Implementation of Human Resource Management in public sector in Oman



Any industry is only as good as the individuals who comprise the business. Hence, an outstanding member of staff is a treasure of abundant worth. Yet, as an alternative of identifying the worth of their staffs, many firms still misuse these costly human resources in various ways. The study explores the HRM policy and practice between the employer and employees in an organization.


Torrington, Hall and Taylor, (2005) defined Human Resource Management as;

"HRM is the basis of all business activity. A business may depend fundamentally on having a unique product, like the London bid to stage the Olympic Games, or on identifying a previously unnoticed market niche, like Saga Services. The basis of management is always the same; getting the people of the business to make things happen in a productive way, so that the business prospers and the people thrive".

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The inquiry in what way human resource management (HRM) supports organizational operation has shaped three perceptions (Boxall and Purcell, 2008). The universalistic perspective suggests that a package of best practices must be implemented, that are self-regulating body of the strategies of an organization (Katou and Budhwar, 2007).The contingency perspective suggests that rather than automatically adopting best practices a fit between HRM and industry strategy is significant and that industry strategy should come first and be firmly connected to HRM strategy (Schuler and Jackson, 1987; Danny et al., 2008).The configurational perspective proceeds the contingency perspective one step ahead, suggesting that HRM must contribute to industry strategy rather than just streaming from it, and that synchronized internal and external fit amongst the external background, business and HRM policies are significant (Ulrich and Brockbank, 2005). The contingency and configurational perspectives discuss that HRM implementation cannot be steadily realistic to all organizations. In specific, practices suitable to a price subtle, high capacity, commodity marketplace may be unsuitable for a high quality, low capacity market. The scheme is that "best practice" high performance work practices (HPWP), engrossed on the soft HRM approach of progressive humanism, are more well-suited with business policies that highlight quality and product differentiation, whilst hard HRM strategies, focused on utilitarian instrumentalism and numerical flexibility, are better suited to business strategies that emphasize price control and rivalry based predominantly on price (Boxall and Macky, 2007; Legge, 1989, 1995; Youndt et al., 1996)

The prescriptive HRM model combines both soft and hard models, for the reason of it establishment in two schools in USA. The "hard" contingency perspective inside HRM is resulting from Harvard's strategic method that interconnected personnel management to organizational policy and the "soft" Universalist or best practice model is resulting from Michigan (Poole and Mansfield, 1994). Walton (1985) established this final method into the high commitment work system (HCWS). It is reasoned that synchronized implementation of soft and hard models of HRM in the normative model makes integral flaws and that these may lead to a gap between speech-making and reality as organizations adopt a soft speech-making at the same time legislating a hard realism (Storey and Sisson, 1993; Blyton and Turnbull, 1994; Noon, 1994; Guest and Peccei, 1994; Legge, 1995; Truss, 2001; Francis, 2002).

It has been recommended that patronising is the disagreement that workforces do not know their own minds. There is genuine support for the proposal that workers question management intentions and are more judicious (Willemyns et al., 2003). In specific, a study of management motives established that staffs report that managers were predominantly compelled by political underlying principle and implement the working of team for motives of selfishness (Keenoy, 1990). A different study brought into being that a total of 43 per cent of staffs felt that their managers lie and cheat them and 68 per cent lacked trust in their managers (Moreland, 1996). Hallier (2009) states that staffs have reacted sceptically to employer speech-making of assurance and prefer to research (Collinson and Collinson, 1997; Hallier and Forbes, 2005) added that staffs involve in sceptical obedience or mimic management's speech-making to defend their positions by seeming to be "on side". There is also empirical indication supportive to the HRM unitary pattern that employees like management creativeness. Guest (1999) examined data from the "UK Institute of Personnel and Development annual survey in 1997" where out of 1,000 employees, discovering that workers felt that there was effective implementation of HRM strategy, that it leads to better satisfaction, job safety, inspiration and lesser levels of burden at work, and that there was a strong positive connection between the acceptance of additional HPWP that is valued by the staff's like team working and results. Besides this, Mamman and Rees (2004) point out that there is certain overlap between the speech-making recommended by American HR managers and the truth of HRM as observed by staffs. Nevertheless, it is not knows that if employee's positive views have been operated by management speech-making (Mueller et al., 2000). Secondly, Guest (1999) suggests that there is sarcasm in a perception that disputes that HRM has not been efficiently applied and consecutively proposes that HRM is influential enough to influence workers. He guesses that researchers may be setting up a "straw man" that can be judgmentally analysed. Thus the gap between speech-making and actuality may be shaped by the division between academic speech-making and specialist realism. In specific, Ulrich and Brockbank (2005) suggested that HRM can involve in a straightforward, cooperative partnership with senior executives and line managers. Nevertheless, Hope-Hailey et al. (2005) dispute that this method lacks to reflect the pluralist, contending stake holders viewpoint that describes reality. Alvesson and Willmott (2002) declare that there is supremacy of positivist epistemology in the literature that depict management as a unbiased technology or subdivision of engineering with very little investigation that support's to our understanding of the casual characteristics of workstation group.

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There is a lack of empirical investigation discovering the association between HRM policy and practice. The boss and employee results and the research do exist in qualitative research from most of the literatures and is focussed with the western countries. But there is lack of consideration in regard to non-western HRM policies which brings it interesting and important to investigate on the Arab environment like Oman.

Research questions and objectives

The main goal of this research is to answer the following research question using qualitative and quantitative research methods. What is the role and impact of HRM policy?

To identify the current company policy, practice and outcomes which is to understand the impact of soft and hard HRM practices if it may lead to positive or negative outcomes. It includes identification of the impoverished IHRM if it is associated with gap between policy and practice.

To identify union presence, policy and practice that relates to involvement of union organizations that may affect the soft HRM policy and practice.

The case study in brief: Human Resource in the Ministry of Sports Affairs

Ministry of Sports Affairs is one of the Ministries of the public sector in Sultanate of Oman. It is in charge of sports activities. In the organizational structure of the ministry there are two departments responsible of Human Resource, which are department of personnel affairs and Human resource development department; both departments are in charge of: Employment and retirement, vacations for all employees, organization and job classification - Rehabilitation and training for staffs. There are approximately 500 staffs in the ministry working in different positions. Each department of the company has directors, Head of section and an employee.


…………………………PLEASE MENTION HERE ABOUT THE COMPANY HR POLICIES…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..


Research design

The function of a research design is to ensure that the evidence obtained enables us to answer the initial question as unambiguously as possible. The study will adopt positivist view as the study is autonomous of the witness and so can be measured and forecasted, with testing theories and finding implications from the tested sample. (Orlikowski, and Baroudi,1991). The design will be case study of an organization which will include both quantitative and qualitative research methods. (Google docs , 2011). Case study is defined as a "strategy for doing search which involves an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon within its real life context using multiple sources of evidence". In a case study the limits between the occurrence that is studied and the background within which is being studied are not plainly evident. Case study is significant when there is a need for rich understanding of the background (Saunders, et,al, 2009). It is also known by the researcher that there is deficiency of making generalizations when one case study is used (Adelman et al. 1977; Borg 1981), in this case one organization is selected to investigate the implementation of HRM policies and practice. This approach perfectly fits the research objective of identifying the views of employers and employees in regard to HRM policy and practice as the findings will be a crucial implication for the case study company where the researcher is currently employed at.

Research method, data collection and data analysis

The chosen case study design will be of a single organization that includes both qualitative and quantitative methods. The reason for the researcher's intention to adopt convenient sampling is to gain deeper understanding on the environment that the researcher is currently employed. (Saunders, et,al, 2009). For quantitative data collection, questionnaire survey will be distributed to the various departments of employees of the case study company. For qualitative data analysis, hypothesis will be derived from the theories and will be analysed using t-test. Cronbach alpha will be used to see the goodness of fit. Correlation and regression analysis will be computed to predict the outcome of the HRM policy. (Collis and Hussey,2009). For qualitative data, interview will conducted to the current company employees as well as the Staff from Human resource department. The research will deliver general structure to the interview to pursue gathering of qualitative and quantitative data, a mixture of closed and open interrogations will be used (Moser and Kalton, 1977). The interview answers will be voice recorded and transcribed. It will help relate different perspectives of staffs and employers linked to precise research aims. Ethical guidelines of data collection and protection act in Oman will be carefully considered during the research (Saunders, et,al, 2009)

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Access to data will be convenient as the researcher is an employee of the case study company and access to both quantitative and qualitative information will be convenient to achieve with accuracy. The researcher had made arrangement to travel and collect required data from the case study company in the third week of July and that there is sufficient finance to carry out the study since it is sponsored by the researcher's current employment company. The questionnaires will be printed and distributed to the company staff's from all departments and minimum response of 100 will be ensured. However the duration for getting back the responses could delay since employees tend to be busy at work. There will be convenient access permit to conduct face-to-face interviews to the higher authorities of the company. Collected data will be analysed using SPSS software package which is an advanced statistical tool to analyse and interpret data. Thus the research is equipped financially and easy access of reliable information is likely to be certain.