An analysis of the Strategic HRM process and Approach in Abu Dhabi


ABSTRACT: The purpose of this assignment and the research integrated in context of the subject matter "Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM)" is to reflect on the issue encompassing HRM and it strategy in greater details within the organizational premise, and that which limits its analysis in - Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority; a company based in UAE - chosen for this work and its analysis based on the background of the subject matter. It should be clarified herein that the attempt of this work also is to look deep within the subject matter and its meaning through a literature review on the same and defining some term attached to 'Strategic Human Resource Management' (SHRM). The research and literature study in that regard is crucial for many reason as one factor to understand the theory and generalization of the subject matter argument so that an analysis and juxtaposition of the same theory and its practices are analyzed and traced in observation, especially in context of - Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, and the practices of HRM in the company so as to justify some assumptions interrelated to the subject matter and its arguments.


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The basis of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the significant role that it plays in organizational context, especially in the domains of organizational structuralizing process is very important.

Many organizations are realizing this fact. To top it all, every organization as a matter of fact also give greater stress to HRM and its process altogether, since it is being considered today to be one component of the corporation that is very vital for growth and progression.

In theory and practical application and its approaches, Strategic HRM (SHRM) in greater details covers a larger foreground that expands toward the many important and crucial role and tasks of HRM.

When we observe the situation on the fast paced world today and the competitive market, it is interesting indeed to note some feature of that trend that are fast catching up within the organizational structure.

Research purpose and issues in contention

It is interesting to note that most organization whatever be their size and makeup take an interest approach to HRM and its processes, either within the line of Strategic HRM and its policy and practices in different ways as per the requirement of the company and in direct empanelment of the organizational policy maker and planner. It is not surprising to advocate the fact that when it matter to organizations in UAE as well, we feel that there is an abundant space that gives a clear definition to the role of HRM in most organizations.

This is where we can reason and assumed is the core of the subject matter analysis here. As we move also towards a 'knowledge economy' dependence of organizations in human resource is also increasingly being felt. However, the challenges also are greater. This is where Strategic HRM comes to the rescue.

In order to come to this conclusion it is also felt that getting a clear notion of the research question that relates to the subject matter in details and the research question that relates to the company, that is, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority is important so as to be enable to critically interpret the research material that is directly in reliant of the subject matter and its requirement.

Thus, the following paragraph is a direct summary to the research question in fragment, which is related to the subject matter "Strategic Human Resource Management'

Research Questions

What defines Strategic HRM? Why is it important?

How does HRM, its process and its functioning today helps the organization growth and its progression, especially in context of strategy?

Moreover, additional research question also can be viewed in context of the company as follows.

How large is the HR section in Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority?

What are everyone's functions in the company? Can the same be grouped if appropriate?

What do they aim to accomplish over a set time frame?

What methods they are using to accomplish those set goals?

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How successful have they been in the past?

How were those outcome measured?

What are the main strategies that they are trying now?

Can the same be viewed in context of a theory? Justify the same in regard of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, and how does the theory work?

Based on these assumptions, we feel that a clear understanding of all the strategic formulation related to Strategic HRM in the company identified can be understood through an analysis and justifying the same.

However, before a structuralizing process to the study is undertaken it is importantly also to have an overview of the company, which is detailed below.

Company Overview: Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority

The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority or in short (ADWEA) is a company based in UAE, and located in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) "as a national corporation or organization is wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, which maintain itself a separate legal entity in regulation and work machinery. The organization came into incorporation under the law No 2 in UAE way back in 1998." (ADWEA)

The ADWEA since its inception in 1998 as an organization have come a long way today, to be recognized as one of the premiere body that authorize the regulation which is also "responsible for implementing all types of UAE government policy regarding the power and water machinery sector, wherein privatization is one component that marked the free flow of the company machinery and its functioning." (ADWEA)

As an electricity or power and water recognized body of authority in the emirates, the ADWEA and its process altogether attends to the needs of "1.5 million households in the emirates of Abu Dhabi. Besides, the organization also is wholly an independent organization who undertakes the management of Subsidiaries Corporation such as Al Mirfa Power Company (AMPC) in the power sector, where corporation subsidiaries includes Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity company (ADWEC), TRANSCO, Al Ain Distribution company (ALDC) and Abu Dhabi Distribution company (ADDC) wherein ADWEA maintains around 60% of the company stakes and equities in the power and water sector." (ADWEA)


The universal idea of Strategic HRM is not only a theoretical point to digest, but a fact that its assimilation and practical application have readily transformed the face of the company in the challenging market. We are of the opinion that Strategic HRM is very crucial for many reasons thereof.

Moreover, as scholars have maintained, to understand the core meaning of strategic human resource management, understanding and decoding the meaning of 'strategy' itself is important.

The Meaning of Strategic Human Resource Management

There are many variables attached to Strategic HRM. Take for examples the "meaning of 'Strategy' itself which in general understanding is a multi-dimensional concept that is fast catching up in the management studies. In the competitive arena today, strategic management is significant to turn around the tide of challenges and factored on the opportunities that comes within the way. Strategies as a matter of fact are specific. Moreover, it is also measurable and obtainable when a set of pans are set and maintained accordingly with devotion and active approach to the same. Beside the important point is that corporation's policy makers and stakeholders also should form one factor of the overall strategy itself to retain and assist in the progression of any given strategy and its growth." (Kumar, 2006)

It is thus lie saying fostering a new challenges and supporting the same for it effective end result and success. Hence, the contribution and support from within the outside the corporation machinery is important for the successful goal achievement of any given strategy that is defined.

Thus, in context of the above, we can reason herein that the meaning of strategic human resource management also is one factor of the 'strategy' itself. That is to say Strategic HRM can simply be defined in context of HRM itself.

In that capacity, Strategic HRM "is that branch of the management that links human resource with strategic goals and objective of an organization or the corporation as a means to develop a solid foundation of factor or resource for the improvement of business, its process and operation overall. In simple meaning, it is something like fostering an idea to take roots and stems from the fact that 'together, more can be achieved. It is where innovation, and all elements of flexibility and fostering the competitive edge is one and all as a means to an end all of all goals and it achievements." (Sinha, 2011)

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From these points as augment above, we can derive the meaning that is saliently giving a clear definition of the subject matter arguments. However, it also important to note that HRM and Strategic HRM are rather different, which the following paragraph and its literature review details.

Human Resource Management (HRM) vs. Strategic HRM (SHRM)

From a generalization of the idea and meaning behind Human Resource Management, we can directly trace that the meaning of Human Resource Management (HRM) itself is saliently attached to the factor of administrative, managements, as well as decision makers in context of organization productivity that advocate to champion the cause of employees in an organization for its contributory channels that should not be forgotten.

As a matter of fact, "Human Resource Management (HRM) in all instance take a core inspection of organizational needs in matters of human resource and factors of training and developments." (Ahluwalia, 2008)

To top it all, the presence of HRM as an independent department in an organization for instance is crucial in "the face of organizational functionality considering their role, and tasks in reflecting to effective management of people and its resources, wherein HRM to a great extent helps in many allied field related to staffing, training and development, people championing, administrative activities and most importantly bringing that attractive feature in the company for the growth and development of its employees through its many activities and programs in policy and practical reach of the same." (Ahluwalia, 2008)

From this brief assimilation of the idea behind the notion of Human Resource Management (HRM), we can readily agree that most of it is factual behind its meaning. Yet as we have detailed above in brief about strategic human resource management, we are of the opinion that HRM and Strategic HRM are two different branch of knowledge and concepts, wherein Strategic HRM take a more detailed approach to the overall functionality of an organization.

What is also important to note though about HRM and its strategic roadmap can be viewed in context of the changing face of its reach and the importance attached to it in the current state of affairs. Thus, the difference between Strategic HRM and HRM can be comprehended in context of the following analysis.

Theoretical Interpretation in context of HRM Vs Strategic HRM and its activities

This tabular differentiation below lists some of the common features of the difference between HRM and Strategic HRM and its processes in greater details.

Human Resource Management (HRM)

Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM)

HRM and its functionality focuses it domains and reach within the arena of "recruitment, management, and providing direction to people and employee within the organization." (Heathfield)

1. Strategic HRM differs from HRM in context of many varying degrees that are interrelated to HR strategy. For example, Strategic HRM "examines the interrelated relationship that is linked to one another with HR functionality and its tasks. Although, Strategic HRM can make an impact in an organization for business performance." (Cipd, 2010)

To some extent, HRM deals with the issue compounding an organization in the fields of people management wherein the task and activities of their functioning take into account attending towards the "compensation, staffing or hiring, management of performance of employees, training and development, employee benefits and its overall administration" (Heathfield) from time to time for the growth of the organization and its employees.

2. According to experts "Strategic HRM is generally a strategic approach to HRM and its management, which is a complex process, although with an aim and intention to emphasize the meaning of it that is more in-depth that the meaning of HRM and is directly in reliant or identifies itself with the vision and mission of the organization and its goals achievements. To make it simple Strategic HRM is more of a branch of management and it practical approach is concerned more with the long-term benefit of an organization and its human resource needs." (Cipd, 2010)

Thus, in simple terms, HRM and its functioning and task can be summarized as an activities that champion the cause of employee and administrative experts which management guru have argued about in many circulars and journals that appears in management studies.

Thus, in all respect, Strategic HRM is more imploded and adds more depth to HRM. It is in simple understanding of the term a re-definition of HRM and its activities that attempt to gain access in transforming organizational behavior and shaping polices and all factor of decision in HRM that s saliently in context of organization needs for long-term strategic goals and its success and achievements.

Thus, what we can comprehend from this brief analysis is the fact that HRM and Strategic HRM are two different points of the same coins. However, Strategic HRM today is getting readily acceptable in organizational domains and its machinery and corporate makeup, given the transformation that it can bring about without compromising on the resource and company assets that also for long-term goals and its success of any given strategy.

ADWEA Strategic Human Resource Management and its approach

The Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority (ADWEA) as an organization with large presence in UAE give important consideration to HRM, which from any analysis of the company approach in-depth represents the very notion of Strategic HRM

As we have mentioned in the classification above, HRM and Strategic HRM are two different dimensional concepts that stem from the same roots. It is somewhat a representation of the two sides of a single coin.

As a matter of fact given the size of the organization, we assume that HR department in the company is large enough. This speculation can be based on the fact that the company structural makeup itself is unique representation of the same. Take for example the structure of the company that is "headed by its board members, who most of them are appointed by the virtue of the Amiri Decree. Headed by H. H. Shaikh Diab Bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the chairman of the organization, the organization itself takes important part to play a significant role in the power and water supply sector in UAE. As a regulatory authority, the ADWEA as an organization of empanelled people and management experts take forward the cause of the nation in line with governmental policies that are defined from time to time for the benefit of the society and its people." (ADWEA, ADWEA Organizational Structure)

Hence, understanding the organizational structure of the company is important for reason known that most of the strategic roadmap and planning are passed through the board of the company and its members for the interest of the organization and its business.

The organizational structure of the ADWEA also is saliently in context of the direct attention to Strategic HRM, given the presence of a Planning and Development Directorate and Business Support Directorate within the organizational machinery and its functionality." (ADWEA, ADWEA Organizational Structure)

Hence, it is not surprising that presence of these two independent directorate as detailed in to make the best arrangement and functionality with the organizational take a simple and more dynamic approach towards the overall process of the company, especially in attending to Human Resource, Business Development, Planning and Performance etc" (ADWEA, ADWEA Organizational Structure) which is crucial for achieving the goals set and strategy that are formulated, as can be further justified as follows.


The Size and Function of HR Department in ADWEA

From analyzing the very essence of the organization structure, we can comprehend that the size of the HR department in the said company chosen is large enough to cover all the functionality within and also extends towards its subsidiaries company.

To interpret the size of the organization HR, the "Business Planning Department itself is one good example. As a matter of fact, the Business Development Department in ADWEA is divided into four core groups such as Human Resource, Administrative department, Finance and Supply." (ADWEA, ADWEA Organizational Structure)

Hence, to judge the size of the organization we should not forget that all these departments, especially the Business Planning Department, where HR also finds its place of representation are saliently identified with the machinery and its working so as to achieve with the objective of the company, especially in matters concerning the Strategic HRM and its objectives.

Thus, when we reflect to this portion of the arguments and the subject matter and its significant approaches in ADWEA, we can readily identify with the same that the organization in recent time and since its establishment has undertaken many strategic polices in context of HRM that bears the fruits of the successful projects such as training and development projects code named Oracle HRM that attends to the core of HRM strategic formulations and its outcomes, besides projects such as Oracle Financial and 'Maximo' for the computerized learning of its employees" (ADWEA, ADWEA Organizational Structure) and to maintain the training and development process in the most effective measure as an initiative to attend to the salient objective of Strategic Human Resource Management and its goals in ADWEA.

Hence, judging from these activities, we can speculate that the size of HR department is rather huge in ADWEA. It functions also can be grouped into the following four channels as detailed above concerning the Business development Department.

Strategic HRM Goals accomplishment and Methodology initiated

To justify again in context of this arguments, we can readily indentify that the "launch of ADWEA Academy that was established way back in 2000" (ADWEA, ADWEA Academy) is a clear representation of the HRM Goals accomplishment by the organization, as well as the methodology initiated in that regard.

What is salient about the organization academy, which is ADWEA academy can be emphasized to the crucial role it plays in the educational, training, and all aspects of the development process of its employees, so as they learned and are trained in the latest changes making the rounds in technological fields and that which also helps to keep employees in the organization to well versed to attend to the job at hand with such advanced training and development process." (ADWEA, ADWEA Academy)

As per the organization internal insights it is believed that "the establishment of the company academy thus is one factor of the goals accomplishment in context of the strategic Human Resource Management and its concepts. Together with it, what brought about the need for such an establishment or to say an academy says company insiders can be emphasized to the changing dimension of the market structure and skills requirement that are kind of challenging. With the academy in place, ADWEA corporate management can make the best shifts towards change in the most effective and feasible ways and not lacking behind as far as the transformation to the knowledge economy goes among its employees, managers or leaders." (ADWEA, ADWEA Academy)

Hence, from interpreting these information as can be retrieved from the company website itself a clear definition and simplistic accumulation of the idea behind the accomplishment of goals in context of Strategic HRM can be juxtaposed.

Moreover, given the size of the organization and its presence Strategic HRM in context of ADWEA and its Academy is "to meet the challenge of rapid changes taking place. Moreover, with the organization and its operation that composed in water and electricity sector, such integration, that is to say the integration of strategic HRM plans through the integration of academy for learning saliently fits with the organizational culture. (ADWEA, ADWEA Academy)

In more sense that one; the presence of the academy itself can be comprehended as the goals achievement of ADWEA in Strategic HRM. In other word, "new training methodology and culture are gaining roots at ADWEA academy with the challenging times. Hence, HRM and its integration is more imploded in a sense, since engineers and technical employees as well as managers are introduced and updated from time to time about changes taking place through the process of training and development, which as per the company HRM strategic planners is befitting both for the organization and employee to learn and unlearn things and to enhance the skills and learning both professionally and personally that helps foster the growth and its success in context of strategic HRM and its outcome. (ADWEA, ADWEA Academy)

Strategic HRM past Records and its Measurement

Going back to the meaning of Strategic HRM and its discussion, what we can reason herein is the relevant facts that the establishment of the ADWEA Academy in itself has defined many past records of success. Take for examples the achievement of the organization academy in 2009 and henceforth.

As per the data available with the company it relates that "the success roadmap stated from 2009 onward. Some past achievements thus can also be mirrored in respect of the training course that were delivered, as well as the training days that clocked to more than 730 days as well as the response it got from its subsidiary company and its employees as well as the ability of the academy and its foundation to saliently meet the expectation of ADWEA Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) and its formulation" (ADWEA, ADWEA Academy) as speculated earlier.

With a "total registration of around 4183 since the inception of the Academy in 2009" (ADWEA, ADWEA Academy) and in a span of more than one years have garnered steam, which is one factor that can be measured in regard of the success roadmap of past records.

Moreover, in "2010 the training programs floated by the Academy also is more broadened in a sense. Above all, the presence of trainer from as far as UK, US, Canada and France and different engineering and management schools from abroad within the Academy structure for its smooth functioning" (ADWEA, ADWEA Academy) is in itself a measure that we can comprehend in details and one factor to conclude composed the Strategic HRM pat records of ADWEA Academy and its measurement.


As we can generalize HRM and it strategy is important for many reasons. HRM today in UAE for instance have rather gone for a change of guards when it matter to the way people and employees are managed and recruited or the factor attached to employee development and training which we know HRM and its role plays a crucial role in achieving these challenges in the corporate circle universally and in UAE as well.

Considering the case as we have analyzed in context of ADWEA Strategic HRM and assimilating from the same, we feel a recommendation can be listed as follows.


From assimilating the research and its subject study, it is recommended that ADWEA can further do better in the field of its strategic HRM.

Hence the list of recommendation is follows:-

Local talents and its representation: In the work force locals should have been given more place of representation. There is no mentioning about the strategic HRM and its outcomes that measured local talents in that regard and benefitting from the same. As we are aware, in UAE expatriate composed a great chunk of the work force. Hence, giving local talents a place of representation can saliently be in direct empanelment of Strategic HRM and its concepts that is long-term in its approach.

Giving a place of representation among the local Emiratis: Giving local employees a direct access to the Strategic outlook of the organization can also be based in factor of the Emiratization programs. This is missing though in ADWEA Strategy HRM although. Hence, formulating ADWEA Strategic HRM and Emiratization programs is recommended.