Examining Human Resource Managers In Medium To Large UK Enterprises


Examine the importance of the role and activities of a Human Resource Manager in medium - large organisations in the UK and show how the role and FOUR of the main activities of a line manager compare and contrast with the Human Resource Manager's strategic and operational role and in the four activities chosen. In the essay provide theoretical and practical examples from wider reading of text books, journals, your own experience in work, the Internet and UK business organisations to support your examination of these managing people at work 'good practices' in people management activities. For example browse the Times Top 100 UK Companies for practical examples of 'good practice' and its link to theory.


1) Why these 4 activities are choosen

2) Why you have choosen Marks and Spencer and Introduction about Marks and Spencer


Use Framework of Analysis


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I take the view that 'Administrative' approach is 'good practice' for an organisation to make better decisions. Administrative approach is nothing but theories on which how the managers should perform in order to achieve success. I have noticed that Marks and Spencer management committee have the confidence and knowledge to apply context to their own organisation or for employees in the given job. This has been developed to get better improvements in its business.


In order to achieve success in business, it's important to apply context which affects the organisation in more efficient way. The context allows us to apply administrative theory for the organisation and its analysis via PEST( for an industry) and SWOT(for an organisation) helps to rectify the weakness and improve the performance.

OUTER CONTEXT - PEST analysis of FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) industry

Political impacts

Government regulations and protection

Political stability

International business regulations and restrictions

Competition regulation

Government organisation and tax policies

Economic impacts

Interest rates

Economic growth


Inflation rates

Exchange rates

Social impacts

Lifestyle changes

Demographics such as age distribution and population growth


Living conditions

Health consciousness and safety

Technical impacts

Focus on technology

Technology transfer rate

New inventions and development

Changes in internet and information technology

Energy usage and costs

INNER CONTEXT - SWOT analysis of Marks and Spencer


High Recognition of Brand.

Leading Premium Quality Food Retailer

Niche market success for food

Maintains backward integration with suppliers

Increase turnover and trading profits

Popular Designer clothing

Diverse range of products

Contains adequate information processing

online sales


Ageing customer base

Perception of high prices

Bad publicity as considered as an old fashioned store

Slow to change


Internationalisation - Increasing its global market

Increased prices in some areas

New products and services for the customers

Improve its growth areas such as food, home and beauty etc

Need for branded goods


Intense competition in all M&S production areas

Increase in turnover of high performance managers

Inability to adapt to changing customer requirements


HRM definition


Human resource management (HRM) is a strategic, integrated and coherent approach to the employment, development and well-being of the people working in organisations.



Role of Line Manager

To take all decisions in their department ensuring that managerial prerogative remains with management, unless the latter is shared by other parties, such as through collective bargaining. (from his handout)

Operational role of HR Manager

To identify and implement the policies that are related to the performance of strategic plans such as recruiting and selecting the candidates etc

Strategic role of HR Manager

To support and advise line managers and to fulfill both the strategy execution and strategy formulation roles

Strategy execution (traditional role): top management formulates the company's corporate strategies and HR develops systems that support or align with the corporate strategy.

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Strategy formulation (today's role): a partner in the setting of the corporate strategy and its execution

Typical Activities of HR manager in strategic and operational roles



Four Activities:

Recruitment and Selection

Marks and Spencer recruits suitable candidates regardless of their age. It not only uses the criterion-based selection but also uses the online selection for initial screening which is conducted electronically. Marks and Spencer's selection process is based on talent screening. Most of the candidates apply online and they are screened initially on several questions and the candidates who are successful in this stage are again screened using the online talent screening which assesses their skills for the job they are applying for. The candidates who are selected in this test are then invited for an interview and finally who perform well in interview is selected for the job.

Activities of HR Manager

To attract a pool of qualified applicants to the organisation

Lists specific responsibilities of the job

Determine the number of employees needed to fill the vacant positions

Develop personnel plans

Responsible for developing the sources of qualified candidates

Perform initial screening test for the qualified applicants and send the list of filtered applicants to line manager

Activities of Line manager

Specifies the qualifications that are needed to fill specific positions

Responsible for doing job analysis

Responsible for writing the job description

Conducts final technical screening test for the candidates that are qualified in initial screening test

Interview the candidates and selects if he feels he is well suitable for the job or else requests for new applicants

Training and Development

In Marks and Spencer, all the managers are capable of creating a career planning profile which helps them to focus their target position and also highlights what kind of programmes the Marks and Spencer needs to improve the performance in training and development.

Marks and Spencer conducts two forms of training

On-the-job training. This type of training takes place while workers perform an activity in their workplace. This training mainly involves practical learning to improve technical skills which can be gain by involving in various projects. The key in performing on-the-job training is to find Marks and Spencer employees enjoy the work and achieve all the skills needed to do their job which benefits both the organisation and the employees.

Off-the-job training. This takes place away from their workplace. In this training Marks and Spencer provide various resources for its employees such as intranet, workbooks for open learning and also workshops to develop their skills.


Development helps the employees use the training to achieve their needs and career aspirations. Marks and Spencer include many development programmes such as Lead to succeed, Your M&S career path, Managing for success and leading with impact, Marks & Start, Graduate schemes etc.

Activities of Line Manager

Responsible for providing performance coaching to the employees

Give training to the employees

Placing the right candidate on the right job

To motivate employees to perform well

Developing the abilities of each employee

Improving the skills of the employees by giving guidance that they need

Maintaining soft working relationships with employees

Line manager performs formal review on employees for every 2 years

Activities of HR Manager

Prepare training materials and course documents

Identify needs with line managers

Help employees to identify the needs

Provide leadership to build effective team

Develop Training and Development activities

Evaluate performance of employee

Review career progress

Equal Opportunities

Marks and Spencer committed to an equal opportunities policy in every aspect of the organisation right from the recruitment and selection process to the retirement process. The company provides the work environment which does not have any harassment, discrimination and victimisation.


It is Marks and Spencer's policy to

Promote work environment which is free from victimisation, harassment and discrimination

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M&S ensures that each and every employee receives an equal treatment in all aspects of employment policies despite of age, colour, gender, disability, race and marital status etc

Employ a workforce which replicates the community that serves and increases the personal and commercial opportunities

Understands the staff in knowing their equal opportunity rights by delivering training programmes

Comply with the law to protect both the organisation and its employees

Check and report the work of the employees and reconsider if any changes are to be made in company's policy.

There are several laws to protect the equal opportunities policy like anti-discrimination law, sex discrimination act, equal pay act, race relations act, fair employments act, disability discrimination act, age regulations etc.

Discrimination is an unfair treatment towards the employees i.e. treating an employee less favourably compared to others in some situations either intentionally or unintentionally. Marks and Spencer follows anti-discrimination law.

Harassment is an unacceptable behaviour which is based on age, sexual orientation, religion or belief. Some of the examples are

Unwanted suggestions, remarks

Offensive pictures and gestures

Physical contact i.e. even a touch

Bullying behaviour

Victimisation can be explained as if a complaint results in more unfair treatment. For ex, if a supervisor gives an unwanted sexual intention to a sales assistant then the sales assistant can give a complaint against him. If the unfair treatment increases after she gives complaint against him, then it is called as victimisation.

It is everyone's responsibility to make sure that a healthy environment is maintained in the organisation without discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Health and Safety

4 Practice examples of good practice

Compare and Contrast between 2 or 3 organisations

Concepts, theories and models


E) Conclusion

F) Bibliography

G) Appendix