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Human Resource Management - Learning - Assignment Example

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There are some areas of specialization in which CEOs and managers have very advanced skills, for example the technical aspects and the marketing and sales side. This is not, however, sufficient expertise to run a large company and HRM experts have very advanced skills, for…
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Human Resource Management - Learning Assignment
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Human Resource Management - Learning Assignment Why do you think it is important for HR to be a strategic partner to the business? There are some areas of specialization in which CEOs and managers have very advanced skills, for example the technical aspects and the marketing and sales side. This is not, however, sufficient expertise to run a large company and HRM experts have very advanced skills, for example in dealing with people issues and the challenges involved in change management. In some fields there is significant change in the environment occurring at a very fast pace. The example of technology firms shows that HRM can deliver appropriate management training and develop tools and interventions which are matched to the needs of the future, rather than out-dated industrial models (Garavan, 1991). In order to understand these new needs, and fit the support systems to the business context, HR professionals need to be part of the planning process right from the start. The strategy that a company adopts has to be deliverable, and the contribution of HR can make sure that the whole organization is geared up to match strategic objectives, using tools like rewards systems, orientation programs, working time arrangements and many others. If strategic planning and HR are separate, then a gap can develop which hampers progress towards corporate objectives.
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2 What benefits do you think the employees derive from this arrangement?
If HR is involved in strategic planning then employees can be sure that details such as the terms of their contracts and the working arrangements in their teams have been put together in alignment with company objectives. There is consistency across the board when points of debate or contention arise, and employees are less likely to be caught between conflicting messages. HR can serve as a useful channel for information to flow from the very top of the organization to the very bottom, and across the whole width of different departments or sections. The organization is therefore bonded together more fully. This means employee views are heard and their concerns can be fed into all processes at all stages. Sensitive processes like down-sizing are likely to run much more smoothly and fairly when HR considerations have been included in the planning stage. Management directives and core corporate values are much more likely to be adopted if HR has influenced their formation and implementation (Williams, 2010).
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3 What do you think are the risks involved (to HR and the organization as a whole) if HR does not make this a priority and instead remains a purely task-oriented department mostly administrative in nature?
If HR remains a task-oriented department it will more than likely find itself in a reactive situation, having to fix problems that have been caused by management decisions (whether or not these decision were necessary, useful or appropriate). Priorities will be set by others, and there may be inherent contradictions and conflicts within policy which cause problems for HR staff. If HR accepts the role of passive supporter and problem-fixer within the organization then the root causes of problems are not likely to be addressed, job satisfaction of HR teams is likely to be low, and the organization will operate much less efficiently than it might have done. There may well be a tendency towards defensive behaviors across the organization, and the opportunity to exploit the synergy between crisis and opportunity will be missed because no-one is prepared for, or supported in, taking risks (Cascio and Boudreau, 185). This reduces the flexibility of the organization, which can be a critical factor in a fast-moving business context.
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Cascio, W.F. and Boudreau, J.W. (2012) Short Introduction to Strategic Human Resource Management. New York: Cambridge University Press,
Garavan, T.N. (1991) Strategic Human Resource Development. International Journal of Manpower 12 (6), 21-34.
Williams, S.L. (2010) Strategic planning and organizational values: links to alignment. Human Resource Development International 5 (2), 217-233. Read More
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