A professional career in human resources management can be very satisfying. Based on an individual's interest, knowledge and career objectives, an individual may find that a human resource profession offers the right amount of variation to constantly challenge an individual. Human resource generalists are very familiar with all of the different areas called disciplines in the field, while HR Specialist choose one self-discipline as their focus. Larger companies with several HR associates are most likely to offer greater possibilities for HR Specialists.
It is recognised by experts that human resource management is of significant importance in the management aspect of organisations (Singh, 1992). The competitive advantage of an organisation relies on how well its human resources are handled (Mendonca & Kanungo, 1996).Performance can be considered a result of both business and individual actions (de Waal, 2003).Human resource management is an important and vital function for business achievements. Areas within Human source management such as employee resource planning, Job analysis, Employee Selection and Recruitment, Employee Compensation and Benefits, Overall performance evaluations, Contract negotiations as well as Labor laws are areas of hard HRM, in contrast to functions such as Organizational progress, conflict management, human resources training and development, leadership development, organizational culture, and relationship development are some constituents of soft HRM. The hard HRM can be categorised as the fundamental functions and soft HRM as more progressive functions. In today's economical knowledge, where development and success of an organization is determined by human capital, both hard HRM and soft HRM are significant where hard HRM is a very instrumental and practical approach where people are seen as a passive resources to be used or deployed and if necessary disposed of Human resource planning is seen as a factor of production. Dissenting with trade unions-may demand confrontation to implement concepts. Soft HRM, occasionally known as development of humanism, stresses human side, requires trust, teamwork and skilled development. A place for unions in this model where they are marginalised and by passed on many matters or alternative procedures of employee representation are initiated, above all this depicts about commitment and partnership.
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In the rapid changing of business environments, there is a continuous need to develop and implement new and enhanced Human resource practices so as to persist competition (Agarwala, 2003). While many of these new practices may not, strictly speaking, be completely novel, certain broad generalization about new Human resource management practices refer to the developments that seem to be truly current (Osterman, 2000, Laursen and Foss, 2003). There has been a cumulative awareness of the significance of linking Human resource management with business management and business performance. Authors such as Boxall and Purcell (2003) presented the three Human resource management approaches that were developed since the start of the 1980s: (1) the contingency or "best fit" method, (2) the best practice method and (3) the resource-based method. The significance of these methods lies in the fact that they all focus on the requirement to fit Human Resource strategy to its adjacent context and that if organisations requites to improve their performance they have to identify and implement "best practices".
The Resource based view has expressively and independently inclined the fields of strategy and Human resource management. More significantly, however, it has provided a theoretic bridge between these two areas. By turning attention toward the internal resources, competences and competencies of the organisation such as knowledge, education, and dynamic abilities (Hoskisson et al., 1999), it has taken strategy researchers to inevitably face a number of problems with regard to the management of people (Barney, 1996). We would presume that few strategy researchers are well versed in the existing study base regarding the efficiency of various specific Human resource tools and techniques for managing people, and thus addressing these problems with required specificity. This internal emphasis also has provided the traditionally theoretic field of Strategic Human Resource Management with a theoretic basis from which it can begin discovering the strategic role that people and Human resource roles can play in organizations (Wright & McMahan, 1992). Furthermore to the lack of theory, this has also displayed little, or at least overly basic views of strategy, thus limiting its capability to contribute to the strategic works (Chadwick & Cappelli, 1998). The Resource based view provides the background from which Human resource researchers and experts can better comprehend the challenges of strategy, and thus be better able to play a confident role in the strategic management of organizations.
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Hunter (1995) studied the alleged high performance workplace using the different tools Human resource experts have at their disposal to accomplish the organization's strategic goals. These tools or practices contain of: rewards, training, recruitment, employment, and workplace authority and job design. Thereafter, he put this high performance system in distinct with another more traditional structure such as the High control work practices or those methods focusing on Human resource management effectiveness. The constituents of the High performance workplace are most easily understood when observed in contrast with the high-control workplace.
In a rapid business environment, the Human purpose has to 'behave differently' and accept new methods so as to create it easier for the organisation to perform well and develop the capacity to change. This would indicate for the human resource function to be significantly challenged to a varying focus and role moving from the traditional emphasis on the administrative similarly called operational otherwise transactional issues towards a better strategic focus for human resources. Certainly, the literature on human resource management's changing focus appears to have committed a significant importance to the fact that human resource departments must experience circumstances where strategic work must be achieving greater importance while operational work would be eradicated, automated, subcontracted and rationalised (Ulrich, 1993; Conner and Ulrich 1996, Ulrich and Beatty 2001).
It is frequently said that organisations that perform well are an image of the hard work and accomplishments of their staff. Recognising these efforts and appropriately acclaiming or redirecting them is vital for organisational success. This is the fundamental purpose of performance appraisals. Organizations must face realities that performance appraisal is partial unless the appraisee is informed what the persons strengths and weaknesses, his performance cannot progress in the subsequent future, which evidently defeats the very objective of periodic appraisals. Such a development of communication with the subordinates concentrating on the total performance such as responsibilities and behavior throughout the specific period is called performance appraisal analysis. To comprehend the definition of performance appraisal would empower us lay a firm foundation to apprehend what the concept of performance appraisal is all about. Alo (1999) defines performance appraisal as a progression including considered stock taking of the success, which an individual or organization has accomplished in performing allotted tasks or meeting set objectives over a period of time. It consequently demonstrates that performance appraisal methods should be thoughtful and not by accident. It demands for serious approach to signify how the individual is doing in performing his or her tasks.
Although globalisation enforces a considerable effort in the direction of standardisation of certain components of management structures in multinational corporations, including some elements of human resource management, the influence of local culture, institutional arrangements and labour market practices continue to add pressure for divergence (McGraw &Harley, 2003). How to approach this process can be problematical.
While there are different ways of doing this, the human resource manager first needs to look at the existing culture, rules and laws of the country concerned. Even if the parent organisation has vastly developed human resource methods at home, it is incorrect to assume that transferring those strategies overseas can be free of resource limitations, imposed by particular circumstances in the host country (Yang, 1998, Hoenig & Yang, 2004). Shen (2005) recommends that a multi-national organisations international human resource management strategies and practices should be a mix of the 'home' human resource management structure and additionally host country aspects and company specific aspects.
An appreciativeness of in what way to manage staff in an international setting is critically significant for businesses today. Shen (2005) describes international human resource management in relations of a system: "a set of separate activities, tasks and methods that are focused at attracting, emerging and sustaining the human resources of a multi-national oraganisation." The domestic centered term of HRM covers "entirely the concepts, strategies, guidelines and practices where organisations use to manage and develop the people who work for them" (Rudman, 2002). The only important difference amongst international human resource management and human resource management is the point that one relates to multinational oragnisation and the additional to domestic based organisations.
Perlmutter (1969) EPG profile is a well-ordered way to classify the methods adopted to internationalization by multinational organisations. There are expected to be a number of advantages and disadvantages to each of the methods and as proposed by Human Resource Management in practice. These can vary expressively between multinational organisations. For those organisations adopting an ethnocentric approach the noticeable advantage is the capability to retain constricted control over foreign divisions, especially in relations of attempting to transfer organizational culture or Human resource management practices. This approach also potentially permits for managers to develop their skills in an overseas appointment, a development that is part of a larger management expansion approach.
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Also mentioning there are some disadvantages. The use of home country expatriate employees could cause a much of resentment in the host country and may be seen as a very imperialistic aspect, specifically where the local country has formerly had an expatriate relationship with the local country. More practically, local country employees and managers may also feel very strongly about the absence of local career development prospects. Many of these concerns are clearly improved by a polycentric approach, which allows local employees and managers a good agreement of independence in managing Multinational oraganisational strategies in local businesses. This method also allows for career development for local nationals. The noticeable disadvantage of a polycentric approach is the possible loss of control over the subsidiaries procedure. In a progressively globalized world resulting a predominately polycentric approach might also reject home country managers important international experience, which could be hostile to their personal career progression. The next approach of geocentrism seems to be the most advantageous. Its followers would point to the prospective to create a super organizational culture which attracts on many diverse however potentially synergistic cultures. In deciding on the best individual for the job the geocentric organization is likewise drawing from a huge selection of global talent, several of whom may be skilled and competent international employees, well competent in operating in a number of diverse national environments? The unique obvious drawback of geocentrism is its cost and the necessity to move beyond shabby talk of being a 'global' company.
Uniquely used frameworks for scrutinizing cultural differences is the model industrialized by the renowned cultural theorist, Geert Hofstede. In this model, the variances in culture amid countries have been strategized along five proportions, which can be used as the basis for forecasting the cultural differences among different countries. The model was industrialized after extensive study into the cultural variances between different countries and after reviewing of thousands of employees in the West and the East. The model is widespread and in-depth in its dealing of cultural variances across cultures.
Taking the first proportion,Â power distance actions the point to which hierarchy controls the work environment. In the US, the power distance is comparatively small when compared to China where the power distance is more because of the hierarchical nature of Chinese society. Correspondingly, the Masculine qualities prevail in Sri Lanka and China as compared to the US and UK as the cultures in the previous inclines in the direction of patriarchy.
The third proportion of individualism vs. collectivism gets the result that employees in the West would be highly individualistic as compared to the employees in the East who contribute to the group instead of to the individual. The fourth proportion of long-term thinking vs. short-term thinking is also different in the US and the UK where the prominence is on getting the short-term results although in China and Sri Lanka, there is a tendency to look ahead into the future. Lastly, the fifth proportion of doubt avoidance refers to the planned work environment, which in the West would be anxious with towards specific and measurable goals and objectives where out of the box thinking is prevalent in the East.
TheÂ Hofstede model is convenient for expatriate employees who when they work in the East find it easy to understand the cultural variances in the work environment. Using this model, the expatriate employees can be educated to adjust to the diverse cultures. To take an example, it is common in the East (China and Sri Lanka) to be hierarchical in the organizational structure where the position and the prominence of the employee matters a lot. Given the fact that in the West, these are important but not to the extent that they are in the East, expatriate managers can learn to negotiate cultural differences using this model. Another important aspect is that culturally China and Sri Lanka are male dominated, which is unlike from the US, and the UK where gender equal opportunity is prevalent. Hence, the expatriate employees can similarly adjust to the East when they work there using this model.
Consequently for expatriate employees to adjust to the local cultures, accepting a "local" approach would be the ideal solution. This method wherein a global outlook is combined with a local approach means that multinationals can adjust themselves to the local cultures besides at the same time do not lose focus of their global vision. This is the most significant learning that the Hofstede model and the other models of culture provide to the expatriate employees. There by cultural variances be able to create or make the chances of multinationals in the globalized world economy of the present. Henceforth, it is significant to realize and recognize that culture plays a prominent part in shaping the work environment.
In conclusion, it is no longer adequate in many organizations for the role of Human resources to simply be polite or merely desiring to become a member of the management board of the multinational organisation. The objective of the HR Specialist is to ensure that HR adds value to strategic planning and business results of organizations and therefore become a "strategic partner". But here again, as Ulrich (1997) cautioned in his analysis, this new role should not be associated too closely with line management strategic decision making. It is more a case of HR professional learning to do "strategic HRM", translating multinational business strategies into organizational abilities and HR practices.