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An Analysis of Human Resource Developments

Updated on July 16, 2014

Human Resource Management: An Analysis of Human Resource Developments

Abstract

Human resource management is the logical and strategic approach to the management of an organization’s employees. The term “human resource management” has largely replaced the term “personnel management” in order to better describe the function of its nature and the value of which the human element brings to an organization. Human resource management is the task of the organization finding and keeping a good balance between efficiency, equity, and voice throughout the organization so employees will be satisfied and not opt for a union. The idea is basically a company controlled union which promotes the values and interests of both the capital and the labor. The human resource management school of thought has become largely popular because of its success in pleasing employees while also keeping unions from forming inside of a company. Human resource management is basically a free market solution to the labor relations problems which have overwhelmed capitalism. Since human resource management has been the popular school of thought during the 21st century, many advances have taken place among the human resource managers realm of thought and exercise within organizations. Globalization of many businesses has forced companies to rapidly change in order to stay competitive, and with changes in business practices, Come changes in labor relations.


STUDIES IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Annotated Bibliography

Guttman, H. (2009). Conflict Management as a Core Competency for HR Professionals. People and Strategy, 32(1), 32-39. Retrieved October 14, 2009, from ProQuest LLC.

Professor Guttman reflects on a North Carolina University study of over 1,400 workers in regards to workplace conflict. The study found that over half of the workers surveyed reported losing work time due to conflicts at work with colleagues, and that 22% said that conflict among coworkers had reduced their productivity while at work. Guttman explains how human resource managers can effectively manage conflict within the workplace so that no occupation will be done unproductively.

Professor Guttman notes that conflict within the workplace can cause stress throughout all levels of the organization, polarize co-workers and divert precious energy. He states that conflict in the workplace has increased in the 21st century and most of it is attributed to the speed-and-stealth model that modern organizations must follow to compete in a lightning-fast, global business environment. Guttman realizes that because of the new global business model, employees from all across an organization are working together, and since there is no hierarchy which can provide discipline, worker conflict tends to generate more often. He states that a new human resource approach is needed in order to confront this new workplace problem. Guttman states that the biggest misconception about conflict is that it is bad, which in reality it can be either beneficial or detrimental depending on how it is managed. He explains that if conflict is managed properly it can produce great levels of creativity, excitement, and even strength. He emphasizes that this strength is needed in this global marketplace in order to vanquish less well-endowed competitors.

Professor Guttman states that human resource managers must first focus on the transfer of conflict management skills throughout the organization with proper and effective training. He then explains how conflict is viewed within the organization and how a resolution can be achieved; this requires a supportive management staff to help push the agenda along. It requires that all teams, on every level of the organization, be on the same page in the development process. Guttman explains that with the support of the senior management, the human resource manager must shift into that of a strategic contributor throughout the organization. The human resource manager should be consulting with outside sources in order to gain the best insight as to the most efficient way to establish this new way of dealing with conflict. The human resource manager should be the resident expert on this new company initiative, and will be the main internal point of contact for any questions or problems regarding this change. Guttman concludes that it is essential for the human resource manager stay as up to date as possible on the latest human resource news and information so as to stay an effective point of contact for all human resource issues.

Lawler, E., & Boudreau, J. (2009). What Makes HR a Strategic Partner? People and Strategy, 32(1), 14-22. Retrieved October 14, 2009, from ProQuest LLC.

This article explains that during the last 10 years, there has been a major call for human resource personnel to take on an additional role; the strategic partner. Lawler and Boudreau describe that in this role, the human resource manager is a member of the senior management team and is directly involved in the major business decisions of the organization. This includes the formation of strategy, the design of the organization and the implementation of the business model. In this article, the authors present data from a continuing study of the role of human resources in large corporations within the United States. The study examines the overall strategic role of human resources, along with specific strategic activities that human resource managers can engage in. The results reinforce the need for the human resource role to change by not merely improving in areas that have traditionally been it’s mission, but to extend its activities to include measuring, understanding and communicating strategic talent connections. Lawler and Boudreau believe that human resource personnel must improve the human capital decisions of leaders in all functions and at all organizational levels.

The authors understand that many business professionals may not agree with the implementation of the human resource personnel into the strategic business function, but they point out a very good reason as to why that way of thinking should be changed. They explain that human resource managers should understand the organizations talent pool, and personnel capabilities better than any one person, and is the best person in uncovering any untapped business opportunities. This is valuable insight that the human resource managers can provide and should be utilized by top management during the strategy phase of business. Lawler and Boudreau also point out the high correlation between a new business strategy and the human resources role in ensuring its proper implementation. Involving the human resource manager at the strategic level will help in generating a plan that can be best implemented from the implementation point of view. The authors conclude with the explanation of how providing strategic business training to human resource professionals will better prepare them for their added role in the business, and will aid them in being a better human resource manager for the organization.

Jon Younger, Norm Smallwood, & Dave Ulrich. (2007). Developing Your Organization's Brand as a Talent Developer. HR. Human Resource Planning, 30(2), 21-29. Retrieved October 14, 2009, from ProQuest LLC.

Professor Younger, Smallwood, and Ulrich wrote an article which introduces the concept of the human resource professional acting as the organizations career image consultant (branded talent developer), ensuring that adequate career and developmental opportunities are offered as a means of gaining a competitive advantage in the fight for talent. The authors describe the advantages earned by these organizations in attracting and retaining top-tier employees, while also explaining the qualities that differentiate branded talent developers from other organizations, and also the difficulties which are assumed in building and preserving a reputation as a branded developer. Throughout this article they explain the several important roles that the human resource manager must take on in order to establish a successful “talent developer brand”.

The authors explain how companies can improve their ability to hire the most talented employees through the advertisement of career and educational training opportunities. When a company uses this technique it is referred to as a talent developer brand. They give examples of how successful and well-known companies have used this technique, such as Exxon Mobil, P&G, and Ketchum. The authors report that Exxon Mobil is highly regarded within the energy industry for its investment in employees, and this investment is a company guiding principle: "The exceptional quality of our workforce is a valuable competitive edge. To build on this advantage we will strive to hire and retain the most qualified people available and maximize their opportunities for success through training and development." (Younger, Smallwood & Ulrich, 2007). They explain how many companies strive to provide superior development opportunity, but few meet this commitment over the long term. The reason for this is because the human resource managers are not trained in how to effectively take rhetoric and turn it into sustainable action. They point out the fact that companies which are effective branded talent developers appear to benefit in several ways, such as being more likely to attract, hire and retain employees who will be good future assets because of there want to continue professional development from the start.

The authors give a detailed explanation as to what human resource managers can do to aid in the development and execution of an organization becoming a talent brand manager. The first role is to come up with a business plan as to why being a talent developer brand will help with the company; if this has not yet been identified. Human resource managers also need to be able to provide their organization with their current standing among potential employees, and what needs to take place in order for the talent developer brand to be influential in the marketplace. After a plan has been established, the next step is to fully train all line supervisors on the importance of being a talent developer brand, how the company plans to carry out their plans of execution, and ultimately their role in the process. Human resource managers also need to be able to provide their organization with their current standing among potential employees, and what needs to take place in order for the talent developer brand to be influential in the marketplace. The human resource leaders are expected to play a leading role in executing the new plan, which requires them to understand the cultural implications of leading change and create plans that are culturally appropriate. The best human resource professionals do not simply collect and report on the best developmental practices of other organizations; they recommend how to apply or adapt those best practices in ways that mesh into their own organization. The authors state that keeping up to date and coaching managers throughout the organization is vital for this change to succeed. If the managers loose focus and stop growing their employees, promoting the high performers, or do not support advanced education, the talent developer brand will be diminished and ultimately fail.

This article provides a good look into an additional future role of human resource managers, and can be very beneficial for all organizations. Human resource managers must stay up to date on all new studies and theories in order to provide their organization with the best possible advantage in this growing and competitive marketplace.

Blair McPherson. (2008). Reasons to be cheerful: Staff morale improves at Lancashire County Council. Human Resource Management International Digest, 16(6), 10-13. Retrieved October 15, 2009, from ProQuest LLC.

Blair McPherson’s article focuses on ways of improving low staff morale in an organization. She states that the quality of leadership and the people-management skills of low level and line managers affect employee morale, but regardless of the effectiveness, employees can still feel positive about the accomplishments of their immediate team, but negative about the organization they work for. The article reveals that, in addition to factors outside the organization's control, qualities such as effective communications, a skilled workforce, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and a performance-orientated culture where success is measured fairly, can all help to improve staff morale. The author gives an example and explains how Lancashire County Council, where the author is Director of Community Services, put its efforts into process reengineering - reducing paperwork, streamlining processes and delegating decisions closer to the front line, developing managers' people-management skills and establishing a safe environment where staff had the opportunity and confidence to say what they were really thinking (McPherson, 2008). She supports her opinion in that organizations introducing major change should spend more time and effort explaining why change is necessary and create more opportunities for staff to influence how changes are implemented. The article provides a unique insider's perspective on ways of how human resources can improve employee morale in their organization.

The author explains that a human resource manager should consider employees morale within the organization, and because effective communications, a skilled workforce, clarity of roles, and a performance orientated culture all become the human resource managers responsibility. It is not their responsibility to implement and execute these factors of business, but it is their responsibility to observe, note, and advise the organizations leadership of any way to improve the functions so not only the morale will improve, but also the workplace productivity as a result. McPherson points out two important factors to consider when trying better an organization from the human resource side of the house; unnecessary processes, and senior level management consulting. The human resource manager should realize through proper evaluation, major areas of employees dissatisfaction. Some of these areas may be where the organization has installed business processes in good faith, but as a result have made the jobs of employees more difficult. The human resource personnel can ask employees of a solution and then bring the issue of low morale up to the management. The unnecessary process could have a good chance of being changed or taken away. The author also explains how many organizations focus to much on financial management, and not enough on personnel management. A key factor to having high morale is to have good personnel managers throughout the organization. The human resource professional can isolate the group of managers which the most management consultation is needed, and then set up an opportunity for these managers to receive quality people-management training. If the new strategy proves a success with the first group of managers, the human resource manager can work with the management consultant to come up with a reasonable way for all managers to receive the most up to date personnel management training. The author concludes with the importance of measuring the organizations morale to ensure that employees can have the best possible work environment for the long haul.

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    • Jason Matthews profile image

      Jason Matthews 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow! Very thorough work and research on HR. Thanks for sharing!

    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Great academic hub on HR ryancahill. I particularly enjoyed the personal brand section of your paper. In terms of Strategic HR Management (SHRM) what are your thoughts of the role of the HR Leader in inputing to the top team's strategy and strategic intent?