The radical change issues at Cripps Hall

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The report focuses on the issue of radical change and redesigning of legal firms to keep the pace with growing market and machining availability of best services to their clients. This report will focus on the law firm in Wales and England which is one of the leading law firms in UK. The major focus is to see how they doing the in their HRM and developing it as competitive human resource to provide best services for their clients. As legal firms are changing towards more mobile, competitive, faster-moving and challenging. There are diverse elements that are shaping this new form of these legal firms. Looking on to case study of Cripps Harries Hall we will look many aspects of the human resource management. Specially we will try to find how these firms can survive in this stress environment of recession.

Is now recognized one of the major independent legal service provider in Uk. It has good and distinctive approach towards its service and commitment towards clients. Cripps Harries Hall gives a range of services related to legal aid and supports it provides individual and companies such kind of legal services. It has high profile customers throughout UK. Its customers included individuals, financial institutions, local governments, national government, companies and charities.   It was ranked among hundred best companies by Sunday times in 2010. (crippslaw, 2010)

With over 280 employees, Solicitors Cripps Harries Hall LLP is one of the largest law practices in South East England. It has been included as one of the Top 20 Law Firms to work for in the UK (Best Companies Index 2009) and was also one of the first law practices to secure accreditation to the Law Society's quality assurance standard, Lexcel. Turnover £19m

If we look into the details of their core values we can find that they have

Distinctive - a modified and novel approach

Open - sharing the ideas and necessary information

Committed - being with client with extra miles approach

According to them they have great relationships with their clients and work together for best results. 

Commitments to quality

They have excellent standards of service, exceeding expectations, meeting budgets and delivering on time     

Providing a proactive and pragmatic approach to solving problems

Accredited to the Law Society's quality assurance standard Lexcel, since 1999 (crippslaw, 2010)

Relationship with you

they take time to understand your needs and the challenges you face

A partner oversees your work and we develop a close working relationship with you 

Work is always delegated to the person with the right level of experience - ensuring consistent quality and cost efficiency.  Regular updates mean no surprises

Key facts 

Senior Partner - Michael Stevens

Managing Partner - Jonathan Denny

Turnover for 2009/2010 was £19.2m

270 staff, including 39 partners and over 100 lawyers, many with City backgrounds

Founded in 1852.  Became a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) in 2005

Head office in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, with an office in London, WC2

3 Services

We offer a wide range of services for both individuals and businesses. Our main services are listed here but if you do not find what you are looking for please contact us.

for businesses

Agriculture & estates

Commercial contracts

Commercial dispute resolution

Compulsory purchase


Corporate finance

Debt recovery

Directors & shareholders


French companies

Pôle entreprises françaises

Insolvency & corporate recovery

Intellectual property


Mediator & arbitrator services

Partnerships & professional practices

Planning & environment

Property asset management

Property development

Property dispute resolution

Property investment

Regulatory services

for individuals




Powers of attorney




The elderly & the vulnerable

Wills & trusts

specialist sectors

Affordable housing

Charities & not for profit

French companies

Pôle entreprises françaises


Legal services outsourcing

Residential property investors

Retail & shopping centres

Public sector

Technology, media & advertising

4 Working at Cripps Harries Hall

They have largest employer's status in Tunbridge Wells. Their people have diverse approach towards work. They have more presence in London and kent. They are leading law firm. They have focus on staff training and development to deliver high quality service. They claim they have good team. They have talented and qualified lawyers. They believe in "Work-life balance" and environment that encourages people to live happy life. They have two major aspects related to their HR policy that giving them advantages.

Online recruitment

Professional development

Question one:

Identify a range of strategic approaches to managing human resources

Strategic human resource management is taken as the process that helps in linking all the human resources in a company or firm to function towards achievement of strategic objectives set by any organization.

If company wants to work towards success they need to put all the strategies in an inter-related manner with in organization. All the policies and strategies must be aligning with the working environment and conditions that are faced by the business. Development of workable strategy is always hard job for the management and especially for HR managers.

5.1 Strategic management

The word of strategy is deriving from the Greek word "strategus" that mean a commander in Chief it is being used in the English language since 1656. Strategy is referred to a "Long-term planning" that puts all the options related to decisions and actions.

5.2 Model of strategic management

In the expressive and rigid management books, strategic management come into view as a sequence in which numerous activities go behind and nourish upon one another. The strategic management procedure is characteristically broken down into five steps:

Undertaken by the upper level of the organization in order to achieve performance goals. Wheelen and Hunger (1995) has define strategic management as 'that set of managerial decisions and actions that determines the long-run performance of a corporation'. Hill and Jones (2001) take a similar view when they define strategy as 'an action a company takes to attain superior performance'. Strategic management is considered to be a continuous activity that requires a constant adjustment of three major interdependent poles: the values of senior management, the environment, and the resources available.

In the last few decades, the North American workplace, as those in Europe, has seen a constant parade of management fads and fashions. In 1993, the top three most popular management techniques were mission statements, customer satisfaction measurement, and total quality management. In 1996, strategic planning, mission statements and benchmarking were the top three management techniques. 'Strategic planning has always been around.

1. Mission and goals

2. Environmental analysis

3. Strategic formulation

4. Strategy implementation

5. Strategy evaluation.

At the business level, the strategic administration process that includes activities which ranging from reviews the organization's present work and future goals to strategic assessment. The first step of model for the strategic management starts with top managers evaluating their place in relation to the organization's current mission and goals. The mission explains the organization's principles and objectives; it is the organization's raison d'être and it indicates the direction in which senior management is going. Goals are the ideal ends required through the specific operating measures of the organization and normally describe short-term measurable outcomes. (Daft, 2001)

The strategic management model

Mission and goals

Management philosophy Values

5.3 Steps for Human Resource strategy implementation


Environmental analysis

Internal scan

External scan


Strategic formulation

Strategic choice





Strategy implementation



Control systems

Human resources


Strategy evaluation

Operating performance

Financial performance




The factors which are important to any organization for its future are taken as strategic factors and those can be summarized by SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

5.4 Hierarchy of strategy

Another feature of strategic organization in the multidivisional business organization is the level of strategic application. Conventional wisdom recognizes

different levels of strategy - a hierarchy of strategy

1. corporate

2. business

3. functional.

5.5 Human resource management

There is reference of for human resource management as philosophy, programmes, policies, processes, practices, relationships with managers, non-managers, trade unions, customers and suppliers Corporate-level strategy that deals with questions of

What business are we in?

How do we compete?

How do we support

the business-level

competitive strategy?

5.6 Contextual factors

Capital market

Product market

Labor market




Free Trade Agreement

Stakeholder interests

5.7 Corporate management

This includes the elements of

Low-cost leadership e.g. Wal-Mart

Differentiation e.g. Tommy Hilfiger's apparel

Focused differentiation e.g. Mountain Equipment, Co-operative

Focused low-cost leadership e.g. Rent-A-Wreck Cars

Low cost Uniqueness

Broad target

5.8 Human resource strategy models

This section examines the link between organization/business strategy and HR

strategy. 'Human resource strategies' are here taken to mean the patterns of decisions regarding HR policies and practices used by management to design work and select, train and develop, appraise, motivate and control workers. Studying HR strategies in terms of typologies is appealing to academics because conceptual frameworks or models give HR researchers the ability to compare and contrast the different configurations or clusters of HR practices and further develop and test theory. (Bamberger, 2000) To appreciate the significance of 'typologies', it is useful to recall the work of Max Weber. This sociologist built his theory through the use of abstractions he called 'ideal types', such as 'bureaucracy'. Weber warned, however, that these abstractions or ideal types never actually exist in the real world; they are simply useful fictions to help us understand the more complex and messy realities found in work organizations. The same is true of HR typologies - they are abstractions that do not necessarily exist in the workplace, but they help the student of management to understand the nature of HR strategies. Since the early 1990s, academics have proposed at least three models to differentiate between 'ideal types' of HR strategies. The first model examined here, the The control-based model

The first approach to modelling different types of HR strategy is based on the nature of workplace control and more specifically on managerial behaviour to direct and monitor employee role performance. According to this perspective, management structures and HR strategy are instruments and techniques to control all aspects of work to secure a high level of labour productivity and a corresponding level of profitability.

5.9 The resource-based model

This second approach to developing typologies of HR strategy is grounded in the

nature of the reward-effort exchange and, more specifically, the degree to which

managers view their human resources as an asset as opposed to a variable cost. Superior performance through workers is underscored when advanced technology and other inanimate resources are readily available to competing firms. The sum of

people's knowledge and expertise, and social relationships, has the potential to provide non-substitutable capabilities that serve as a source of competitive advantage. (Cappelli, 2010) The various perspectives on resource-based HRM modelsraise questions about the inextricable connection between work-related learning, the'mobilization of employee consent' through learning strategies and competitive advantage. Given the upsurge of interest in resource-based models, and in particularthe new workplace learning discourse, we need to examine this model in some detail.

5.10 Company's resources and capabilities

• Rarity

• Value

• Inimitability

• Non-substitutability

5.11 Human resource management practices and performance

Although most HRM models provide no clear focus for any test of the HRM-

performance link, the models tend to assume that an alignment between business

strategy and HR strategy will improve organizational performance and competitiveness. During the past decade, demonstrating that there is indeed a positive link between particular sets or 'bundles' of HR practices and business performance has become 'the dominant research issue' (Guest, 1997) The dominant empirical questions on this topic ask 'What types of performance data are available to measure the HRM-performance link?' and 'Do "high-commitment-type" HRM systems produce above-average results compared with "control-type" systems?'

Re-engineering and strategic human resource management

All normative models of HRM emphasize the importance of organizational design. As previously discussed, the 'soft' HRM model is concerned with job designs that

encourage the vertical and horizontal compression of tasks and greater worker

autonomy. The redesign of work organizations has been variously labelled 'high performing work systems' (HPWS), 'business process re-engineering' and 'high commitment management'. The literature emphasizes core features of this approach to organizational design and management, including a 'flattened' hierarchy, decentralized decision-making to line managers or work teams, 'enabling' information technology, 'strong' leadership and a set of HR practices that make workers' behavior more congruent with the organization's culture and goals.

Leadership and strategic human resource management

The concept of managerial leadership permeates and structures the theory and practice of work organizations and hence how we understand SHRM. Most definitions of managerial leadership reflect the assumption that it involves a process whereby an individual exerts influence upon others in an organizational context. Within the literature, there is a continuing debate over the alleged differences between a manager and a leader: managers develop plans whereas leaders create a vision.

Workplace learning and strategic human resource management

Within most formulations of SHRM, formal and informal work-related learning has come to represent a key lever that can help managers to achieve the substantive HRM goals of commitment, flexibility and quality (Kotter, 1996). As such, this growing field of research occupies centre stage in the 'soft' resource-based SHRM model. From a managerial perspective, formal and informal learning can, it is argued, strengthen an organization's 'core competencies' and thus act as a lever to sustainable competitive advantage - having the ability to learn faster than one's competitors is of the essence here.

Question Two

Discuss the impact of the external environment on shaping human resource management practices

6.1 Environmental influences on Human resource strategy

'An organization's HRM policies and practices must fit with its strategy in its competitive environment and with the immediate business conditions that it faces' (Bratton, 2001)

The concept of integration has three aspects: the linking of HR policies and practices with the strategic management process of the organization the internalization of the importance of HR on the part of line managers the integration of the workforce into the organization to foster commitment or an 'identity of interest' with the strategic goals.

6.2 The matching model

Early interest in the 'matching' model was evident in Devanna et al.'s (1984) work: 'HR systems and organizational structure should be managed in a way that is congruent with organizational strategy' (p. 37). In the Devanna et al. model, HRM-strategy-structure follow and feed upon one another and are influenced by environmental forces. Similarly, the notion of 'fit' between an external competitive strategy and the internal HR strategy is a central tenet of the HRM model advanced by Beer et al.

6.3 Mission and strategy

Economic forces

Cultural forces

Political forces

Organization structure

Human resource management

Organizations similar to those in other developed economies, are also struggling with changing workforce demographics, changing nature of work, incorporating and utilizing the rapid advances in technology, and addressing globalisation-related challenges such as increased competitive pressures, outsourcing and off-shoring, and a global workforce that places higher importance on cross-cultural issues and skills.

 Political, Economic, Technological, Social all these affect HRM.

Political:- when the state of national politics dictate how HR or employment is going to take place or the political climate is either good/bad then this determines whether H is either going to recruit or not.

Economic: Adverse economic conditions in most cases lead to a freeze in recruitment or even downsizing since if a company is not doing well the it might need to cut down on HR so that it might be let with the size that meets the immediate needs in terms of available turnover.

Technological factors: This external factors effect can be clearly seen when computers hit the corporate world, lots of downsizing took place because computers could do most of the jobs. A job done by 2-4 people could be cut to one done by just a single person e.g. An accounting package could be used to cater for 3 jobs or so since manual entries and paper work was reduced.

Social: This can be about the culture of a people e.g. There are areas where women are not allowed to work by their culture, thus even if a firm wanted to recruit a woman for a particular job e.g. PRO, etc it might find it difficult and may have to reconsider that position. Anonymous

Human Resource Management involves the productive use of people in an organization to collectively achieve the organizations strategic

7 Question three

Assess the role of leadership and organizational culture in delivering a strategic approach to people management

The leadership plays vital role in the performance of any business. It defines the success and failure of the business. If we see the big corporate like Microsoft, virgin and sky we can easily find that leader have the key role to play. All these business have success due to the strategic wisdom of their leaders. The kind of leadership defines the aspects of growth in any business. There must be focus on leadership style when making study about any organization. In current study the leadership of this law firm is also good example and we can find how they went with their innovative approach to make their firm as one of the best UK law firm.

8 Question four

Evaluate a range of human resource management techniques in order to improve individual or business performance

Things haven't changed in 45 years. Room for improvement is still the biggest room in most organizations. Yet many people find it difficult to give as well as receive information about their performance.

That's understandable. No one wants to feel they are not living up to their own or their supervisor's expectations. However, the only way for employees to improve performance (besides practice, practice, practice) is to receive input regarding what they are or are not doing right.

In fact performance management - a formal program of coaching employees -- is the #1 rated talent management strategy according to a recent survey by Bersin and Associates.

So to get a head start on personal performance management here are four ideas on how to improve individual performance by seeking and giving performance feedback:

Seek recommendations. For improvement in the performance of staff and employees it is necessary to look for their suggestions about detailed duties and plans they have duty for improvement in the final outcome for the company so they must be part of all the process and should have feeling of being on board.

Ask for feedback. The good managers never wait for annual reviews they use to ask continuous feedback from their staff to touch the higher levels of quality and quantity in their work. The feedback from employees gives them guidance to keep things on track which is workable. Because it is necessary to keep in mind the facts that we are most the time dealing with humans. This level of communication contributes in the performance management and brings success to companies.

Take steps to improve. In guidance of any feedback established there should be an action plan that must be based on the required changes and implementation that including specific proposals about the improvement of the work and also any feedback in futures. Reviews should be considered important for the success of the business.

Reciprocate. One should be eager to help others by given that feedback to those who ask while increasing good contact skills. There are few people who are not as comfortable when they receive feedback. It takes time to develop healthy and good level of trust between all parties but still the practice gives strength to the company and business.

9 Question five

Use analytical skill to evaluate various approaches to managing and motivating staff for

the purpose of performance improvement strategies for business oriented projects

9.1 Employee Motivation: Theory and practice

The job of a manager in the workplace is to get things done through employees. To do this the manager should be able to motivate employees. But that's easier said than done! Motivation practice and theory are difficult subjects, touching on several disciplines.

In spite of enormous research, basic as well as applied, the subject of motivation is not clearly understood and more often than not poorly practiced. To understand motivation one must understand human nature itself. And there lies the problem!

Performance is considered to be a function of ability and motivation, thus:

Job performance

Ability in turn depends on education, experience and training and its improvement is a slow and long process. On the other hand motivation can be improved quickly. There are many options and an uninitiated manager may not even know where to start. As a guideline, there are broadly seven strategies for motivation.

Positive reinforcement / high expectations

Effective discipline and punishment

Treating people fairly

Satisfying employees needs

Setting work related goals

Restructuring jobs

Base rewards on job performance

These are the basic strategies, though the mix in the final 'recipe' will vary from workplace situation to situation. Essentially, there is a gap between an individuals actual state and some desired state and the manager tries to reduce this gap.

1. primary aims

Your employees may be more motivated if they understand the primary aim of your business. Ask questions to establish how clear they are about your company's principles, priorities and mission.

2. Obstacles

Questionnaires on employee motivation should include questions about what employees are tolerating in their work and home lives. The company can eliminate practices that zap motivation.

3. find the real motivations

It is often assumed that all people are motivated by the same things. Actually we are motivated by a whole range of factors. Include questions to elicit what really motivates employees, including learning about their values. Are they motivated by financial rewards, status, praise and acknowledgment, competition, job security, public recognition, fear, perfectionism, results...

4. Empowerment of the employees

Do your employees feel they have job descriptions that give them some autonomy and allow them to find their own solutions or are they given a list of tasks to perform and simply told what to do?

5. Changes for motivations

If your company has made redundancies, imposed a recruitment freeze or lost a number of key people this will have an effect on motivation. Collect information from employees about their fears, thoughts and concerns relating to these events. Even if they are unfounded, treat them with respect and honesty.

6. patterns of motivation

Who is most motivated and why? What lessons can you learn from patches of high and low motivation in your company?

7. Goals alignment

First, the company needs to establish how it wants individuals to spend their time based on what is most valuable. Secondly this needs to be compared with how individuals actually spend their time. You may find employees are highly motivated but about the "wrong" priorities.

8. Feelings of the employees

Do they feel safe, loyal, valued and taken care of? Or do they feel taken advantage of, dispensable and invisible? Ask them what would improve their loyalty and commitment.

9. involvement of the employees

Do they feel listened to and heard? Are they consulted? And, if they are consulted, are their opinions taken seriously? Are there regular opportunities for them to give feedback?

10. Balancing internal and external image

Any company may present itself to the world as the leader in market but depends on the level of its success in balancing its internal and external image. 'the forward thinking technology company' or the 'family hotel chain'. Your employees would have been influenced, and their expectations set, to this image when they joined your company. If you do not mirror this image within your company in the way you treat employees you may notice motivation problems. Find out what the disparity is between the employees image of the company from the outside and from the inside.


Above study shows how law firms can apply this kind of strategic approach in their human resource management. There is need for the change in approach with in learning from all business sectors including law firms like Cripps Harries Hall. The competitive world is demanding a proactive approach in all aspects of the business especially in its human resource because ultimately it's about humans who bring success of failure on their part to any organization with the level of performance according to the need of the time. The study suggest that these law firms dealing the legal business should go with innovative and developed approach in dealing their human resource as their key strength is utilization of that human resource in effective and useful manner.