Critically Analyse The Key Determinants


According to Gratton et al (1999) the concept of strategic HRM is considered to be a universal approach to the planned administration of human resource in relation to the future goal of the firm helping it to decide on the direction it wants to take, in order to survive and pose a superior competitive advantage over its competitors. The concept of strategic HRM deals with long-term employee problems and macro-concerns like the, structure, superiority, culture, values, commitment from employees and linking resources for the needs of the future. Moreover, it is being identified that human resource management has projected many ideas and techniques to benefit from the new function of human resource in the firm to utilize the approach of communication in HR (Schuler, 2007).The various developmental activities undertaken by the firms in the form of improving employees performance by proper recognition or rewards or to reorganize the organizational structure by updating to current trends , all these aspects form a part of the strategic HRM .

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As per Mc Daniel (2004) research, the firm would be able to drive or motivate its employees towards the organizational goals and objectives only if the HR practices like training, performance appraisal and incentives based on performance in different activities are satisfactory and revised on regular basis. Effectiveness of these aspect followed will improve the job satisfaction and morale of the employees towards work (CIPD, 2009).So, good morale and satisfaction from employees will allow firms to make necessary changes without much resistance, even during the periods of slowdown in the country. Moreover the slowdown (recession) taking place is an important chance for HR professionals to enhance the reliability and credibility of various HR programs by altering them to deal with financial behaviours that helps in cost-cutting, improving the productivity and supporting the goals of the company (Eversole, 2009).


The employees in an organisation may put all their efforts with increased interest, involvement and produce better performance, but it is the presence of effective HRM practices can minimise the direct or indirect employee grievances (Cooper and Burke, 2005).As per Wright and McMahan (1992) articles, defined SHRM as "model of calculated HR deployments and actions proposed to make the organisations to accomplish its goals and set objectives". The basic groundwork of value additions to the HR tasks is the business tactics of considering the employees as a competitive advantage. It is required that managers are able to understand the human capital propositions of business issues and assess them on the basis of new human resource practices .So as per Dyer (1995) research the SHRM contains the required set of policies and procedures that is required to maintain the employee workforce of the organisations, which is measures in the background of the organisational strategy.

More studies in relation to SHRM argues that the most important standard for assessing the efficiency of employee practices must be based on the extents to which these practices are useful and helpful in meeting the goals of the organisation (Hunter, 1995).A portfolio model of business approach proposes that organisations can differentiate their approach to individual products, in which there is clear evidence that these approaches are being implemented in some organisations (Nayyar, 1993).The aspects of reducing the wages and salaries taking place in an organisation can hinder with the productivity of the organisation ,which finally leads to very less chances for survival (Hope& Fraser, 2001).So, it is required that the HR practices implemented must be effective enough to impact the outcomes of finance, human resource ,capital and market(Dyer & Reeves, 1995).

The main function of the human resource management is to get new and innovative ideas for the organisation in order to change to the required procedures during the slowdown and also focus on the cost-cutting measures for the organisation (Kapoor, 2008).The focus of the HRM during the periods of slowdown must be to take strategic idea to enhance the performance and effectiveness of the whole organisation by reducing the flexible hours, downsizing the teams ,reorganising and updating the training and developmental programs. The implementation of such plans during slowdown in the organisation may create many problems to the company and the employee's .The problems for the companies will be reduced productivity, increased labour turnover and increased absenteeism from work, whereas the problems for employees will be low morale, pay cuts, job insecurity and no proper satisfaction in the job. Especially in the Indian BPO scenario there are many companies all over the subcontinent in which the policies and procedures for each company differs from one another based on their strategic human resource management approach implemented. Therefore, the study of this research paper is about various human resource management practices to prevail over cost reduction and the impact caused by the new strategies in the organisation.


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The main aim of this research paper is to identify the efficiency of the various Human resource practices and procedures implemented by organisations during the slowdown by assessing the views of the employees and the manager.


To analyse the various human resource practices implemented in Indian BPO companies.

To evaluate the ratio of employee satisfaction and their response to the SHRM practices to Performance management system.

To assess the efficiency of the acknowledged human resource practices.

To study the different styles of management implemented by managers to reduce labour turnover and increase the job satisfaction.


According to Bratton (2009) Strategic human resource management is defined as "the procedure of linking the human resource function with the strategic objectives of the organisation to improve performance and achieve the set goals". Especially in this current business environment of heavy competition and increasing complexities it is required that the HR policies and procedures of an organisation are fit with its strategies (Beer et al., 1984). So, for the organisation to be successful in the competitive market the strategies present at different levels must be linked.


The flexibility in managing the employees in an organisation starts with the dedication and loyalty towards diversity. The administration of HR is being considered as the key aspect in establishing sustainable advantage for reducing the costs. The few strategies that are implemented by the human resource department during the slow down are reducing the incentives and salaries, minimising the benefits given to employees and job cuts .India being a nation with highly talented and skilled labour force the implementation of new strategies will lead many uncertainties and problems from the employees. The above mentioned alterations taking place in the human resource practices during the slowdown can lead to changes in behaviour of employees, increasing labour turnover, low dedication and commitment of employees towards work finally leading to low productivity and chances of loosing highly talented and killed employees to other organisations. So, the focus of this research paper is going to be on changes of HRM practices during the slowdown and the impact caused by it on the employees, lastly the approaches that organisation must follow to maintain an equilibrium and improve performance(strategic management) . This would be a very difficult task as the all the Indian BPO companies differ in their rules, practices and approach towards HR functions (Vance and Paik, 2006).

HUMAN RESOURCE STRATEGYThe concept of strategic management (HR) relates to the various managerial decisions and actions taken by organisation to improve the long-run performance of the organisation (Wheelan and Hunger, 1995). So, the strategic HR management is a continuous activity that is based on three different poles:-


ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCES Source: - Bamberger and Phillip, 1991


The main aim of this particular chapter is to depict the research design and the reasons for selecting a particular methodology to accomplish the above stated objectives of this research paper.


As per Flick (2002) research, the qualitative analysis is of particular significance to the study of social relations, owing to the fact that pluralisation of life words and marketing apparently is derived heavily from it. This research process allows the researcher to study the subject matter in detail and get a clear outlook or idea of the different occurrences. This method is utilised in this research process to carry out a semi-structured interview among the managers to determine the various approaches and human resource practices implemented and their efficiency. According to Creswell (2003) this research process makes use of interactive practices and includes the energetic and dynamic involvement of the respondents. This method will be utilised only to determine the management practices implemented by the managers to tackle the difficult situations. This interview method among the managers will be very useful to understand their outlook, experience and various suggestions given by them to tackle or overcome the situation.


The quantitative methods will be utilised on the employees of different Indian BPO companies as this methods seems to be very consistent, aim oriented and helpful in monitoring and understanding the problems undergone by the employees in the organisation. This method will be utilised to get information regarding the ratio of satisfaction, identification of problems and their expectations from their managers to show increased interest and morale towards the work place. In this analysis the questionnaire will be used to collect the data which will be sent through email.


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The data collected for this research process is done through the primary and secondary data techniques.

Stage 1:-

About 10-15 managers from different BPO companies in Chennai will be interviewed .In order to make the research process easier the researcher would be focussing only on four BPO companies ,as there are more than 500 small and big BPO companies in Chennai. The research will focus on both two small and two big BPO's. The BPO companies are:-

Big organisations

Cognizant BPO

Wipro BPO

Small organisations

Lycatel BPO

Slash support BPO

The main reason for choosing different managers from various firms is to know and assess the different strategies implemented in different companies.

Stage 2:-

About 40 employees will be selected from the above mentioned organisations and the questionnaires will be sent to them to get responses.

Similarly, the secondary research also plays an important role in this research process with many different researcher giving different explanations and depictions. The researcher also believes that this particular research process is not complete without the secondary research. The journal for Indian business research and CIPD will be mainly utilised due to the increased academic information present on Indian business. Moreover, different articles, net source and the experience of the author in Cognizant BPO will also be implemented.


As per Seidel (1998) research, the best time to analyse a data is when the initial data has been gathered as this data may be useful or act as a guide in further data collection. In the first analysis the information gathered through interview records will be set into a friendly format. After this organisation the data will be categorised according to importance and will be analysed. Lastly the conclusions obtained from the data will be compared to theories to review the effectiveness of findings. Moreover the findings are checked at against the data collected to see their relevancy (Denscombe, 2007).


The data gathered through the above mentioned methods will be utilised to assess and decisively obtain the strength and weakness. Clear statistical reports will be produced in relation to the data collected.


The questionnaires in the interview are semi-structured and the basis of questions is on the below given topics:-

New strategic HRM policies implementations

What benefits are gained

How it is implemented

Evaluating the results of new HRM practices.

Employee satisfaction

Factors keeping employee satisfied

Reduce labour turnover strategies.

Measures to be followed during slowdown.

Motivation of employees in new SHRM practices in slowdown.

Employee evaluation

Effective training and performance appraisal

Problems in evaluation

Feedbacks importance.

Returns expected by employees.

The conduction of semi-structured interviews is done to get various viewpoints from the managers in relation to cost-cutting measures, issues in performance evaluation and the strategies followed to sort them out.

The question for the employees is done on the basis of different aspects of job assessment practices followed in the company, job satisfaction, employee benefits and their views on the changes in HRM (Appendix 1)


The time sheet presented below is in relation to the time plan of the researcher:-

Literature Review overview

April 1st 2011 - June 10th 2011

Analysis of literature review

10th June - 1st July

Research Methodology

1st July - 15th July

Analysis of data

16th July - 25th August

Questionnaire Preparation

26th August - 31st August

Presentation of report

1st September - 20th September


Many different researchers have carried out studied in this particular area of study ,but the major focus in this particular research paper is going to be on the Indian BPO's and suggestions are made will give a clear view of the various success and failures in the practices adopted by the organisations .If any further research could be carried out in this particular topic, the author believes that it could be done on the styles of human management and international cultures which has to be adopted by the organisation. Moreover, the chances of widening the performance results in SHRM and emphasizing the significance of efficiently managed systems for many employee teams can also be researched.


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VANCE, C. & PAIK, Y. 2006." Managing a global workforce, Challenges and opportunities in international Human Resource Management", New York: M. E. Sharpe, Pg 20

BURKE, J & COOPER, L. 2005. "Reinventing human resource management", 2nd ed, London: Hodder and Stoughton

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