3.3% employees are categorised themselves as trainee, no employees from the higher managerial level was participated in the survey the largest set of employees n = 43 i.e. 47.2% categorised them self as other category that includes staff members such as team leaders, business analyst, assistant manager, project leader, senior executive, junior assistant manager, finance consultant etc., and the modal category being staff. With regards to the number of job quits in the last five years,

From the survey it was concluded that the bulk of the employees reported that they have never changed their jobs over the period of last five years n = 38 i.e. 41.8% , followed by employees who have changed their jobs role one time in the last five years n = 17 i.e. 18.7% , employees who have changed their job twice in the last five years are n = 1 i.e. 17.6%, employees who have changed their job three times over the last five years are n = 14 i.e. 15.4%, employees who have changed their job four times in the last five years are n = 4 i.e. 4.4%, and employees who have changed their job more than four times are n = 2; 2.2%. In this survey n = 22 i.e. 24.2% of employees specified that they had worked in the organisation for the last one-two years, n = 21i.e. 23.1% of employees specified that they had worked in the organisation for the last more than four years,

n = 19 i.e. 20.9% of employees specified that they had worked in the organisation for six months to one year, n = 13i.e. 14.3% of employees specified that they had worked in the organisation for the last two to three years, n = 12 i.e. 13.2% of employees specified that they had worked in the organisation for the last less than six months

n = 4 i.e. 4.4% of employees specified that they had worked in the organisation for the last Three to four years. The results of the survey shows that majority of the employees have a Bachelor’s degree n = 47 i.e. 51.6%, n = 26 i.e. 28.6% of employees have a Master’s degree. As the following Table shows, the reliability of the survey variables values have ranged from 0.69 for staffing to 0.94 intention to leave these results have satisfied the required minimum level of reliability for the qualitative survey methods.

Table 3. Mean, Standard Deviations, and Reliabilities of Variables

VariablesNMS.D.reliability
Training984.91.450.82
Performance appraisal984.71.510.79
Staffing984.171.430.69
Rewards984.171.500.91
Benefits984.131.250.71
Working conditions985.011.260.75
Equal job opportunity984.921.320.78
Information sharing984.631.390.86
Intention to leave914.021.4000.93

As explained in the above table it was found that training had an median score of 4.90 it has a standard deviation of 1.45,the results shows that the performance appraisal had an median score of 4.70 and has a standard deviation of 1.51, the results shows that the staffing has an median score of 4.17 with a standard deviation of 1.43, the results showed that rewards had an median score of 4.02 and it has a standard deviation of 1.50, the category benefits had an average score of 4.13 and has a standard deviation of 1.25, the category working condition had an median score of 5.01 and has a standard deviation of 1.26, equal employment opportunity has median score of 4.92 and has a standard deviation of 1.32, the category good information sharing has median score of 4.63 with a range of standard deviation of 1.39.The research showed that intention to leave had an average median score of 4.01 and had a standard deviation of 1.47.

5.7. Summary

The Human resource management is a pivotal component of organisational management. There are rapid changes in the human resource management practices to adapt changing global market markets. In the recent years the companies are moving towards aligning the human resource management policies with strategic objective of the organisations. The knowledge based industries like Information Technology are driven by the human capital. One of the key challenges of human resource management practitioners and organisations is to recruit talented people and retain for long period of time to achieve organisational growth. The IT industry is faced by high employee attrition rates all over the World. The attrition rates highest as compared to other industry sectors. The most important factors influencing people to leave the organisations are higher salaries, career growth and personal development. The human resource management practices by organisations and perceived notions by the employee greatly influence employee motivation, organisational commitment and retention. The present study focuses on understanding the human resource management practices in the 2 UK based IT companies and their influence on the employee motivation and retention. The case study approach will be used collect the data. The relationships between human resource management practices and employee retention will be developed. Based on the study results, factors which positively contribute to organisational commitment retention will be identified. The recommendations from the study will help to improve the human resource management practices in the IT organisations.

Limitations and Directions for Future Research

This report is very limited in its scope; as this report uses a short period data related to only two Information Technology (IT) sector firms. This study is not free from the limitations. The limitations of this study include a lack of variety in terms of employees’ income, their social background and about their perceptions. In the sample there is a weak measure of severity of job loss or retention by the organisation, and there are no moderating variables. This sample was almost exclusively covers employees from lower to middle class income and employees on per hourly basis. In this study although a few management personnel took part but still thestudy sample does not reflect the general population

The sample is likely to be representative of those most impacted by the human resources policies and practices. Therefore , it is possible that a more broad and diverse sample of the population would have resulted in a different manner regarding the variables and questions in the research. Thus, for the future research I am suggested that it should be based on a Broad sample . It should also include large sample and include various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds of employees we were surprised that some of the variable had almost no impact upon the other variables. However, we questioned no respondents whose low motivation could be regarded as anything less than severe.

These limitations suggest that one direction for future research is to test the human resource policies and procedures and models under conditions of less motivation. Finally, it is possible that certain arbiters may affect the influence of some or all of the variables. The subject’s coping skills and ability to manage stress may impact the respondent’s attitude toward the employer and perception of organizational justice.

In addition, the availability of alternative sources of support may moderate the severity of impact of the catastrophe upon the respondent. Others variables, such as personality traits or cultural differences (particularly between individualistic versus collectivistic cultures) might be important moderators to consider as well. Perhaps the most fruitful direction for further research is to ascertain whether the model which seems to emerge from the data analysis holds empirically. If it is supported, businesses will have a better understanding of the contribution HR policies make toward employee commitment. This project covers a short term period. For the testing of various variables only two companies in the Information Technology sector were selected. These companies are; this project uses the historical data of the employees satisfaction based on the human resources management policies of the organisations over the sample period. The related data were acquired through questionnaires from the employees if the organisation with the help of their human resource department.

Although this study made several contributions to HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT research and the hospitality industry, it has several limitations. First, survey questionnaires were distributed to 183 respondents, 131 respondents returned the survey questionnaires but 91 respondents completed the survey questionnaires. Of 131, 40 respondents submitted incomplete questionnaires. Although, the sample size in this study meets the minimum requirement for regression analysis, the sample size may not be representative of the population. Therefore, a small sample size is one of the major limitations of this study Data was collected from 183 employees working in a hospitality organization in India. Therefore, it is necessary to re-examine the conceptual model developed in this study with a larger sample size for future study so that the outcomes can be generalized to a larger population.

Second, data was collected only from one hospitality organization in India. A convenience sampling was adopted. Therefore, the findings of this study were not generalizable to the population. The findings were limited to the sample studied. This gives scope for future studies to conduct random sampling and conduct the tests with a larger sample size, so that the findings could be generalized to the population.

Third, the main objective of this study was to examine two relationships. First, the study intended to examine the influence of HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices on POS, followed by the influence of POS on OC, and finally the influence of OC on intention to leave. Second, the study intended to examine the influence of HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices on PC fulfilment, followed by the influence of PC fulfilment on OC, and finally the influence of OC on intention to leave. Therefore, SEM would have been a better tool to test the hypothesis.

The study examined multicollinearity by tolerance values. Although the tolerance values were over the cut off value but most of the tolerance values were in the range of .2 to .3 which is low, and it indicates that multicollinearity exists (Table 2). This gives scope for future studies to examine whether the tolerance values increases by excluding some independent variables. An increase in tolerance values would indicate independence from

Multicollinearity

CONCLUSION

The human resource management activities provide a vital link between an organisation and its objectives and goals. It involves such employees that will be fulfilling the customers’ requirements in terms of time, quality and quantity. A proper Human resource management system will help organisation to optimize design, and planning about the hiring such people that will be the best match according to the organisational structure. The chain system by virtue of its policies, structure, physical delays, and information delays, tends to amplify retail sales changes to which the system is sensitive. Any tendency of amplification is because of its internal inclination toward alternation. An increased demand rate from the downstream chain requires a corresponding increase in the placing of orders in the upper-stream chain, if inventory is to be maintained. In addition, the higher level of demand requires more orders in transit in the supply pipeline. The Effective Human Resource management system is one of the factors that helped organisations to emerge as a market leader in the retailing industry in the United Kingdom.

It is clear from the various organisations success that organisational culture plays a very important role in the creation of the organisational structure in the organisations that govern all the allocation of responsibilities at various levels within the organisation . Human resource management is undoutablly the most significant part of both the organisational culture and the structure of the organisation. As this function is dealing with the organization’s most significant assets e.g. the employees , the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the business. Today Human resource management is a very vast field it includes hiring valuable employees for the organization, providing them training and developing their abilities, exploiting employees skills, maintaining and compensating their services in tune with the job and organizational requirement

So the main obligation of any company is to increase the wealth of its shareholders and to obtain the higher productivity levels. On the other hand employees play an important part in helping organisation to achieve this goal by functioning effectively and efficiently in the organizational systems.

It is proved that highly motivated and highly committed organisational employees are the backbone for the organisational long term and short term success. And their role is vital condition for completing the organizational goal in the short and long term. The human resource management practices in organisations have to be devise in such a manner that will examine the employees behaviour and the performance of the employees over various periods of their contract. This research explains that the certain human resource management practices within the organisations create the favourable approach on the job satisfaction which will be clarified reversely on the turnover.

In influencing the attitudes of the employees the three key components of organisational Human Resource Management practices namely job supervision, job training and development and pay and salary practices play a very critical role. The organizations can motivate its employees and can influence their attitudes positively to work efficiently and efficiently with the help of the existing strong positive correlation between the human resource management practices and the overall job satisfaction.

Furthered more for the organisation the significance of providing a good human resource management, training and development opportunities , and the significance of good pay practice in order to lower the turnover rates of employees highlight the adverse relationship between good Human Resource Management practice and the organisational turnover. Moreover, the job satisfaction of the employees is directly effected on employees’ turnover with an adverse correlation. In other words in any organisation the job satisfaction can lower the turnover of employee when there is high job satisfaction and at the same time the job dissatisfaction can increase the turnover rate of employees when there is lower job satisfaction.

Therefore every organization needs to take an attention about employees’ attitudes and job satisfaction and try to apply human resource management practices in the workplace in order to decrease employees’ turnover and achieve the organizational goals.

This project investigated the effects of human resource management practices on employees’ attitudes and their organizational commitment ,this study also investigated the effects of employees’ commitment level with their organisations on their intention to leave the organisation. The important reason of this study was to investigate the impact of human resource management practices of the organisations as a significant instrument to make employees of an organization more committed to the organization. This will in turn would decline employee goal to leave the organization.

There were four key goals in this study. The first objective was to examine the effects of the human resource management policies and practices on employees attitudes to find whether employees give importance to the Human resource management practices as backing from the organization. Whether employees believe that their employers prompt their pledge to them through its human resource management policies and practices. The second objective was to study the arbitrating effect the relationship between human resource management practices and employees organisational commitments and attitudes to find that when employees trust that the organization aims to support them and expresses its commitment to its employees through its human resource management policies and practices. Employees views towards the organisation makes the employees more committed to the organization. Many organisations tend to practice a set of varied human resource management policies and practices instead of a single human resource policies and practice, and hence human resource management practices in organizations tend to be related, particularly when they are a part of a coordinated system (Huselid 1995).

Thus it is more vital to learn the effect of various human resource management policies and practices together rather than focus on individual human resource management policies as has been the case in most previous studies. Employees overall perceptions about the Human Resource Management policies and practices Has a very significant and important effect on the organizations.

This research study can only specify the effect of general employees perceptions about the human resource management policies and practices in their organization on the employees attitudes. Good human resource management policies and practices are very important and which make the employees believe that the organization is supporting them.

All Human resource management practices do not work for all organizations management should alter their human resource policies according to their needs and significance. Therefore this study fixed these issues by including a set of varied human resource management practices. Eight human resource management practices were included in this researching order to examine the relationship of each human resource management practice with the employees attitudes.

The third goal was to examine the influence of HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices on psychological contracts in order to find whether employees consider HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices as an important tool in building their psychological contracts. Guzzo and Noonan (1994) considered HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices as a communication channel between employer and employees. Scholars have argued that HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices can send strong messages to individuals regarding what an organization expects of them and what they can expect in return, and hence HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices are seen to play an important role as message senders, shaping terms of the psychological contracts (Rousseau & Wade-Benzoni, 1994). Therefore, several studies proposed HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices as critical influencing factors on PCs but this research area lacks empirical work.

The fourth goal was to examine the mediating effect of PCs on the relationship between HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices and OC, to find that when employees believe that their employers have fulfilled all its promised obligations and the psychological contract is fulfilled, whether it makes the employees more committed to the organization. Employees develop psychological contracts based on the contributions they believe they owe to the organization and the inducements they believe are owed in return (Rousseau, 1989). HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices play an important role as message senders, shaping terms of the psychological contracts (Rousseau & Wade-Benzoni, 1994). Based on their PCsemployees tend to hold beliefs regarding the inducements the organization is obligated to provide and to what extent the organization has actually fulfilled their obligations (Robinson et al., 1994). When employees believe that the organization has fulfilled their obligations, they become more committed to the organization (Coyle-Shapiro & Kessler, 2000). Therefore, based on propositions made in prior studies, there is evidence of PCs mediation on HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices and OC. Therefore, PCs may mediate the relationship between HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices and OC. There has been no empirical research considering PCs to mediate the relationship between HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices and OC.

Eight HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices were included to study the influence of each HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practice on POS and PC fulfilment, instead of using HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices as a whole or using some specific HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices as used in previous studies: training, performance appraisal, staffing, benefits, rewards, working condition, equal employment opportunity and information sharing. The HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices were included based on thorough literature review, and based on their impact on organizational commitment, intention to leave, POS and PCs. Staffing, training, equal employment opportunities, and good and safe working conditions were included from Edgar and Geare’s (2005) study of the influence of HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices on OC. It was found that all four HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices had a significant positive relationship with OC. Performance appraisal effectiveness was included from Chang’s (2005) study of the influence of employees’ overall perception about the organization’s HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices on OC. Information sharing was included because a study by Kinicki et al. (1992) proposed the influence of information sharing on POS. Benefits was included because a conceptual study by Lucero and Allen (1994) proposed benefits as influencing factors reducing employee-employer conflicts. Rewards was included in this study based on the support from prior studies, which proposed that performance rewards like promotion, profit sharing, benefits and opportunities results in positive attitudes and behaviour (Landau & Hammer, 1986; Coyle-Shapiro et al., 2002). A total of eight hypotheses were developed in this study. Hierarchical linear regression analysis was employed to test the hypotheses

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What are the Key Building Blocks in Organizational Culture: International Human Resource Management

Introduction

Today’s economic challenges require organizations to find new ways to not only reward top performers, but also to motivate all workers to improve performance. This must be done in a cost effective manner.

Supporting organization culture is very critical for attaining the strategic goals of an organization. Strategy usually focuses on incentives, because it deals with the way goals are achieved. Culture usually focuses on recognition, because it deals with the organizational values of organization. The key building blocks of the organizational culture are values.

Types of recognition:

1. Extrinsic or Cash Rewards:

The various types of cash rewards are giving bonuses, performance incentives, pay hikes etc. As per Peterson and Luthans (2006, p.157), ‘money serves as an incentive primarily because it can be exchanged for other desirable outcomes’ and thus helps employees to satisfy human needs. The informational value of money can provide feedback on employee on employee performance, enhancing employee perception of self-efficacy (Eisenberger, Rhoades and Cameron 1999).

It is thus clear that money should have considerable motivational value, and the empirical evidence indeed finds strong linkages between monetary incentives and employee performance (Rynes et al. 2005) as well as business-unit performance (Peterson and Luthans 2005).

Extrinsic or Non-Cash Rewards:

Non-Cash can be identified as verbal motivation, mementoes, certificates, plaques, vouchers etc. According to Luthans and Krietner (1975), although non-cash rewards can be positive motivators, they have some drawbacks. They involve costs for the organization and they tend to lead to extreme contention very quickly. This means that employees gets too satiated by the non-cash rewards

Theories of Motivation:

Many factors beyond cash or tangible (non-cash) reward influence whether an employee is satisfied and ready to give 110 percent to the job. Maslow’s and Herzberg provide an important insight into this issue. Abraham Maslow’s identified a hierarchy of five basic needs that are interconnected and may viewed a kind of pyramid for a person to be motivated and need must be satisfied in an ascending order. Starting with the most basic needs, the list is as follows: Physiological (breathing, food, water, sleeps, etc.), Safety (security of body, health, resources, etc.), Love/belonging (friendship, family, etc.), and Esteem (self-esteem, confidence, respect of and by others, etc.), and Self-Actualization (problem solving, morality, creativity, etc.). It is a complex state of being in which people have clear goals and a self-sustaining desire and ability to achieve them. This theory was called as the “HOLY GRAIL OF MOTIVATION”.

Another seminal work to consider is that of Frederick Herzberg Theory who brings Maslow’s thinking into realm of job performance. He called it as “DUAL FACTORY THEORY”. Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation has been used by corporations as a way to motivate employees for nearly five decades. Herzberg postulated that there are two types of factors that motivate workers. The first thing was called “Motivators.” This included rewards such as achievement, recognition and responsibility. The second type was identified as “Hygiene Factors” such as salary, company policies and working conditions. Herzberg makes clear that no reward will inspire people if their basic needs are not met or if they get little satisfaction from the work process.

Advantages and of Cash and Non-Cash Rewards:

Advantages
Cash

Non-Cash

Instrumental ValueRegular
Symbolic ValueFrequent acknowledgement of employee’s contribution.
It can be exchanged for other desirable outcomes-control over satisfying personal needs.Timely basis
Lesser cost to company
High visibility
Attention producing trophy/prize.

Disadvantages of Cash and Non-Cash Rewards:

Disadvantages

Cash

Non-Cash

Less flexibleTotal absence of cash rewards/bonuses can lead to loss of confidence in employer
Less frequent
Occurs long after the successful contribution
Increases total costs
Short term motivator
Discourage co-operation among employees
Cash rewards/bonuses effective as recruitment, retention tool rather than reward for good performance.

Relationship between cash and non-cash rewards:

Three possibilities can be highlighted to find the relationship between cash and non-cash rewards:

Non-Cash rewards can be considered as a substitute to cash rewards.
Non-cash recognition serves as a compliment to cash based recognition. or
There is no considerable relationship between cash and non-cash rewards.

Many prominent ideologists suggest that non-cash recognition is superior to cash recognition, in both effect and cost and thus it should substitute for cash recognition. As per Nelson (1996, p. 55), he suggests companies the idea of ‘Dump the cash, load on the praise’. Many prominent writers of compensation do not see cash and non-cash rewards as substitutes of one another.

Predictors of cash and Non-cash Rewards:

1. Presence of labour Union:

Union presenceabsence has a powerful effect on reward plan choice and configuration of non-managerial workers (Renaud 1998; Bergmann and Scarpello 2002, pp. 21, 140-150; 509-510; Milkovich and Newman 2008, pp. 493-506). Unions generally believe in fixed time based pay over ‘at risk’ pay and that they will be particularly be against individual performance incentives as they have the potential to undermine worker solidarity. Thus it can be said that there is a negative relationship between union presence and some widely used individual performance pay plans such as merit pay (Guest and Hogue 1994; Wood 1996), although the evidence on some other individual forms of performance pay, such as piece rates, is mixed.

2. HR Strategy:

Another factor that may influence a firm’s configuration of rewards is its general approach to human resources management and there is ample of evidence to suggest that the organization’s overall strategic approach to managing human resources does influence rewards system configuration (Balkin and Gomez-Mejia 1990; Gerhart and Rynes 2003, pp. 227-255; Shields 2007, pp. 88-120).

3. Use of work Teams:

Use of work teams is another phenomenon is the increasing use of self- managing work or project teams. While the experimental evidence relating to the influence of team working on reward practice remains relatively limited (Balkin and Montemayor 2000; Lawler 2000, pp. 193-219), it is easy to understand that this may have a major influence on the choices firms make between individual and group recognition practices, both cash and non-cash.

Scientific support for cash and non-cash rewards:

The way by which the brain processes information is responsible for the fact that non-cash rewards have a greater motivational impact on people than cash. Left Hemisphere of the Brain deals with analytical, logical and mathematical functions and the right hand of the brain deals with creativity and emotional expressions. Cash promises are visualized by left side of the brain and it fails to create the aspirations. So the cash is analyzed to determine the time required to earn the amount. Since right side of the brain deals with creativity it generates positive emotions. Emotional response compared to the rational thought drives behaviour. That’s why motivation rewards are greater compared to emotional behaviours.

Case Study:

Study #1-Diamond Fiber Products, Inc

Power of Non-cash Rewards

When employees were asked to identify most important aspect in the work place in a survey, the unanimous response was full appreciation for work done

*Source: Aetna Life & Casualty Employee Survey. Business Excellence, Inc., (2007)

Danny E Boyle, Vice President, relates a simple example of power of tangible non cash awards:

A teller at a local bank told me that a woman came in and proudly modeled for both customers and employees a jacket she had won.

She said, My employer gave me this for doing a good job. Its the first time in the 18 years I’ve worked there that they’ve recognized the things I do every day

During those years she had earned $230,000 in wages, which had paid for cars, a home mortgage, food, vacations, college education and other essentials.

The money was not recognition of her work, but the jacket was.”

To counter these perceptions, the company developed a program called the 100 Club, which recognised through non cash awards, attendance, punctuality, and consistent top performers. Their internal report shows significant increase in employee satisfaction.

-*Harvard Business Review (2007)

Conclusion:

Based on the above theory and case study, we can conclude the following ideas on Cash and Non-Cash Rewards:

A key finding, exemplified by these case studies, is that

A high correlation between recognition and improved employee engagement, which in turn improves job performance and captures business value.
Recognition programs need not be expensive. In fact, studies show that non-cash awards usually work wonders. Recognition programs are a proven, low-cost method for creating improved productivity in organizations.
Recognition programs need to include multiple forms of awards—e.g., what is recognition for one worker will not necessarily work with all.
The 2 HR practices of cash and non-cash rewards, if treated as truly substitute to one another increases the total costs and fails to increase performance
Making use of cash and non-cash rewards simultaneously can help organizations to improve the employee morale and provide better and efficient work culture.
References:
Rynes, Gerhart and Parks 2005, p.575
Stajkovic and Luthans (2003)
McAdams (1999)
Gibson, J. L., J. M. Ivancevich, , and J. H. Donnelly Jr. Organizations. Boston: Irwin (1991)
Jeffrey and Shaffer (2007)
Aetna Life & Casualty Employee Survey. Business Excellence, Inc., (2007)
The Value and ROI in Employee Recognition: Linking Recognition to Improve Job Performance and Increased Business Value, HCI Report available on www.hci.com
Daniel C. Boyle, Vice President, Diamond Fiber Products, Inc,Harvard Business Review
Survey Report, Bob Nelson, Ph.D. (March 15, 2002)
From Delta, 2008 RPI Best Practices Recipient, white paper publshd by Diamond H Recognition, 2008, and Stephanie Merchiore, “Giving Recognition a Lift,” HR Today, September 2008.

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Free Essays

Critical Analysis of the Strategic human resource management in India

Abstract

The last two decades have witnessed many developments in the research and practice of managing human resources. While the debate began with a consideration of the changing role of HRM, more recently there has been increased interest in conceptualizing and testing the links between business strategy and performance. In India, research in the area of HRM gained recognition with the ushering in of the new economic era of liberalisation during the early 1990s. The primary objective of this article is to provide a synthesis of the strategic human resource management (SHRM) literature as it relates to India. Specifically, this review will consider the dominant theoretical perspectives adopted by scholars; ways in which HRM and performance are defined and operationalised; the approach taken to research design along with noting the control and contingency variables used. The review also draws out the potential contributions of the existing studies to solving the ‘black box’ problem. Finally, the article also presents the implications for future research on SHRM in India.

Keywords: India, Strategic human resource management, HRM, firm performance

Introduction

Empirical research in the field of SHRM has proliferated significantly since the seminal work of Huselid in 1995. Many recent studies have discussed SHRM in the Asia-Pacific context (Audea, Teo, and Crawford 2005; Bae et al. 2003; Benson and Rowley 2003; Wan, Kok, and Ong 2002). Furthermore, the growth of India as an emerging market prompted institutions such as the World Bank to project the country as the world’s fourth largest economy by 2020 (Budhwar and Varma 2010). This increasing focus on India makes it an interesting setting for this study. The review aims to provide a synthesis of literature in the area of HRM and performance linkages in India. The study reviewed articles between 2003 (first empirical article: Singh 2003) and 2010 in academic journals, focusing on the HRM and performance debate. Specifically, this review will consider the dominant theoretical perspectives adopted by scholars; ways in which HRM and performance are defined and operationalised; the approach taken to research design along with noting the control and contingency variables used. Finally, the review also examines the potential contributions of the reviewed articles to solving the ‘black box’ problem.

This article is organised as follows. The first section reviews the extant literature on SHRM. The next section discusses the need for a review of SHRM in India. The third section outlines the research methodology used in this paper. The final sections discuss the results and present the main conclusions and implications of this study.

SHRM literature: Developments

Lengnick-Hall et al. (2009) identified seven themes across time in the SHRM literature: (1) explaining contingency perspectives and fit, (2) shifting from a focus on managing people to creating strategic contributions, (3) elaborating HR system components and structure, (4) expanding the scope of SHRM, (5) achieving HR implementation and execution, (6) measuring outcomes of SHRM, and (7) evaluating methodological issues. Each of these themes played a significant role in the evolution of the field. Empirical research has suggested a relation between HRM practices (whether as individual practices or as a bundle) and organizational performance (Paauwe 2009).

Wright and Boswell (2002) proposed a typology of HRM research based on two dimensions: level of analysis (individual/ organizational) and number of practices (single/ multiple). Many articles published after Huselid (1995) have not only analysed the effects on performance at an individual practice level like recruitment and selection (e.g. Koch and McGrath 1996), performance related pay (e.g. Dowling and Richardson 1997; Lazear 1996; McNabb and Whitfield 1997), training and development (e.g. Kalleberg and Moody 1994), and internal career possibilities (e.g. Verburg 1998), but also at multiple practice level, that is, bundles or combinations of HR practices (e.g. Arthur 1994; Gould-Williams 2003, 2007; Guest, Conway, Dewe 2004; Subramony 2009).

At the multiple practice level, it is possible to analyse HR practices as a system, which has been referred as a high performance work system (e.g. Huselid 1995) or as a HR practice configuration (e.g. Delery and Doty 1996; Delery 1998). Delery (1998) suggests four types of possible relationships as: a) additive (where each HR practice has its own, unique effect on performance outcomes); b) interactive (the effect of each practice depends on the up-take of other practices within the bundle); c) positively synergistic (some HR practices mutually complement each other); and d) negatively synergistic (an inappropriate combination of HR practices that leads to more negative consequences than the mere absence of the practice).More recently, Subramony (2009) categorized the HRM bundles as a) empowerment- enhancing (those HR practices that boost employee autonomy and responsibility levels); b) motivation-enhancing (bundles that provide employees with adequate levels of direction and inducements); and c) skill-enhancing (bundles that augment the knowledge and skill levels of the workforce). It is now generally accepted that human resource management bundles can favourably affect the performance of business firms. The treatment of HR practices as a bundle is more effective than as an individual practice; when considering its impact on performance (MacDuffie 1995; Ichniowski 1997; Guest 2004).

Though empirical research suggests that there is an association between HRM and performance, there is little understanding of the mechanisms through which HRM practices influence effectiveness (Delery 1998, 289). This largely unexplained facet of the HRM-performance relationship has been labelled the “black box” (Boselie et al. 2005). The discussion on the black box problem was triggered by Guest (1997) when he stated the need for more theory driven research in the area of HRM, performance and the linkages between the two concepts. Legge (2001, 30) reiterated the ‘need to open up the ‘black box’ of the process that links HRM and organizational performance’.

Background: Choice of country

India has been chosen as the research context for the following key reasons. India is one of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. Indian economy grew by 7.4 percent over the fiscal year 2009-10 (FICCI 2010). The sustained performance has been guided by robust growth in both service and manufacturing sector. The Indian economy adopted a structural adjustment programme at the beginning of 1991. The structural adjustment programme or liberalization initiated the process of the opening up of an otherwise closed economy of India (Som 2008). Thereby, an increasing need to understand HRM practices in India since the 1990s emerged since liberalisation of economic policies took place (Budhwar and Sparrow 1997). The operation of large number of MNCs in India has fuelled the need for the top managers of these organizations to learn about the nature of HR systems appropriate for the Indian context.

HRM in India has rapidly evolved into a specialized function in organisations (Budhwar et al. 2009; Budhwar and Varma 2010), especially in the last two decades. Indian national context is marked by regional, sectoral, socio-cultural, institutional, and economic-political variations. Thus, the nature of the HR function varies from traditional personnel administration to strategic HRM/HRD. Numerous studies have explored the impact of HRM practices on firm performance in western economies like US and UK (e.g. Huselid 1995; Becker and Grehart 1996; Ichniowski 1997; Becker and Huselid 1998; Wood 1999), whereas there is a dearth of empirical research in non-westernised context, specifically India. Given, these factors, we would argue that the contextual focus of this review is justified. This study aims to review the body of literature from a theoretical and methodological perspective.

Formalized personnel functions have been existent in Indian organizations since 1920s in India (Budhwar and Sparrow 1997; Rao 1999; Budhwar 2001). The personnel function then was primarily driven by the concern for labour welfare in factories. The personnel function started expanding beyond the welfare aspect into the three areas- labour welfare, industrial relations, and personnel administration in the 1960s. In the 1970s, the focus of personnel function shifted toward greater organizational ‘efficiency’. By the 1980s, terms such as HRM and HRD gained importance (Rao 1999). The 1990s saw a rapid change in the HRM function due to ushering in of liberalisation (Som 2007, 2008, 2010; Budhwar and Varma, 2010).

Budhwar and Varma (2010) analysed the HRM literature in the Indian context and revealed that research has been pursued on a very broad variety of subjects. These include (1) the evolution of the personnel function in India, (2) the role of unions and industrial relations in the new economic environment, (3) factors determining HRM, (4) HRM and firm performance (e.g. Singh 2003; Chand 2010), (5) HRM in MNCs operating in India (Budhwar and Bhatnagar 2009; Bjorkman and Budhwar 2007), (6) strategic integration and devolvement of HRM (e.g. Budhwar and Sparrow 1997); (7) organizational learning capability (e.g. Bhatnagar 2007), (8) employee relations, (9) turnover issues (e.g., Budhwar et al. 2009; SamGnanakkan 2010; Krishnan and Singh 2010), (10) comparative HR in public and private sector organizations (e.g. Budhwar and Boyne 2004), (11) emerging patterns of HRM in the business outsourcing sector (e.g. Budhwar et al. 2006), (12) the applicability of Western HR models in India, (13) HRD and training, and (14) comparative HR between India and other countries (e.g., Lawler et al. 1995; Budhwar and Khatri 2001; Budhwar and Sparrow 2002; Varma, Pichler, and Srinivas 2005; Woldu, Budhwar, and Parkes 2006).

While there is a significant increase in volume of empirical research in India, there is no previous study that has reviewed SHRM in India. Thus for the purposes of the current study, the review will expand upon one major sub-theme- HRM and firm performance. The next section presents the procedure adopted for this review.

Procedure for review of articles

Research questions

To accomplish the study objectives, the following research questions were posed.

How have HRM practices been operationalised
How has the concept of performance been operationalised
What has been the dominant theoretical perspective that has been adopted
What were the sample characteristics of the research study (e.g. individuals, workplaces, industries or sectors etc.)
Who are the respondents (e.g. Single rater vs multiple raters per unit of analysis or Single vs multiple actors
What data collection methods have been used (e.g. case study, survey, interviews, large scale secondary data etc.)
Does the study deal with how HR practices linkages with performance (Black Box problem)
What are some of the areas future research should focus on

The following sub sections discuss the scope of review and identification of articles.

Scope of the review

There are four important criteria used in selecting articles for review. First, the articles were based on empirical research. Thus, conceptual papers were left out from the review. Second, the articles analysed data from workplaces in India. Third, articles used HRM practices and firm performance as variables. Fourth, articles had to be published in English. Also, the review excludes research published in books, conference proceedings and unpublished dissertations.

Identification of articles

There are 20empirical articles in total which study the impact of HRM practices in India. The literature search was conducted using the following databases- ABI/ Inform, Academic Search Premier, Emerald Fulltext, EBSCO. The search was based on three key descriptors ‘human resource management practices’, ‘firm performance’ and ‘India’. The full text was reviewed in order to eliminate those articles that were not actually related to HRM practices and firm performance.

Empirical studies with specific focus on India and Asia have been presented in special issues of international journals like Journal of World Business (39(4), 2004), Employee Relations (29 (6), 2007), Human Resource Management (47 (1), 2008; 49 (3), 2010). Thus, an exclusive search was conducted in these issues. A total of 20 articles from 14 journals met the selecting criteria. A list of journals contributing these articles is given in Table 1.

– Insert Table 1 here –

Characteristics of the reviewed studies

Table 2 summarises the empirical studies reviewed in the study. Studies in Table 2 differ in sample size and demographic characteristics, industry context, operationalisation of HRM and performance, data collection and analytical method, directions for future research. Each of these aspects is discussed in the subsequent sections. Drawing on an extensive body of SHRM literature, we isolate potential research areas for investigation in India.

– Insert Table 2 here –

Operationalisation of HRM

One of the significant conceptual issues involves understanding how the central construct in this literature, the human resource system, affects firm performance outcomes. Many researchers (Guest 1997, 2001; Boselie et al. 2005, Paauwe 2009) have shared the concern of lack of theory in conceptualisation of HRM, performance and its subsequent link. Hesketh and Fleetwood (2006) contend even if there was sufficient conclusive evidence for statistical association between HRM practices and organizational performance, it is not enough to explain the association.

Another significant issue that has been raised in SHRM literature is the distinction between HR policies and practices (Purcell et al. 2003). The policies refer to the stated firm’s intentions whereas the practices are established on observable, actual activities operationalised in the firm (Wright and Boswell 2002; Wright and Nishii 2004). Paauwe and Boselie (2005) state that the majority of previous studies focus on intended HR practices rather than the ‘actual’ HR practices or the employees’ perception of them. Also, Purcell and Hutchinson (2007) discuss the role of front line managers (FLMs) in ascertaining the level of employee commitment. They argue that the outcome impact on employee attitudes of HRM policies would be more positive if the FLM leadership behaviour is also perceived as positive. Thus, it is argued that research would be more appropriate if it considers multi-actor respondents e.g worker, FLM and employer perceptions.

An important finding is that the reviewed studies have used various measures of HR practices. This is consistent with the empirical literature in the West where there is no definite operationalisation of HRM (Paauwe 2009). Another important finding is some studies, such as Paul and Anantharaman (2003) built an industry-specific instrument to measure HR practices. Ketkar and Sett (2010) have extended Wright and Snell’s conceptualisation of HR flexibility. All other reviewed studies have adopted measures from either existing literature on high involvement HRM (e.g. Bjorkman and Budhwar 2007, SamGnanakkan 2010), innovation, high commitment or progressive HR practices (e.g. Som 2008; Cooke and Saini 2010), bundles of practices (Guchait and Cho 2010), or have used existing practices in organisations surveyed to operationalise HR practices (e.g. Chand and Katou 2007).

Measure(s) of performance

Guest (1999) argues that there is no general theory about performance and its measurement, which can be referred to as the ‘criterion problem’. Dyer and Reeves (1995) suggested that the HR practices work at four levels sequentially- HR (employee), organisational, financial and market. The performance outcomes can be measured as financial, organizational and HR-related outcomes (Boselie et al. 2005). However, as reported by them, the majority of researchers, US commentators in specific, have taken financial outcomes such as profit and productivity.

The empirical studies by Ramsay et al. (2000) and Godard (2001) have strongly criticised the use of financial outcomes alone and led to a renewed attention to a pluralist perspective. Paauwe (2004) builds on this pluralist perspective, stressing HRM’s duality in its focus on added value and economic rationality versus moral values and relational rationality.

Four studies (Singh 2003; Som 2008; Mulla and Premarajan 2008; Ketkar and Sett 2010) have used the financial measures of performance. The majority of studies have used organisational measures of performance (e.g. Chand and Katou 2007; Cooke and Saini 2010; Guchait and Cho 2010). Only two studies (Paul and Anantharaman 2003; Chand 2010) have adopted multiple performance measures – financial and organisational. The remaining studies used HR-related outcomes like organisational commitment (Paul and Anantharaman 2003, 2004; Shahnawaz and Juyal 2006; Maheshwari, Bhat, and Saha 2008; Guchait and Cho 2010; SamGnanakkan 2010), intentions to leave (Guchait and Cho 2010; SamGnanakkan 2010) and employee performance (Ketkar and Sett 2010).

There is limited research on HR-related or proximal outcomes which are treated as intervening variables between HR practices and organisational performance (Kehoe and Wright, forthcoming). This suggests that majority of the research in India is based on unitarist perspective. Another limitation of the reviewed studies is that none have studied the potential impact of HRM practices on negative employee outcomes such as dissatisfaction, stress, burnout and fatigue (Guest 1999; Purcell 1999).

Sample size

The HRM and performance studies present two unique sets of issues owing to sample size. While large sample sizes are difficult to obtain, given the unit or firm level of analysis, the more related challenge is that practically important relationships may be missed because of inadequate statistical power (Gerhart 2007). A commonly used approach to determining the needed sample size for a latent variable model is based on the number of parameters estimated (Williams and O’Boyle Jr. 2008). A study with more parameters suggests a need for a larger sample size. Thus, sample size plays an important role in a research study. It is important to classify studies on the basis of primary levels of analysis (Boselie et al. 2005).

The sample size used in the reviewed studies ranged from a low of 54 employees (Cooke and Saini 2010) to a high of 4,811 employees (Stumph, Doh, and Tymon 2010). The majority of studies reported sample size of over 100. It is suggested that when testing sophisticated models, large number of samples should be used (Hulland, Chow, and Lam 1996; MacCallum, Browne, and Sugawara 1996). The units of analysis were either a single organisation or multiple organisations. The sample in multiple organisation study ranged from 2 (Shahnawaz and Juyal 2006) to 439 organisations (Chand 2010).

Respondents

A methodological issue that continues to be debated concerns who should provide information about HRM (Guest 2011). There has been an ongoing call for using data collected from multiple informants about the presence of practices (Gerhart et al. 2000). Marchington and Zagelmeyer (2005) suggest that most of the high commitment studies have relied on management respondents to estimate the impact of HR practices on performance. It has been suggested that, particularly in the context of large organisations, senior HR managers are not always reliable informants and that it is more sensible to seek information from those experiencing the practices, namely workers. Paauwe (2009) makes a plea for a more contextual approach to HRM. He also suggests that future research should explore HRM- Performance link in light of broader multiple stakeholders like employees, government, trade unions, consumer organizations, etc (Paauwe and Boselie 2005). Also, research should endeavour to adopt a broader view of performance, taking into consideration employee concerns and wellbeing (Guest 2004).

The majority of the reviewed studies have reported data from a single respondent, mainly focusing on senior management (Singh 2003; Agarwala 2003). While acknowledging the possible rater bias, such studies suggest that future studies could use a multi-rater approach, specially collecting data from heads of other functions. Ketkar and Sett (2010) proposed that their choice of single respondent – senior managers from departments other than HR is consistent with the proposition of Batt (2002). Batt (2002) argued that selection of non-HR managers as respondents could improve the reliability of measurements as these managers are expected to be more objective about the HR systems. Only three studies have used multiple respondents. These include Sharma (2008) and Chand (2010), who have drawn samples from employees and customers, and Som (2008) who used samples drawn from senior executives – MD, Director, VP, GM and HR personnel.

Industry context

Datta, Guthrie, and Wright (2005) suggest that industry characteristics may have wide implications for HRM. While there have been an increasing number of studies that discuss the impact of HRM practices on performance, research on the contextual factors that moderate the efficacy of these practices has been largely ignored. The findings of studies conducted in specific industry contexts are not necessarily generalisable to other industries.

Seven studies (Singh 2003; Agarwala 2003; Khandekar and Sharma 2005; Bjorkman and Budhwar 2007; Som 2008; Stumph et al. 2010; Cooke and Saini 2010) draw on samples from multiple industries. Few studies have drawn samples from software industry (Paul and Anantharaman 2003, 2004), hotel industry (Chand and Katou 2007; Chand 2010), banking (Sharma 2008), and the information and communication technology industry (SamGnanakkan 2010).

Theoretical basis

Boselie, Dietz, and Boon (2005) identify three commonly used theories for defining the HRM and performance relationship, namely, contingency theory, resource based view (RBV) and Abilities, Motivation and Opportunities (AMO) framework. Contingency theory argues that HRM responds accurately and effectively to the organisation’s environment and complements other organisational systems (e.g. Arthur 1994; Huselid 1995; MacDuffie 1995; Delaney and Huselid 1996; Delery and Doty 1996; Wright et al. 2001).

RBV advocates that HRM delivers ‘added value’ through the strategic development of the organisation’s rare, inimitable and non-substitutable internal resources, embodied in its staff (e.g. Boxall and Steeneveld 1999; Guthrie 2001; Batt 2002). RBV has become the dominant theoretical paradigm in most recent SHRM literature (Lengnick-Hall et al. 2009). AMO model argues that organisational interests are best served by an HR system that attends to employees’ interests, namely their skill requirements, motivations and the quality of their job (Appelbaum et al. 2000; Bailey, Berg, and Sandy 2001). It is interesting to note that these three approaches represent different traditions in HRM research. Contingency theory is based on organizational institutional theory. RBV can be traced back to concepts in Organizational economics, whereas the AMO framework has its theoretical underpinnings in industrial/ organizational psychology.

Five studies (Bjorkman and Budhwar 2007; Som 2008; Cooke and Saini 2010; Guchait and Cho 2010; Ketkar and Sett 2010) have explicitly specified the theoretical basis for review. Bjorkman and Budhwar (2007) draw on the resource based view (RBV) of strategic human resource management literature. Som (2008) found empirical evidence based on a universalistic or a best practices perspective. Cooke and Saini (2010) integrate three existing theories- RBV, ‘new’ institutional theory and organisational politics perspective. Guchait and Cho (2010) support a configurational or bundles approach to HRM. Ketkar and Sett (2010) extends the existing conceptualisation of HR flexibility used by Wright and Snell (1998). All the other articles reviewed did not contain a clear reference to the conceptual perspective adopted in the study.

Data collection method(s)

Hesketh and Fleetwood (2006) argue that most of the researchers show an empirical association between HRM practices and organizational performance. The authors argue that the existence or non-existence of empirical association does not necessarily imply causal connection between them. Also, Wright et al. (2005) identified that most empirical studies studying HRM and performance are post-predictive in nature. This means HRM practices were measured after the performance period. A more appropriate approach would involve assessing HRM practices at one point of time and assessing performance at some future point of time (Huselid 1995; Youndt et al. 1996; Paauwe 2009). The more recent studies (Guest, Conway, and Sheenan 2003; Wright et al. 2005) control for both past and subsequent performance.

Seventeen studies used the cross-sectional quantitative survey method. Although some studies have suggested use of longitudinal surveys, none of them have applied the method in their own study. The cross-sectional nature of the reviewed studies does not allow for any conclusions regarding causal relationships.

Two studies (Agarwala 2003; Bjorkman and Budhwar 2007) have used a mixed methodology using quantitative survey and interviews. The study by Cooke and Saini (2010) can be classified as a purely qualitative study. Only one study (Mulla and Premarajan 2008) was based on secondary data. The study drew on data from Chairpersons’ speech and directors’ reports of 100 companies listed by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) database, Prowess. It can be concluded that survey method is the dominant method for researching the HRM and performance literature in India. Although, a social survey offers a great deal of insight into the phenomenon of interest, it is unable to answer some basic questions. For instance, even if a presented theory allows the understanding of reality, the question remains why this reality should be as it is according to this theory (Mingers, 2004; Stavenga, 2006). Thus, future research could focus on adopting a qualitative or a mixed method for collecting data.

Directions for future research

Several suggestions for future research have been made in the reviewed studies. The key issues that have been put forth are the black box problem (Agarwala 2003; Chand and Katou 2007; Bjorkman and Budhwar 2007; Som 2008; SamGnanakkan 2010); the need for longitudinal studies (Singh 2003; Paul and Anantharaman 2004; Som 2008; Chand 2010; Ketkar and Sett 2010); the need to study additional variables (Singh 2003; Paul and Anantharaman 2004; Bjorkman and Budhwar 2007); and the use of multiple respondents (Singh 2003; Cooke and Saini 2010; Ketkar and Sett 2010; SamGnanakkan 2010). Some studies suggest that future studies could be cross-national (Singh 2003; Chand 2010; Cooke and Saini 2010; Guchait and Cho 2010) and could use different industry settings (Paul and Anantharaman 2003; Sharma 2008; Cooke and Saini 2010).

In this article, we will focus on a key issue that emerges from the existing studies- the black box problem. Boselie et al. (2005) has noted that despite the increasing volume of research on HRM and performance, there has been little focus on the ‘how’ aspect of the linkages. Purcell and Hutchinson (2007, 3) note the critical link in the black box problem is ‘how HR practices influence employee attitudes and improve worker performance’. This involves a call for making the research more worker-centric (Guest 2011). The workers’ perceptions and behaviour has become increasingly vital in understanding the relationship between HRM and performance.

A number of studies have discussed how the HR practices influence financial performance (Huselid 1995; Wright and Snell 1998; Ahmad and Schroeder 2003). An increasing number of human resource scholars suggest it is important to explore the ‘black box’ containing the links between HRM practices and distant organizational performance measures such as pro?tability or stock value (Becker and Gerhart 1996; Tremblay et al. 2010; Krishnan and Singh 2011). Researchers argue that HRM practices have only an indirect effect on organisational performance (Appelbaum et al. 2000; Delery and Shaw 2001; Way and Johnson 2005). While there have been many studies that have acknowledged the existence of black box issue, Boselie et al. (2005) found 20 articles that have discussed the issue in detail.

The black box issue has been investigated using two routes. The first route is through quantitative studies that have substantiated the need for identifying the role of intermediate variables in the HRM and performance linkages (Razouk 2011). Becker and Grehart (1996, 793) stated ‘unless and until researchers are able to elaborate models, including key intervening variables- it will be difficult to rule out alternative causal models that explain observed associations between HR systems and firm performance’. Examples of these intermediate variables are employees’ attitudes, behaviours and performance, measured on an organizational level (Sels et al. 2006). Fey et al. (2009) have worked on dataset of 241 firms consisting of subsidiaries of 241 MNEs operating in Russia, USA, and Finland. The findings demonstrate that motivation and ability are important mediating variables in the HRM– Multinational enterprise subsidiary performance relationship. Boon et al. (2011) show that some relationships between perceived HR practices and employee outcomes appear to be indirect, occurring via Person–Organisation and Person–Job ?t. Elorza, Aritzetab, and Ayestaran (2011) conducted multilevel analyses of a sample of 732 employees from 26 Spanish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The study supported a model in which employees’ commitment mediates between the actual system and unit-level absenteeism, which in turn has an effect on productivity.

The second route used to investigate black box issues rely on in-depth qualitative research. Authors (Truss 2001; Purcell et al. 2003, Purcell and Hutchinson 2007) suggest that qualitative research is more appropriate to explore the black box since there could be an existence of a gap between intentions of HR managers and practice experienced by employees.

In Indian research context, three articles (Agarwala 2003; Paul and Anantharaman 2003; Ketkar and Sett 2010) have discussed the black box problem concerning HRM practices and performance linkages. Agarwala (2003) demonstrates that certain combinations of Innovative Human Resource Practices (IHRPs) lead to specific employee attitudes, such as organizational commitment. The study attempts to provide an explanation for the HR-firm performance link. Paul and Anantharaman (2003) developed a HRM-performance linkage model with four intervening variables- competence, teamwork, organisational commitment and customer orientation between HRM practices and operating performance. The operating performance in turn has an impact on financial performance. Ketkar and Sett (2010) confirm the concept of HR value chain. The study proposes that HR systems have a direct impact on firm-level HR outcomes such as employee performance (also referred to as proximal outcomes). Also, the effects of HR systems on more distal operational and financial outcomes are mediated by HR outcomes.

To summarise, studies have started investigating the black box issue in emerging and developing economies. In India, however, the studies are still scarce. There has been no study which has used the route of qualitative research to explore the black box. Future research should aim to continue ‘the search for holy grail’ by exploring the issue further.

Conclusion

Researchers (e.g., Bowen, Galang, and Pillai 2002; Zhu et al. 2008) highlight that strategic HRM research mainly has been limited to advanced market economies. India’s growing economic importance as an emerging market economy makes it an interesting research context. The growth of SHRM in India thus has wide ranging implications for researchers as well as practitioners.

However, we would like to acknowledge some limitations inherent in the study which should be considered in evaluating its findings. First, the review is specific to a single country, India. Future research could seek to extend the scope to other emerging economies. We also suggest a comparative review of India with other emerging economies or Western economies offers an interesting case. Second, the number of reviewed studies is less which reflects that the field of SHRM in India is still growing. Third, the review has been limited to articles discussing the HRM and performance linkages. Thus, we may have failed to cover articles on other relevant issues in SHRM like role of HR in cross-border mergers and acquisitions (Budhwar et al. 2009), strategic integration and devolvement of HRM (e.g. Budhwar and Sparrow 1997). Although not the focus of this paper, these topics could be of academic interest and exploring them further may have important implications. Despite these limitations, the article provides significant insights in the burgeoning field of SHRM in a promising world economy, India. The study suggests that while there has been an increasing volume of research on SHRM in India, the literature needs to more actively engage in conceptual and methodological debates. The review also highlights the areas of SHRM research that merit future attention in India. Furthermore, the study contributes to the extant literature by reviewing the state of empirical research in India on SHRM.

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Human resource management practices that improve the service quality of tour guides in the tourism industry

Abstract:

Service organizations are striving to increase the quality of the services they offer. They are also using a wide variety of people management techniques. These two activities can sometimes come into conflict. This article examines a variety of management practices, particularly from human resource management (HRM),

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Introduction and Background

Service quality has been broadly and firmly recognised in the tourism industry over the past decades to be the critical factor in achieving tourist satisfaction (Ap & Wong 2001; Zhang & Chow 2004). Tour guides are frontline employees in tourism industry whom provide assistance, information and cultural, historical and contemporary heritage interpretation for tourists. They also play an important role to deliver a quality service and experience, not only for business success but also critical to both in shaping tourists’ experience, the overall image of the destination they represent (Huang, Hsu & Chan, 2010).

Tourism is recognised as the most fast growing industry and has the ability to generate the most income and jobs when compared to all the other industries, in particular for those countries without too much natural resources for developing a sustainable primary and/or secondary industries. The tourist industry is also a rapid changing one in nature and structure, researcher has indicated the change is driven by tourists (Grabowski and Wang 2001). It is also believed that service performance relates closely to service quality. Tourist satisfaction is often based on the service quality tourists’ received (Lee, Graefe & Burns, 2004).

For tour guides being the front-line service providers, tourists will then place their judgement on their level of satisfaction on what the tour guides have delivered. On the other hand, it is crucial for tour guides to understand what tourists are expecting and by providing what services will increase their level of satisfaction; therefore training is essential to tour guides to become part of quality assurance mechanism (Grabowski and Wang 2001).

Previous researches have been mentioning how important is to assure the quality of tour guides (McGrath, 2007). Other study has discussed on a growing insight and understanding of the service quality aspect of tour guides (Heung, 2008) but not examining methods on how to assure and manage the quality. Indeed for countries that make wide use of tour guides and “where the guide can be bound to foster sustainable tourism”, tour guiding quality assurance should really be focused on (Wong 2001 and Huang & Weiler, 2010).

However, monitoring and controlling of the service quality of the tour guides has become very difficult. There are a number of reported incidents of rows and conflicts between tourists and the clienteles. Such reflects an alarming signal on the possible degrade of the professional ethics of tour guides while the industry has been pilloried for its poor service to tourists.As suggested by Schuler and Jackson (1987), application of appropriate Human resource practices could result in changing tour guide’s role behaviours and leading to the success of a quality service delivery.

Hitherto, literature has a wide coverage on human resource management (HRM)on the hotel industry and has identified the issues faced, measured the effects of HRM (Alleyne, Doherty and Greenidge2006) and current practice of the HRM is analysed (CetineL , Yolal and Emeksiz 2009). It is believed that the determinants of service quality in the hotel industry are considered in relation to HRM (Worsfold 1999). Tsaur and Lin (2004) have also discussed the role of HRM practices and service behaviours in promoting the service quality in hotel industries.

Unlike the fertile and wide literature coverage on practising HRM in hotel industry, there are not too much focused literature review on how tourist industry could make use of the best human resource practices to boost up its tour guides’ service quality which is beyond doubt an increasing challenge to the tourist industry yet to be managed. In considering the close similarity of hotel industry and tourist industry by nature of their operating environs, the researcher considers that it would be conducive to make reference to the proven HRM practices in hotel industry for boosting up the service quality of tour guides.

1.2 Aims and Objectives

The aim of this literature review is to critically analysis the human resource management practices to improve the service quality of tour guides in the tourism industry and to identify any gaps for future research.

Since the linkage between employee behaviors and the delivery of quality services has been well discussed in the services marketing and hospitality literature (Zeithaml and Bitner, 2000; Bettencourt & Gwinner, 1996) but not in tourism literature, the review will perform two main functions. First involves exploring the literature on service quality and to identify service gaps. The second will be implementing appropriate HRM practice to tour guides to minimize service gaps and to improve their service quality.

1.3 Limitations and Delimitations

Limitations of the Study

First, different countries have diverse tourism regulations and statutory control. It is difficult to apply a standard model of human resource practices to the world tourism industry. Different setting in government and tourism council structures necessitates careful consideration. The study is therefore limit to a general human resource management on improving tour guide’s service quality whereas any lessons learned in one destination in terms of implementation of practices may not be fully applicable in the other destination(s). Taking minimum wage and maximum working hours as an example, Hong Kong has just enacted the minimum wage ordinance with implementation date on 1.5.2011 without concurrently cover the maximum working hours. This largely differs from other developed democratic countries.

A second consideration is the possible cultural difference in different destinations. Tour guides in this study are indeed the key stakeholders. The level of general attitude and response towards situations could have direct bearings on the human resource management systems. Having said it, it is extremely difficult, if not totally impossible, to substantiate the direct relevancy of different culture within a particular setting of human resource practice. In the light of this, this study did not probe into cultural factor.

Delimitation of the Study

As to delimitate the above boundaries, an assumption on no cultural change and regulatory controls in the tourist industry environment was made. Accordingly, it is worth to replicate this research work in the future.

2.0Review of Relevant Literature

2.1 Roles of Tour Guides and Their Impact on Tourism Industry

A tour guide is a person who guides visitors in his choice of language in order to point out places of attraction to tourists from or abroad his home country (Sanyal, 2011). They play a multifaceted role in tourism. A guided tour helps to provide quality and safe experience which involves a guide, tourists and the environment. This objective is fulfilled when all of them interact at the same space at the same point of time (Belgradetours.com, 2010). They serve four major functions – instrumental, communicative, social and interactionary. An efficient tour guide is one who strikes the right balance and performs all the above mentioned four functions so that the tourists are extremely satisfied with the services provided (Reisinger & Steiner, 2006).

From the destination’s perspective, tour guides act as an interpreter to translate the culture and value of the destination (Ryan and Dewar, 1995). As from the tourist’s perspective, the development of technology has made them resort to a lot of guide books and the internet to know more about a destination. Most of them refer to these guide books and do not think of shelling out some extra pennies to hire a tour guide. However, tour guides are still very necessary as they can make a trip extremely special by providing tourists a lot of important information about a destination. Moreover most of this information may not be available in any guide books or on the internet. A guide may help tourists to explore some new place of attraction which may not be mentioned in the travel guide (Travellers Destination Guide, 2011). One of the most important functions a tour guide performs is that he or she helps one to plan a trip. Just reading some guides may lead tourists to miss certain tourist spots which may be attracting the attention. Yet, most internet materials promote only places which are well known. If a person wants to visit lesser known places then the best choice will be that of a tour guide. A tour guide has thorough knowledge about the destination. Most of them are locals of that particular area and hence have toured that area thereby knowing very small intricacies which most tourists may not know about.

Well qualified and knowledgeable tour guides can make the guided tour extremely intriguing by providing relevant, organized and entertaining heritage knowledge to tourists. They provide details about the destination which includes its history, artwork, monument, culture and attractions to the tourists and help the tourists to have a memorable holiday experience (sanfranshuttletours.com, 2008). A tourist guide can educate and narrate local folklores, history and culture of a certain destination or a certain monument or a place of attraction. Moreover, they are the best people who can direct as to what is the best item to shop from and where the shops are available. They can even take the tourists to preferable eateries which provide traditional food of the destination (amazines.com, 2011).

Tour guides play an important role in transferring cultural understanding. It is the responsibility of a tour guide to select an itinerary depending on the choices given by the tourists. A tourist may want to visit only national parks or religious places or may be a blend of all sorts of attractions ranging from historical monuments to scenic places. However, the tour guide needs to short list which places would be toured and accordingly the trip is planned. The guide provides and interprets the information about all the possible attractions which are being shown to the tourists. It is also the role of the tour guide to manage time effectively so that a number of attractions are showed within a limited period of time. This also requires to carefully assessing as to how much time should be spared to each attraction (McDonnell, 2001).

Tour guides play a very important role in educating and parting knowledge to the tourists, and they are a critical link between a country, its guests and their experiences. It is also a source of information and informal education and can greatly contribute to a destinations’ image. . An efficient tour guide will always find more tourists as the fame of the guide will reach by word of mouth. Hence, they are an important part of the travel and tourism industry

2.2 Service quality in tour guiding

Satisfaction of tourists is conceptualised to include three aspects or layers, namely satisfaction with the services provided by a tour guide, the tourist must be satisfied with the tour services provided and the overall experience of the tour must be a favourable one. Quality of services provided by tour guides has a direct effect on satisfaction of tourists with guiding services and an indirect effect on satisfaction attained from tour services and overall tour experiences provided (Huang, Hsu & Chan, 2010).

The quality of service provided by a tour guide is of considerable significance to the tourist. Most tourists have a favourable tour experience if the tour guide provides excellent service quality by touring through the most coveted points of attraction (Parasuraman et al., 1988). Also it is the responsibility and the job of the tour guide to give a blend of different points of attractions so that the tourists are not bored by their experience of touring out.

In regards of tour guiding, three major concepts would help in assessing the perceived service quality of tour guide, which are (i) core services delivery, (ii) customer orientation and (iii) communication effectiveness respectively (Heung, 2008).

For core service delivery, tour guide must be rich in knowledge content. The more the amount of information provided by the tour guide, the higher is the quality of service provided as most tourists rate their tour to be favourable if they gain a lot of knowledge about the destination through a tour guide. The tour guide must be able to provide information about the cultural and rich heritage of a particular destination and must be aware of the policies and practises that are followed by a certain country, state or region so as to enlighten the tourists about these aspects.

A tour guide needs to provide quality service and helps in easing the extra efforts of the tourists by obtaining the tickets and making reservations. They also check on the operating hours of a certain tourist spot and will help if the tourist experiences any kind of problem during the trip. Overall tourist logistics are handled by a tour guide and this helps the tourists to attain the rest and relaxation and an overall hassle free trip. Hence the service quality provided in this matter is extremely important for the tourist to have a memorable trip (Independent Traveler.com, 2011).

One of the main attributes that a tour guide must have expertise in is to effectively organize and handle tourist groups. This needs them to coordinate with various vendors and suppliers of goods and services in order to make the overall tourism experience favourable. Moreover they must be adept at dealing with all kinds of people. They mostly mingle with both local people and with foreigners. A tourist group consists of heterogeneous people and a tourist guide needs to tackle all of them including irate tourists. Time management is also an important factor which helps to determine service quality. The tour guide must effectively see to it that all the tourists adhere to the instructions given by the tour guide.

As for customer orientation, it is essential to denote the extent the guide puts tourists’ needs and interests ahead of themselves in providing superior value to tourists (Heung 2008). They need to take tourists to proper shops so that they may be able to purchase items which are locally popular. These may range from an assortment of food items to dress material and antiques. The tour guide must be able to identify the right shops which sell wares which are famous for the particular destination. For example, a tourist visiting an island destination may like to purchase some antiques made of sea shells or conch etc (Scribd.com, 2003). Moreover, tour guides should not focus on short-term self-interest and should not adopt a hard selling approach (Heung 2008).

Effective communication is a significant aspect for tourists to assess the service quality of tour guide (Ap & Wong 2001). The tour guide must be fluent in the local language of the country as well as foreign languages so that the tourists can be explicitly explained about the points of attraction regarding a destination. Language barrier is a very serious factor which can hinder the service quality provided by tour guides (luxury – vogue.com, 2010).

Although previous studies have identified different attributes on service quality (Zhang and Chow 2004) and have discussed the service quality aspect of tour guides (Wong 2001; Heung 2008), the studies are however taken in the tourists’ point of view but not on managerial perspective.

To conclude, a tour guide must have the ability to successfully communicate, interpret, handle emergency situations by solving problems and be polite so as to make the trip a memorable one. They must be friendly with the tourists and at the same time make them aware that it is the duty of the tourist to keep the place clean and not to litter around (Liao, Chen, Chang & Tseng, 2011).

2.3 The service gap

A tour guide is expected to provide diverse services so that the tour is a favourable one. All in all, the tourists expects a hassle free relaxed trip as all the travel logistics are supposed to be handled by the person who is responsible for the guided tour. It is the tour guide incumbent responsibility to coordinate with local vendors and other miscellaneous service agent to ensure that the tourist does not run into any problems in an alien destination.

Parasuraman et al. (1985) has identified the concept of service quality gap between tourists’ perceptions and their expectations. It has been often observed that there is a huge gap between the service provided by a tour guide and the satisfaction attained from the service by the tourist. When quality gaps occurred, it represents quality losses (Zeithaml et al. 1990).

Sometimes the tour itineraries may promise something which is impossible to attain and this puts the tour guide in a difficult position. However one of the main challenges of a tour guide is to meet the tourists’ expectations with limited resources and support provided by the Travel Company or agency responsible for taking the overall responsibility of the tour. Another challenge faced by tour guides is the language barrier and lack of communication skills which lead the customer to be dissatisfied (Prideaux, Moscardo & Laws, 2006).

Some of the critical issues which result in a service gap have been classified into six main categories such as immaturity of a particular tourist market, unhealthy business practises followed by travel agencies, issues related to human resources, exploitative policies of inbound tour operators, role conflict and mechanism followed to provide service quality (Sciencedirect.com, 2011).

One of the main reasons for a service gap between the services provided and the level of satisfaction attained is the fact that most travellers have different expectations which depends on the purpose of the trip. The reason for this gap is there is a lack of understanding in what tourists’ expect (Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons 2008). Take the case of a beach destination – youths may like to go to the beach and have fun whereas elderly people would like to relax and would avoid indulging in loud beach parties. Depending on the kind of people the tour guide has to provide the exact blend of services which satisfies them (Chinese tourists blog, 2010).

Most tourists deem a trip to be a memorable one if the services provided during shopping were excellent. Some of the areas which need improvement by tour guides are providing information, concerns about the tourists’ needs and abilities especially with regards to language barriers and the helpful attitude (Reisinger & Waryszak, 1994).

Low service quality perception will lead to a service gap to an extent of lack of key performance indicators which helps to monitor the performance of a tour guide (Zeithaml et al. 1990; smartdatacollective.com, 2010). Surveys should be conducted and proper resources must be allocated to tour guides to perform their professionalism.

All in all, the tour guide must put in a considerable effort so that the customer has a satisfied trip. Other than this, the travel service providers and other miscellaneous vendors involved should cooperate and coordinate effectively with the tour guides so that they provide a complete travel package to the tourists thereby attaining optimum satisfaction and reducing the service gap between the expectation of the tourists’ and the services provided by the tour guides.

2.4 Implementation of HRM to improve service quality on tour guiding

In the tourism industry, success is largely dependent on customer satisfaction, and much of the customer’s experience is dependent on tour guide’s behaviours (Jolliffe & Farnsworth 2003). As mentioned above, service quality has a direct effect on customer satisfaction (Huang, Hsu & Chan, 2010). Schuler and Jackson (1987) described the appropriate HR practices will result in tour guide’s role behaviours and linked to the success of delivering a quality service.

HRM consists of a range of “practices, spanning the acquisition of employees, employee development and employee retention” (Stone & Meltz, 1993) and is gradually recognized as a key to sustainable advantage (Pfeffer, 1994).HRM can be viewed as connotation which allows grouping together a series of sub – disciplines which are wholly concerned with the management of the workforce, such as industrial and labour relations, employee relations, organizational behaviour and personnel management. One of the main responsibilities of HRM is to provide for a range of people practises which can be integrated to direct a professional approach to employee management. Another important function of Human Resource is to provide for a competitive advantage over rivals by providing training and other people management skills so as to enhance the quality of the services provided to tourists. Also the activities conducted by the HRM should be fully integrated with the external environment demands.

The significance of hospitality and tourism employment in both developing and developed countries is recognised by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). According to this international body, tourism and travel related activities constitutes for about 8.7% of jobs or 230 million jobs worldwide. However, there is rising concern over the quality of services provided by this industry. Hence there is an increasing need for a proper human resource channel to act and improve upon the quality of jobs and services provided. Riley (1996) reaffirmed that the need for effective human resource to impart training to tour guides so that the quality of services provided by them to the tourists is improved.

Previous research has advocated in which identifying errors is one of the responses to quality service (Fache, 2000). The following discuss the critical aspects which are responsible for enhancing service quality and tackle contemporary and known challenges by implementing effective Human Resource Management to tour guides.

Workforce Planning

One of the critical dimensions for tourism to be successful is its work force. Workforce management is not a new phenomenon. However its importance has been recently recognized particularly in the fields of managerial implications and impacts in tourism in developing countries. One of the critical point of concern is the ambiguity of the work functions and work environments of tour guides and representatives of tour operators. There is an increasing need for human resource managers to effectively strategize and implement the role and functions of a tour guide to provide quality services to potential tourists. Nowadays with new breakthroughs in technology and science, in many parts the role of tour guides is being replaced by flexible and electronic alterations at tourism sites, such as robots that have been programmed to converse in diverse languages thereby imparting knowledge to potential tourists on site environment and historical and current events related to the site (Baum, 2006).
Recently, an experiment was conducted by using a robot to act as a tour guide in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The robot named Minerva, successfully operated for 2 weeks and during the monitored 94 hours of operation provided 620 guided tours visiting about 6228 exhibits in the museum. The introduction of robots to act as tour guides is a challenge and hence there is an immense and urgent need for human resource interaction and implementation of proper training to tour guides in order to enhance performance expectations. However, one must also keep in mind that robots cannot act as tour guides in all tourism sites. Moreover the user friendly information and interaction which a human being can provide cannot be delivered by a robot (Thrun et.al, 2000).

Recruitment

Human Resource Management plays an important part in recruiting and training potential tour guides so that they provide knowledge and information to potential tourists. The tour guides is one of the main determinants of a successful tour experience and hence the quality of service provided is of extreme significance. The starting point for delivering a quality service is that there must be a quality tour guide to produce and deliver the service (Redman & Mattews 1998) and it is important to select tour guide with the right attitude and behaviour and induct them into a quality culture.

The core competencies needed to be inspected during recruitment are knowledge, guest service orientation, personal and professional style and communication skills (Zeithaml and Bitner, 2000). When potential tour guides are identified, human resource should also be conscientious on the screening process to pick the most suitable candidates (Zeithaml and Bitner, 2000).

Human resource must ensure that the tour guide has diverse knowledge related to the village, state, city or country through which the person conducts a guided tour. This means the tour guide must have knowledge of the history of the place. He or she must know about the culture, climate, geography, economic conditions, ethnic groups, food, well known tourist attractions, flora and fauna and birds.
Also the tour guide must be fluent in conversing with the local language prevalent in the region and the language in which he or she has to deliver his or her speech or oration regarding the tour to potential tourists. The human resource must consider this as one of the main attributes while recruiting a tour guide. The tour guide must have clarity of speech and thought. A tour guide who provides ambiguous information to tourists can result in irking the tourists. Moreover the tour guide must not speak softly and poorly. This will result in a language barrier between the tourist and the tour guide. ]

Another important aspect which human resource personnel should ensure is that the tour guide is an effective communicator and interpreter. The tour guide must successfully interpret the cultural and physical landscape for their clients. Effective usage of techniques of interpretation helps in bridging the gap between cultural differences that may exist between the host and the tourist. (Yu, Weiler & Ham, 2002).

It is important for human resource to recruit the most appropriate tour guides for the job to further enhance the quality of service they delivered by the following sections.

Induction, Orientation and On-boarding

The human resource team is responsible for providing proper induction, orientation and on the job training to newly recruited tour guides. Tour guides must be provided with specific details on organizing and conducting a tour successfully. The tour guides must know that tourists expect their tours to be entertaining, enjoyable, safe and educational. Also the tourists expect good quality comfortable accommodations and varied food which may satiate the gourmet. Other than these, the tour guides must fit into their plan some time for shopping, meeting some local people and photography. It is very important that human resource consistently works to providing training and refresher courses to tour guides. This is very important as a tour guide must be aware of the general and current affairs of the region where he or she conducts guided tours. Therefore it is very important that the guide keeps on studying and imparts historical as well as current information related to the place to potential tourists. Refresher courses must be provided on bus check, no smoking on the bus, seating order, embossing and debussing, free days for the visitor to pursue leisure activities, tour guides’ discussion of specific topics and so on. This is necessary as tour guides should not provide wrong information due to their ignorance. Hence the human resource personnel must also attach a lot of importance to provide on board training to tour guides. (Noam, 1999).
Human Resource also must provide extra attention to the role of tour guides in intercultural settings. It has been observed that there is a cultural gap between the visitor and the visited. Tourists join guided tours for diverse reasons; however there is a wish to acquire rewarding and new intercultural experiences and also to avoid language barriers in an alien country or a region. One of the main determinants is the performance of a tour guide especially in such intercultural environments. The guide influences the places tourists’ visits and the interaction made with the host culture. Almost all tourists rely on the tour guide for language translation and striking the perfect balance between immersion and cultural buffering. The tour guide should act as a successful mediator between social settings and host communities. An effective tour guide is one who uses a lot of comparisons and examples to interpret the foreign world in terms of things which establishes familiarity between the visitor and tries to minimise the effects due to unfamiliarity by emphasising on possible connections. Hence the tour guide plays and important role in imparting potential tourism related information and knowledge to visitors.

Human resource should let tour guides realize all the basic aspects and basic requirements for their job, for example the importance of punctuality, informing visitors of safety regulations and politeness (Zhang and Chow 2004), while tour guides needed to pay attention in the above aspects to maintain and keep up the good service standards.

Skills Management

A tourism industry in an area is successful if the tour guides in that particular area have the skills to provide an enriching tourism experience to the potential client. They act as the front line staffs that are responsible to provide authentic information to tourists. A tour guide must have good communication and interpersonal skills. They are the ones who sell a tour package and are wholly responsible for ensuing satisfaction to tourists. A good tour guide must have the skill to effectively act as a buffer among the tourists, arranging transportation, social environment, problem solving and interpretation tactics, insulating travellers from difficulties thereby establishing a safe haven for tourists. It is because tour guides act as intermediaries between the unknown environment and tourists.

The human resource personnel should apply an importance – performance-based model which stresses the need for tour guides to have proper skills to enhance their level or performance which will ultimately result in producing exemplary services to tourists. The importance – performance model is very effective tool which helps to judge the importance and performance attributes (Zhang & Chow, 2004).

Researches have pointed the problems in which tour guides failed in meeting tourists’ expectations to provide sufficient assistance and advice for solving their problems. Tour guides are the people who are responsible to tackle and solve emerging problems during the tours and tourists have complained that tour guides are no enthusiastic in giving help, or the guides did not have the ability to solve the problems that emerged (Zhang & Chow, 2004).
Therefore human resource should be able to manage the below mentioned skills to enhance the efficiency and quality of tour guides:

a)He or she must have the skills to act as a leader

b)Must impart knowledge to tourists

c) Must act as an ambassador who presents the destination in such a way that the tourist is tempted to revisit the place

d)Must act as a perfect host by creating a comfortable environment

e)Must act as a facilitator of various services by knowing when and how to fulfil the above four roles and

f) Must show confidence on problem solving.

Training and Development

The human resource team plays an important part in developing effective tour guides. Human resources must provide trainings for tour guides to develop them being customer-orientated and focus on delivering quality to ensure service performance (Zeithaml and Bitner, 2000). Previous literature has discussed human resource training can increase employees’ job-related knowledge, skills and abilities and result in higher performance (Bartel 1994) and consistency on quality standards (Zhang, Cai and Liu 2002).

One of the main attributes that a tour guide must have is that of education and proficiency of language. They must have adequate knowledge about the place or region in which they provide guided tours. This includes knowing about the local culture and traditions of that place, tourist attractions, food, shopping, problem solving and decision making tactics, helping tourists in times of difficulty and arranging the entire logistics of travel which includes transportation like arranging tickets, entry passes etc., providing decent accommodation etc. Human resource must train tour guides to act as professionals and deliver impeccable service to tourists by meeting the above criteria. Language training is another important aspect which helps a tour guide to be confident of the language he or she converses with the visitor. Also training and developmental programs should be conducted from time to time so that guides develop good product knowledge, positive attitude with respect to service, help, willingness, empathy, veneration etc. and good communication and interpretation skills which also includes language proficiency. (Ap & Wong, 2001). Human resource personnel also should provide training to tour guides about the conservation and ecological principles so that they can effectively support sustainable tourism in an area.

The third aspect which must be effectively covered by the human resource team is that tourists may prefer different kinds of tour guides who may act as mentors, pathfinders or the official tour guide. The training must be a bit different provided to such tour guides so that they can meet the expectations of tourists. (London College of Communication, 2011). Many tourists would like to explore a region and would like the idea to visit far flung areas which are not visited by most people. For such kinds, the training provided needs to be a bit different from the usual training provided to tourists. Moreover, tour guides who cater particular kind of tourist destination like coastal tourism or adventure tourism needs to be trained on differently.

In most countries the tour operators are stressing on developing high quality tours which caters to provide excellent services to tourists to have an enjoyable tour. An integral part of this is to provide adequate training to tour guides so that they are able to match the expectations of potential tourists (Black & King, 2002). There are niche tourists who may offer the price to avail luxury services be it accommodation and the assorted products outlining the same. One of them is tailor made package which also includes exclusive guide service. For this specific crowd it is very necessary for travel agents to provide flawless service so that the customer chooses to book the next tour through the same operator.

Tour guides should have some attributes which a leader must have. First of all, the guide must have expert knowledge so that he or she can lead by the power of expertise. Moreover, the person must win and sustain the trust of the small group he takes care of when on travel. A tour guide is one who readily answers to the queries put forth by the small group of people he or she has to mentor and guide. (productiveflorishing.com, 2010).

Human resource personnel should ensure that the problems faced by tour guides are resolved. Many times they may get involved in a conflicting role and it is the duty of the human resource team to intervene and resolve conflicts. At times, these people may find it challenging to satisfy the group of tourists with the limited resources available. The human resource team should conduct training programs which makes them adept to handling such untoward situations. The job of a tour guide entails handling varied persons and one may need to be commanding at times. These kinds of attributes need to be developed so that one may find it easy to handle a group of foreigners in a city or region.

Hence, the human resource must see to it that guides are properly groomed and trained and can meet up every expectations ranging from problem solving skills, to establishing two way communication process to friendly behaviour. The human resource personnel should provide time to time training which may help these guides to be updated with the latest information. The tourism industry is volatile and a slightest change affects the same. Hence, these people must develop a progressive and competitive attitude to provide the best services to tourists.

Some tour guides regard training as a waste of time instead of an opportunity to advance their quality and career (Zhang, Cai and Liu 2002). The human resource on its part must ensure that such guides attain job satisfaction and should motivate and encourage them to perform better enable provide the tourists the best holiday experience.

Personnel Administration

Personnel administration should be capable to handle workplace issues such as harassment, discrimination and violence. It is important for the personnel department to work within the law in which the department needs to fully understand laws related to the workplace. Further it needs to follow the right procedures and actions to deal with any upcoming issues. A workplace climate is a fundamental issue in supporting tour guide’s work and service quality and in turn is proposed to be reflected in customer experiences (Schneider, White and Paul 1998).

Salary and Compensation in Wage

The human resource management should effectively implement minimum standards of wages and hours of working to tour guides. Besides, scholars have proposed a potential relationship between the fair treatment of tour guides and excellence in service delivery (Bettencourt and Brown 1997). The department also needs to ensure the tour guide’s working conditions and problems on minimum wage and overtime work and always keep thorough record of all tour guides. They must not be low paid so that they provide good quality services to tourists.

Previous research has identified the problem in which the basic salary of tour guides is rather low, some of the guiding tours even operate without guide-fees, and some tour guides even need to pay a certain amount of money to tour operators to bid tour group (Wong, Ap, Yeung, & Sandiford (1998a). K. Wong, J. Ap, K. Yeung and P. Sandiford. An evaluation of the need to upgrade the service professionalism of Hong Kong’s tour co-ordinators, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong (1998).Wong, Ap, Yeung, & Sandiford (1998a). Therefore, tour guides rely heavily on shopping commissions as their major income. The low rating of this factor suggests an urgent need to regulate and monitor the unhealthy industry practices of tour operators and tour guides .A lowly paid tour guide will not be able to obtain optimum satisfaction from the job and this will lead to performance issues thereby leading to poor service quality to tourists (Goeldner & Ritchie, 2006). The tourism industry is a low paid industry and most tour guides are employed on daily wages which are too little for sustenance. This is an area of concern which human resource must intervene and resolve. They must provide for a standard industrial classification for jobs done by tour guides (Christensen & Nickerson, 1995). Nevertheless it is always powerful to align tour guide’s interest by providing them rewards when they have achieved certain performance target as human resource perceive tour guides are always sensitive about the pay decisions (Rynes et al. 2004).

Time Management

One of the important aspects which tour guides must focus on is effectively managing time so that the tourists gets to see and enjoy the best package within a limited period of time. In order to effectively achieve this tour guide must organize the daily schedule and set goals and priorities (time – management – guide.com, 2011). Previous research has done a research survey to investigate the relationship between tour guide performance and tourist’s satisfaction in the context of China’s tourism industry, result has shown that “tour guides are punctual” and “tour guides try their best to follow itinerary and daily schedule” are two of the main criteria in achieving tourists’ satisfaction (Huang, Hsu and Chan 2010).

Employee Benefits Administration

The human resource management which extends in covering tour guides under the program should ensure that they are entitled to certain privileges and benefits so that they derive job satisfaction. When tour guides are working in a good quality of work life, there will be a greater opportunity to affect their jobs, their contributions, overall effectiveness and the service they provide (Champion-Hughes 2001). Tour guides should be provided with Tourist Guide Passes which will avail them to enter tourist attractions including museums and wildlife parks and zoos without paying entry fees. Also during peak tourist seasons they should be entitled to free or discounted fares when they need to use the public transport. Such benefits will help in delivering better service quality to tourists. (Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, 2010) Other than this the type of tour that a guide conducts also entails him or her certain benefits. An all-inclusive tour will make the tour guide to get more benefits and earnings whereas a day to day tour will result in less benefits and earnings (jobmonkey.com, 2011).

Personnel Cost Planning

The human resource management must strive for effective personnel cost planning. They must aim for strategic planning so as to get the best services at the least cost. The total planning process must entail both management and operation planning and planning the cost incurred for hiring personnel should be effectively stressed upon. The human resource must effectively employ a cost – benefit analysis which helps in finding out the accrued expenditures in comparison with the costs involved. Depending on the costs and the revenues the human resource must effectively draw a balance so that they main attain maximum revenues by minimising costs and proper allocate the costs to other fields such as training and development to improve tour guide’s service quality (Steiner, 1997)

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal is a standard practise which is followed in most organizations and industries. Previous studies have suggested that appraisal may play a key role to accomplish in the development, communication and to monitor quality standards (Deblieux, 1991; Fletcher, 1993).

It is one of the most important jobs for human resource to evaluate tour guide’s performance (Behery and Paton 2008). It entails in considering the current state of performance of an employee over a period of time. (Bretz, Milkovich, Read, 1992).The evaluation process is argued to have a larger impact on tour guide’s job behaviour than all the other managerial practices (Behery and Paton 2008). Performance appraisal is used as a widely supportive medium to effectively employ it as a measure for effective human resource management function (Ahmed, 1999). It is very necessary that performance appraisal is extended to tour guides so as to obtain better quality of services.

Researchers have argued that performance appraisal and feedback will directly affect tour guide’s accomplishments, no matter the feedback is positive or negative (Greller and Parsons 1992). The human resource management must effectively implement performance appraisal among tour guides as this will help to motivate the tour guides to give quality services to tourists as they know that their work will be judged on certain parameters. According to the quality of service provided, their wages or / and salaries will be appraised. The human resource management should implement this as a part of the package in order to provide maximum satisfaction to clients.
Besides, the use of reward schemes could also be applied to support quality initiatives. It is discussed that financial incentives have contribution to quality management and is to “risk demeaning the employees and attaching a price tag to their efforts” (Crosby 1980).

Labour Relations

The human resource management must adhere to provide a platform for cordial labour relations which help in increasing the quality of output. The work of tour guides entails emotional aspects of labour. Emotional labour occurs in face to face or voice to voice interactions with tourists, the emotional display has certain rules and display of emotions to influence the emotions of other people’s attitudes and behaviours. Many tour guides may display fake emotions as they think that their job needs this type of emotion to be displayed (Wong & Wang, 2009).Human resource must strategically plan and implement participation, communication and involvement of tour guides by providing them equal opportunities thereby enabling good quality of working life (Leighton & Painter, 2001). The human resource team should effectively attempt to understand the employment relationship with relation to contemporary changes taking place in the country and the society. They must encourage ethics to be a part of the work culture while promoting and implementing this to tour guides (Ackers, 1994).

An employee relation is also recognised as internal marketing, in which it is critical in creating service mindedness for tour guides (Gronroos 1983). The practice will be able to raise a supportive and participative employee relations climate which could lead to positive improvement s in perceived service quality.

Moreover lack of recognition by human resource is a vital issue which tends to affect tour guide’s service quality. Often human resources are not willing to offer tour guides competitive remuneration and treat them as part time or casual employees while they are actually employed as a full-time worker. Lack of recognition will further result in a high turnover rate whereas tour guides will decide to swap to other industries with more favourable pay and working conditions (Mak, Wong and Chang 2010).

Retention

High turnover rate can result in a significantly negative impact to the tourism industry. Turnover represents a loss of skills and will affect the efficiency and quality of service delivered. Reasons of turnover may include the seasonality of the tourism industry, retirement, dismissal and resignation, the challenge for human resource is that they can never predict when will turnover happens (Staw, 1980). To replace turnover tour guides, human resource need to recruit and train up another suitable person for the job to reach appropriate quality levels. Besides high turnover rates will result in low productivity and poor service.

Therefore human resource faces additional challenge and should have implement appropriate strategies for retention. The costs pay for retention such as offering a more attractive salary, improving working conditions and job security will definitely offset the costs for recruiting and training new ones (Berry 1983). Retention strategies will result in quality improvement and only satisfied tour guides can satisfy tourists (Rust et al. 1996).

In most areas licensed tour operators conduct guided tours wherein they educate and interpret information regarding the site to clients. Nowadays, tour guides are being recognized as a potential medium to deliver messages regarding protection and conservation of ecological reserves, minimal impact behaviour and heritage values. Hence, the human resource management needs to research, develop, trial and then refine a tool which aims to monitor the effectiveness of interpretation experiences conducted by tour guides on guided tours in natural as well as cultural environments. Area managers operating in professional and general associations and bodies must intervene and recommend ways to support and manage tour guides and operators. They must focus on identifying a process through which tour operators can clearly transmit messages on focussing on sustainable tourism in a particular area to their clients. This will not only benefit the particular area but will also help in promoting current and future tourists (Armstrong & Weiler, 2003).

Tour guides and operators need to think beyond the limited research that they undertake in order to impart information to clients. They need to devise new and innovative skills in order to satisfy their clients which may be in finding out a new tourist attraction in the same area of a new shopping outlet which may intrigue the tourists. In order to get this done properly, there must be an organization or a body which monitors their performance and this is where experienced professionals in human resource must intervene in order to get the best results achieved from tour guides and operators in meeting the final goal of attaining optimum job and client satisfaction by maximizing their service quality.

3.0Recommendations and Conclusion

3.1 Conclusion

The improvement of tour guide’s service quality relies on the human resources concerted efforts. In the age of competition and fast paced technology it is very essential that tour guides are one of the most visible and critical players in tourism industry. They have the features to provide excellent quality of services so as to make an impressive tour experience. It is the sole responsibility of the tour guides to meet this objective. The acknowledgement of their importance and the effort in raising their level of skill and competence will result in the potential to generate greater profit and efficiency, and benefit the tourism industry as a whole.

Since there are research gaps in which previous studies have not focused on how to manage tour guide’s service quality, and has left human resource management for tour guides an underdeveloped area, this paper has critically discussed the human resource practices to improve service quality of tour guides in the tourism industry.

In particular, there are three main perceptions in assessing the tour guiding service, they are core services delivery, customer orientation and communication effectiveness. Based on the three aspects, the service provided by tour guides will have a direct influence on tourists’ satisfaction and indirect effect on satisfaction attained from tour services and overall tour experiences provided.

This study identifies the service gap often occurs between the service provided by a tour guide and the satisfaction attained from the service by a tourist. The gap represents a quality loss. Human resource is insisted as one of the critical issues causing the service gap, hence there should be a set appropriate human resource practice to minimize the service gap and to monitor the performance of tour guides.

Human resource consists of a range of practices such as recruiting, spanning the acquisition of employees, provides training and development and employee retention. Through all the practices, HRM could direct a professional approach to employee management as well as providing a competitive advantage over rivals by training and skills management to enhance the service quality of employees.

The human resource team must effectively train and manage tour guides especially because they need to develop and hone skills to enhance the service they provided. This is where experienced professionals in human resource must intervene in order to get the best results achieved from tour guides and operators in meeting the final goal of attaining optimum job and client satisfaction by maximizing their service quality.

3.2 Recommendations

It is not overemphasizing the extent of professionalism of tour guides performance in a destination; one poor experience can eventually ruin the former hard-earned reputation. Therefore concerning tour guides’ service quality and professionalism, destination government should help on ensuring a minimum level of service professionalism, to draw up a relevant Code of Conduct and ethic practices for tour guides and to review the disciplinary mechanism in anticipation of additional regulatory function.

To further enhance the service standards, destination government could also set up tour guides association and to design a standard tour guide training course together with an examination system to ensure the quality of tour guides are standardized within the destination tourism industry.

If the above-mentioned recommendations are implemented to destination tourism, it will certainly lead to visible improvements in the training and practice of tour guiding in Hong Kong. Leadership from tour operators and government is also required in taking a intensive and determined effort to improve tour guides’ level of professionalism, as their actions influence, to a great extent, the role and activities of the tour guide.

3.3 Opportunities for Future Research

As this paper limits to a general human resource management on improving tour guide’s service quality, future studies could critically discuss the human resource practice to improve service quality on a particular destination, comprising the cultural change, regulatory control and the overall tourism industry environment. Future studies can also focus on implementing human resource strategy in a developing country arising from the recommendations of its government planning on tourism, to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan and to outline challenges.

Moreover, human resource can specifically train tour guides to promote sustainability of destination tourism. Sustainable tourism is very important as it has the potential to stimulate the implementation of sustained development by following a holistic, interdisciplinary and integrative approach combining different aspects of existing tools to develop sustainable tourism. Future studies could examine the feasibility of implementing human resource management on tour guide to help on promoting or maintaining the sustainability of destination tourism.
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Differences between Gore’s human resource management and traditional HRM?

Introduction

People involves in any organization as human resource. No matter of the bigness of the firm, its abilities and performance is depends on its people. In 2000, Gibbs emphasized human resources as the most valuable and unique assets for any organization. Human resource management is the management of people within an organization. The aim of human resource management is to maximize the prolificacy of an organization by optimizing the effectiveness of its employees. As Edward L. Gubman observed in the Journal of Business Strategy, “the basic mission of human resources will always be to acquire, develop, and retain talent; align the workforce with the business; and be an excellent contributor to the business. Those three challenges will never change.” It is impossible that a business can be successful without managing human resource effectively. Michael Armstrong articulated his book “A Handbook of Human Resource Management” that a successful business is most likely to be achieved if the personnel policies and procedures of the enterprise are closely linked with, and make a major contribution to, the achievement of corporate objectives and strategic plans. In the past few decades, many human resource management studies and researches had done by the professional, they were trying to develop a new school of human resource management to manage human resource more effective and efficient to achieve higher organizational performance. W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) is a global organization with a history of more than 50 years. According to Steward and Brown (2009), Gore is benefited from their taking a job design strategy to replace formal planning and role assignment with a process in which roles are evolved. The strategy is successful because it fits with the overall strategy of differentiation through innovation. In doing so, Gore hires creative employees and then facilitating them to use their unique talents by encouraging new ideas from them.

What is the different between Gore’s human resource management and traditional human resource management?

Gore’s human resource management has used the strategic human resource management instead of traditional human resource management, it emphasized the human resource management integrated into the business strategy and improving the productivity of employees to make the business success. It can avoid some typical problems of the traditional human resource management.

Human resource management is the administrative actions related to the issues related to human resource. Human resource management generally focuses on the functional activities like planning, staffing, training, appraisal, orientation and communication. Human resource management also focuses on supervision, monitoring, employee motivation, compensation and skills management. Those approaches aimed to improve employee performance, ensure employees compliance to the procedures and achieve the goals of the organization. Unfortunately, the employees always complain that the traditional activities of human resource management is inflexible, not emphasizing to achieve the organizational goal, different form the employees expectations, lack of responsiveness and lack of line management experience.

Conclusion

The reason of the employees complains on the traditional human resource management activities are the business world keeps changing but the organizations are still using the old method to manage their human resource. The world has changed, the demographic has changed, the living standard increased, the educational level enhanced, it is impossible to use the traditional management to manage the modern reality. Therefore, a new school of human resource management has been developed in the last two decade, named “Strategic Human Resource Management”.

Strategic human resource management is about the integration of human resource management strategies with the organization strategic goals and objectives.

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International human resource management

Introduction

Nowadays, most companies have been expanding internationally, many positions have to be filled which range from entry level positions to those of senior management. As more companies go global, the need for the transfer of skills and knowledge becomes essential if the company is to succeed internationally. To ensure that the subsidiary’s goals, practices and strategies are in line with the parent company, it is necessary to have senior management filled by qualified individuals capable of leading the new, inexperienced team and steering it in the right direction. In addition, to ensure that the subsidiary inherits the culture and practices from the parent company, managers from the parent company might be deployed to fill senior management positions at the subsidiary. However, other positions at the subsidiary might be filled by personnel from local countries rather than the parent or host country. Personnel who do not hail from the host country are defined as expatriates. While recruiting the expertise of the expatriates might be advantageous, they bring a unique set of problems which need to be dealt with to ensure their efficiency. Although there are disadvantages associated with employing expatriates, there are measures that companies can adopt to ensure that the impact of these problems would be decreased.

Advantages of Expatriates

Expertise and Skills

Employing the expertise of expatriates can help a company accelerate the development of its subsidiary or return it to profitability. The skills that they already possess will enable the expatriates to pass on their knowledge and skills to their subordinates and train them in the relevant skills and knowledge. When expatriates are selected for foreign assignments, they have to be chosen based on their skill levels and their ability to adapt. Therefore, when they pass their knowledge and skills to the employees at the subsidiary, the company is able to expand successfully. Despite having a successful 20 year run in Japan, a subsidiary company’s business volumes had decreased, causing its profit levels to dip. HTM Corporation concluded that this situation required the use of expatriates with high levels of technical and communication skills to return the business to its profitable level (HTM Corporation, 2009). As seen in this case, the expertise of expatriates is able to help companies, previously profitable without expatriates, return to those levels as they have sufficient skills.

Expatriates are able to bring lot of experience to the subsidiary company because the unique experiences may enable them to help the company succeed through innovation and creativity (Radio New Zealand International, 2009). Expatriates are also able to fill vacancies when the host country nationals do not have the relevant skills or expertise (Pacific Bridge Inc, 2009). This is an alternative to providing on-the job training for the locals.

Company Culture and Practices Passed Down Easily

The parent company culture and relevant practices and procedures can be passed down quickly if training of the local employees is conducted by expatriates from the parent company. The ideals, vision and mission of the parent company can be demonstrated through the expatriate. If the expatriate embodies these principles of the company, the culture and practices of the parent company can be transferred to the subsidiary quickly and effectively.

Disadvantages of expatriates

High Costs

Although Employing expatriates are beneficial to a company, it is an expensive process. Relocating an expatriate with a family which can be time consuming and costly to the company. For instance, hiring an expatriate to work in China can cost as much as five times of hiring a local. This is due to the package that the expatriate is to receive as compensation. This compensation and benefits package usually consists of a hardship allowance, housing, insurance, tax and home leave, amongst other benefits. The compensation and benefits package is usually attractive to expatriates as a form of financial advancement. This makes the move to the subsidiary company and country attractive. To ensure that it is attractive enough to entice the highly skilled and experienced personnel, the compensation and benefits package has to result in a higher standard of living or the promise of career advancement. The company has to support its high costs, while the expatriate benefits from this package.

Other than the compensation and benefits that the expatriate receives, the parent company also has to invest time, money and effort into pre-departure training and incur other costs such as sending the potential expatriate on a trip to assess the location. Hence, there will be a loss of man-hours.

As a result of the high costs involved, it is substantial that the expatriate is well prepared for the move. This will reduce the likelihood of expatriate failure which will incur more costs.

Discontent among Locals

Due to highly trained, educated and skilled expatriates joining the new subsidiary, locals might be discontented when they feel that their opportunities are being taken away. Local mid-level managers might feel that they do not have the opportunity to advance in their careers. This would encourage the talent to leave the company in order to get promote. Consequently, staff turnover might rise because of expatriates holding all the senior positions in the company. This discontent among the locals could be damaging to the subsidiary company. If the company acquires a reputation for poor career advancement opportunities, talented locals are unlikely to pursue a career in that company. Therefore, the company should utilise expatriates while it is in its initial phase but train local managers to succeed the expatriate.

Adapting to the New Environment

Utilising expatriates to fill key positions is a risky task because of moving an expatriate and the family requires time and effort. An expatriate with children and a working spouse might be concerned about whether the spouse and children will be able to integrate into the local environment easily. To ensure ease of integration, the expatriate must be flexible and open-minded. The company also has to prepare the expatriate for the move to the new country.

Expatriates, unfamiliar with the local environment and location, require more time to adapt to their new life. As a result of this unfamiliarity, the expatriate is likely to be less efficient and productive for an initial period. With low productivity, the profits of the company might decrease. Therefore, to reduce the impact of low productivity as a result of adjusting to their new life, expatriates should receive well-structured pre-departure training, preparing them on what they are to expect in the subsidiary company and country. Also, expatriates should be hired on the basis of their ability and willingness to adapt to new environments. Alternatively, they should be allowed a period of time to settle into the new country before starting work.

Bibliography

HTM Corporation, (2009). Expatriates in Tokyo, Japan – Outsourcing by HTM. Retrieved on 11th March 2011 from http://www.htm.co.jp/Astrategicallyusingexpacts.htm

Pacific Bridge Inc., (2009). Asia – Compensation, Hiring and Retaining Employees in South East Asia. Retrieved on 11th March 2011 from http://www.pacificbridge.com/publication.asp?id=58

Pacific Bridge Inc., (2002). Asian HR eNewsletter, Retrieved on 11th March 2011 from http://www.pacificbridge.com/newslettervol.asp?vol=2&no=7

Radio New Zealand International, (2009). Samoa’s Prime Minister Defends Hiring Expatriates for SamoaTel. Retrieved on 12th March 2011 from

http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=46480

Tripod, (n.d.). Use of Expatriates, Retrieved on 12th May 2011 from http://members.tripod.com/cometonada/HRM.htm

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Human Resource Analysis Of Air National

Introduction

Air National, Europe’s largest airline company, dominated other carriers in the 1980s onward onto the late 1990s aided by a highly regulated civil aviation market in which competition was managed through harmonious inter-airline, competitor, and government relationships, which enabled the domination of markets by national carriers including AN. The mid 1980s however saw a change in AN’s fortunes with its privatization in 1986 amidst prolonged economic recession and deregulation of the civil aviation industry in Europe and North America. These changes reduced the old corporation’s potential political influence, and necessitated a restructuring to make the company attractive to sceptical investors which entailed downsizing of assets and workforce, an endeavour which required the planning and implementation of a new set of business and human resource management strategies. This paper investigates AN’s competitive and HR strategy basing its analysis on relevant theories.
Human resource management is an approach to the management of an organization’s employees both individually and collectively (its workforce), as valued assets contributing to the attainment of its objectives (Purcell 2003). Its main responsibilities are the selection, training, assessment and rewarding of employees and oversight on the organization’s leadership and culture. The primary focus of the human resource theories and practice is the aligning of people and organizations better for their mutual benefit (Purcell 2005).

Issues affecting AN’s business strategy shift

The issues that necessitated a change in AN’s competitive strategy and the re-engineering of the company include external factors such as the prolonged recession, deregulation in the civil aviation industry, the heightening of the industry-wide price wars with the emergence of discount airlines and a costly battle for market share, and the effect of terrorism which has had a huge adverse effect on international air travel; as well as, internal factors such as its privatization, huge debts, labour costs, and resultant losses. These factors affected AN’s business and it therefore had to find new ways to better its competitive advantage so as to sustain itself and maintain its market share in both domestic and international passenger traffic.
AN’s initial transformation strategy seeking to adopt a low-cost competitive structure failed forcing a change to the differentiation (“added-value”) strategy which entails the prioritization of high quality customer service and the reorganization of management structure with greater focus on operational issues, and the launch of its discount airline operated as a separate company, to cover market demand for discount airlines.
The improvement of HR policies at Air National to better manage its staff contributing to its improved performance can be applied to John Storey’s distinguishing features relating to people management (Storey 1989), broadly categorized into four outlines distinguishing the various elements. Among these outlines is the beliefs and assumptions which characterize AN’s HR policies which are focused on business need with values placed on the objectives of the company rather than on customs, procedures and norms, characteristic of personnel management and industrial relations (Storey 1989). AN’s restructuring features a heightened focus on the “customer-first” programme which prompted reviews of their employee management and customer interface to enhance this focus. This new strategy entails renewed emphasis on empowerment of employees and their commitment, with the foundation being its recognition that being a service industry, its people are its most important asset on which its survival depends upon.
Conflicts within the company are de-emphasized with managers required to give up control adopting shared power, a consensus approach to decision making which seeks to enhance employee participation and thereby improve their performance. This restructuring also entailed the removal of demarcations between craft groups with consequent reorganization into integrated workgroups and multi-skilled teams with harmonized functions enhancing focus on operational issues and key tasks rather than on rules, customs and management direction inherent in its earlier structure.
In the strategic aspects outline (Storey 1989), key relations within AN are integrated to focus on the “customer-first” strategy, AN’s central corporate plan, with the scrapping of hitherto detached piecemeal initiatives characterizing its old structure. The application of the line management outline with regard to managerial role applies to the management of AN transformed through its new visionary leaders focused on the new strategic shift, which differs from its initial form of management which was mainly transactional and focused on demarcations of duties and responsibilities (Storey 1989).
Management was re-focused on route divisions each led by a general manager with authority over business development and particularly, marketing. A prized management skill (Storey 1989) in the new structure was facilitation of employees towards the realization of overall objectives, with the company investing on training programs for senior management based on the importance of trust, motivation and visionary leadership.
Looking at the key levers outline in John Storey’s distinguishing features (Storey 1989), AN initiated a profit-related pay system in its transformed strategy so as to motivate its staff better, enhance their performance, job engagement and commitment, ensuring that employees are rewarded for their input, skill levels and competence (Purcell 2005). This pay strategy was reached at through comprehensive consultations with the union to which senior management has developed an open relationship and strategic partnerships, characterized by team briefings and regular formal consultation meetings with its representatives.
Communication in AN’s new structure is increased with the encouragement of consensus building and joint decision making which further enhances performance. Training and development is enhanced with investment and the institution of training series for staff and senior management on key business development issues.
The company’s conflict handling is also improved with wide ranging foci of attention through the engagement of unions and active involvement of management. Disputes in this new arrangement are quickly resolved through AN’s management reminding its employees of the company’s commitment to job security, their training and development. It is however not an entire success as much of it is left at short term truce with management often throwing money at the problem to kill the conflict, in essence postponing the issues.

Key human resource planning issues

Human resource management overall is intended to enable an organization achieve its success through people, prime assets who give it its distinct character through a combination of intelligence, skills and expertise, the source of its capabilities essential for its long term survival (Purcell et al, 2005). Research has shown that human resource practices can significantly impact performance of a firm and therefore, AN’s HRM strategies should aim to support programs that improve its organizational effectiveness through the development of deliberate policies that would characterize clear vision and integrated values (Fombrun et al, 1984). The company should also focus on its human capital management in its human resource planning as the company’s success is depended upon employee input.
AN’s HRM strategy should seek to ensure that the company obtains and retains a skilled, committed and motivated workforce through the assessment of the company’s people need for selection, the development of the people’s capabilities through nurturing, continuous training and development overall linking them to the needs of the business (Boxall 1992). Other key issues that should be incorporated in AN’s human resource planning to enhance workforce empowerment, commitment and overall company efficiency include knowledge management to enhance performance, reward management to express value for people’s contribution and competence, creation of harmonious relationships to reduce negative conflict and its effect on performance and efficiency, meeting of the diverse needs of the workforce, and bridging gaps between such plans and translated action to bring these policies to life (Sisson 1995).
Models of human resource management that best fit AN’s approaches
AN’s approach best fits the matching model of HRM, a concept of the Michigan school (Fombrun et al, 1984) which holds that, as its name suggests, an organization’s HR systems and structure should be managed in congruence with its strategy through four generic processes or functions including; selection which entails the matching of human resources to jobs; appraisal which entails performance management; rewards which are motivation schemes developed for the workforce; and, development inherent in the enhancement of the quality of employees.
Also fitting is the Harvard framework model founded by the Harvard school (the fathers of HRM), which has its basis on the demand for a broad, comprehensive and strategic perspectives, laying central importance on line managers in ensuring alignment of competitive strategy with HR policies, and the importance of set policies governing workforce activities (Boxall 1992). This model recognizes a range of stakeholders and the importance of interest trade-offs, as well as, widening HRM context adding on the influence of employees among other influences.

Conclusion

Transformation through its re-engineering brought AN back to profitability in the first quarter of 1998 from its depth of debt in the late 1980s which is a clear testimony to the importance of strategic integration of human resource management which was the main strategy for its transformation to which this success can be attributed. AN, however, later suffered a loss in the last quarter of 2001 and first quarter of 2002 but the company endeavours is to manage the 21st century realities concerning air travel and to maintain its market share in passenger traffic both domestic and international.

References

Boxall, P., 1992. “Strategic HRM: A beginning, a new theoretical direction.” In: Human Resource Management Journal, 2(3), pp 61–79
Fombrun, C., N., Tichy, and M., Devanna, 1984. Strategic Human Resource Management. New York, Wiley.
Purcell, J, K., Kinnie, Hutchinson, B., Rayton, and J., Swart, 2003. People and Performance: How people management impacts on organizational performance. CIPD, London.
Purcell, J., K., Kinnie, Hutchinson, J., Swart, and B., Rayton. 2005. Vision and Values: Organizational culture and values as a source of competitive advantage. CIPD, London.
Sisson, K., 1995. “Human resource management and the personnel function.” In J Storey (ed.) Human Resource Management: A critical text. Routledge, London.
Storey, J., 1989. “From personnel management to human resource management.” In Storey, J. (ed.) New Perspectives on Human Resource Management. Routledge, London.

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Human Resource Analysis of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd

1. Introduction

2011 saw the Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, a Japanese firm, acquire Nycomed for 9 million Euros. Nycomed already have an established operating base in Europe, and Takeda believes that the acquisition of Nycomed will allow them to build upon past successes and transform themselves into a global organisation.A recent (2007) survey by Accenture suggests that cross-border mergers and acquisitions are becoming a central strategy for international growth, but that such trans-national deals mix sizeable opportunities with a number of risks (Accenture 2007).Many such deals (up to 70%) result in failure, primarily as a result of culture clashes and communication problems. Cultural expectations and mis-managed communication can lead to unequal expectations as well as a lack of understanding of “behaviours, practices, processes structures and reward schemes” (Culture and Communications Skills Consultancy 2011, p. 2). These issues might be summarised as ‘people issues’, but they are also issues which directly impact the future performance of the organisation (Ferris et al 1995). There is consequently a need for a clear strategy on the part of Takeda’s International Human Resources Management (IHRM) team. As well as managing communication and culture clashes, IHRM in Takeda need to focus upon recruitment and retention, while bearing in mind the organisational commitment to employee empowerment and diversity. The following looks at the obstacles facing IHRM in Takeda, and assesses the likelihood of Mr Takeda being able to see his vision for the company’s future achieved.

2. Challenges for IHRM

Takeda’s operating experience has so far been confined to Japan. While they have been successful there, the Japanese environment, ways of doing business and culture is very different from that found in Europe. There are many challenges faced by HRM in integrating international workforces and recruiting new staff. It has been claimed that HRM is even more important for an organisations success internationally than it is at home. The need to understand the difficulties faced by HRM in contributing to international success has, in addition, been recognised only since the 90’s, and there is correspondingly less theoretical guidance than in other areas of HRM (Kirkbride 1994). There are a number of issues which HRM need to manage. Armstrong suggests these include the impact of globalisation, environmental and cultural differences, whether practices in different countries should converge or diverge, and recruitment, retention and training of employees (Armstrong 2010).These will now be investigated in turn.

2.1 Globalisation

Globalisation challenges include the increase in logistical organisation, needing increased flexibility, responsiveness, and risk management (Armstrong 2010). One key challenge for IHRM in Takeda is having flexible enough systems to respond to this change of pace and demand. Deans and Karwan (1994) suggest that this means a turn away from scientific principles of management with over-defined rules and regulations and strict hierarchies to embrace a more participatory HRM style in which employee feedback is encouraged, and in which “central importance” is given to employees’ capacities to innovate and learn, to participate in decision making and problem solving, and to work effectively with a diversity of external and internal stakeholders” (Deans and Karwan 1994, p. 411).Fortunately, Takeda are already committed to employee empowerment (Takeda.com [online] 2011). Empowerment covers a psychological aspect: individuals working for the organisation feel that their role has meaning, that they are involved at all levels with the organisation, that their views are heard, and that they have control. It also includes practical organisational structures set up to ensure that employees have a way to make their opinions clear, and that institutional practices encourage empowerment (Potterfield 1999).That Takeda are committed to empowerment suggests they already have in place structures for ensuring empowerment and participation, however there might be a need for IHRM to audit existing provisions to ensure they are adequate for new global challenges.

2.2 Environmental Differences

One of the biggest challenged faced by IHRM is that of managing the environmental and cultural differences between countries in which the organisation operates. This is not least because the heading covers a number of diverse areas (Armstrong 2010). Environmental differences are usefully defined within a PESTEL framework, that is, covering political, economic, social, technical, environmental and legislative constraints on organisational and employee behaviour (Yates and Wakefield 2003). The political environment includes all the ways in which government behaviour affects business, and Takeda will need to research the different regulations and guidelines within the EU as a whole and the individual countries in which they are likely to do business. Economic factors which impact upon IHRM include interest rates, exchange rates and the current employment situation in the new country. Social aspects need particularly careful analysis by IHRM in Takeda, as each country has a different demographic, and different lifestyle factors are prominent. For example, as it becomes increasingly acceptable in parts of Europe for older people to lead an active life and retire later, with changing attitudes about working longer in Sweden for example (Employment in Europe 2008) expectations of working people about retirement might differ. Technological and environmental differences perhaps need less consideration by IHRM in order to facilitate the most successful global organisation, however HRM do need to be aware of the different legislative environments in which the organisation operates. Japan and different European countries will have differing legislation regarding employee rights, compulsory retirement, redundancy and dismissal, for example.

2.3 Cultural Differences

Perhaps the greatest challenge for IHRM is that of reconciling cultural differences between Japan and Europe.Cultural differences can make a range of issues for IHRM. These include ideas about social justice and remuneration, ideas about what constitutes good management, how employees assume an organisation can be structured and feedback and performance reviews (Armstrong 2010). There is a need for HRM to look critically at the set of assumptions held about HRM practice, be aware of differences between the home and host country, without prejudice about one or other having a better approach, and have a genuine belief in, and commitment too, a truly international approach (Armstrong 2006). The extent to which cultures are different was most comprehensively theorised by Hofstede (1991) who pointed out that different nations hold different sets of attitudes towards a number of variables including orientation towards past or future, attitudes towards power in society, acceptance of ambiguity, and whether a society is primarily masculine or feminine (Albrecht 2001). Using Hofstede’s ideas to compare Japan with the UK, for example, reveals that Japan is a society more comfortable with hierarchy than the UK, but that the UK is more individualistic than Japan (Geert-hofstede.com 2011 [online]). It has been suggested that cultural differences like this need to be taken into account. HRM should try to communicate between cultures and establish a mutual dialogue in understanding of difference, rather than assume that the management culture practiced in the home country is to be forced onto host country organisations (Briscoe et al 2008). However, not all are convinced of the efficacy of Hofstede’s ideas in practice, with Gerhart and Fang arguing that Hofstede’s cultural dimensions in fact have little ability to predict employee behaviour differences. In addition, some suggest that the role played by cultural differences is mediated through “interlinked organizational structures, HR architectures and people management practices at the level of the firm or local subsidiary”. This, together with the “two-way, recursive relationship”(Sparrow 2009, p. 315) between culture and employee behaviours and perceptions, mean that the management of cultural differences is difficult.

Despite the lack of agreement on the nature of cultural differences and despite the complexity of the way they operate, there seems to be a clear need for Takeda’s IHRM to successfully negotiate culture specific differences between employees in Japan and Europe. There are a number of different approaches to managing such differences, for example the need to understand that cultural differences are simply that – differences – and that there is no one ‘best’ way, to consider local delegation of administrative functions, that HR practice carries within itself a set of assumptions about culture which need to be brought to light and perhaps challenged, and the need to be creative and flexible in devising ways to manage cultural differences (Mabey et al 1998).

2.4 Convergence or Divergence?

A further challenge for IHRM at Takeda concerns the notion of convergence of divergence. In other words, should HR management develop identical models of practice in each subsidiary organisation around the globe, or should different practices be toleratedThere is a need to achieve a workable balance. There has been a long debate between academics on either side (Beardwell and Claydon 2007).When globalisation arose as a business possibility, it was assumed that convergence offered the most appropriate solution to IHRM issues, because different countries would face similar problems created by technology and industrialisation. It was also pointed out that people’s lives around the world are more similar today than they have ever been. However, it was argued that government and other local conditions mean that global convergence is unlikely, and that a divergent approach is more appropriate (Liu et al 2004). While there might be an assumption that the home organisation (Takeda) leads the way in HRM practice, this is not necessarily the most appropriate solution (Armstrong 2010).Some also suggest that the most appropriate course is to include practices that are both convergent and divergent (Edwards and Rees 2006). Takeda might benefit from a loose set of convergent HRM practices that leave flexibility for country-specific adaptations to the host country.

2.5 Recruitment and Related Issues

Along with the management of cultural issues, resourcing and recruitment are likely to provide one of the biggest challenges to Takeda’s growth as an international organisation. Not only do local differences in the employee market-place need to be understood, together with legal, social and government constraints, there is a need now to recruit international-calibre staff, at least for some organisational positions (Armstrong 2010). Certainly, some staff will be based locally: others will need to possess skills to move from home to host organisation and back (Armstrong 2010). Leblanc (2001) suggests that these skills include high tolerance of differences between countries, and the ability to be sensitive to such differences; tolerance of different physical and environmental conditions; be accepted by local employees; be good at communicating the home organisations policies, and understand the complexities of legislation and contracts. Training and employee education also pose challenges. The overall perspective on company-wide training may depend on whether the organisation adopts a fully convergent perspective, or a divergent one. If fully convergent, organisations might underline the need for ‘global thinking’ and educating employees to see themselves as part of a global team (Briscoe et al 2008).Training and education issues are made more complex because of the diverse mix of employee types: employees could be, for example, host country nationals, foreign parent expatriate, home country national or third country expatriate. Not only does training have to accommodate cultural differences and various country-specific expectations and experiences, there is a need to address the type of training on offer. Should cultural awareness training be given, and if so, to all employees or just those who work overseasShould training be carried out by local staff, or by expatriates from the home organisationThese and similar questions make the provision of training more difficult (Harzing and Ruysseveldt 2004).

3. Conclusion: Will Mr Hasegawa’s Vision be Achieved?

While Takeda have a history of successful operation in Japan, with net sales of over $17,000,000 to 2010 (Takeda.com [online] 2011), they have so far enjoyed less success in Europe. The purchase of the Swiss firm Nycomed offers an opportunity for growth in the European market (Matsuyama and Kresge 2011), but this will mean challenges for Takeda’s IHRM. While a new global market offers opportunities for firms to expand beyond their geographical horizons, cultural and other differences in operating environment need to be carefully negotiated.HRM need to be creative and flexible to respond to the increased pressures of the international arena, perhaps by an even bigger focus on employee involvement and engagement. The differences in environment need to be fully researched and understood, across a number of fields including the legal, social and technical. Cultural differences are particularly important. Despite disagreement between academics regarding the relationship of cultural differences to organisational performance, attitudes to working, fellow employees, team-work and face-to-face criticism (to name just a few variables) have the potential to create a severe impact on operational success.Recruitment and training may also prove difficult. In addition to micro-management of there is an additional need for strategic decisions about whether convergent or divergent HR perspectives are most appropriate. It is likely that an approach which is broadly convergent but allows for diversity is most appropriate. In conclusion, there are many different areas which need to be addressed by HRM in Takeda, but given that these areas are researched thoroughly and a comprehensive plan of action developed, there is no reason that difficulties cannot be overcome, and Takeda can deliver Mr Hasegawa’s vision within three years.

4. References

Accenture (2007) ‘Globalization and the Rise of Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions: A Survey’, Accenture, USA

Albrecht, M H (2001) International HRM: managing diversity in the workplace, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxon

Armstrong, M (2006) A handbook of human resource management practice (10th edn), Kogan Page Publishers, UK

Armstrong, M (2010) Essential Human Resource Management Practice: integrating people, process and context, Kogan Page Publishers, UK

Beardwell, J and Claydon, T (2007) Human resource management: a contemporary approach (5th edn.) Pearson Education, Harlow, Essex.

Briscoe, D R, Schuler, R S and Claus, L (2008) International Human Resource Management (3rd edn), Taylor & Francis.

Culture and Communications Skills Consultancy (2011) ‘Cross-border mergers and acquisitions: reducing the risk of failure’, Culture and Communications Skills Consultancy, United Kingdom

Deans, C and Karwan, K R (1994) Global information systems and technology: focus on the organization and its functional areas, Idea Group Inc, Harrisburg, PA.

Edwards, T and Rees, C (2006) International human resource management: globalization, national systems and multinational companies, Pearson Education, Harlow, Essex.

Employment in Europe (2007) ‘Employment & social affairs’, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, EU.

Ferris, G R, Rosen, S D and Barnum, D T (1995) Handbook of human resource management, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxon.

Geert-hoftede.com (2011) ‘Countries’ [online] (cited 12th December 2011) available from http://geert-hofstede.com/countries.html

Gerhart, B. and Fang, M. (2005) ‘National culture and human resource management: assumptions and evidence’ International Journal of HRM, 16:6, 971-986.

Harzing, A-W and Ruysseveldt, J van (2004) International human resource management (2nd edn), SAGE, Thousand Oaks CA.

Leblanc B (2001) ‘European Competencies: some guidelines for companies’, in

Albrecht, M H (2001) International HRM: managing diversity in the workplace, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxon, pp. 160-168.

Liu, SS, Lau, C M and Ngo, H-Y (2004) ‘Globalisation, HR best practices and firm performance’, Management International Review,44:4, 67-86.

Mabey, C, Salaman, G and Storey, J (1998) Human resource management: a strategic introduction (2nd edn), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxon.

Matsuyama, K and Kresge, N (2011) ‘Takeda Pays ‘Upper Limit’ for Nycomed as Competition Looms for Actos Pill’ [online] (cited 12th December 2011) available from

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-19/takeda-pays-upper-limit-for-nycomed-in-growth-bid.html

Potterfield, T A (1999) The business of employee empowerment: democracy and ideology in the workplace, Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport CT

Sparrow, P (2009) Handbooks in management, John Wiley and Sons, USA

Stahl, G K and Bjorkman, I (2006) Handbook of research in international human resource management, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham Glos.

Yeates, D and Wakefield, T (2003) Systems analysis and design (2nd edn), Pearson Education, Harlow, Essex

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Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) Practices and the Performance of a Nigerian Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME).

Introduction

The contribution of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the economic growth and development has been enormous. This contribution is significant for both the developed and developing world. Many governments acknowledge the fact that SMEs play a significant role in the growth and development of their economies. Consequently, a number of government investment projects are geared towards fostering the growth and development of local SMEs.

The institution of policies geared towards the facilitation and empowerment of SMEs as well as improving the performance of SMEs remains a major objective of many economic policy makers and governments. In addition, international economic and financial bodies such as the IMF, World Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the International Financial Corporation (IFC) have invested heavily in making SMEs robust and vibrant in developing countries. Furthermore, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in developing countries such as Nigeria have employed advocacy and capacity-building campaigns to promote the growth of SMEs.

Despite the importance accorded to SMEs as well as their contribution to economic growth, Onugu (2005) argues that the performance of SMEs in Nigeria has been below expectations. Unlike SMEs in other countries, the contribution of Nigerian SMEs to economic growth has not been very impressive (Onogu, 2005).

Following from its independence, the Federal government of Nigeria has invested significant sums of money to promote entrepreneurial and small business development projects (Mambula, 1997, 2002). However, results from these projects have not been very impressive. In order words, most of these projects have often been unable to yield their expected returns. Despite the country’s endowment with raw materials and other natural resources, there has been little progress towards the development of the manufacturing sector, which could have increased the production of value added products thereby substituting imports, increasing exports and increasing employment (Mambula, 1997, 2002).

Business failure often comes as a result of a number of factors. This could be as a result of poor customer service, poor management and poor human resource management. While the poor performance of SMEs in Nigeria can be attributed to a number of factors, human resource management could be a major factor in determining this poor performance. Human resources are a principal source of economic growth. Like other resources, human resources require effective and efficient utilisation so as to ensure maximum contribution is achieved from them. Approximately 50 per cent of people work in small and medium sized enterprises.

Despite this high proportion of human resources in SMEs, most studies that study human resource management have focused on large corporations with very limited attention to SMEs. Moreover, most studies on the practices of human resource management have been carried out in the developed world with very limited attention paid to developing countries like Nigeria. This study is one of the few studies that focus on the management of human resources in SMEs in a developing country. The country that has been chosen for the study is Nigeria. The paper examines the factors that affect the practices of human resource management in an SME in Nigeria and how these practices can affect the performance of the SME in particular and its contribution to the overall growth of the economy as a whole.

Objectives of the Study

The objective of the study is to examine the SHRM practices of an SME in Nigeria. The study will also examine how those practices affect the performance of the SME and provide policy implications of the findings for future strategy development.

Research Questions

The paper will be providing answers to the following questions:

What are the Strategic human resource management practices of the SME
How do these practices affect the performance of the SME
What are the implications for future development of strategic human resource management practices at the SME
Research Outline

The paper is going to follow the following areas: Section one will cover the introduction; section 2 will be dealing with the literature review; section 3 will be discussing the methodology and describing the data; section 4 will provide the results and analysis; and section 5 will present conclusions and recommendations.

Literature Review

Strategic human resource management (SHRM) practices refer to those activities that are specifically developed, executed and implemented on a deliberate alignment to a firm’s strategy (Huselid et al., 1997). The phrase “strategic human resource management is an indication that people in the firm are regarded as strategic resources (i.e human capital) that must be managed and leveraged when implementing and executing the strategy of the firm. In early years, efforts made to develop a conceptual framework on strategic human resource management were based on the assumption that in order to promote human behaviour that would fulfil the strategic objectives of the firm, the firm had to implement specific human resource management practices (Fisher, 1989; Schuler and Jackson, 1989; Snell, 1992).

A strategic approach to human resource management is an approach that links the human resource management policies with the strategic objectives of the firm. There has been significant debate over the term SHRM as has been the case for human resource management (HRM). Many researchers argue that SHRM lacks conceptual clarity (e.g., Bamberger and Meshoulam, 2000). Three competing frameworks on SHRM have emerged: the contingency, universal and configurational perspectives (Miles and Snow, 1984; Schuler and Jackson, 1987; Delery and Doty, 1996; Pfeffer, 1998; Youndt et al., 1996; Boxall and Purcell, 2000, 2008). According to the universal perspective, all HR practices in all firms have a positive impact on firm performance (Delery and Doty, 1996). The configurational perspective suggests that firm performance depends on unique HR practices while the contingency perspective suggests that a firm’s HR practices are a function of its strategy (Miles and Snow, 1984; Schuler and Jackson, 1987). A number of studies have tested the different frameworks and found contradictory results. For example, Youndt et al. (1996); and Chang and Huang (2005) argue in favour of the contingency perspective while Tackeuchi et al. (2003) favour the configurational perspective.

The frameworks suggested above are mostly relevant for large organisations. Little effort has been devoted towards the development of SHRM in SMEs. For example, Saini and Budhwar (2008) in a study of SHRM practices in SMEs in India argue that bounded rationality tends to constrain the willingness to implement innovative HR practices in SMEs in India because most owners of SMEs tend to believe that they are doing their utmost best. Barber et al (1999) observe that HRM practices that work well in large organisations do not work properly in small firms. As a result, Heneman and Tansky (2002) stresses the need to develop different HRM models for SMEs rather than simply extending existing models that are suitable for large organisations to SMEs. The literature on Human resource management in SMEs suggests that a strategic approach to HRM in SMEs is yet to be developed. Conceptual models that relate human resource management practices in SMEs to the strategic capabilities of these organisations need to be developed in order to enable SMEs achieve the full benefits of their human resources. As can be observed, most of the studies of HRM practices in SMEs have been limited to SMEs in Western Europe, U.S.A and India with very limited attention given to Africa in general and Nigeria in particular. In the light of the above limitations, this study aims at contributing to the literature by studying the SHRM practices of SMEs in Nigeria. The study does not intend to test any hypothesis. Rather it intends to focus on providing an in-depth analysis and discussion of the HRM practices of a Nigerian SME.

Research Methods and Data

Research Methods are the approaches taken to achieve the objectives of a research project (Saunders et al., 2009). There are two main approaches to research including the inductive and deductive approaches. The inductive approach is an approach that aims at developing testable hypotheses while the deductive approach focuses on testing existing hypotheses. The inductive approach can use a single case study to multiple case studies while the deductive approach depends on the use of multiple cases. Moreover, the inductive approach can use either qualitative or quantitative methods whereas the deductive approach relies heavily on the use of large data sets and quantitative research methods.

The inductive approach is advantageous over the deductive approach in that it does not generalise its results to all cases. It aims at providing an in-depth analysis of a small number of cases. Therefore, it is the approach that will be used in this study.

In other to achieve the objective of this study, this paper will use a case study approach. In order to do this, a Nigerian-based SME will be selected. An in-depth analysis of its SHRM practices will be examined and related to its performance. In order to gain detailed understanding of the approaches, the “Interpretative phenomenological Analysis (IPA) will be used to gain an in-depth analysis of the HRM practices of the SME. The Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is an experimental qualitative approach to research in psychology and the human, health and social sciences (Smith et al., 2009). The human resource practices that will be investigated include recruitment, selection, training, remuneration, leave of absence, interpersonal communication, sick pay, and promotion. The practices of these variables will be analysed and an evaluation of how they affect the performance of the SME will be conducted. The performance measures that will be used include profitability, liquidity, management efficiency and leverage ratios. The ratios will be analysed in relation to the SHRM practices identified along with the Nigerian economic environment in which the SME is based.

Data

The research will use both primary and secondary data. Data for the SHRM practices will mainly be primary data. This data will be collected using survey questionnaires issued to the employees of the SME and interviews conducted with key management staff. Performance data will be collected from the financial records of the SME. Data on the performance measures will be gathered from the financial records of the SME.

References

Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2000). Strategic human resource management: Where have we come from and where should we be goingInternational Journal of Management Reviews, 2(2), 183?203.

Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2008). Strategy and Human Resource Management. Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan.

Chang,W. J. A., & Huang, T. C. (2005). Relationship between strategic human resource management and firm performance: A contingency perspective. International Journal of Manpower, 26(5), 434?449.

Delery, J. E., & Doty, D. H. (1996). Modes of theorizing in strategic human resource management: Tests of universalistic, contingency. Academy of Management Journal, 39(4), 802?835.

Huselid, M.A., S.E. Jackson, and R.S. Schuler. 1997. “Technical and Strategic Human Resource Management Effectiveness as Determinants of Firm Performance,” Academy of Management Journal 40(199), 171-188.

Miles, R. E., & Snow, C. C. (1984). Designing strategic human resources systems. Organizational Dynamics, 13(1), 36?52.

Schuler, R.S. and S.A. Jackson. 1989. “Determinants of Human Resource Management Priorities and Implications for Industrial Relations,” Journal of Management 15(1): 89-99.

Snell, S.A. 1992. “Control Theory in Strategic Human Resource Management: The Mediating Effect of Administrative Information,” Academy of Management, Journal 35(2), 292-327.

Schuler, R. S., & Jackson, S. E. (1987). Linking competitive strategies with human resource management practices. Academy of Management Executive, 1(3), 207?219.

Pfeffer, J. (1998). Seven practices of successful organizations. California Management Review, 40(2), 96?124.

Onugu, B. A. N. (2005) Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria: Problems and Prospects, St. Clements University

Smith, J. A., Flowers, P., Larkin, M. (2009) Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Theory, Method and Research, Sage Publications.

Heneman, R. L., & Tansky, J. W. (2002). Human resource management models for entrepreneurial opportunity: Existing knowledge and new directions. In J. Katz, & T. M. Welbourne (Eds.), Managing people in entrepreneurial organizations, vol. 5 (pp. 55–82). Amsterdam: JAI Press.

Barber, A. E., Wesson, M. J., Roberson, Q. M., & Taylor, M. S. (1999). A tale of two job markets: Organizational size and its effects on hiring practices and job search behavior. Personnel Psychology, 52, 841–867.

Saunders M, Lewis P and Thornhill A (2009) Research Methods for Business Studies, 5th edition, Prentice Hall FT Harlow

Saini, D. S., Budhwar, P. S. (2008) Managing the human resource in Indian SMEs: The role of indigenous realities, Journal of World Business, Volume 43, No. 4, Pages 417-434

Takeuchi, N., Wakabayashi, M., & Chen, Z. (2003). The strategic HRM configuration for competitive advantage: Evidence from Japanese firms in China and Taiwan, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 20(4), 447?480.

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HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: The Role of Vocational Education and Training in Skill Development

Introduction

This study is aimed at exploring the role of vocational education and training (VET) in developing a skilled workforce and meeting the requirements of an efficient and well-functioning modern economy. The discussion will focus on vocational education and training being one of the crucial responsibilities of employers and employees and on the part to be played by the state in facilitating such occupational programs with reference to the implications of different VET systems on skill development. The analysis will also include a comprehensive account of arguments that demonstrate significant connections between VET systems and various models of labor market and evaluation of how such links may affect skill development. These arguments will be validated by particular examples of various VET systems used in different countries along with highlighting the key aspects of different vocational education and training systems in terms of workplace learning.

The Meaning and Importance of VET

In order to establish and sustain a prosperous economy and ensure its steady growth, having a skilled workforce is highly essential (Directorate for Education 2009). While some of the vital skills are a result of development of general education and training at all levels, many advanced nations such as UK, USA and European countries are in constant need of specific occupational skills to respond to the rapidly growing fields driven by technological advancements (Organization for Economic Cooperation 2010, p.3). Vocational education and training systems play a critical part in supplying the occupational skills that are in demand and hence facilitate the organizations and the economy in general to adapt to the swiftly changing needs. Professional programs and qualifications greatly assist in prevarication of economic activities through the formation of occupational identity (Nijhof et al 2003, p.40).

Vocational education has been taken as one of the most critical tools for addressing social, economic and political crises that threatens the social stability and economic productivity of nations. Lack of competent and skilled labor, growing unemployment, high rate of high school and college drop-outs and the transforming demographic nature of personnel have placed the matter of vocational training and workplace learning on top of the educational reform programs of many developing countries (Greenan & Mustapha 2002). Thus due to its dynamic nature, VET systems are unceasingly subject to various forces that lead to changes in educational institutions, job industry and society in general. According to the findings of a research conducted by Greenan & Mustapha (2002) to investigate the employability of students who are vocationally certified as compared to those who are not, both employers and educators believe that vocational graduates have better employment opportunities than those students who have simply completed their academic education.

Employer organizations and trade unions are working to define, design and implement vocational programs, for instance, establishing national vocational qualification standards in Britain. VET not only serves to supply and maintain the needed labor skills but also develops and delivers occupational standards in collaboration with the professional sectors (Nijhof et al 2003). Besides providing the required labor force, an efficient VET system works to; educate and train new workers and employers to support the knowledge base in organizations, provision of up dated information and training facilities to align the talents and skills of trainees with the current labor demands, enabling the adaptation of latest technologies and innovation work methods and facilitating innovation and interactive learning process (Nijhof et al 2003, p. 40). In addition to this, as argued by Preston & Green (2008), significantly contributes towards institutional integrity, value formation as well as in reducing inequality and sense of discrimination in the social and organizational context.

VET as a Crucial Responsibility of Employers

It is of common knowledge that progress in the employee management can play a massive role in enhancing the competitive advantage of firms. Human Resource Management indeed maintains that the success of a company’s business strategy largely depends on the development of a more refined, extensive and strategic approach to labor management. As the nature of personnel management and function changes, HR managers are getting increasingly inclined towards including training function in their human resource strategies for using labor more effectively (Rainbird 1994). Since VET not only enriches employees for dealing professionally with the upcoming challenges posed by the current revolution in scientific, information and communication technology but also provides the competences which are essential to tackle such wide-scale changes, it has become a major responsibility of employers to devise personnel strategies that encompass VET systems in order to prepare the workforce for meeting the requirements of innovative techniques for doing diverse jobs.

There are several internal as well as external drivers that compel companies to invest in learning and training programs. For instance, companies may need to retrain employees for undertaking any innovative project, in preparation for succession, for improving individual and collective performance or aiding organizational change (Wilton 2011, p. 251). On the other hand, certain external elements such as market, technological or legislative changes may lead to skills deficiency and firms might require providing relevant coaching to fulfill those deficiencies. Each state has crafted its own VET system which governs the functioning of training programs executed within institutes. For example, the VET system in Germany is perhaps the most advanced and effective mainly due to the fact that it places a lot of stress on the organizational as well as the social role of vocational programs (Preston & Green 2008, p. 20) and there exist a strong cooperation among the state, trade unions and organizations.

Germany has a dual system of apprenticeship where specialization centers are accessible after initial training and some relevant work experience, however, this VET system also referred to as ‘societal model of training’ is predominantly governed by labor-market situation whereas focus is also given to promoting civic values by means of professional socialization (Preston & Green 2008, p. 20). Thus the German VET system is characterized by immensely effective dual apprenticeship system based on a combination of schooling and workplace, sound employer organizations, healthy collaboration among the state, employers and trade unions and high-level interaction between training and education systems. There is an equal distribution of responsibilities and steering functions between the state and social partners (employers, trade unions) on local, regional and national level. The German VET system is a remarkable model for other countries to follow because both government and social partners mutually share the responsibility to ensure that its workforce has the right skills development framework for dealing with occupational and professional challenges in the future. The following paragraphs will review the diverse VET systems that are being employed in different countries with special emphasis on the role of employers and state in ensuring the provision of effective vocational training.

Overview of Different VET Systems

This section is intended to provide an extensive analysis of the various mainstream vocational education and training systems with special reference to the provision of training programs and ensuring workplace learning as a key responsibility of the organization’s Human Resource department and the role of government in encouraging the development and spread of VET through forming policies and cooperating with employers’ organizations and trade unions especially in terms of financing and controlling VET operations.

Regulated VET System

In a regulated Vocational training system, organizations that are registered and authorized by the state provide industry based qualifications to the learners. These organizations include both public and private institutions and the VET courses are designed to deliver nationally acknowledged competencies which employers identify as crucial to meet their needs. In a regulated VET system, majority of the vocational programs directed at competency-based and career oriented training are publicly funded. The Vet system in Australia, Denmark and Netherlands is regulated by several acts, legal guidelines and regulations which are established in collaboration with employer committees and unions (Rauner & MacLean 2009, p.422). For instance, Australia’s Vet system is centrally controlled by the government and is highly advanced, owing to a decade of continuous restructurings and it works well to offer practical training to individuals and providing skills which are pre-requisite of a modern economy. On the other, France’s VET system is based on ILM (Integrated Learning Model) which is underpinned by national levy system. Similarly, as noted above, the Vet system of Germany is also state regulated where legislations has an element of coercion for HR managers to train their employees and so it has noticeable implications for the pattern in which skill development programs are formed and executed at organizational level (Coffield 1998, p.32). Despite the fact that regulated approach motivates employers and employee cooperation in terms of vocational educational, the dual apprenticeship model of VET that is operative in Germany have few weaknesses too. For instance, it is less flexible and adoptive to the skill needs of certain kinds of occupations and is to a significant extent, reliant on employers’ supply of internships and training and on labor market conditions (Green 2011).

Voluntarist VET System

Voluntarist VET system is the one which has little or no state interference and vocational education is left to the choice of organizations or the individuals. The VET system that is operative in UK is a striking example of Voluntarist system of vocational training where the state does not take responsibility of offering skill development courses or promoting workplace learning (Coffield 1998, p.32). Where such as system is flexible enough to allow swift response to changing employer/individual demands, it also results in overproduction of graduates, penurious aptitude based learning that is low on professional socialization, inadequate supply of transitional skills which ultimately leads to polarization of income and skills (Green 2011). This Voluntarist practice in the UK is considered as one of the core reasons for the relatively low level of VET provided by the companies (Coffield 1998, p.33). The structure of British Vet system majorly relies upon NVQ (National Vocational Qualifications) which are basically related to competence and occupation and such a certification is obtained through assessment and teaching. The bodies responsible for providing such qualifications include Sector Skill Councils, Qualification and Curriculum authority, Colleges and Employers, however, there is no governing body that can check the functioning of these authorities and thus there is no accountability on part of the VET providers, particularly employers for the fulfillment of VET responsibility. In this kind of government orientation where the role of state is restricted to mere appreciation and encouragement, the consequences are often low investment in skills and narrowly focused and poor quality apprenticeship system.

Developmental VET System

This approach to VET is being implemented by a growing number of firms. It encompasses goal-setting and regular evaluation, however, its primary focus is on motivating trainees to learn and improve their performance. The principal strength of this sort of system is that it minimizes the tendency to scooping-out particular skills and thus reduces skill polarization. Furthermore, it raises skill and pay levels of less-skilled occupations and serves as a useful agent of professional socialization. Today, almost all European countries and several other states are making attempts to modernize their regulated or Voluntarist VET systems that were either built on low-skill equilibrium (such as in UK) or on labor market institutions and steady economies. Immensely powerful economic forces such as rapid technological advancements, globalization of markets and dramatic changes in the ICT field have led to an increasing concern for upgrading of VET systems. Attempts to develop GNVQ in Britain, the improvements in the dual system in Germany, new VET legislations in Netherlands are some of the clear examples of revisions of VET systems worldwide.

Since VET system is generally considered as one of the social system in which government, educational institutions and social partners work together to build a national VET set-up, it is deeply rooted in the economic, social and cultural patterns. Because of these strong connections, it is complicated to introduce innovations in the VET system as it requires changes in private-public arrangements, labor and education laws, funding, labor agreements, training traditions, occupational identity etc. However, since business organizations, training providers/ institutions and state are the principal steering elements of VET systems, their joint collaborations and correct approach to developing and executing VET strategies can prove to be a powerful resistance towards the above listed barriers. The contribution of government is critical to guarantee the smooth and effective functioning of VET systems because state has the authority to regulate the evaluation and recognition of vocational certifications and also to control the cost-effectiveness and quality of VET institutions (Silberman 1982, p. 205). Therefore, it is vital for states as well as private partners to invest in Vet and to monitor, regulate and supervise the functioning of VET system in order to ensure the availability of required skills and competencies and to align the systems with the current economic demands.

The Correlation between Labor Models and their Effects

To what extent a VET system is effective largely depends upon recognition of the labor markets, productivity of learning process, efficiency of delivered qualifications, motivation for further training etc. VET is also extremely vital for societal development because it provides access to required skills and pathway to the labor market, which depicts the nature of its association with fundamental labor market models; Occupational labor market model and Internal Labor Market Model. The former relates to individuals holding specific qualification certified either by a their peer group judgment or a diploma, whereas the latter exists when a company frequently fills particular vacancies by transferring or promoting existing staff and thus restricting outside recruitment to a limited number of positions (Eyraud et al 1990, p. 502). The key difference between the two models lies in their implications on skills development; OLM concentrates more on providing training in the beginning stages of an individual’s career, just as in case with apprenticeship, while ILM mainly emphasize on continuous workplace training. The VET system that prevails in UK and Germany is based on OLM where training is standardized to occupational norm and no significant attention is given to skill formation but on its maintenance. On the other hand, the Vet system in Japan is ILM based where the nature of in-house training is firm-specific. The national education-work setting in Japan as well as in USA, Canada and Australia is a loose bonding between labor market and VET system, with a flexible corresponding between qualifications and jobs, allowing for prevailing school-based extensive coaching and on-job training (Baethge 2006, p. 72). Alternatively, the National Vocational Qualifications in UK, which even though has a lot of room for improvement, depicts a labor market driven model of VET where the state approves qualification standards provided by the job industry for enhancing transparency of workplace training programs.

Conclusion

From the above mentioned literature, the importance of a sound VET system for the progress of the economy has been established. While employers continue to adopt VET as a part of their HR strategy, realizing the need to equip employees with skills essential for coping with the current transformations in the job industry, state should also play an equal role to enforce and facilitate vocational training at all organizational as well as higher educational levels. It has also come to light that regular upgrading of VET systems is inevitable if the state and, employers to be specific, wish to have a skilled workforce that is well prepared to handle newer work challenges.

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Categories
Free Essays

Implications of labour market flexibility on Human Resource Management

Introduction

Over the past few decades, there has been an increase in demand for greater labour flexibility, driven primarily by increases in international competition and advances in technology (Vincente-Lorente & Suarez-Gonzalez 2007). Given the intense competition and the speed of technological change, there has been a proliferation of non-standard forms of employment such as outsourcing, temporary, part-time or informal employment. For example, the UK has grown to become a net exporter of IT-enabled services, offshoring call centre jobs to countries such as India (Heckley 2005). Outsourcing in the UK is currently the norm and has grown to become a major industry. The growth in such flexible labour markets is also mirrored in other parts of Europe as well including in countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Benelux (Leighton 2003).

It is clear that world of work is changing rapidly. However, these changes are not new and have been there for many years, both in Europe and other advanced economies. According to Flau and Mittelstadt (2010), these labour market flexibilities were considered alternative for the rising unemployment. During the early 1960s, the high levels of unemployment prompted national governments to implement a variety of programs that would make labour markets flexible. Labour market policies and Programs that promote short-term working were implemented (Flau & Mittelstadt 2010).

Whilst these atypical forms of employment may have been there, it is in the recent years that it has garnered the attention of most commentators, scholars and academics. For example, offshoring and outsourcing in the UK has become more pronounced. These changes seem to have had tremendous impacts in the business world, in terms of employment prospects, growth, productivity and inequality (Flau & Mittelstadt 2010).

The increase in labour market flexibility has generated some controversies in the Human resource circle. On the positive side, it is seen especially by the neo-liberals as key to prosperity in a turbulent global economy. However, evidence also points to the disadvantages that may result from such labour market flexibility including uneven distribution of the benefits, increasing income disparities, disruption of career paths, decrease in employee commitment and reduced labour productivity as a result of the uncertain job climate (Brodsky 1994).

These are some of the main concerns which have attracted the attention of many scholars in the human resource circle, industrial relations and policy makers as well (Anagnostopoulos 2008). On the one hand, labour market flexibility is seen to have short-run cost benefits associated with declining employer funded training. On the other hand, it potentially weakens human resource development systems and disrupts established labour relations practices. In this regard, this paper critically discusses the implications of labour flexibility on the international management of human resources.

Labour market flexibility

Before exploring further on this topic, it is worthwhile to first define labour market flexibility. In essence, this refers to the firm’s ability to institute some changes in its working patterns including setting wages, hiring employees on contracts, firing them and changing the working hours (Conley 2008). In response to multi-faceted changes, organizations today are increasingly changing their recruitment arrangements and adapting flexible kind of arrangements. Changes in the labour market has led to the rise and growth in demand for flexible labour arrangements such as part time jobs, temporary contracts, labour hires and outsourcing among many others.

For example, Part-time work has increased by 4 percentage points, rising from 16.6% in 1996 to about 20.8% in 2006 (Rani 2008). The share of part-time work varies from country to country and exceeds 20% in most of the advanced economies. It is high in the UK, Japan, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. There has also been an increasing trend in temporary employment from 11.7% in 1996 to about 15% in 2006 (Rani 2008). Indications, however, show that ‘vulnerable workers’ are more likely to experience temporary work than others. According to an EU migration report, 52% of registered migrant workers were found to be mostly concentrated in the temporary forms of employment, earning the lowest wage (Home office 2007). The proportion of temporary work remains highest in the service sectors compared to the manufacturing sectors.

The rise in such flexible labour arrangements can be attributed to intense competition and the need for businesses to adapt to various multi-faceted changes, driven by new technology. Advances in technology have made the process of fragmentation and outsourcing of tasks easier. However, the pervasive nature of such atypical forms of employment has raised concern over their impact on human resource management, particularly human resource development.

Outsourcing in the UK

Outsourcing in the UK has become a common practice with over 90% of employers outsourcing at least one service. British Airways is a prime example, having offshored its services by creating call centres in India. Outsourcing is increasingly growing to become a major industry in the UK and is likely to continue to grow as major client organizations are concentrated in the public sector. The growth in such flexible labour markets is mirrored in other parts of Europe such as Germany, Switzerland, Benelux and Sweden with 70%, 74%, 54% and 44% of employers in these countries outsourcing at least one service (Leighton 2003).

Outsourcing in the UK is having major implications on international human resource management. Such flexible forms of labour have been found to have significant impacts on several aspects of HRM, especially the payroll, ITC, training, staffing and recruitment (Pen et al. 2013). To fully comprehend the impact of labour market flexibility on international human resource management, it is worthwhile to examine Atkinson’s model which forms the basis of strategies that most companies use

Atkinson’s model

Atkinson’s model identifies four main flexibilities sought by companies:

Functional: the functional ability describes the firm’s ability to match the skills of employees with tasks by dismantling the traditional rigidities between different occupational groups (Kalleberg 2001). This is mainly achieved through outsourcing and offshoring of services.
External numerical flexibility – this involves adjustment of the labour force from external market and is achieved through relaxed hiring and firing regulations and through temporary employment (Leighton 2003)
Internal numerical flexibility – this refers to the adjustment of schedules or working hours and comprise mainly of part-time jobs (Wilton 2013)
Financial/wage flexibility – this flexibility involves the wage differences and is done with the aim of ensuring that employment cost reflects the supply and demand of labour (Wilton 2013). It comprise mainly of individual performance wages, assessment based pay and rate-for- the job systems

In Atkinson’s model, within the core group, are highly skilled workers with firm-specific capabilities. This group contains a unique resource and thus the focus of human resource managers is ensuring their retention. Workers in the first peripheral group are considered to posses skills which are not firm-specific and hence the firm may rely on external market to fill such posts (functional and numerical flexibility) (Wilton 2013). The second peripheral group comprise mainly of workers under atypical forms of employment, providing both the temporal and numerical flexibility. This model describes how companies respond to the increased need for flexibility.

Implications of labour market flexibility on international human resource management

A commonly held view is that Labour market flexibility is an essential ingredient for progress. It has been seen for a long time as unequivocally good, helping address the wide problems of unemployment (Rowley 2013). It is also seen as a key ingredient for growth especially under turbulent global economic conditions. According to some commentators, Labour market flexibilities have created a knowledge intensive economy where most of the workers get involved in knowledge intensive work and benefit from high wages attached to those jobs (Schuler & Jackson 2005).

Labour market flexibility is also seen to be of paramount importance, helping in the control of labour costs and satisfying demand for labour. Having just the right number of workers and hiring others at wages that reflect their differing productivity certainly reduces the labour costs associated with traditional approaches of staffing and training (Silvia 2010). In addition, they enable the company to adjust to fluctuations in business demand and achieve greater efficiency which is made possible by matching of skills and tasks.

In spite of these benefits, critics have argued that most of the benefits of flexible labour markets are short-run and have pointed out to the wider negative impacts on the human resource development. The perspective of a radical upskilling has been criticized by sceptics who argue that the growth of a knowledge economy is overstated and that a significant proportion of non-standard forms of employment are in fact low skilled and poorly paid menial jobs (Wilton 2013).

These non-standard forms of employment are also a major source of income inequality, driving the wage gap. They have increased income inequality in many countries. However, it remains unclear as to the extent to which such inequality can be attributed to non-standard forms of work. For example, some economies such as Lithuania, Romania and Latvia have experienced an increase in income inequality despite a decline in atypical forms of work, indicating the possibility of other institutional factors coming into play (Rani 2008)

A similar issue of concern relates to job security. As with atypical forms of work, job security is not guaranteed which results in reductions in job tenure and increase in worker’s mobility across different firms. Although employers may emphasize their role in ensuring ’employability’ of workers in terms of the skills that can be transferable across firms as opposed to offering them with job security; it poses the question: just how ‘portable’ are skills learned on and off-the-job (Vaitilingham 2006 p.28).

There is also a concern of the widening income inequality. Flexible working arrangements are seen to further widen the wage gap. However, there is mixed evidences with regard to the impact of labour market flexibilities on income inequality. Whereas studies by Blanchard & Landlier (2002) and Giesecke & Gross (2004) have argued that there is no upward mobility for atypical forms of employment; studies by Gregg & wadsworth (1996) have found these labour market flexibilities as widening income inequality.

Perhaps, an issue that has received much attention is the concern of declining employee and employer commitment. Flexible working arrangements such as outsourcing involve contracting out services by the management, which implies engaging ‘labour without obligation’ (Hall 2013). In return, workers implicated in outsourcing tend to feel little obligation. It can therefore be made that firms that outsource their services runs the risk of reduced employee and employer commitment to human resource development strategies as well.

There is a host of other issues of concern associated with non-standard employment such as low pay, lack of promotion, lack of employer pension scheme and even lack of sick pay provision (McGovern et al 2004). This can be seen in the UK and some other Europe countries. Similar patterns of problems have been observed by Kalleberg et al. (2003) in the US, indicating the potentially harmful effects of labour market flexibility on human resources.

The national government dilemma of creating a flexible workforce.

Labour market flexibility seems to have had tremendous impacts on in the business world. Whereas these atypical forms of unemployment may not be new, the tactics and strategies employed in some countries is. For instance, some labour patterns in Germany mirrors the ‘zero hours contacts’ in UK (Wilton 2013). The implications of these labour market flexibilities in Human Resource Management and industrial relations are obvious, ranging from increased job insecurity to decreased employee commitment to skill loss and reduced employee loyalty trust

However, there remains a dilemma with regard to creating a flexible workforce. Neo-liberal economists hold of the view that labour market flexibility plays an important role in economic progress and is key to overcoming the turbulent effects of economic instability (Wilton 2013). National governments are thus under pressure to minimize the regulation of business practices in response to the changing nature of the labour market. But at the same time, they must strike a balance between economic responsiveness and employee protection. This can be seen with the long battle over the rights for workers working under atypical forms of employment such as temporary contracts, a key characteristic of the labour market flexibility

Conclusion

Labour market flexibilities such as part time jobs, temporary contract, outsourcing, labour hire and contracting out have significant impacts on human resource development. To some degree, it can be seen that flexible labour markets may minimize labour costs associated with recruitment and staff training. Although such non-standard forms of employment have short-run cost benefits associated with declining employer funded training, the human resource sector will suffer in the long run in terms of reduced employee commitment, skill loss, and declining employee loyalty and trust.

Flexible labour arrangements such as outsourcing need not to be viewed as simply a cost-cutting exercise. However, cost reduction continues to become a major motivation for most companies. There is also an imperative need to strike a balance between economic responsiveness and employee protection. Strategies need to be devised that take into consideration both the benefits of flexible working arrangements and its implications on human resources in terms of the job content, job security and loyalty of different groups of workers.

References

Anagnostopoulous, A., 2008. Labour market flexibility in Central Greece: findings from workplace employment relations survey. Chicago press

Blanchard, O. and Landlier, A., 2002. The perverse effects of partial labor market reform: fixed duration contracts in France. Economic Journal, 112, pp.214-244.

Brodsky, m., 1994 labour market flexibility: a changing international perspective. Monthly Labour Review

Conley, H., 2008. Work, employment and society: the nightmare of temporary work: a comment on Fevre, Sage publications, vol 22

European Societies, 6, 347-382.

Flau, F. and Mittelstadt, A., 2010. Labour market flexibility. OECD Economics and Statistics Department

Giesecke, J., & Gross, M., 2004. External Labour Market Flexibility and Social Inequality.

Gregg & wadsworth, 1996. The UK labour market and the 2008-2009 recession. Centre for Economic Performance

Hall, 2013. Outsourcing, contracting-out and labour hire: implications for human resource development in Australian organizations. [viewed on 26th November] Available from http://www.voced.edu.au/content/ngv21101

Heckley, G., 2005. offshoring and the labour market: the IT and call centre occupations considered. Office of National Statistics

Hunter, L., McGregor, A., Maclnnes, J. and Sproull, A., 1993.The ‘flexible firm’: strategy and segmentation. British journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 31: 3

Kalleberg, A. L., 2003. ‘Flexible firms and labor market segmentation: Effects of workplace restructuring on jobs and workers’, Work and Occupations, 30(2): 154–75

Kalleberg, A.L., 2001. Organizing flexibility: the flexible firm in a new century. British Journal of Industrial Relations, pp.479-504

Leighton, P., 2003 flexible labour markets, intermediation and the rise of the strategic individualist’: challenges for law. Wales, UK.

McGovern, P., Smeaton, D., and Hill, S., 2004. Bad jobs in Britain: non-standard employment and job quality, work and occupations, vol.31 (2), pp.225-249

Penn, R., Lilja, K. and Scattergood, H., 2013. Flexibility and unemployment patterns in the contemporary paper industry: a comparative analysis of mills in Britain and Finland. Industrial Relations Journal.

Rani, U., 2008. Impacts of changing work patterns on income inequality. Discussion paper. International Institute for Labour Studies

Rowley, C., 2013. Issues in employee resourcing: is all labour flexibility goodLondon: Cass Business School

Schuler, R.S. and Jackson, S.E., 2005. A quarter-century review of human resource management in the US: the growth in importance of the international perspective. Management Review, vol. 16. (1)

Silva, S.R., 2010. Human resource management, industrial relations and achieving management objectives. International Labour Organization. ACT publications

Taylor, P and Bain, P., 2005. Work, employment and society: ‘india calling to the far away towns’: the call centre labour process and globalization. Work Employment Society, vol. 19

Vaitilingam, R., 2006. Human resources, the labour market and economic performance. Manpower. Center for Economic Performance

Vicente-Lorente, J. D. and Suarez-Gonzalez, I. (2007). Ownership traits and downsizing behaviour: Evidence for the largest Spanish firms, 1990-1998. Organization Studies, 28: 1613-1638.

Warhurst, C., Grugulis, I. and Keep, E. (eds), 2004. The Skills that Matter, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Wilton, N., 2013. An introduction to human resource management. Second edition. London: Sage publications

Categories
Free Essays

Work and the Workplace in the context of Contemporary Human Resource Management

Introduction and Aims

In the majority of organisations, including the company in question here, the Co-operative supermarket retail store, the interaction between staff members and the public can be fundamental to the long-term success of the company and the willingness of customers to return on a regular basis. However, when it comes to supermarket trading, consumers can switch relatively easily when they need to make purchases from these types of stores, on an equally regular basis, meaning that the issues of customer service and reliability are often at the forefront of the organisation’s mission statement.

The purpose of this paper is to consider key areas of human resource management, namely the integration of part-time workers, in particular students who return during holiday periods to join the store staff to assist with busy periods such as Christmas, as well as the way in which motivation can be achieved by offering career growth. Both of these issues are relevant in this case study, as I was initially a part-time worker covering busy periods and working just 10 hours a week on average. This was increased to 25 hours a week, as well as my role as a team member, before becoming duty manager. Both of these factors fundamentally changed my role within the store and my motivation to perform and will therefore be discussed from a theoretical perspective, before looking at how it has been applied in the current situation.

Motivation – Theories of Part-Time Workers

Motivating staff to perform in such a way that is going to benefit the organisation is perceived to be a central role for the HR manager, with policies and practices within any given workplace looking towards achieving the best possible end result. In this case, the managers within the Co-operative store were focused on providing excellent customer service and ensuring that there were suitable levels of staff in order to deal with busy periods, most notably around Christmas time. With consumer demand itself being flexible, this requires a high degree of flexibility within the workplace and, as such, the organisation engages extra part-time employees, often students who are actively seeking more hours during peak periods. Essentially, these individuals can therefore be considered as internal, temporary employees, where the organisation adjusts itself to deal with changing demands. Yet, they are still within the traditional employment model and are employed directly by the store (Gallagher, 2002). Gallagher stated that although it is recognised that there is a distinction between internal employees and external employees, i.e. those who are recruited from employment agencies to deal with a particular project or a particular period in time, it is also noted that there is likely to be a distinction between those internal employees who are perceived to be on-call, i.e. operating on zero hours contracts and those who are ongoing, i.e. working regular shorter hours.

In this particular situation, both types of internal employees are engaged and I personally was involved in an ongoing part-time role, whereby I was present within the store for 10 hours a week. Others around me worked more on an on-call basis and may not have been present for weeks on end and then would obtain more hours during busy periods. This created difficulties within the group, as those who were ongoing internal employees often felt threatened by the presence of the on-call employees, with concerns that these on-call employees would be given hours that could otherwise have been offered to existing part-time staff. Balancing the need to meet customer demands and to maintain flexibility within the workplace with the requirements and demands of the staff themselves is a key role for any HR manager, particularly in customer facing organisations such as the Co-operative.

In October 2012, a meeting was held with the assistant manager to look at my placement programme. During this meeting, it became apparent that changing my working hours and hours a week to 25 had actually changed my ability to be effective within the team. Although I am still considered to be part-time my presence for 25 hours a week allowed the management team to become much more aware of what I am capable of, as well as the managers being able to rely on me to perform certain tasks consistently and on almost a daily basis. As a result of this change, I have become more engaged with activities that would essentially enable me to obtain promotion, in the future; for example, I have spent time in the cash office, as well as performing other management tasks, such as opening and closing the store. In particular, I feel that the management team has changed its attitude towards me, now seeing me more as an integral member of the team, rather than as an individual who simply covers a few hours on the shop floor, on a weekly basis.

It is therefore suggested that the engagement of employees is more closely linked to their number of hours of employment, on a weekly basis, rather than based on whether or not the individual is an on-call employee or not. This could be seen in the fact that some students would work full-time hours during the holiday period and would often be given substantially more responsibility than staff members working every day of the week, but for more limited hours. This theory was supported further still when, in November 2012, when my working hours were again increased, this time from 25 hours per week to 38 hours a week.

Motivation – Career Progression

The rapid career progression was largely influenced by external factors, namely my direct line manager obtaining a role elsewhere, thus creating a vacancy within the chain of command for me to step into. My motivational level, as a result of the potential career progression, increased dramatically and raised questions about whether or not having a clear and realistic progression plan in place was a suitable motivator, regardless of the level of the individual within the organisation.

Cheng et al., 2001 suggested that when an organisation introduces an employee development scheme with an obvious promotion path, motivation among staff members at all levels would become considerably higher. This is something which is certainly supported in my case, once it became apparent to me that the management team was looking to promote me to duty manager. I actively took on board several new aspects of my work and felt particularly enthused to learn new skills (Beardwell & Claydon, 2007).

However, opening up the opportunity to progress towards my goal of duty manager, also raised several issues which took place over the coming months and which potentially reduced my confidence to undertake the role and the period of adjustment, in terms of what was expected of me on a day-to-day basis, and making the progression considerably harder than first anticipated. For instance, it soon became apparent that whilst having a clear career progression in place offers substantial motivation, this needs to be supported with the appropriate training and planning. In this particular case, promotion happened as a result of a few staff members leaving the store and a requirement opening up for me. Whilst this was a golden opportunity and one which I have on balance fully embraced, being promoted simply because there was a need within the team has resulted in certain areas of difficulty, most notably when the area manager visited the store during my first time as a duty manager. This first visit did not go particularly well and I was offered the opportunity to recover the situation in a later, second visit. This did, however, raise questions about how motivation can potentially be reduced, if the process of career progression is not managed or an individual feels out of their depth (Engellandt, 2005).

When looking more generally and the theories of motivation, it can be seen that an individual’s performance is likely to be a factor of two issues; namely ability and their motivation to perform to this ability. This makes sense, as a capable individual who is highly motivated is still likely to perform to the required level, whereas a very capable individual who has no motivation is equally likely to fall short. In my case, the management team appeared to recognise that I have both the ability and the motivation and, as such, was the obvious choice to be promoted and fast-tracked when the vacancies became available.

One particular issue which arises with this type of placement is how motivation can be maintained where an individual is on a short-term or temporary contract (Latham, Pinder, 2005). Many of the staff within the store either working reduced hours, doing so as students on vacation, or covering a particularly busy period of time; therefore, motivating these individuals through the use of potential career progression is unlikely to be as successful as it was with myself who viewed this role as a long-term career. As a manager, therefore, I now need to consider that the staff members with whom I work are not all going to have the same motivational factors as myself. For example, students who return during the Christmas period are likely to be motivated almost exclusively by financial reward and this is going to be different from other individuals who may value the flexibility of the role, over the years, as a means of allowing them to achieve the required work life balance (Lawler, 2005).

Applying these underlying theories relating to motivation (applied both in relation to my own motivation and my requirement to motivate others as a new manager), several themes have arisen. My own motivation provided me with an interesting understanding of how I could potentially motivate other employees within my team. Although this was just a one-year placement, I viewed my opportunities within the Co-operative store as being long-term and this was supported by the fact that in my final month, the manager made it clear that they would look to recruit me as an assistant manager, in the future (Manning and Petrongolo, 2005).

My own willingness to take on board additional responsibilities gave me an understanding that all team members need to have progression opportunities in place, regardless of the level at which they are currently working and regardless of whether or not they are part-time or full-time employees. Certain concerns have arisen in relation to the use of temporary staff during busy periods, particularly where there is a concern that these temporary staff are taking hours that regular part-time staff would welcome. Consideration should, therefore, be given to ensuring greater care in the allocation of these additional hours and to ensure that the underlying career progression for part-time staff is not overlooked, simply because they are part-time. It was not until I moved from 10 hours a week to 25 and then later to 38 hours that I felt that I was able to fully achieve my potential. My ability was not any different; however, I was able to become much more involved in the day-to-day working of the store and able to gain considerably more experience than was ever going to be possible working part-time (Connelly & Gallagher, 2004).

Conclusions

During my one-year placement period which proved to be a rapid climb-up the career ladder within the retail store, several underlying human resource issues and policies were highlighted. Most notably were those associated with the difficulties faced by part-time employees and atypical workers, as well as motivational issues and managing progression in such a way that motivation is retained and that individuals have a clear idea of what their future holds, thus encouraging each individual to continue to perform in a way that supports the overall business strategy (Steers et al., 2004).

In my own placement, I felt that I was given ample opportunity to progress and this motivated me to continue to perform strongly, despite the fact that at times the progression happened because of an internal need within the store, rather than because I had undergone suitable training. This resulted in me being out of my depth, on occasions, and consequently my skills needed to be reviewed. On the whole, however, this made me more motivated to learn, but care needs to be taken with other individuals who may have lost their confidence in a similar situation. More specifically, care needs to be taken to ensure that part-time employees are not overlooked purely due to their reduced hours, as these individuals can be as able and motivated as full-time employees.

References

Beardwell, J., & Claydon, T. (2007). Human Resource Management: A contemporary

Approach 5th ed. . Harlow, UK: Pearson Education Limited

Cheng, E.W.L. and Ho, D.C.K., (2001), The influence of job and career attitudes on learning motivation and transfer. Career Development International. 6 (1), 20-27.

Connelly, C. E., & Gallagher, D. G. (2004). Emerging trends in contingent work research. Journal of Management , 30 (6), 959-983.

Engellandt, A. (2005). Temporary contract and employee effort. Labour Economic , 12, 281-299.

Gallagher, D. G. (2002). Contingent work contracts: Practices and theory. In C. Cooper, & R. Burke, The new world of work: Challenges and opportunities (pp. 115-136). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Latham, G. & Pinder, C. (2005). Work motivation theory and research at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Annual Review of Psychology, 56, 485–516.

Lawler, E. E. (2005). Creating high performance organisation. Asia Pasific Journal of Human Resources , 43 (`1), 10-17.

Manning, A and Petrongolo, B. (2005) ‘The Part-time Pay Penalty’, CEP Discussion Paper No. 679 (http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0679.pdf).

Steers, R. M., Mowday, R. T., & Shapiro, D. L. (2004). The future of work motivation theory.

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Emerging Theme in Human Resource Management

Part One

Macro Level Issue: Social: Changing Cultural Patterns

Mesco Level Issue: Flexibility and Work Life Balance

Chosen Industry: Telecommunication Industry

Justification of the choice of themes in the context of the identified industry/sector

The current business environment is characterized as multi-faced, highly intricate and competitive, and is in a constant mode of transition, hence demanding greater level of flexibility and adaptability from business firms which intend to thrive and succeed.

A theme which is at the centre of this demand for greater adaptability and flexibility is ‘changing cultural patterns’, an emerging phenomenon which driven by growing influence of globalization. With the advent of globalization which is in turn fuelled by mass communication, information and communication technologies and international business, the traditional societies are being replaced by modern ones which demonstrate a greater extent of cultural heterogeneity. This cultural heterogeneity lays emphasis upon fairness, openness, empowerment, respect, and flexibility. Resultantly, the changing culture patterns impact upon the modern human resource practices, requiring them to adhere to the agenda of fairness, openness, participative leadership and management style, and cater greater flexibility to main a sound work life balance, in order to keep abreast with the emerging circumstantial requirements.

The significance of realizing the changing cultural patters and incorporating them in the human resource practices especially in terms of flexibility and work life balance is underscored due to the fact that modern day organization, especially those operating in telecommunication and related technology industries need to be highly adaptive, innovative and creative and sensitive to customers’ demands and aspirations. This can be achieved by having a highly motivated workforce, working within an organizational culture that ensures fairness, respect, encourages creativity and innovation. The aims of fairness, respect and encouraging creativity can be achieved by ensuring a level of flexibility that balances the social, personal and professional life of employees. Innovation and creativity that is achieved through such human resource management practices is necessary in the current business environment and is considered to be primordial for the survival of businesses operating in telecommunication and digital media industry. Without the right kind of workforce with the right kind of capabilities, businesses in the high tech industries would not be able to compete in the highly complex and fast paced technological environment.

War for Talent:

Some commentators are of the view that after the economic conditions get stable and recover from the recent economic downturn, the end of the financial battle will only mark the beginning of the war among human resource management (HRM) practitioners which would be the ‘War for talent’.

The post-recovery phase is characterized with high turn-over rates and dearth of skills as indicated by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study report. It highlights that one out of three employees in the UK plan to budge to another job or position when the possibility emerges (Change Board, 2010: pg.1). Moreover, the study predicts that following the economic recovery in 2011, employers in UK and elsewhere in similar economies will face a dire shortage of skills. They would have more difficulties than before in filling new positions. The survey revealed that more than 50% of the respondents ranked ‘skills shortages’ as their greatest upcoming concern (People Management, 6 Dec 2010: pg.1).

Recent Employee Outlook CIPD’s survey (People Management, 29 November 2010: pg.1) identified a phenomenon termed as ‘fixed grin’ in which job satisfaction levels rose to a peak during economic hardship due to the fact that the top most concern of the employees was only to have job stability. This would be followed by a likely drop once the economy convalesces, and new opportunities erupt (People Management, 29 November 2010: pg.1). Hence HRD personnel will have to play a crucial role in engaging employees when the economic climate becomes favourable by offering competitive learning environment and growth prospects in order to attract and retain the best talent within the industry. Thus attracting and retaining talent is another concern that deepens the demand for a cultural overhaul across organizations and flexible working environments epically in telecommunication industry.

List of most suitable potential publications for this publication and its relevance

For the current discussion paper, the author has shortlisted two UK based publications. The credentials and relevance of both those shortlisted publication are presented in the following:

HR Magazine

‘HR Magazine’ is aimed for people-focused, forward-thinking, business leaders who wish to gain valuable insights and examples of business-contextualized human resource for developing high-performing and effective business firms. HR magazine is aimed for the up-market business consumers. The magazine’s ABC circulation is 7,968 comprising of HR directors and heads, chief executives, managing directors, finance directors and chairman positions only. The magazine has a premium position among business and HR magazines, a fact confirmed by the recent British Business Survey 2011, undertaken by Ipsos Mori in which out of 1.8 million purchase decision makers, 75,000 purchase decision makers had dealt with HR brand in the previous month of the survey (see http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk). This magazine is deemed relevant for the publication of this discussion paper due to its high readership and brand value among HR personnel across UK.

Flexibility

‘Flexibility’ is a uniquely positioned HR magazine which aims at stimulating a debate regarding the changing organizational culture and work environment. The magazine brings together researches and opinions about new trends in HR practices, organizational change and technological development. The magazine has been under publication since 1993, and provides regular updates regarding flexibility working. It also publishes digital version of its magazines. The specific purpose of this magazine which coincides with the discussion of this paper makes is very suitable for the publication of this discussion paper (see www.flexibility.co.uk).

Brief justification of why the publishers should publish this discussion paper

The aim of the current discussion paper is to recognize the changing patterns in organizational culture especially within information and communication technology industry in order to promote flexibility and continuous learning and development. It fits precisely within the scope and purpose of the Flexibility magazine, whose motto is to provide “resources for new ways of working”. The magazine champions the cause of flexible working environment and organizational learning and development. Therefore the author of this discussion paper is of the view that the current discussion paper will make a valuable contribution to the magazine, in acquainting its readers with new emerging HR trends and practices within telecommunication industry that fosters innovation and creativity through its organizational culture and flexibility.

Part Two

The modern day business environment has evolved to become much more multifaceted than ever before. The entire globe in intertwined by complex networks of communications enabled by cutting edge information technologies. Markets are evolving at a higher pace with consumers’ demands varying quickly due to globalization. In such a business environment, a company operating within fast evolving industries such as telecommunication and digital media, its organization culture worldview ought to vary significantly from that a traditional manufacturing and production company. This discussion paper evaluates how organizations should evolve in terms of organization culture as a response to the changing cultural patterns especially those operating within telecommunication industry. It will also discuss the significance of maintaining flexibility and ensuring a sound work life balance for fostering innovation and creativity. It will also assess the implications of the proposed changes and how the attitudes, skills and behaviors of HR professionals will have to change resultantly.

Various organizations within the telecommunication and digital media industry have successfully developed organizational cultures that coincide with the changing cultural patterns of modern societies to bring about transformation change. These transformational changes are marked by the introduction of ground breaking products and applications such as smart phones, tablet computers, operating system, social networking applications, cloud computing technologies, to name a few. Cultures within such organizations provide for working environments that are founded on wider modern social values of openness and fairness, encouragement for creative thinking, and a participatory and democratic management style. Such an organizational culture adheres to the view that all the business solutions to the external and internal challenges can be realized internally by not just the top executive but by any of its knowledge workers. Hence, it entails to making efforts to tap into the creative base of employees, providing them with the “ability to think critically and creatively, the ability to communicate ideas and concepts, and the ability to cooperate with other human beings in the process of inquiry and action.” (Navran Associates Newsletter 1993)

A modern organizational culture which deliberates innovation and creativity within its realms underscores the importance of flexibility and work life balance for its employees. It tries to build a workforce which is free from constant managerial oversight as it employees are not considered to be passive players within the overall business equation. Such an approach encourages employees to utter ideas, explore new phenomena, and push their limits beyond their comfort zones and subsequently contribute towards an enhanced working environment which further strengthens the modern organizational culture. Such participating brings about a paradigm shift, refuting the traditional authoritarian management approach complementary to the traditional social cultural pattern. Herein, the managerial hierarchy is invalidated in terms of knowledge creation leading to a business environment where knowledge workers can “create the results they truly desire and where they can learn to learn together for the betterment of the whole” (Rheem 1995, p 10).

Impact of Modern Organizational Culture

A salient example such an organizational culture which can be considered as a benchmark and blue print for companies operating within the fast paced telecommunication industry is the Internet search engine colossal ‘Google’. Within a short time of establishment, Google has succeeded in becoming a global leader owing to its diligent innovation and focus upon customers’ needs.

The company’s management style is the key behind its organizational culture that systematically fosters organizational learning and development and resultantly innovation. Google’s management approach is highly participative and to some extent free reign, reflecting its adherence to the evolving modern culture of the society in general. The central premise of this type of managerial approach is based on the fact that the leader (top executive/CEO) has only part of the information, whilst the rest of information is within the employees. The leader is someone who has the ability to extract the potential out of the employees in order to know everything; hence he/she employees well-informed and capable employees. Likewise, Google managerial style and its organizational culture value the common wisdom. Its leadership surprisingly supports dissent and disagreement when conversing new ideas and values those who tend to differ. According to Schmidt, the Chairman of Google and its former CEO, disagreements are vital to bring about all important information and varying point of views on table leading to a thoroughly informed decision (Manyika 2008). The company’s leadership also acknowledges that freedom, flexibility and collaboration and learning are key aspects getting the best ideas and solution. Schmidt mentions that “in traditional companies, the big offices, the corner offices, the regal bathrooms, and everybody dressed up in suits cause people to be afraid to speak out. But the best ideas typically don’t come from executives.”

Google systematically advocates innovation and learning at every stage at Google in the whole system, including management. Google adheres the “70/20/10? rule, which implies that the employees at the organization spent seventy percentage of their time regarding core business activities; twenty percent of their time in tasks related to that business activity; and ten percent of their time doing things which are not associated with any of the core business activities. Schmidt himself also complies with this rule by spending his time in three different chambers, so he can track his time spent on each activity (Battelle, 2005). Moreover, Schmidt asserts that “new ideas emerge with freedom from thinking about obligations” (Manyika 2008). Therefore Google put up its core engineers in spending twenty percent of their time in the pursuit of innovative thoughts which does not include any formal or regular duty (Battelle, 2005). Schemes like these have given birth to several products and services which Google is offering these days. Google’s organizational culture hence adheres to the policy of openness, employee empowerment and participation and respect for every individual’s ideas. This leads to a greater level of innovation and creativity at an organizational level.

Impact of Flexibility and Work Life Balance

Google also treats its employees as internal customers, offering them a high level of flexibility and ensuring a great work and life balance. The company leaves no stone unturned in appeasing its employees in its effort to keep them highly motivated and enthusiastic. One way through which Google advances work satisfaction is through its great working conditions. Google’s work places all over the world are very spacious; providing employees with every possible facility they could ask for. It is not unusual for a Google’s workplace to have outdoor tables, park benches shaded by trees, gardens, sports facilities etc. Staff members are provided with free on-site messages, haircuts, pet care facilities and healthy meals throughout the day. Google also offers unlimited sick leaves to its employees and as many as 27 days of paid time off after one year of employment. It has comprehensive maternity and new fathers leave program in place as well. The company also holds annual on-site Health Fair offers various free testing services, including eye exams and cholesterol testing; also offers free flu shots. It’s on site perks at headquarters include medical and dental facilities, oil change and car wash, courier, fitness center, banking center, and free breakfast, lunch and dinner on a daily basis. The company spends as much as $70 million annually on free meals and snacks (Sutherland, 2012). The company literally looks after every need that a technology geek would not want to be bothered with, to help them focus on innovation, and creativity. Such flexibility and measures for ensuring a great work/life balance keep the employees highly motivated and foster innovation and creativity.

Implication of these Themes for HR Managers

Modern day organizations ought to make strong efforts in maintaining a participative and democratic leadership as the very first thing needed to enforce a modern organizational culture which is not based on traditional hierarchy, but upon a diverse workforce wherein every individual provides a valuable input to lead the organization (Senge 1996). The leadership should recognize and admit that every employ has potential to find solution to the challenges faced by the company. This should lead to a organizational culture which is based on openness and trust, where employees are supported and rewarded for learning and innovating, and one that promotes experimentation, risk taking, and “values the well-being of all employees” (Gephart 1996, p 39). Such a culture would position organizations to capitalize upon forthcoming ideas which can deliver unquantifiable benefits for the development and success of the telecommunication firms. Adhering to this line of thinking, HR managers should provide ample facilities and amenities for socialization, such as gyms, pool and indoor games, well kept cafeteria and canteens among other recreational facilities where employees can share ideas, experiences, and embark in informal learning. Such an environment is very effective in fostering group work and team learning as well (Senge 1990).

Conclusion

As Hout (1999) mentions that “management as we have known it is too cumbersome for today’s fast, unpredictable pace. A new kind of company wins now. The best management models don’t adapt to the new economy; they emerge from it. It’s no longer the survival of the fittest; it’s the arrival of the fittest.” Hout’s contention clearly identifies the new order in the business world, which is characterized as fast paced, complex and unpredictable. It dictates a paradigm shift in the modern organizational culture. He further states that: “No intelligence from on high can match the quality of solutions to market problems that arise from players who are constantly communicating with one another on the ground level. The invisible hand of the marketplace should displace the visible hand of the manager. The markets can determine where one team or initiative or company ends and another begins. Managers interfere at their peril.” This signifies the importance of a participative organizational culture, which encapsulates themes such as fairness, openness, and respect ; all of which combine the collective wisdom of executives and all those working in an organization, in yielding bright ideas and solutions that can be translated into company’s success.

Organization within the telecommunication industry should recognize that the journey towards creating such an organizational culture through flexibility is a long and gradual one and thus temporary setbacks and difficulties are to be expected. Enforcing a participatory managerial style and engaging employees in the organizational learning process are massive feats that cannot be achieved overnight. However, given the current overall outlook of the business environment and the rapidity of the technological advancements, and recognizing the changing cultural pattern of the society in general, developing such an organization is the most crucial strategy for the success of telecommunication firms. A flexible working environment can create an organizational culture that would promote innovation and creativity. It is the best way to avert any foreseen and unforeseen challenges faced by organizations.

References

Battelle, J (2005) Google CEO Eric Schmidt gives us his golden rules for managing innovation. CNN/Money. Available fromhttp://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2005/12/01/8364616/index.htm (cited on 15th December, 2012)

Bender, D.R. (1998), “Knowledge management makes information work”, Washington Business Journal, Vol. 17 No. 6, pp. 35-6.

Botha, D.F. (2000), “A conceptual framework for the management of knowledge in a knowledge-based enterprise”, South African Journal of Business Management, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 141-8.

Change Board (1 January 2010) ‘HR landscape in 2010 – HR challenges’, Available from: Changeboard.com. (cited on 15th December, 2012)

CIPD (28 January 2010) Press Office’, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Available from: CIPD.co.uk. (cited on 15th December, 2012)

Crossan, M. M., Lane, H. W. and White, R. E. (1999) “An organizational learning framework: from intuition to institution”, Academy of Management Review, 24, 522.

De Geus, A. (1997), “The living company”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 75 No. 2, pp. 51-9.

Drucker, P.F. (1964), Managing for Results: Economic Tasks and Risk-taking Decisions, Harper and Row, New York, NY.

Drucker, P.F. (1998), “Managements new paradigms”, Forbes, Vol. 162 No. 7, pp. 152-69.

Gephart, A., Victoria J., Marsick, E., Van B., and Michelle S., (1996). “Learning organizations come alive” Training & Development vol. 50, no. 12: 35-45.

Handy, C. (1995) The Age of Unreason, London, Arrow Business Books.

Harrison, R. (2009) Learning and development. 5th ed. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Kaplan, Robert S., and David P. Norton. (Sept./Oct. 1996). Strategic planning and the balanced scorecard. Strategy & Leadership vol. 24, no. 5: 18-24.

Kontoghiorghes, C., Awbrey, S.M. and Feurig, P.L. (2005), “Examining the relationship between learning organization characteristics and change adaptation, innovation and organizational performance”, Human Resource Development Quarterly, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 185-211.

Manyika, J (2008) “Google’s View on the Future of Business: An Interview with CEO Eric Schmidt”. The McKinsey Quarterly. Available from http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Googles_view_on_the_future_of_business_An_interview_with_CEO_Eric_Schmi t_2229 (cited on 15th December, 2012)

McGill, M.E., Slocum, J.W. and Lei, D. (1992), “Management practices in learning organisations”, Management Dynamics, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 4-17.

Miller, W.C. (1998), “Fostering intellectual capital”, HR Focus, Vol. 75 No. 1, pp. 509-17.

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Newstrom, J and Keith D. Organizational Behavior : Human Behavior at Work. New York : McGraw-Hill, 1993.

Nomikos, G.E. (1989), “Managing knowledge workers for productivity”, National Productivity Review, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 165-74.

Rheem, Helen. (Mar./Apr. 1995). “The learning organization.” Harvard Business Review vol. 73, no. 2: 10.

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Knowledge of the prevailing conditions in the labour market is fundamental to the Human Resource Planning process and to understand labour supply

Introduction

Human resource planning plays a very significant role in ensuring that the organisation achieves its overall strategic goals. As the workforce becomes more competitive and globalized, the role of strategic human resource planning is given even more importance. Understanding the current trends and prevailing conditions in the labour market is crucial because it will give human resource managers very valuable insights on forecasting recruitment needs and evaluating the appropriate level of compensation for employees.

Labour market analysis is an essential tool in Human Resource Planning. This helps ‘to identify skill shortages and enables a diagnosis of market failure to match labour supply with demand’ (Kumar, 2011, p.15). To conduct labour market analysis, it is important to have comprehensive and regularly updated information about the labour market.

The basic concept behind this is that of supply and demand. For example, if the labour market is experiencing mass layoffs and job cuts, then there is a large pool of employees waiting to be recruited. This abundance of labour supply consequently affects human resource forecasting, both in terms of the number and quality of employees that can be hired, as well as the compensation given to new employees (e.g. employers have more choices in recruiting the best employees for the job, lower starting salaries for new employees because there are many applicants willing to settle for a lower pay, etc.). Conversely, if the labour market is experiencing a boom in recruitment or a low unemployment rate, then there is higher demand for labour – which will directly impact recruitment planning and employee compensation. In this situation, employees have the upper hand because they have more options in terms of where to work and they can demand higher salaries because of the shortage in skilled employees.

With these in mind, this paper will analyse the subject matter by providing evidence on why knowledge about current conditions in the labour market is necessary to Human Resource Planning process and in understanding labour supply.

The Importance of Human Resource Planning

Human Resource Planning improves the utilisation of human resources by helping management to forecast the recruitment needs of the company, both in terms of the quantity of people to be hired and the types of skills required for the job (Banerjee, 2012). It involves the identification of the organisation’s human resource requirements and consequently, to guide human resource managers in coming up with plans to address these requirements (Armstrong, 2008). Human Resource Planning is crucial because it helps the organisation to estimate its demand for labour and to evaluate the size, nature, and sources of supply that will be needed to meet this demand.

Human Resource Planning may also be defined as ‘a strategy for the acquisition, utilisation, improvement and preservation of the human resources of an enterprise’ (Kumar, 2011, p.1). Based from this definition, the major activities of manpower planning can be enumerated as follows: (1) Forecasting future manpower requirements, (2) Inventorying present manpower resources and analysing the degree to which these resources are employed optimally, (3) Anticipating manpower problems by projecting present resources into the future and comparing them with the forecast requirements, and (4) Planning the necessary programmes of recruitment, selection, training, etc. for future manpower requirements (Kumar, 2011, p.1).

Human Resource Planning also helps managers to develop ways to avoid or correct problems related to human resource management before it becomes serious enough to disrupt the organisation’s operations. Additionally, it should make provisions for the replacement of staff, either from within or outside of the organisation, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, whenever the need arises (Banerjee, 2012).

The model below illustrates a basic Human Resource Planning process. In this model, Human Resource Planning can be defined as a process that helps an organisation to ensure that it has the right number of people, filling the right positions, at the right time. To ensure that this objective is met, the strategic future planning of staff is crucial. This involves putting in place plans and strategies for the ‘acquisition, utilization, improvement and retention of the human resources required by an organisation, in pursuit of its objectives’ (Kiran 2009, sec.1). Based on this model, human resource managers should come up with training plans, recruitment plans, and redundancy plans. The recruitment plan should consider gender, age, qualifications and experience, vis-a-vis the organisation’s goals and objectives. The time frame for the implementation of these plans depends on the organisation’s aims and other external influences (Kiran, 2009).

The organisation must know its overall targets and aims in order to forecast its future staffing requirements. One of the main tasks within the Human Resource Planning process involves the recruitment of employees, with a special focus on what are the most likely sources of labour supply. Thus, recruitment forecasting relies heavily on finding out where the right labour can be sourced. This will help to cut down the costs for hiring and training of personnel, as well as reducing costs due to hiring mistakes (Banerjee, 2012). As such, it is very important for human resource managers to have a keen understanding of the labour market.

Understanding the Labour Market in Human Resource Planning and Labour Supply

In recent years, there have been many major changes in the practice of Human Resource Planning. The rapid expansion of developing economies, the increasingly diverse and global nature of the labour market, and the emergence of new technologies have caused significant impacts on the ‘demand for and supply of skills, organisational structures and practices, and the prospects for employment, inequality, productivity and growth’ (Vaitilingam, 2006, p.1). As such, there is a need to have a better understanding of the changing characteristics and needs of today’s workforce, especially in terms of labour market and labour supply.

As mentioned earlier, Human Resource Planning involves forecasting of the organisation’s future human resource requirements and determining where these will be obtained. To achieve this goal, the following sets of forecasts are needed (Human Resource Planning, 2009):

A forecast of the demand for human resources
This refers to the number of employees and types of skills needed by the organisation.
A forecast of the supply of human resources available within the organisation (Internal Supply)
These are present employees who can be promoted, transferred, demoted, or developed to fill in the organisation’s employment needs.
A forecast of the supply of external human resources (External Supply)
These consist of people who do not work for the organisation but are potential candidates to fill the organisation’s job vacancies.

With these in mind, human resource managers must have knowledge about the current labour market conditions in order to effectively forecast the organisation’s needs. In order to supply the organisation’s workforce requirements, human resource managers must look at the overall labour market conditions (Human Resource Planning, 2009). Doing so will provide insights on the availability of external candidates, as well providing indications on the likelihood of internal employees seeking employment elsewhere. For example, when there is an abundant supply of labour, organisations tend to have an easier time of recruiting qualified candidates; while current employees are unlikely to leave their jobs because of the lack of opportunities in other organisations. On the other hand, when there is a shortage in the supply of labour, organisations are competing with each other to get the best candidates and internal employees may be tempted to look for opportunities in other firms because they can bargain for higher a position and better compensation.

Human resource managers must also be aware of demographic changes and other external factors within the labour market, which can affect not only its recruitment prospects but also its internal human resource conditions. These include the aging of the workforce, rising female participation in the workplace, rates of fresh graduates seeking employment, changes in education and skills, immigration rates, casualisation of the work force, outsourcing of employees, hiring of international candidates, etc. To illustrate, the growing role of women in the workforce may require improvements in childcare facilities, allowing flexible work schedules or work from home arrangements, assurance of job security in case of absence due to family issues, or granting of maternity leaves or special parental leaves. Another example concerns the ageing of the workforce. An ageing workforce may force organisations to employ or retain a larger number of older workers, or to outsource a younger workforce from overseas (Human Resource Planning, 2009).

Furthermore, because of the increasing globalisation of the workforce, human resource managers may need to recruit candidates either locally, regional, or internationally (Human Resource Planning, 2009). This requires considerable knowledge on the labour market, not only from a local perspective but on a global scale. The rising trend for the outsourcing of employees from developing countries have emphasized the need for knowledge in domestic and international labour markets. Organisations are turning to outsourcing because of the abundance of skilled employees at cheaper labour costs.

Over the years, it has been observed that there are changing patterns in employers’ demand for labour and workers’ supply of skilled and less-skilled labour. Since the labour market is an essential component of the economy, the government has always taken an active role in managing labour from a macro-level perspective. In this regard, human resource managers must also have knowledge of government policies regarding the labour market. Managers must have a good understanding of how governments ‘can affect levels of pay, distribution of pay, job matching, and the supply of skills through various labour market and education policies’ (Vaitilingam, 2006, p.24).

There are two main scenarios in the labour market which directly impact the Human Resources Planning process and labour supply: (1) when there is a deficiency of labour, and (2) when there is a surplus of labour. Human resource managers should have a good understanding of the labour market in order to address the different needs in these scenarios.

In the scenario where there is a deficiency of labour, the following strategies can be undertaken to optimise the organisation’s human resource capacity: (1) encourage internal transfers and promotions; (2) conduct training and development; (3) recruit new employees from outside the organisation and improve recruitment methods; (4) extend temporary contracts; (5) delay retirements; (6) reduce labour turnover by reviewing the reasons for resignations; (7) utilize freelance or agency staff; (8) develop more flexible working methods; encourage and provide adequate compensation for overtime work; (9) negotiate productivity deals; (10) increase productivity through capital investment, e.g. automation, use of new technologies, etc (Kiran 2009).

On the other hand, in a scenario where there is a surplus of labour, the following steps can be undertaken to improve the organisation’s efficiency: (1) limit the replacement of employees; (2) freeze new recruitment; (3) implement redundancies, either voluntary or compulsory; (4) provide early retirement incentives; (4) implement a tougher stance on discipline to increase dismissals; (5) encourage job sharing; (6) eliminate overtime; (7) redeploy employees to other units (Kiran 2009).

Conclusion

Human Resource Planning utilizes labour supply and demand forecasts in order to predict labour shortages and surpluses – with the goal of enhancing the organisation’s success (Ricio, 2011). Matching labour supply with labour demand is one of the primary tasks of human resource managers. Based from an economic perspective, the supply and demand between those who offer employment and those who offer their labour is determined by the economic aspects of the options that are available to each of the parties. This means that employees and employers weigh their choices by considering the economic advantages, which they can get out of the transaction.

Taking this into consideration, it is important for human resource managers to update their knowledge and broaden their understanding on the prevailing conditions and issues in the labour market. Having a keen understanding of the workings of demand and supply and being aware of demographic and social factors within the labour market will guide managers in reviewing and improving their human resource strategies in order to be flexible, adaptable, and responsive to change.

References

Armstrong, M (2008). Strategic Human Resource Management: A Guide to Action. 4th ed. London: Kogan Page Limited. p5-20.

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Human Resource Management

Introduction

This study is aimed at exploring the role of vocational education and training (VET) in developing a skilled workforce and meeting the requirements of an efficient and well-functioning modern economy. The discussion will focus on vocational education and training being one of the crucial responsibilities of employers and employees and on the part to be played by the state in facilitating such occupational programs with reference to the implications of different VET systems on skill development. The analysis will also include a comprehensive account of arguments that demonstrate significant connections between VET systems and various models of labor market and evaluation of how such links may affect skill development. These arguments will be validated by particular examples of various VET systems used in different countries along with highlighting the key aspects of different vocational education and training systems in terms of workplace learning.

The Meaning and Importance of VET

In order to establish and sustain a prosperous economy and ensure its steady growth, having a skilled workforce is highly essential (Directorate for Education 2009). While some of the vital skills are a result of development of general education and training at all levels, many advanced nations such as UK, USA and European countries are in constant need of specific occupational skills to respond to the rapidly growing fields driven by technological advancements (Organization for Economic Cooperation 2010, p.3). Vocational education and training systems play a critical part in supplying the occupational skills that are in demand and hence facilitate the organizations and the economy in general to adapt to the swiftly changing needs. Professional programs and qualifications greatly assist in prevarication of economic activities through the formation of occupational identity (Nijhof et al 2003, p.40).

Vocational education has been taken as one of the most critical tools for addressing social, economic and political crises that threatens the social stability and economic productivity of nations. Lack of competent and skilled labor, growing unemployment, high rate of high school and college drop-outs and the transforming demographic nature of personnel have placed the matter of vocational training and workplace learning on top of the educational reform programs of many developing countries (Greenan & Mustapha 2002). Thus due to its dynamic nature, VET systems are unceasingly subject to various forces that lead to changes in educational institutions, job industry and society in general. According to the findings of a research conducted by Greenan & Mustapha (2002) to investigate the employability of students who are vocationally certified as compared to those who are not, both employers and educators believe that vocational graduates have better employment opportunities than those students who have simply completed their academic education.

Employer organizations and trade unions are working to define, design and implement vocational programs, for instance, establishing national vocational qualification standards in Britain. VET not only serves to supply and maintain the needed labor skills but also develops and delivers occupational standards in collaboration with the professional sectors (Nijhof et al 2003). Besides providing the required labor force, an efficient VET system works to; educate and train new workers and employers to support the knowledge base in organizations, provision of up dated information and training facilities to align the talents and skills of trainees with the current labor demands, enabling the adaptation of latest technologies and innovation work methods and facilitating innovation and interactive learning process (Nijhof et al 2003, p. 40). In addition to this, as argued by Preston & Green (2008), significantly contributes towards institutional integrity, value formation as well as in reducing inequality and sense of discrimination in the social and organizational context.

VET as a Crucial Responsibility of Employers

It is of common knowledge that progress in the employee management can play a massive role in enhancing the competitive advantage of firms. Human Resource Management indeed maintains that the success of a company’s business strategy largely depends on the development of a more refined, extensive and strategic approach to labor management. As the nature of personnel management and function changes, HR managers are getting increasingly inclined towards including training function in their human resource strategies for using labor more effectively (Rainbird 1994). Since VET not only enriches employees for dealing professionally with the upcoming challenges posed by the current revolution in scientific, information and communication technology but also provides the competences which are essential to tackle such wide-scale changes, it has become a major responsibility of employers to devise personnel strategies that encompass VET systems in order to prepare the workforce for meeting the requirements of innovative techniques for doing diverse jobs.

There are several internal as well as external drivers that compel companies to invest in learning and training programs. For instance, companies may need to retrain employees for undertaking any innovative project, in preparation for succession, for improving individual and collective performance or aiding organizational change (Wilton 2011, p. 251). On the other hand, certain external elements such as market, technological or legislative changes may lead to skills deficiency and firms might require providing relevant coaching to fulfill those deficiencies. Each state has crafted its own VET system which governs the functioning of training programs executed within institutes. For example, the VET system in Germany is perhaps the most advanced and effective mainly due to the fact that it places a lot of stress on the organizational as well as the social role of vocational programs (Preston & Green 2008, p. 20) and there exist a strong cooperation among the state, trade unions and organizations.

Germany has a dual system of apprenticeship where specialization centers are accessible after initial training and some relevant work experience, however, this VET system also referred to as ‘societal model of training’ is predominantly governed by labor-market situation whereas focus is also given to promoting civic values by means of professional socialization (Preston & Green 2008, p. 20). Thus the German VET system is characterized by immensely effective dual apprenticeship system based on a combination of schooling and workplace, sound employer organizations, healthy collaboration among the state, employers and trade unions and high-level interaction between training and education systems. There is an equal distribution of responsibilities and steering functions between the state and social partners (employers, trade unions) on local, regional and national level. The German VET system is a remarkable model for other countries to follow because both government and social partners mutually share the responsibility to ensure that its workforce has the right skills development framework for dealing with occupational and professional challenges in the future. The following paragraphs will review the diverse VET systems that are being employed in different countries with special emphasis on the role of employers and state in ensuring the provision of effective vocational training.

Overview of Different VET Systems

This section is intended to provide an extensive analysis of the various mainstream vocational education and training systems with special reference to the provision of training programs and ensuring workplace learning as a key responsibility of the organization’s Human Resource department and the role of government in encouraging the development and spread of VET through forming policies and cooperating with employers’ organizations and trade unions especially in terms of financing and controlling VET operations.

Regulated VET System

In a regulated Vocational training system, organizations that are registered and authorized by the state provide industry based qualifications to the learners. These organizations include both public and private institutions and the VET courses are designed to deliver nationally acknowledged competencies which employers identify as crucial to meet their needs. In a regulated VET system, majority of the vocational programs directed at competency-based and career oriented training are publicly funded. The Vet system in Australia, Denmark and Netherlands is regulated by several acts, legal guidelines and regulations which are established in collaboration with employer committees and unions (Rauner & MacLean 2009, p.422). For instance, Australia’s Vet system is centrally controlled by the government and is highly advanced, owing to a decade of continuous restructurings and it works well to offer practical training to individuals and providing skills which are pre-requisite of a modern economy. On the other, France’s VET system is based on ILM (Integrated Learning Model) which is underpinned by national levy system. Similarly, as noted above, the Vet system of Germany is also state regulated where legislations has an element of coercion for HR managers to train their employees and so it has noticeable implications for the pattern in which skill development programs are formed and executed at organizational level (Coffield 1998, p.32). Despite the fact that regulated approach motivates employers and employee cooperation in terms of vocational educational, the dual apprenticeship model of VET that is operative in Germany have few weaknesses too. For instance, it is less flexible and adoptive to the skill needs of certain kinds of occupations and is to a significant extent, reliant on employers’ supply of internships and training and on labor market conditions (Green 2011).

Voluntarist VET System

Voluntarist VET system is the one which has little or no state interference and vocational education is left to the choice of organizations or the individuals. The VET system that is operative in UK is a striking example of Voluntarist system of vocational training where the state does not take responsibility of offering skill development courses or promoting workplace learning (Coffield 1998, p.32). Where such as system is flexible enough to allow swift response to changing employer/individual demands, it also results in overproduction of graduates, penurious aptitude based learning that is low on professional socialization, inadequate supply of transitional skills which ultimately leads to polarization of income and skills (Green 2011). This Voluntarist practice in the UK is considered as one of the core reasons for the relatively low level of VET provided by the companies (Coffield 1998, p.33). The structure of British Vet system majorly relies upon NVQ (National Vocational Qualifications) which are basically related to competence and occupation and such a certification is obtained through assessment and teaching. The bodies responsible for providing such qualifications include Sector Skill Councils, Qualification and Curriculum authority, Colleges and Employers, however, there is no governing body that can check the functioning of these authorities and thus there is no accountability on part of the VET providers, particularly employers for the fulfillment of VET responsibility. In this kind of government orientation where the role of state is restricted to mere appreciation and encouragement, the consequences are often low investment in skills and narrowly focused and poor quality apprenticeship system.

Developmental VET System

This approach to VET is being implemented by a growing number of firms. It encompasses goal-setting and regular evaluation, however, its primary focus is on motivating trainees to learn and improve their performance. The principal strength of this sort of system is that it minimizes the tendency to scooping-out particular skills and thus reduces skill polarization. Furthermore, it raises skill and pay levels of less-skilled occupations and serves as a useful agent of professional socialization. Today, almost all European countries and several other states are making attempts to modernize their regulated or Voluntarist VET systems that were either built on low-skill equilibrium (such as in UK) or on labor market institutions and steady economies. Immensely powerful economic forces such as rapid technological advancements, globalization of markets and dramatic changes in the ICT field have led to an increasing concern for upgrading of VET systems. Attempts to develop GNVQ in Britain, the improvements in the dual system in Germany, new VET legislations in Netherlands are some of the clear examples of revisions of VET systems worldwide.

Since VET system is generally considered as one of the social system in which government, educational institutions and social partners work together to build a national VET set-up, it is deeply rooted in the economic, social and cultural patterns. Because of these strong connections, it is complicated to introduce innovations in the VET system as it requires changes in private-public arrangements, labor and education laws, funding, labor agreements, training traditions, occupational identity etc. However, since business organizations, training providers/ institutions and state are the principal steering elements of VET systems, their joint collaborations and correct approach to developing and executing VET strategies can prove to be a powerful resistance towards the above listed barriers. The contribution of government is critical to guarantee the smooth and effective functioning of VET systems because state has the authority to regulate the evaluation and recognition of vocational certifications and also to control the cost-effectiveness and quality of VET institutions (Silberman 1982, p. 205). Therefore, it is vital for states as well as private partners to invest in Vet and to monitor, regulate and supervise the functioning of VET system in order to ensure the availability of required skills and competencies and to align the systems with the current economic demands.

The Correlation between Labor Models and their Effects

To what extent a VET system is effective largely depends upon recognition of the labor markets, productivity of learning process, efficiency of delivered qualifications, motivation for further training etc. VET is also extremely vital for societal development because it provides access to required skills and pathway to the labor market, which depicts the nature of its association with fundamental labor market models; Occupational labor market model and Internal Labor Market Model. The former relates to individuals holding specific qualification certified either by a their peer group judgment or a diploma, whereas the latter exists when a company frequently fills particular vacancies by transferring or promoting existing staff and thus restricting outside recruitment to a limited number of positions (Eyraud et al 1990, p. 502). The key difference between the two models lies in their implications on skills development; OLM concentrates more on providing training in the beginning stages of an individual’s career, just as in case with apprenticeship, while ILM mainly emphasize on continuous workplace training. The VET system that prevails in UK and Germany is based on OLM where training is standardized to occupational norm and no significant attention is given to skill formation but on its maintenance. On the other hand, the Vet system in Japan is ILM based where the nature of in-house training is firm-specific. The national education-work setting in Japan as well as in USA, Canada and Australia is a loose bonding between labor market and VET system, with a flexible corresponding between qualifications and jobs, allowing for prevailing school-based extensive coaching and on-job training (Baethge 2006, p. 72). Alternatively, the National Vocational Qualifications in UK, which even though has a lot of room for improvement, depicts a labor market driven model of VET where the state approves qualification standards provided by the job industry for enhancing transparency of workplace training programs.

Conclusion

From the above mentioned literature, the importance of a sound VET system for the progress of the economy has been established. While employers continue to adopt VET as a part of their HR strategy, realizing the need to equip employees with skills essential for coping with the current transformations in the job industry, state should also play an equal role to enforce and facilitate vocational training at all organizational as well as higher educational levels. It has also come to light that regular upgrading of VET systems is inevitable if the state and, employers to be specific, wish to have a skilled workforce that is well prepared to handle newer work challenges.

Bibliography

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Directorate for Education, Education and Training Policy Division., 2009. Learning for jobs: The

OECD policy review of vocational education and training. Available at: OECD website

[Accessed 11 June 2012].

Eyraud, F., Marsden, D. & Silvestre, J.J., 1990. Occupational and internal labour markets in Britain

and France. International labour review, 129 (4), pp. 501-517.

Green, A., 2001. VET systems, youth employment, and social benefits. Available at: Llakes

organization website< www.llakes.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Green-Soro-presentation.pdf > [Accessed 11 June 2012].

Greenan, J.P.& Mustapha R.B., 2002. The role of vocational education in economic development in

Malaysia: Educator’s and employer’s perspective. Journal of industrial teacher education, 39

(2). Available at: Virginia tech digital library [Accessed 16 June 2012].

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development., 2010. Learning for jobs: synthesis

report of the OECD reviews of vocational education and training, Paris, OCED.

Nijhof, W.J., Heikkinen, A. & Nieuwenhuis, L., 2003. Shaping flexibility in vocational education

and training: institutional, curricular, and professional conditions, Boston, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Peterson, J. & Green, A., 2008. The role of vocational education and training in enhancing social

inclusion and cohesion. Luxemburg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. Available at < www.cedefop.europa.eu/etv/Upload/Projects_Networks/ResearchLab/ForthcomingRepot/Volume-1/03-Preston.pdf> [Accessed 11 June 2012].

Rainbird, H., 1994. The changing role of training function: a test for the integration of human

resource and business strategies. Human resource management journal, 5 (1), pp. 72-90.

Rauner, F. & MacLean, R., 2009. Handbook of technical and vocational education and training

research, Dordrecht: Springer.

Silberman, H.F., 1982. Education and work, Chicago: National Society for the Study of Education.

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Free Essays

Human Resource Analysis Of Air National

Introduction

Air National, Europe’s largest airline company, dominated other carriers in the 1980s onward onto the late 1990s aided by a highly regulated civil aviation market in which competition was managed through harmonious inter-airline, competitor, and government relationships, which enabled the domination of markets by national carriers including AN. The mid 1980s however saw a change in AN’s fortunes with its privatization in 1986 amidst prolonged economic recession and deregulation of the civil aviation industry in Europe and North America. These changes reduced the old corporation’s potential political influence, and necessitated a restructuring to make the company attractive to sceptical investors which entailed downsizing of assets and workforce, an endeavour which required the planning and implementation of a new set of business and human resource management strategies. This paper investigates AN’s competitive and HR strategy basing its analysis on relevant theories.

Human resource management is an approach to the management of an organization’s employees both individually and collectively (its workforce), as valued assets contributing to the attainment of its objectives (Purcell 2003). Its main responsibilities are the selection, training, assessment and rewarding of employees and oversight on the organization’s leadership and culture. The primary focus of the human resource theories and practice is the aligning of people and organizations better for their mutual benefit (Purcell 2005).

Issues affecting AN’s business strategy shift

The issues that necessitated a change in AN’s competitive strategy and the re-engineering of the company include external factors such as the prolonged recession, deregulation in the civil aviation industry, the heightening of the industry-wide price wars with the emergence of discount airlines and a costly battle for market share, and the effect of terrorism which has had a huge adverse effect on international air travel; as well as, internal factors such as its privatization, huge debts, labour costs, and resultant losses. These factors affected AN’s business and it therefore had to find new ways to better its competitive advantage so as to sustain itself and maintain its market share in both domestic and international passenger traffic.

AN’s initial transformation strategy seeking to adopt a low-cost competitive structure failed forcing a change to the differentiation (“added-value”) strategy which entails the prioritization of high quality customer service and the reorganization of management structure with greater focus on operational issues, and the launch of its discount airline operated as a separate company, to cover market demand for discount airlines.

The improvement of HR policies at Air National to better manage its staff contributing to its improved performance can be applied to John Storey’s distinguishing features relating to people management (Storey 1989), broadly categorized into four outlines distinguishing the various elements. Among these outlines is the beliefs and assumptions which characterize AN’s HR policies which are focused on business need with values placed on the objectives of the company rather than on customs, procedures and norms, characteristic of personnel management and industrial relations (Storey 1989). AN’s restructuring features a heightened focus on the “customer-first” programme which prompted reviews of their employee management and customer interface to enhance this focus. This new strategy entails renewed emphasis on empowerment of employees and their commitment, with the foundation being its recognition that being a service industry, its people are its most important asset on which its survival depends upon.

Conflicts within the company are de-emphasized with managers required to give up control adopting shared power, a consensus approach to decision making which seeks to enhance employee participation and thereby improve their performance. This restructuring also entailed the removal of demarcations between craft groups with consequent reorganization into integrated workgroups and multi-skilled teams with harmonized functions enhancing focus on operational issues and key tasks rather than on rules, customs and management direction inherent in its earlier structure.

In the strategic aspects outline (Storey 1989), key relations within AN are integrated to focus on the “customer-first” strategy, AN’s central corporate plan, with the scrapping of hitherto detached piecemeal initiatives characterizing its old structure. The application of the line management outline with regard to managerial role applies to the management of AN transformed through its new visionary leaders focused on the new strategic shift, which differs from its initial form of management which was mainly transactional and focused on demarcations of duties and responsibilities (Storey 1989).

Management was re-focused on route divisions each led by a general manager with authority over business development and particularly, marketing. A prized management skill (Storey 1989) in the new structure was facilitation of employees towards the realization of overall objectives, with the company investing on training programs for senior management based on the importance of trust, motivation and visionary leadership.

Looking at the key levers outline in John Storey’s distinguishing features (Storey 1989), AN initiated a profit-related pay system in its transformed strategy so as to motivate its staff better, enhance their performance, job engagement and commitment, ensuring that employees are rewarded for their input, skill levels and competence (Purcell 2005). This pay strategy was reached at through comprehensive consultations with the union to which senior management has developed an open relationship and strategic partnerships, characterized by team briefings and regular formal consultation meetings with its representatives.

Communication in AN’s new structure is increased with the encouragement of consensus building and joint decision making which further enhances performance. Training and development is enhanced with investment and the institution of training series for staff and senior management on key business development issues.

The company’s conflict handling is also improved with wide ranging foci of attention through the engagement of unions and active involvement of management. Disputes in this new arrangement are quickly resolved through AN’s management reminding its employees of the company’s commitment to job security, their training and development. It is however not an entire success as much of it is left at short term truce with management often throwing money at the problem to kill the conflict, in essence postponing the issues.

Key human resource planning issues

Human resource management overall is intended to enable an organization achieve its success through people, prime assets who give it its distinct character through a combination of intelligence, skills and expertise, the source of its capabilities essential for its long term survival (Purcell et al, 2005). Research has shown that human resource practices can significantly impact performance of a firm and therefore, AN’s HRM strategies should aim to support programs that improve its organizational effectiveness through the development of deliberate policies that would characterize clear vision and integrated values (Fombrun et al, 1984). The company should also focus on its human capital management in its human resource planning as the company’s success is depended upon employee input.

AN’s HRM strategy should seek to ensure that the company obtains and retains a skilled, committed and motivated workforce through the assessment of the company’s people need for selection, the development of the people’s capabilities through nurturing, continuous training and development overall linking them to the needs of the business (Boxall 1992). Other key issues that should be incorporated in AN’s human resource planning to enhance workforce empowerment, commitment and overall company efficiency include knowledge management to enhance performance, reward management to express value for people’s contribution and competence, creation of harmonious relationships to reduce negative conflict and its effect on performance and efficiency, meeting of the diverse needs of the workforce, and bridging gaps between such plans and translated action to bring these policies to life (Sisson 1995).

Models of human resource management that best fit AN’s approaches

AN’s approach best fits the matching model of HRM, a concept of the Michigan school (Fombrun et al, 1984) which holds that, as its name suggests, an organization’s HR systems and structure should be managed in congruence with its strategy through four generic processes or functions including; selection which entails the matching of human resources to jobs; appraisal which entails performance management; rewards which are motivation schemes developed for the workforce; and, development inherent in the enhancement of the quality of employees.

Also fitting is the Harvard framework model founded by the Harvard school (the fathers of HRM), which has its basis on the demand for a broad, comprehensive and strategic perspectives, laying central importance on line managers in ensuring alignment of competitive strategy with HR policies, and the importance of set policies governing workforce activities (Boxall 1992). This model recognizes a range of stakeholders and the importance of interest trade-offs, as well as, widening HRM context adding on the influence of employees among other influences.

Conclusion

Transformation through its re-engineering brought AN back to profitability in the first quarter of 1998 from its depth of debt in the late 1980s which is a clear testimony to the importance of strategic integration of human resource management which was the main strategy for its transformation to which this success can be attributed. AN, however, later suffered a loss in the last quarter of 2001 and first quarter of 2002 but the company endeavours is to manage the 21st century realities concerning air travel and to maintain its market share in passenger traffic both domestic and international.

References

Boxall, P., 1992. “Strategic HRM: A beginning, a new theoretical direction.” In: Human Resource Management Journal, 2(3), pp 61–79

Fombrun, C., N., Tichy, and M., Devanna, 1984. Strategic Human Resource Management. New York, Wiley.

Purcell, J, K., Kinnie, Hutchinson, B., Rayton, and J., Swart, 2003. People and Performance: How people management impacts on organizational performance. CIPD, London.

Purcell, J., K., Kinnie, Hutchinson, J., Swart, and B., Rayton. 2005. Vision and Values: Organizational culture and values as a source of competitive advantage. CIPD, London.

Sisson, K., 1995. “Human resource management and the personnel function.” In J Storey (ed.) Human Resource Management: A critical text. Routledge, London.

Storey, J., 1989. “From personnel management to human resource management.” In Storey, J. (ed.) New Perspectives on Human Resource Management. Routledge, London.

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Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) Practices and the Performance of a Nigerian Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME).

Introduction

The contribution of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the economic growth and development has been enormous. This contribution is significant for both the developed and developing world. Many governments acknowledge the fact that SMEs play a significant role in the growth and development of their economies. Consequently, a number of government investment projects are geared towards fostering the growth and development of local SMEs.

The institution of policies geared towards the facilitation and empowerment of SMEs as well as improving the performance of SMEs remains a major objective of many economic policy makers and governments. In addition, international economic and financial bodies such as the IMF, World Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the International Financial Corporation (IFC) have invested heavily in making SMEs robust and vibrant in developing countries. Furthermore, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in developing countries such as Nigeria have employed advocacy and capacity-building campaigns to promote the growth of SMEs.

Despite the importance accorded to SMEs as well as their contribution to economic growth, Onugu (2005) argues that the performance of SMEs in Nigeria has been below expectations. Unlike SMEs in other countries, the contribution of Nigerian SMEs to economic growth has not been very impressive (Onogu, 2005).

Following from its independence, the Federal government of Nigeria has invested significant sums of money to promote entrepreneurial and small business development projects (Mambula, 1997, 2002). However, results from these projects have not been very impressive. In order words, most of these projects have often been unable to yield their expected returns. Despite the country’s endowment with raw materials and other natural resources, there has been little progress towards the development of the manufacturing sector, which could have increased the production of value added products thereby substituting imports, increasing exports and increasing employment (Mambula, 1997, 2002).

Business failure often comes as a result of a number of factors. This could be as a result of poor customer service, poor management and poor human resource management. While the poor performance of SMEs in Nigeria can be attributed to a number of factors, human resource management could be a major factor in determining this poor performance. Human resources are a principal source of economic growth. Like other resources, human resources require effective and efficient utilisation so as to ensure maximum contribution is achieved from them. Approximately 50 per cent of people work in small and medium sized enterprises.

Despite this high proportion of human resources in SMEs, most studies that study human resource management have focused on large corporations with very limited attention to SMEs. Moreover, most studies on the practices of human resource management have been carried out in the developed world with very limited attention paid to developing countries like Nigeria. This study is one of the few studies that focus on the management of human resources in SMEs in a developing country. The country that has been chosen for the study is Nigeria. The paper examines the factors that affect the practices of human resource management in an SME in Nigeria and how these practices can affect the performance of the SME in particular and its contribution to the overall growth of the economy as a whole.

Objectives of the Study

The objective of the study is to examine the SHRM practices of an SME in Nigeria. The study will also examine how those practices affect the performance of the SME and provide policy implications of the findings for future strategy development.

Research Questions

The paper will be providing answers to the following questions:

What are the Strategic human resource management practices of the SME
How do these practices affect the performance of the SME
What are the implications for future development of strategic human resource management practices at the SME

Research Outline

The paper is going to follow the following areas: Section one will cover the introduction; section 2 will be dealing with the literature review; section 3 will be discussing the methodology and describing the data; section 4 will provide the results and analysis; and section 5 will present conclusions and recommendations.

Literature Review

Strategic human resource management (SHRM) practices refer to those activities that are specifically developed, executed and implemented on a deliberate alignment to a firm’s strategy (Huselid et al., 1997). The phrase “strategic human resource management is an indication that people in the firm are regarded as strategic resources (i.e human capital) that must be managed and leveraged when implementing and executing the strategy of the firm. In early years, efforts made to develop a conceptual framework on strategic human resource management were based on the assumption that in order to promote human behaviour that would fulfil the strategic objectives of the firm, the firm had to implement specific human resource management practices (Fisher, 1989; Schuler and Jackson, 1989; Snell, 1992).

A strategic approach to human resource management is an approach that links the human resource management policies with the strategic objectives of the firm. There has been significant debate over the term SHRM as has been the case for human resource management (HRM). Many researchers argue that SHRM lacks conceptual clarity (e.g., Bamberger and Meshoulam, 2000). Three competing frameworks on SHRM have emerged: the contingency, universal and configurational perspectives (Miles and Snow, 1984; Schuler and Jackson, 1987; Delery and Doty, 1996; Pfeffer, 1998; Youndt et al., 1996; Boxall and Purcell, 2000, 2008). According to the universal perspective, all HR practices in all firms have a positive impact on firm performance (Delery and Doty, 1996). The configurational perspective suggests that firm performance depends on unique HR practices while the contingency perspective suggests that a firm’s HR practices are a function of its strategy (Miles and Snow, 1984; Schuler and Jackson, 1987). A number of studies have tested the different frameworks and found contradictory results. For example, Youndt et al. (1996); and Chang and Huang (2005) argue in favour of the contingency perspective while Tackeuchi et al. (2003) favour the configurational perspective.

The frameworks suggested above are mostly relevant for large organisations. Little effort has been devoted towards the development of SHRM in SMEs. For example, Saini and Budhwar (2008) in a study of SHRM practices in SMEs in India argue that bounded rationality tends to constrain the willingness to implement innovative HR practices in SMEs in India because most owners of SMEs tend to believe that they are doing their utmost best. Barber et al (1999) observe that HRM practices that work well in large organisations do not work properly in small firms. As a result, Heneman and Tansky (2002) stresses the need to develop different HRM models for SMEs rather than simply extending existing models that are suitable for large organisations to SMEs. The literature on Human resource management in SMEs suggests that a strategic approach to HRM in SMEs is yet to be developed. Conceptual models that relate human resource management practices in SMEs to the strategic capabilities of these organisations need to be developed in order to enable SMEs achieve the full benefits of their human resources. As can be observed, most of the studies of HRM practices in SMEs have been limited to SMEs in Western Europe, U.S.A and India with very limited attention given to Africa in general and Nigeria in particular. In the light of the above limitations, this study aims at contributing to the literature by studying the SHRM practices of SMEs in Nigeria. The study does not intend to test any hypothesis. Rather it intends to focus on providing an in-depth analysis and discussion of the HRM practices of a Nigerian SME.

Research Methods and Data

Research Methods are the approaches taken to achieve the objectives of a research project (Saunders et al., 2009). There are two main approaches to research including the inductive and deductive approaches. The inductive approach is an approach that aims at developing testable hypotheses while the deductive approach focuses on testing existing hypotheses. The inductive approach can use a single case study to multiple case studies while the deductive approach depends on the use of multiple cases. Moreover, the inductive approach can use either qualitative or quantitative methods whereas the deductive approach relies heavily on the use of large data sets and quantitative research methods.

The inductive approach is advantageous over the deductive approach in that it does not generalise its results to all cases. It aims at providing an in-depth analysis of a small number of cases. Therefore, it is the approach that will be used in this study.

In other to achieve the objective of this study, this paper will use a case study approach. In order to do this, a Nigerian-based SME will be selected. An in-depth analysis of its SHRM practices will be examined and related to its performance. In order to gain detailed understanding of the approaches, the “Interpretative phenomenological Analysis (IPA) will be used to gain an in-depth analysis of the HRM practices of the SME. The Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is an experimental qualitative approach to research in psychology and the human, health and social sciences (Smith et al., 2009). The human resource practices that will be investigated include recruitment, selection, training, remuneration, leave of absence, interpersonal communication, sick pay, and promotion. The practices of these variables will be analysed and an evaluation of how they affect the performance of the SME will be conducted. The performance measures that will be used include profitability, liquidity, management efficiency and leverage ratios. The ratios will be analysed in relation to the SHRM practices identified along with the Nigerian economic environment in which the SME is based.

Data

The research will use both primary and secondary data. Data for the SHRM practices will mainly be primary data. This data will be collected using survey questionnaires issued to the employees of the SME and interviews conducted with key management staff. Performance data will be collected from the financial records of the SME. Data on the performance measures will be gathered from the financial records of the SME.

References

Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2000). Strategic human resource management: Where have we come from and where should we be goingInternational Journal of Management Reviews, 2(2), 183?203.

Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2008). Strategy and Human Resource Management. Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan.

Chang,W. J. A., & Huang, T. C. (2005). Relationship between strategic human resource management and firm performance: A contingency perspective. International Journal of Manpower, 26(5), 434?449.

Delery, J. E., & Doty, D. H. (1996). Modes of theorizing in strategic human resource management: Tests of universalistic, contingency. Academy of Management Journal, 39(4), 802?835.

Huselid, M.A., S.E. Jackson, and R.S. Schuler. 1997. “Technical and Strategic Human Resource Management Effectiveness as Determinants of Firm Performance,” Academy of Management Journal 40(199), 171-188.

Miles, R. E., & Snow, C. C. (1984). Designing strategic human resources systems. Organizational Dynamics, 13(1), 36?52.

Schuler, R.S. and S.A. Jackson. 1989. “Determinants of Human Resource Management Priorities and Implications for Industrial Relations,” Journal of Management 15(1): 89-99.

Snell, S.A. 1992. “Control Theory in Strategic Human Resource Management: The Mediating Effect of Administrative Information,” Academy of Management, Journal 35(2), 292-327.

Schuler, R. S., & Jackson, S. E. (1987). Linking competitive strategies with human resource management practices. Academy of Management Executive, 1(3), 207?219.

Pfeffer, J. (1998). Seven practices of successful organizations. California Management Review, 40(2), 96?124.

Onugu, B. A. N. (2005) Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria: Problems and Prospects, St. Clements University

Smith, J. A., Flowers, P., Larkin, M. (2009) Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Theory, Method and Research, Sage Publications.

Heneman, R. L., & Tansky, J. W. (2002). Human resource management models for entrepreneurial opportunity: Existing knowledge and new directions. In J. Katz, & T. M. Welbourne (Eds.), Managing people in entrepreneurial organizations, vol. 5 (pp. 55–82). Amsterdam: JAI Press.

Barber, A. E., Wesson, M. J., Roberson, Q. M., & Taylor, M. S. (1999). A tale of two job markets: Organizational size and its effects on hiring practices and job search behavior. Personnel Psychology, 52, 841–867.

Saunders M, Lewis P and Thornhill A (2009) Research Methods for Business Studies, 5th edition, Prentice Hall FT Harlow

Saini, D. S., Budhwar, P. S. (2008) Managing the human resource in Indian SMEs: The role of indigenous realities, Journal of World Business, Volume 43, No. 4, Pages 417-434

Takeuchi, N., Wakabayashi, M., & Chen, Z. (2003). The strategic HRM configuration for competitive advantage: Evidence from Japanese firms in China and Taiwan, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 20(4), 447?480.

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Human Resource Management Approaches

Introduction

In any organization, the human resource force is one of the most vital assets. In this regard, it is vital for organizations to ensure that they formulate and implement human resource management policies that will optimize employees’ contributions so as to maintain competitiveness in their different industries of operation (Armstrong, 2008; Marchington & Wilkinson, 2005). There are different approaches that different organizations use to ensure that their employees are at their optimal productivity. Some of these approaches include recruitment of highly qualified staff members, providing occasional training for employees to improve their competence at work, fair remuneration, and employee motivation (Ulrich et al., 2008). Scholars in the field of human resource management have proposed several models that can be used in managing people. Some of these are scientific management and human relations theory (Taylor, 2013; Thompson, 2011). The scientific management approach emphasises on managing employees to increase efficiency by using monetary motivation (Taylor, 2013). The human relations approach is based on the notion that using monetary rewards is not the only way in which employees can be motivated. They can also be motivated through other social factors like being praised, promoted or making developing in them a sense of belonging (Thompson, 2011). This paper intends to examine human relations and scientific management concepts by comparing and contrasting human resource management approaches at TGI Friday’s and Christians against Poverty, one of the Sunday Times 100 best not for profit organizations. The paper also discusses whether both approaches to management are relevant in the 21st century, and whether not for profit organizations should manage their employees in a way that is different from companies whose main objectives are profit maximization.

Management at TGI Friday’s

TGI Friday’s is a restaurant chain with its UK head offices in Luton (TGI Friday’s, 2014). Based on an employee survey carried out by the Sunday Times, the company ranked third among the 25 best big companies. The survey sought to establish the employees’ perceptions of the way they were being managed. The company also ranked third on the overall 100 best companies to work for in the United Kingdom (The Sunday Times a, 2013). The good ranks that the company holds among the best companies to work for reflects the effectiveness of the company’s human resource management approaches. Management of people at TGI Friday’s displays both the human relations and scientific management approaches. With reference to the human relations approach, performance is enhanced by the creation of an effective working environment and instilling a sense of belonging in their employees (Thompson, 2011). The scientific management approach is also used through offering monetary bonuses and retaining productive employees and dismissing the unproductive employees (Taylor, 2013). Examples of these approaches at TGI Friday’s is further discussed below

Human Relations Approach

Recognition

Employee recognition is defined as giving employees a positive feedback to let them know that they are valued by their colleagues and workmates in the organization. Wright et al. (2012) argue that for employee recognition to have an impact in the progress of an organization, it needs to encourage employees to increase their efforts towards attaining organizational goals. According to Karen Forester, the TGI Friday’s managing director in the UK; employee recognition has been part of the company’s culture since it started in 1965 (TGI Friday’s, 2014). One way in which the company recognizes its employees is through the use of achievement badges, which are given to employees as a form of appreciation for their achievements or extraordinary contributions they make towards the company. The company also has a program where employees are nominated by colleagues based on their performance, and are later gifted through different treats. For instance, in January 2013, TGI Friday’s UK flew 400 employees to a party that was held in Florida (The Sunday Times a, 2013). Whereas such employee recognition efforts may be costly and could cut down on the company’s profitability, the organization believes that it is a “huge deposit in the emotional bank account”.

Creation of a Conducive working Environment

The organizational environment also has a role to play in the productivity of employees. There are several approaches that have been suggested by researchers on the approaches that can be used to create an organizational environment that enhances employee productivity (Armstrong, 2008). One of these is creation of an open and transparent form of communication across the organization. By so doing, all employees will have a feeling that their opinions are valuable to the organization. This also instils a sense of belonging in the employees (Aula & Siira, 2010). Another approach that can be used in creation of an effective work environment for employees is ensuring that there is a work-life balance for employees (Bratton & Gold, 2012; Miner, 2005). To attain work-life balance, employees ought to be given the chance to fulfil other goals and responsibility in life apart from their work. These include responsibilities to their families and the community, spiritual needs and personal growth, among others (Clutterbuck, 2003). Other approaches include encouraging a team spirit in the organization, provision of a job security assurance and offering training to improve employee competence (Orlitzky & Frenkel, 2005).

As opposed to typical fast-paced food restaurants, TGI Friday’s employees have the assurance that their jobs are secure. With reference to a research carried out by the Sunday Times, 86% of the company’s employees felt that they had secure jobs. With regard to instilling a sense of belonging in its customers, the company has a tradition for treating each of its 4000 staff members in the UK as family (The Sunday Times a, 2013). According to Karen foster, the company’s UK managing director, “We never call them staff or employees, we call them family and we treat them like family” (Martin, 2013). This also creates a sense of teamwork, which is also a factor that improves employee productivity.

Scientific Management Approach

Evaluation of employee performance

The scientific approach to human resource management emphasizes on increasing efficiency in employee productivity. One of the ways in which this can be done in an organization is through the evaluation of the performance of employees in periodic intervals (Taylor, 2013). Employees that are not competent enough ought to be trained or given a certain time to improve. If they fail to improve in performance, they are dismissed and replaced by more competent recruits (Bloisi, 2007). This also takes place at TGI Friday’s. There was a period in time when the company needed to redefine its culture and redefine itself. To do this, some brutal approaches were undertaken to ensure that only the right staff members were left in the company. This involved carrying out an assessment of each member of the company and classifying them according to their contributions. As argued by the company’s UK managing director, “Everyone in the organisation was assessed and classified as ‘players’, ‘wannabe players’ (who needed more training), ‘potential players’ (who could go either way) and ‘assassins’ (who had the ability to sabotage the transformation project)” (Martin, 2013). The group of employees that was referred to as the assassins was dismissed from the company, a step that resulted in the improvement of the company’s performance. This is an ideal approach of increasing the efficiency of the company, which is quite synonymous to the scientific management approach.

Monetary Motivation

To motivate employees, TGI Friday’s also uses the monetary approach. Employees at the company receive annual pay reviews. In 2013, members of the company’s kitchen staff were offered a 9.5% pay rise as a gesture to appreciate their contributions to the company (The Sunday Times a, 2013). Even though the monetary incentives are used to motivate the company employees, they are used alongside other forms of incentives. The reason for this is that when monetary incentives are used exclusively by a company, it may limit the creativity and innovation of employees (Adeogun, 2009).

Management at Christians against Poverty (CAP)

Christians against Poverty (CAP) is a not-for profit organization operating the United Kingdom. It specialized in debt counselling, a charity work that that is based in different local churches across the UK (Christians Against Poverty, 2013). It offers solutions and hope for people who are in heavy debts by providing advice to the affected people on the ways in which they can generate income to enable settle the debts and relieve themselves from the associated stresses that could be even detrimental to their health. Apart from helping the company’s target populations to get out of poverty, CAP has also received recognition by the Sunday Times as being among the best not for profit companies to work for (The Sunday Times b, 2013). In a study that was carried out by Sunday Times on opinions of the company’s employees about how they felt about their leadership and whether they enjoy working at CAP, there was a 95% positive response that indicated that employees loved to work for the company. 97% of the employees indicated their pride in being employed by the company, while 99% of the employees believed that the company makes a positive contribution in society (The Sunday Times b, 2013). Just as was the result at TGI Friday’s, this response from the company employees indicates that the approaches used in the human resource management of the company is appropriate. The main difference that exists between TGI Friday’s and CAP is that whereas TGI Friday’s incorporates monetary incentives in employee motivation, there is no evidence that indicates that CAP uses the same.

The Human Relations Approach

Communication at CAP

In any organization, effective communication is one of the factors that contribute towards an improvement in employee performance. Communication often depends on the structure of the organization. Hierarchical organizational structures are characterized by vertical communication channels, where employees pass information to managers through their immediate bosses (Adeogun, 2009). On the other hand, adhocratic organizations are characterized by horizontal communication channels, where employees are free to address top managers in case they need to pass across a certain message (Ulrich et al., 2008). The structure at CAP is adhocratic, based on the fact that senior managers and employees interact to share information that id positive for the organization’s progress. Not only does this reduce the channels through which information it passed, but also motivates employees by providing them with a sense of belonging (Armstrong, 2008). They are also motivated to contribute more towards the organization because they know that their opinions and ideas matter. Effective communication at CAP was demonstrated in 2012 where there was a restructure of client service teams in the organization. When staff members that had been adversely affected by the reshuffle voiced their concerns, the original restructuring plans were changed (The Sunday Times b, 2013). In another demonstration of effective communication at CAP, there was a Dragon’s Den-style event, where teams were established to propose improvements on the company’s operations. All the proposals were presented, and a vote was made to select those that had to be implemented immediately. Afterwards, the managers pledged that they will ensure that the suggested proposals will be implemented (The Sunday Times b, 2013). This clearly indicates that the company involves its employees in decision making.

Catering for Employees’ Wellbeing

Ensuring that the well being of employees is catered for is another approach that CAP uses to motivate its human resource force (Meyer & Allen, 2007). According to the research that was carried out by the Sunday Times, the company has an 88% score on how effectively it addresses the wellbeing of its employees. One of the ways in which the company addresses the wellbeing of its employees is through setting aside a full day every year, referred to as the wellbeing day. On this day, employees are informed on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, encouraged to use the staff gym. Several group exercises are also carried out (Christians Against Poverty, 2013). Another approach that is used to address the wellbeing of employees is through organizing motivational talks to empower them. Matt Barlow, the chief executive director of CAP, gives regular motivational speeches to the company’s staff members, which mainly aim at inspiring them to attain their potential in life while at the same time ensuring that they adhere to their moral principles (The Sunday Times b, 2013). This has increased the faith that employees have in him and the company. When employees are aware that the company is concerned about their well being, there is an increased likelihood for them to be more committed to the organization (Orlitzky & Frenkel, 2005).

Incentives

As opposed to TGI Friday’s where employees are provided with monetary incentives in form of bonuses and salary increments, the incentives that employees at CAP get are usually in form of free drinks and fruits, a cycle to work program and being provided with free sports facilities (The Sunday Times b, 2013). There is also a program where employees are nominated by managers for awards, depending on their performance. When employees make contributions that are beyond what is expected of them, they are recognized and awarded. Far from financial rewards that are given in most companies, the rewards that are given at CAP include meals, cinema tickets or chocolates. The annual salary of a caseworker in the company is at ?21,164, of which employees believe is a reasonable pay for their efforts (Christians Against Poverty, 2013). Being a not for profit organization, this explains the fact that there are no incentives in form of financial reward.

Relevance of the Human Relations and Scientific management in the 21st Century

To establish how relevant these approaches of human resource management are in the present-day organizational environment, it is vital to have an understanding of the principles that govern them. The scientific management approach has four core principles (Taylor, 2013). The first is referred to as the replace rule of thumb work approaches. These approaches have to be arrived at by carrying out a scientific study. The second principle is that every employee in the organization ought to be scientifically selected, trained and developed, as opposed to letting them train themselves with work experience. The third principle is that managers ought to cooperate with employees so as to ensure that they are strictly adhering to the operational methods that have been scientifically developed. The fourth principle is that work ought to be equally divided between workers and managers to allow managers to apply the principles of scientific management to plan duties for workers (Taylor, 2013). Critics of this approach of management argue that it increases work monotony and reduces avenues through which employees could provide feedback to their managers (Ulrich et al., 2008). However, there is still relevance of this approach in present-day human resource management. One of the principles that are still applicable is that employees ought to be scientifically selected, trained and developed by organizations (Taylor, 2013). Even present-day organizations have certain criteria that they use in selection and recruitment of their employees, and also emphasize on training them so as to make them more capable in executing their responsibilities (Bratton & Gold, 2012).

The human relations approach to management is based on three underlying principles (Thompson, 2011). The first principle is decentralization, where hierarchy that is often employed in classical management is replaced with providing employees with greater autonomy. The second is participatory decision making, where employees ought to be involved in the decision-making process of the organization. The third principle is that managers need to develop employees that are self-motivated (Thompson, 2011). This management approach is supportive of an organizational structure that is adhocratic (horizontal), and against the hierarchical organizational structure. Given that present-day organizations are becoming less hierarchical and more horizontal, it can be thus stated that the human relations approach to management is quite relevant in the 21st century (Ulrich et al., 2008).

In regard to whether not-for-profit organizations and organizations that aim to maximize their profits need to apply different management approaches, this is quite debatable. Whilst the objectives of these organizations might differ, it is vital for both to ensure that their employees are motivated and efficient. The main aspect that may differentiate not for profit organizations with the profitable ones is that while employees in not for profit organizations may not prioritize monetary incentives, those in profitable companies expect such incentives to be incorporated in their motivation strategies.

Conclusion

As aforementioned in this study, human resources are the most important assets owned by any organization. Therefore, human resource managers ought to use people management strategies that motivate employees to increase their contribution towards attaining organizational goals. Two main approaches to people management have been addressed here. These are the scientific management approach and the human relations approach. Explanation of these approaches has been done by comparing management approaches in two organizations ranked among the top 100 companies to work for in the UK. One of the companies, TGI Friday’s, is a profit oriented company, while other, CAP is a not for profit organization. Similarities and differences that exist in the human resource management approaches of these companies have been highlighted in this report. In establishing the relevance of scientific management and the human relations approach of management, future research should carry out a more in-depth analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of both in the present-day organizational environment.

References

Adeogun, J., 2009. Monetary Motivation, Performance and Job Satisfaction. New York: ILEAD Academy.

Armstrong, M., 2008. Strategic Human Resource Management: A Guide to Action. London: Kogan Page.

Aula, P. & Siira, K., 2010. Organizational Communication and Conflict Management Systems: A Social Complexity Approach. Nordicom Review, 31, pp.125-41.

Bloisi, W., 2007. An Introduction to Human Resource Management. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.

Bratton, J. & Gold, J., 2012. Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice (5th edition). London: Palgrave.

Christians Against Poverty, 2013. About Us. [Online] Available at: https://www.capuk.org/ [Accessed 20 February 2014].

Clutterbuck, D., 2003. Managing work-life balance: a guide for HR in achieving organizational and individual change. London: Chartered Institute Of Personal Development.

Marchington, M. & Wilkinson, A., 2005. Human Resource Management at Work: People Management and Development. London: CIPD.

Martin, P., 2013. TGI Friday’s MD: my people management secrets. [Online] Available at: http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hr/features/1078162/tgi-fridays-md-people-management-secrets [Accessed 20 February 2014].

Meyer, J.P. & Allen, N.J., 2007. A three-component conceptualization of organizational commitment: Some methodological considerations. Human Resource Management Review, 1, pp.61-98.

Miner, J.B., 2005. Organizational Behavior: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. New York: M.E. Sharpe.

Orlitzky, M. & Frenkel, S., 2005. Alternative pathways to high-performance workplaces. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16(8), pp.1325-48.

Taylor, F.W., 2013. Scientific management. New York: Routledge.

TGI Friday’s, 2014. About Us. [Online] Available at: http://www.tgifridays.co.uk/ [Accessed 20 February 2014].

The Sunday Times a, 2013. The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies. [Online] Available at: http://features.thesundaytimes.co.uk/public/best100companies/live/template [Accessed 20 February 2014].

The Sunday Times b, 2013. 100 best Not for Profit Companies. [Online] Available at: http://features.thesundaytimes.co.uk/public/best100companies/live/template [Accessed 20 February 2014].

Thompson, J.D., 2011. Organizations in action: Social science bases of administrative theory. California: Transaction Publishers.

Ulrich, D., Younger, J. & Brockbank, W., 2008. The twenty-first-century HR organization. Human Resource Management, 47, pp.829-50.

Wright, B.E., Moynihan, D.P. & Pandey, S.K., 2012. Pulling the Levers: Transformational Leadership, Public Service, Motivation, and Mission Valence. Public Administration Review, 72(2), p.206–215.

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International Human Resource Managementp20-3, 4, 5

Title: Homework P20-3, 4, 5 for International human resource management Page number: 3 1, Discuss two HR activities in which a multinational firm must engage that would not be required in a domestic environment. (1) More HR activities To operate in an international environment, a human resource department must engage in a number of activities that would not be necessary in a domestic environment: international taxation; international relocation and orientation; administrative services for expatriates; host government relations; and language translation services. 2) Risk exposure The direct costs (salary, training costs and travel and relocation expenses) of failure to the parent firm may be as high as three times the domestic salary plus relocation expenses, depending on currency exchange rates and location assignments. Another aspect of rick exposure that is relevant to IHRM is terrorism. 2, why is a greater degree of involvement in employee’s personal lives inevitable in many international HRM activities?

A greater degree of involvement in employees’ personal lives is necessary for the selection, training and effective management of both PCN and TCN employees. In the international HR department must be much more involved in order to provide the level of support required and will need to know more about the employee’s personal life. The HR department or HR professional needs to ensure that the expatriate employee understands housing arrangements, health care, and all aspects of the compensation package provided for the assignment(cost-of- living allowances, premiums, taxes and so on). , Discuss at least two of the variables that moderate differences between domestic and international HR practices. (1) Attitudes of senior management to international operations. It is likely that if senior management does not have a strong international orientation, the importance of international operations may be underemphasized in terms of corporate goals and objectives. In such situations, managers may tend to focus on domestic issues and minimize differences between international and domestic environments. 2)The cultural environment The cultural environment is an important variable that moderates differences between domestic and international HRM. The new environment requires many adjustments in a relatively short period of time, challenging people’s frames of reference to such an extent that sense of self, especially in terms of nationality, comes into question. People , in effect, experience a shock reaction to new cultural experiences that cause psychological disorientation because they misunderstand or do not recognize important cues.