The History Of Operative Functions Business Essay


SHRM provides a fundamental role in ensuring the successes of an organisation. This is through setting up , maintaining and perdiocally reviewing mechanisms which aid an organisation in achieving its goals, with greater focus on the long-term view (Armstrong, 2011 : p.1).

I will discuss the major factors and highlight why they prove to be of such importance to an organisation, and what this role is.

There are several factors and aspects, I will look at each of these in turn and present a view for the reader which manifests the dependance an organisation has on its SHRM.

Strategic Management

In order to understand this clearer it may help for me to define the term strategic management and frame its utilisation by HR.

Harrison and St.John (2010 : p.75) describe strategic management as what furnishes an organisation with the framework to monitor and evaluate the results of planned change, and for planning the stages of action to deliver it to its goals .

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This implies that by being focused on planning and preemptive action strategic management is the practice of prudently making preperations to provide an organisation with the best possible chance to achieve its objectives and to maintain a competetive edge over its contemporaries.

Strategic management is a forward looking practice. Cox et al (2002: p.182) state that one of the processes of strategic management is evaluating the particular strategies implemented, monitoring the organisational performance and regulating those processes.

We can see that Strategic Management has at its heart a clear concept of goal oriented efforts, and when regarded against the descriptions of it furnishing a framework that it utilises the resources at its disposal, namely employees, to aid its efforts of goal achievement.


HRM on the other hand, if analysed purely as the practice of HRM, is the tool of an organisation which is charged with the responsibility of staff related matters. Wikipedia defines HRM as the management of an organization's workforce, or human resources. It is responsible for the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture, and ensuring compliance with employment and labor laws (Wikipedia, 2013). We can infer that although not in direct management of the individuals, and departments those individuals comprise, per se, HRM is in charge of managing workforce affairs.

HRM is responsible not only to the work force, but also the senior management above it and the organisation it is a constitutent of.

With regards to the organisation HRM is occupied with the responsibility of providing the most affordable, highly skilled, effective work force it can. It also takes responsibilty of dealing with payroll and other remuneration based services.

It must also take edicts of senior management and cater to those, essentially the goals of the organisation, by facilitating it with the pertinent human resources and effective work force.

When regarding the workforce, HRM must deal with a range of issues to serve the interests of the work force, including senior management (Pravin, 2010 : p.37).

The main responsibilities of HRM can be categorised into a set of functions, also known in the industry as processes. According to Pravin (2010: p.6) these functions are compartmentalised into duality of functions known as the Managerial Functions and Operative Functions. This implies a distinction in its activities within an organisation, one with clear divisions that aid us in understanding where the impact and affect of HRM lies and in what capacity.

Objectives such as these lead us to a perception of HRM as being a practice of translating ideas, concepts, goals, structures and cultures between the facets of an organisation, as well as facilitating staff, of all orders, with a secure, equitable, safe, motivational place to work.


From reviewing each strategic management and HRM independantly we can see that each holds a different set of immediate priorities in how they operate and what they intend to offer an organisation.

If we are to consider the impact of SHRM on an organisation we could quite simply say that SHRM is a compound of each strategic management and HRM and therefor its role should substitute both. This, however, is not the case.

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Although SHRM is a fusion of both, it does not supplant either, but rather supplements both.

The cohesion of strategic management with human resource management creates a unique position of activity within an organisation which underpins many of the fundamental tactical maneuvres an organisation makes to achieve its goals.

SHRM, as a consolidated practice, is said by Michael Armstrong (2011: p.51) to have four meanings. These are interpreted as utilisation of planning, aligning the policies and undertakings of HRM with the general organisational goal-oriented strategy, taking a stance of utilising people as the most valuable resource of an organisation, and developing a philosophy for creation and management of human resourtce recruitment.


From this we can begin to see how the two practices meld into a unified effort. This unified effort provides a rigid and dynamic framework for operations within an organisation. It acts as an extension to the directives issued down from top management and utilises the resource of the workforce, generally through positive manipulation, to laterlise the individual objectives of the latter with the goals set by the former (Pravin, 2010 : p.24).


SHRM is essential in assessing the requirements an organisation has of its workforce, making the appropriate arrangements to recruit and employ the most competent people for the job, minimising costs of employment, implementing the human resource development initiatives, and coordinating all factors of human resources to streamline with the strategies of the organisation and its goals. It provides an important system of gauging transgression from stipulated strategy and where issues may be occuring (Koontz and Weirich, 2008: p396).Through periodic assessment of the workforce ane elements with in it, SHRM can make evaluations of neccessary change and undertake corrective action where it detects or anticipates potential problems.

SHRM is the main tool employed by an organisation to deal with its workforce and all requirements encompassing that notion. As Randhawa (2007: p.11) writes, the effect of SHRM spans every major aspect of employment. From entry through to seperation.


b) Assess the major functions or activities of Strategic Human Resource Management.

Here I would like to build on the brief I gave about the functions of SHRM in section a).

As was mentioned, the functions of SHRM are categorically defined in a duality of fields, Managerial Functions and Operative Functions.

Pravin (2010: p.6) gives the definition of the managerial functions as the rudimentary functions enacted by the managerial strata of HR.

These being the basic managerial tasks expected of a person or department in a managerial capacity.

According to Gurpreet Randhawa the major functions under the managerial function umbrella can be inferred as follows:

Managerial Functions

Planning is the primary function of management. This function is paramount and can not be superceded by others, it is the initial course of action for those in managerial capacity to undertake. This involves assessing the objectives and goals as well as deciding upon the most conducive route to acheive them (Millmore et al, 2007: p.237). It is the function upon which all others are based on.

Taking a prudent stance an HR manager must establish a personnel programme that will provide appropriatley skilled and experienced staff to meet the objectives of an organisation (LCBM, 2011, : Unit 10, Lesson 4, p.2).

Successful planning leads on to another managerial function of SHRM, Organising.

After the planning phase is developed and settled upon, organisation becomes the locus of activity. This function aims to create and foster synchronous relationships between organisation members in authorative and subordinate positions. These relationships are known as the organisation structure. It is according to this structure that the members of the organisation can harmonise their efforts to achieve the organisations goals (Koontz and Weihrich, 2008: p.154).

The act of providing, as and when required, the appropriately skilled and qualified staff to help the organisation to meet its objectives is another managerial function known as Staffing.

This occurs through recruitment, selection, induction and thereafter role allocation, compensation, promotion and retirement of peronnel according to the timing and requirements of the organisation (Koontz and Weihrich, 2008 : p.213). Aiming to portray the organisation as an esteemed place of employment, SHRM is focused not only on the acquisition of staff but also providing them with an environment of comfort to work in (Ehnert, 2008 : p.93).

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A well structured and timely acquired workforce requiries guidance, and this is provided by the function of Directing. Through devising motivational and supervisional techniques, guiding and disclosing targets through effective dissemination and communicative measures the HR managers can effectively direct and lead his or her personnel to efficiently and synchronously meet performance targets and organisational goals (Pravin, 2010 : p6).

The final magerial function is known as Controlling. Koontz and Weihnrich (2008 : p.27-28) write that this is the practice of concentrating efforts to ensuring that all elements of the workforce are aligned and oriented with the same ultimate objective, to bring the organisation to its goals. Solidarity amongst employees and departments, conformity to the strategies and directives and assessing performance levels on an ongoing basis, making necessary adjustments.

Operative Functions

Randhawa (2007 : p.10) defines Operative Functions as specialised applications of a specific field and goes on to define the Major functions of Operative functions as procurement, development, compensation, integration and maintenance of workforce.

Procurement is acquirung the pertinent amount of personnel. According to the needs of organisation objectives and requirements, at the appropriate times at the most financially favourable investment to the organisation SHRM in the operative function (Pravin, 2010 : p.8).

Development is another operative function, and through designing and implementing training and development initiatives which aim to raise the standards of existing staff to perform higher levels SHRM is able to raise the standards of employee work quality as well as maintain an up to date work force able to meet performance of industry standards (Wilkinson et al, 2009 : p.155).

Another operative function undertaken by SHRM is compensation. This the practice of assessing the remuneration and rewards righftully paid to those engaged in particular work.Through monitoring, assesing and evaluating employee and department performance levels compensation can be assessed and evaluated. By cross-checking actual results against set targets SHRM is able to privodie financial, as well as non-financial, compensation in proportion to achievements as a means of motiviation and reward for workforce labour (Wilkinson et al, 2009 : p.210).

Maintenance, which also falls under the operative functions, sets to avoid deterioration or degeneration in the standards and practices applied, HRM applies and enforces healthand safety measures (Pravin, 2010 : p.9).

By utilising communicative techniques to transcend between the various strata, factions and departments within an organisations culture, SHRM aims to laterlise the members of an organisation to complement eachothers efforts in pushing forward to achieve the organisations goals (Millimore et al, 2007 : p.283).

Seperation is the final operative function. Its purpose is to meet prescribed standards of terminating employment agreements between employees and the organisation. This could be either retirement, lay-off, outplacement or discharge. It is useful to an organisation for its ability to downsize when environmental factors demand it, or purge underperforming employees (Reed, 2010 : p.109).


Analysis of these functions, both managerial and operative, leaves the impression that they two categorical sets overlap in application in various aspects.

Armstrong (2011 : p.54) professes that the role of HR functions are to support an organisation on all employee related mattes. Furnishing an environment conducive to the organisations objectives and providing a system of translation and communication between management, and subordinates for purpose of organisational harmony and lateralisation.

Armstrong (2007 : p.54) goes on to say The more sophisticated HR functions aim to achieve a strategic integration and coherence in the development and operation of HRM policies and employment practices..

c) Assess how Strategic HRM contributes to and supports the overall business strategies of the organisation?

SHRM as an organ of an organisation, according to the Matching Model (LCBM, 2011 : Unit 10, Lesson 3, p.1) should corellate with the strategy applied by the organisation. SHRM is a utility of an organisation, utilised to support and supplement the business objectives through its various functions, i.e., Managerial and Organisational, policies and monitoring.

By understanding the strategic needs of an organisation, SHRM can establish and implement parallel supplementary strategies.

With aims of minimising costs, whilst simultaneously compensating employees accordingly for their labour, SHRM seeks to furnish an organisation with a hard-working, loyal, contented work force. Through design and implementation of dynamic policies, SHRM also aims to set the ground for productive and high-performing conduct (Pravin, 2010 : p.36).


The various functions, strategic policies and objectives mentioned hitherto provide an grounded understanding in what impact and value SHRM has on an organisation and how it is the segue between top management and subordinates. An important tool of communication would not be present, especially the harmonising effect of laterlising organisational strategy, with employee objectives and the resources available to do so.

Taking in its duties a consideration of the long-term view of the organisation, SHRM provides the resources, the prudent allocation of those resources and the communicative methods to preclude the negatives of SWOT and take advantage of the positives.

SWOT is an acronym for the terms Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (LCBM, 2011 : Unit 1, Lesson 1, p.3) . SWOT is used as a structured planning method to assess and determine the various conditions which present either benefit or hindrance to an organisations project or ambitions (Wikipedia, 2013).

Through the finely crafted SHRM strategies which are designed to complement the organisational business strategies, SHRM is able to provide a platorm for exploiting its available resources, and its relative environments (Pravin, 2010 : p.36).


As Kandhawalla (2007: p.1). writes No matter how sophisticated technology, plant and machinery and organisation has, eventually much of the rsults depend on human input. As the primary organ of human rescources, SHRM finds its its value in being the platform of support to an organisations strategic ambitions through utilisation and regulation of its human capital.