Question d Business & Management

Evaluate the contribution of human resources management practice on the success of Morrison's potential change management process.

Evaluate the contribution of human resources management practice on the success of Morrison's potential change management process.

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Answer Expert #27321

British supermarket chain Morrison’s is no stranger to change. So far this year, the company appointed its first ever female regional director, and further restructured the company by making 15 new appointments to the management teams, restructuring managers, and breaking the proverbial ‘glass ceilings’ through the appointment of more women (Tugby, 2016). In making these changes, and in future change management processes at the company, it can be argued that a large contribution is played by the Human Resource Management (HRM) practices of the company.

Research shows that HRM practices are considerably effective in improving feelings of vitality, and proactivity amongst employees, which are key behaviours when implementing proposed organisational changes. This is because HRM practices often involve team-work, cooperative decision making and autonomy, the ample three practices for improving proactivity and feelings of vitality within an organisation (Tummers et al., 2013). Nevertheless, some may argue that to this date it is the managers and leaders of Morrison’s who have planned and managed the change within the organisation, and that the HRM practices are only supplementary to change management (Anderson and Anderson, 2010).

However, change management often goes hand-in-hand with leadership development, which is greatly aided by HRM practices (Quinn and Quinn, 2016). The HRM department of Morrison’s is likely to work as a ‘back-stage’ support for the CEO who foots the ‘front-stage’ activity of change (CIPD, 2016). HRM also is generally in charge of creating change advocates and ensuring the visibility of leaders, which is likely the reason that Morrison’s were recently able to implement an equalisation of gender within its management teams (CIPD, 2016).

Overall, Human Resource Management practice can be seen as the ‘hidden hand’ of change, by which it works within the background, yet is a highly important factor of success in the implementation of change.


Anderson, D., & Anderson, L. A. (2010) Beyond change management: How to achieve breakthrough results through conscious change leadership. 2nd eds. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

CIPD. (2016) ‘Change Management.’ [Online] [Accessed on 8 October 2016]

Quinn, R.W. and Quinn, R.E. (2016) ‘Change Management and Leadership Development Have to Mesh.’ Harvard Business Review. [Online] [Accessed on 8 October 2016]

Tugby, L. (2016) ‘Morrisons makes raft of management changes as it hires more female leaders.’ Retail Week. [Online] [Accessed on 8 October 2016]

Tummers, L., Kruyen, P.M., Vijverberg, D. and Voesenek, T. (2013) ‘Connecting HRM and change management: How HR practices can stimulate change readiness.’ EGPA Conference, Paper for the PSG XV: PATI (Public Administration, Technology and Innovation).