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Strategic Human Resource Management at IBM - Case Study Example

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This paper will look at the application of the strategic human resource management tool in IBM in addressing the issues of diversity, equal employment opportunity, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment. Since all of these issues are interrelated a single analysis will be conducted to address them…
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Strategic Human Resource Management at IBM
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Running Head: STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AT IBM Strategic Human Resource Management at IBM In APA Style By
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The importance of human resource can never be overstated. John Purcell further highlighted the importance of employees in his research which emphasized the huge role played by the company's workforce as "strategic partners." This research strongly supports the highly economist viewpoint of Grant (2002: 219) of "aligning employees with organizational goals." Schuler and Jackson (1987) gave a more precise description on how management should "align" their workforce to support the company crafted strategy. The above discussion makes a very strong case for strategic human resource management in today's business environment. It should be noted that a company's workforce is an important asset and may even become its sustainable competitive advantage if utilized the formation and execution of the business organization's strategies. This paper will look at the application of the strategic human resource management tool in IBM in addressing the issues of diversity, equal employment opportunity, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment. Since all of these issues are interrelated a single analysis will be conducted to address them.
Step 1. Analyze environmental factors.
In terms of HR issues, IBM is a strong adherent in maintaining diversity in the workforce which enables it to "uncover new perspectives, tap different knowledge and experience, and generate innovative ideas, suggestions and methods" (IBM Diversity Policy 2008). It also spearheads actions towards equality by giving men and women the same opportunity to excel. Discrimination and harassment are mitigated through the promotion of cultural awareness and acceptance as well as establishing a diverse team of leaders.
In terms of internal/organizational environment, IBM follows seven global diversity initiatives comprise of global marketplace, advancement of women, diversity of leadership team, cultural awareness/acceptance, integrating the workplace and market place, and work and life balance (Workforce Diversity 2008). It should be stressed that each of these are geared towards removing the barrier in order for employees to have a meaningful career with IBM.
In terms of external environment, IBM faces the opportunities of business process outsourcing which enables business organization to cut costs by outsourcing their back office processes and focusing on their core competencies. Companies are increasingly making use of technology to train people abroad and align them with business strategies. Motivation is also adopted according to the specific needs of the workforce in a specific country.
Step 2. Detect potential problem and opportunity.
IBM has the opportunity to lower operation costs and improve the bottom line by tapping the overseas market.
IBM's commitment to diversity, equal opportunity, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment can be highlighted by providing employment to people abroad. This can enhance the image of IBM.
Step 3. Verify/falsify potential problem or opportunity.
IBM should outsource some back-office processes abroad like customer support and accounting.
Step 4. Devise plan and success criteria.
Conduct a research on which country to best set up outsourcing operations.
Make a comprehensive strategy on how to train and motivate people in that country based on their culture and economic status.
Train people for the specific tasks and align them with the overall strategy of IBM.
Step 5. Implement the plan.
Set-up an office abroad where there is a low cost of labor but people are skilled enough to undertake tasks.
Train people in order to equip them with the necessary skills.
Address issues of diversity, equal opportunity, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment through implementing global diversity initiatives.
Step 6. Evaluate against success criteria.
Conduct a monthly survey on employee satisfaction with focus on the four issues.
In order to ensure its consistent performance in the market, IBM should always strive to align its workforce to its strategies through the use of SHRM tool. The company should also focus in satisfying its employees through the use of monetary and non-monetary benefits. Recognizing the differences among the countries where it operate, IBM should be able to adapt itself according to the culture. Commitment in diversity, equal opportunity, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment should always be emphasized.














References
Boxall, P. and Purcell, J. (2003) Strategy and Human Resource Management Palgrave Macmillan
Grant, R. (2002) Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Concepts, Techniques, Applications (4th edition) Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
IBM Diversity Policy. (2008). Retrieved 19 March 2008, from http://www-07.ibm.com/au/diversity/diversity_policy.html
Schuler, R. & Jackson, S. (1987) 'Linking competitive strategies and human resource management practices', Academy of Management Executive 1(3): 207-219.
Workforce Diversity. (2008). Retrieved 19 March 2008, from http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/people/diversity/global-diversity.shtml Read More
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