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Role of HR Department in Helping the C-suite think about Balancing Competition and Cooperation

Updated on January 20, 2022
Nyamweya profile image

Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics.

In today’s state of growing globalization, many factors determine the structure of competition in a business environment. Factors that dominate the state of competition are not only related to competitors, but also the economies of specific industries, bargaining power of suppliers, and customers, new entrants, and the threat of substitute products or services. This means that competition is an inevitable factor in a business context. However, owing to the concern of the increasing state of globalization, many businesses have come to consider the aspect of collaboration and cooperation as a form of business strategy to cope with increasing globalization.

It should be noted that most products, especially fast-moving goods, cosmetics, and processed products and services do face competition in the market. In addition, many firms strive to penetrate through the oligopoly market. Contradicting the earlier conceptualization of competition in a business context as being crucial, scholars such as Kohn, (2008) have noted that the aspect of the competition is detrimental to many aspects of human experience. For instance, it interferes with people’s self-esteem, relations, enjoyment of leisure, and even productivity. These scholars have gone on to note that were people to stop being persistent in the pattern of competition, then the majority of these aspects would be improved. In essence, many organizations are consistently developing action plans in positioning their firms in a way that will give them capabilities to defend themselves against strong market forces. These include balancing of forces as a way of strategic moves, as well as altering the elements that underlie competitive forces.

Although there have been arguments and counterarguments on whether the partnership is better than the competition, the experience of some organizations that decided to go this route has justified the assumption that results gained from alliances are better than those of individual firms. One example of this success is the alliance between and Zynga. This alliance has been able to make an initially low known entity Zynga, grow at a faster speed. Amazon, on the other hand, has been able to sell a diversity of products and therefore its clients are introduced to a wider variety of products.

Role of HR department in helping the C-suite think about Balancing Competition and Cooperation

The HR officer has a significant role in advising the C-suite on how to balance cooperation and competition. Once the C-suite decides the strategic direction, the company will follow, whether to engage in partnership or competition, the HR department is the one that initiates recruitment or conducts the capability of the existing employees. In the case of collaboration, the HR department advises on the importance of undertaking performance reviews and training of employees who are deficient in certain areas of company operations. The department also provides a way forward on how the partners in accordance to the company popularity should share resources based on market share and level of knowledge for each entity.

In a competitive environment, the HR department facilitates an analysis of the objectives designed by the C-suite. It also outlines what specific jobs will do or achieve, and how people will do them. The department also analyses the practices, assumptions, and habits that must be changed or maintained in order to realize the objectives. Further, the HR department seeks out the working condition and working environment, job responsibilities, and duties that should be designed and which will add to a competitive advantage of the firm. With regard to conflict resolution, the HR department acts as an internal consultant in minimizing the internal risks that may be anticipated from the business. The department is mandated to investigate complaints and address them accordingly with the help of the C-suite.


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