The changing face of the industrialized world has led to changing views of managing the workforce.The concepts governing human resource management have changed with changes in the industrialized world…
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The changing face of the industrialized world has led to changing views of managing the workforce.The concepts governing human resource management have changed with changes in the industrialized world.As business operations have expanded from local to national and on to global markets,organizations are forced to operate in a fast-changing environment Competition, technological advancement, legal requirements, host-country expectations and a changing customer profile place pressure on the internal systems and processes. The organizational structure has undergone changes with the changing environment. The earlier bureaucratic structure with its mono-cultural working community that suited a limited market has given way to a variety of structures that seek to garner the best way to harness talent in a wider area and manage market expectations across cultures. The factors that affected the HRM concepts at work were primarily availability and negotiating power of labor and workforce culture. As markets expanded companies faced a need to restructure internally in an effort to maintain flexibility by utilizing the right type of talent to manage the external environment. The central concept of HRM relates to ‘flexibility, responsiveness, ownership of organizational problems… empowerment… commitment’ (Salaman, 2001, p. 157). Connecting SHRM with strategy and structure Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) may be considered to be an umbrella term for a set of practices and processes designed to ensure the appropriate use of talent to suit business needs. HR academicians and writers have put forth visions on the models of SHRM, business strategy and structure. Strategy is seen to mould structure and thereby the practices towards managing human resources. Sinclair-Hunt and Simms (2005, p. 4) refer to the external environment as a guiding factor behind strategy. The environment might require quick responses which requires the use of proactive thought and vision; it may require short term responses that allow survival without greatly impacting the internal processes or it may call for the organization to ‘give in’. The demands of the environment determine the response which should ideally be aided by appropriate strategy and structure. Yet organizations struggle to develop an SHRM approach. Sims (2002, p. 34-36) points out that the linkage between SHRM and overall strategy must cross the first hurdle of drafting corporate strategy. Many times, organizations are hard put to define a larger strategy and prefer to focus on immediate events. The demand for continuing flexibility can make the creation of such a strategy a challenge in itself. Ferris, Rosen and Barnum (1995, p. 135) discuss how even the presence of a larger strategy does not lead to the linear creation of SHRM processes since by the time the implications are translated to HR processes, the environment has forced a change to strategy. Durai (2010, p.37-38) mentions the factors that interfere with the development of effective SHRM processes. Absence of support from top management in involving the HR practitioners making key decisions is a major factor. This often stems from the perception that HR is an administrative function Morton, Newall and Sparkes (2004, p. 52). The author believes it is incumbent for the HR department to highlight the business advantage it can provide while providing administrative efficiency. In the absence of a clear strategy is there no scope for a unified approach to the acquisition and management of talent? Strategic human resource management must be considered linked to the context of the business. An organization may not spell out strategy for a variety of reasons ranging from not seeing the need or not knowing how to not considering it relevant. The structure may continue to be hierarchical with speed provided by the adoption of technology. In such a case, business context guides the activities
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