Making Assumptions About Reality Business Essay


As Medcof and Roth said that despite the impression that we are in direct and immediate contact with the world, our perception is , in fact, separated from reality by a long chain of processing.Psychologist indicate that perception is a complex process involving the selection of stimuli to which to respond and the organization and the interpretation of them according to patterns we already recognise


Bannister and Fransella (1971) states that we can only make assumptions about what reality is and then proceed to find out how useful those assumptions are and cannot determinean reality free from interpretation directly. Some assumptions are so deeply engrained that they are difficult to identify and express but they are nevertheless embodied in the way we approach life. These include the way we conceptualize,theories about and manage the employment relationship.


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We define reality for ourselves in the following manner

Orthodox Thinking:

Orthodox means correct or generally accepted opinion inculcated in the majority of members in any given society through the processes of socialization and education and sustained through sanctions against deviation. We donot generally question our orthodox beliefs, and therefore we donot pay much attention to them nor consider how they frame the interpretations we make of our world nor what other alternative there could be.


The following three approaches stand in contract to orthodox thinking


It is concerned with understanding the individual's conscious experience rather then analyzing this into fragments, it takes a holistic approach. It acknowledges the significance of objectivity(Sanders, 1982).


It is also concern with individual experiences but emphasises the individual's cognitive process.

Social Constructionism

It does not assume that a reality independent of observer exists. Reality is only what we construct ourselves and that not through our own cognitive process but the social processes of language, discourse and social interaction.

The wider social, economic, political and cultural context of HRM is diverse, complex and dynamic. The metaphor of a tapestry is therefore used to express the way in which its meaning is constructed from the interweaving and mutual influences of assumptions deriving from the basic perceptual, epistemological, philosophical and ideological positions. The notion of Wrap and Weft are used to discuss such key contextual elements as phenomenology, constructivism, social constructionism etc.

Defining Reality For Others

Hereexamination some of the weft threadshas been explained which includes the ways in which others define our reality.


Gowler and Legge (1989) define ideology as the sets of ideas involved in the framing of our experience, of making sense of the world, expressed through language.

What we hear and what we read is conveying someone else's interpretations. The way those are expressed may obscure the ideology and vested interest in those interpretations.Child (1969) discusses the ideology embodied in the development of management thinking, identifying how the human relations approach chose to ignore the difference of interests between managers and employees and how this dismissal of potential conflict influenced theory and practice.


Hegemony is the imposition of the reality favoured by a powerful subgroup in society upon less powerful others. Such a group exerts its authority over subordinate groups by imposing its definition of reality over other possible definitions. This does not have to be achieved through direct coercion, but by 'winning the consent of the dominated majority so that the power of the dominant classes appears both legitimate and natural'.


Rhetoric is 'the art of using language to persuade, influence or manipulate' (Gowler and Legge, 1989: 438). Its 'high symbolic content' 'allows it to reveal and conceal but above all develop and transform meaning' (Gowler and Legge, 1989: 439, their italics). It 'heightens and transforms meaning by processes of association, involving both evocation and juxtaposition'. In other words, its artfulness lies in playing with meanings. It is something with which we are familiar, whether as political 'spin' or as the terminology used in effecting organisational change (Atkinson and Butcher, 1999).

In the 'eco-climate' of an organisation, where meanings are shared and negotiated, power and knowledge relations are expressed rhetorically.

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These interweave through the warp to produce the basic pattern of the tapestry, but with differing colours and textures, and also differing lengths (durations), so that they do not necessarily appear throughout the tapestry. They constitute important contextual influences upon HRM, and in part account for the competing definitions of it.


High-Commitment Models

The best-practice approach highlights the relationship between 'sets' of good HR practices and organisational performance, mostly defined in terms of employee commitment and satisfaction. These sets of best practice can take many forms: some have advocated a universal set of practices that would enhance the performance of all organisations to which they were applied (Pfeffer, 1994, 1998); others have focused on integrating the practices to the specific business context (high-performance work practices). A key element of best practice is congruence between policies and horizontal integration. Difficulties arise here, as best-practice models vary significantly intheir constitution and in their relationship to organisational performance, which makes generalisations from research and empirical data difficult.Here, it is argued that by identifying, by commitment and proper implementation of set of best HRM practices, all organisationswill benefit and see improvements in organisational performance.

Universalism And High Commitment

One of the models most commonly cited is Pfeffer's (1994) 16 HR practices for 'competitiveadvantage through people' which he revised to seven practices for 'building profitsby putting people first' in 1998.

Pfeffer (1994) explains how changes in the external environment have reduced theimpact of traditional sources of competitive advantage, and increased the significance ofnew sources of competitive advantage, namely human resources that enable an organisationto adapt and innovate. The universalist approach or 'ideal set of practices'(Guest, 1997), concerns about how ideal set of practices are achieved by close organisations, the hypothesis being that the closer an organisation gets, the better the organisationwill perform, in terms of higher productivity, service levels and profitability. Therole of Human Resources involve gaining senior management commitment to a set of HR polices and best practices and ensuring that they areimplemented and that reward is distributed accordingly.

Measuring The Impact Of SHRM On Performance And The Balanced Scorecard

A study by Ernst & Young in 1997, cited in Armstrong and Baron (2002), found that more than a third of the data used to justify business analysts' decisions were non-financial, and that when non-financial factors, notably 'human resources', were taken into account better investment decisions were made. The non-financial metrics most valued by investors are identified in

This presents an opportunity for HR managers to develop business capability anddemonstrate the contribution of SHRM to organisational performance. One methodthat is worthy of further consideration is the balanced scorecard (Kaplan and Norton,1996, 2001). This is also concerned with relating critical non-financial factors to financialoutcomes, by assisting firms to map the key cause-effect linkages in their desiredstrategies. (Boxall and Purcell, 2003).

Kaplan and Norton adopt a stakeholder perspective, based on the premise that for anorganisation to be considered successful, it must satisfy the requirements of key stakeholders;namely investors, customers and employees. They suggest identifying objectives,measures, targets and initiatives on four key perspectives of business performance:


How we should appear to our stakeholdersin order to succeed financially?


How we should make our vision clear to our customers?

Internal business processes:

What businessprocesses we introduce to satisfy our customers and shareholders?

Learning and growth:

What ability should be posses to achieve our vision?'

They recognise that investors require financial performance, measured through profitability,market value and cash flow or EVA (economic value added); customers requirequality products and services, which can be measured by market share, customer service,customer retention and loyalty or CVA (customer value added); and employeesrequire a healthy place to work, which recognises opportunities for personal developmentand growth, and these can be measured by attitude surveys, skill audits andperformance appraisal criteria, which recognise not only what they do, but what theyknow and how they feel or PVA (people value added). These can be delivered throughappropriate and integrated systems, including HR systems. The balanced scorecardapproach therefore provides an integrated framework for balancing shareholder andstrategic goals, and extending those balanced performance measures down through theorganisation, from corporate to divisional to functional departments and then on toindividuals (Grant, 2002). By balancing a set of strategic and financial goals, the scorecardcan be used to reward current practice, but also offer incentives to invest inlong-term effectiveness, by integrating financial measures of current performance withmeasures of 'future performance'. Thus it provides a template that can be adapted toprovide the information that organisations require now and in the future, for the creationof shareholder value


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HR Professionals should always consider whether investment in HR will help achieve business objectives and how it will increase business productivity. Secondly, trust is the foundation to add value in organization.HR manager / director should consider ways of increasing trust levels in an organization which is based on confidence, honesty and the ongoing participation.

In order to achieve organizational goal people should be managed by excellent human resources management. The Human Resources Management Framework draws the concerns to four areas. It signifies the public service through legislative, financial and operational realities.


Leadership is the skill to develop good relationship, identify and use the talent of workforce for result while considering ethical business concerns. Some of the desired outcomes are explained below and what must be the performance indicators manager must consider while looking at framework

Employees Productivity

A good workforce delivers good and service appropriately and perform efforts to improve. Productivity is defined as the ratio of output to input. It increases when we use less resources to produce more. Increased productivity reduces cost enhances profitability and save resources

Suitable Work Environment

A good working environment provides support services to employees to achieve their assigned task. Safe, healthy and competitive environment increases employee productivity which in turn save cost and resources for the organization and increases employee motivation.

Workforce Sustainability

Workforce sustainability can be achieved by using the employees effectively while considering their individual capacities to achieve organization goal. Directly right person on the right job increases efficiency and therefore errors and mistakes can be curtail therefore saves cost.

Human resource management concerns the management of the employment relationship. In this essay examination of the warp and weft that give the tapestry its basic form, pattern, colour and texture has been discussed. We need to recognise that organizational issues and people constitute the surface stitching of the tapestry.We are fully aware of the value representing context as a tapestry both to create and make sense of HRM. These ways include how we perceive reality, make assumptions about it, and define it for ourselves.HR function plays an important role in an organization progress and growth. HRM policies and practices is directly linked with the organization performance. SHRM indicates that people in organization are strategic resources i.e. man force capital that must be balanced in implementing corporate strategy.

HRM adds value to business by:

Increasing the effectiveness of the processes.

Making recruitment process effective.

It ensures compliance withpolicies and procedures and ensure all department follow those policies and procedure consistently.

Creates accountability.

Identify and ensure when and how HR should be proactive, reactive, oranticipatory.

Its makes employee participative.

HRM maintain the company margins and meet company goals.

It meets the legal requirement related to HR.

It ensures that employees appraisals are carried out on regular basis.

Ensures fair employee compensation.

For successful enactment of these role HR manager must: know where the company's is going, position where company stands among competitors and Capabilities and competence of HR manager to execute the task. To successfully accomplish business partners role and SHRMs change agent, the HR practitioner must be very well informed, multitalented, multi skilled and obtain essential competencies like business know how, strategic visioning and global operating expertise, reliability, veracity and consulting skills, among others.

This essay has identified number of implications for both decision makers and managers.Firstly organization should develop policies related to HR based on the business strategies they follow as business strategies and policies related to HR are not mutually independent. For the purpose organization should have HR department representation to the board level. Secondly, the emphasis should be given on the development of those HRM policies and business strategies which improves employees' outcome such as attitude, skills and behaviour. Thirdly, the important aspect of HRM strategy should revolve around selection, work design, performance appraisal, training and development, incentives, communication, promotion, Participation, involvement.Fourthly,business strategy should revolve around cost, quality and innovation.

HR Professionals should always consider whether investment in HR will help achieve business objectives and how it will increase business productivity. Secondly, trust is the foundation to add value in organization.HR manager / director should consider ways of increasing trust levels in an organization which is based on confidence, honesty and the ongoing participation.

Gomez-Mejia &Balkin (1992) states that organisations set of polices related to HR will be more effective if it is consistent and in line with other organization strategies. For an organization, in order to retain competitive advantage business strategies of cost quality and innovation will be more suitable (Porter,1985). If a strategy influences the relationship between organizational performance and HR management policies then it is a cost business strategy. Similarly, a quality business strategy also influences therelationship between Human Resource Management policies and business performance.An innovation business strategy also influences the relationship between organisational performance and HR management policies (Schuler & Jackson, 1987).