Cultural Perspective Of Hrm Commerce Essay

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The study of the effect of culture on design, experience and implementation of HRM Practices and Policies are not only limited to national cultural differences but also individual (Stone, Stone-Romero, & Lukaszewski, 2007) and organizational (Aycan et al., 2000) cultural variation. In this chapter, we will discuss the role of cultural differences. Below, we will first define the concept of culture and review major cultural frameworks that have been adopted to examine cultural differences in HRM. We discuss sources and mechanisms through which culture is thought to impact on the design and implementation of HRM policies and practices

1.1.1 Defining Culture

The concept of cultural effect is the notion that societies are considered to vary in terms of the arrangements which their institutions and organisations are composed of, and that these variations reflect their distinctive values, attitudes, traditions and historical experiences. Culture can be defined as the "crystallisation of history in the thinking, feeling and acting of the present generation" (Hofstede, 1993: 5). Bartlett and Ghoshal (1998) also suggest that the history, infrastructure, resources and culture of a nation state permeate all aspects of life

in a given country, the behaviour of managers in its organizations. Traditional cultural values affect managerial processes and organizational behaviours, which, in turn, affect economic performance. It has been common to conceptualizeand measure culture through various value dimensions (Hofstede, 1980; Schwartz, 1994; Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 1997). Though reducing the concept of culture to a limited number of value dimensions is not without criticism, this approach allows for comparability across cultural studies and is able to provide valid measures for a highly elusive construct.

1.1.2 Cultural frameworks in comparative HRM

All the managers need to do some HR Managers activities like recruiting, interviewing, selecting and training. Despite of these, HR Department has its own top manager. Line Managers has the authority to supervise the work of sub ordinates. Also, Line managers are in charge of accomplishing the organizations basic goals. Staff Managers assist and advice Line Managers to do these basic goals. Human Resource Managers are staff managers.

1.1.3 Line Managers, HRM responsibilities

All the Line Managers from President to a low level supervisor handle people. For example, one company outlines its Line's supervisor's responsibilities for affective HR management under the following general headings:

Placing the right person on the job

Orientation of new employees

Providing training to employees

Improving job performance of employees

Studying the company's policy and procedures

Controlling labor costs

Maintaining motivation of the employees

Protecting employee's health and physical condition

Human Resource Management carries out three distinct functions.

1. A line function: The HR Manager is responsible for directing the work of it's subordinates in the own department.

2. A coordinative function: HR Managers also coordinate personal activities, referred as functional control. Here, HR managers insure that the Line managers are implementing the forms HR objectives, policies and procedures.

Figure 1: HR Department Organisation chart( Piping Rock Club, United States)

3. Staff Functions: The HR Manager helps the CEO of an organization to better understand the personnel aspects of the company's strategies. For example, he assists in hiring, training, evaluating, rewarding, counseling, promoting and firing employees. So, HR plays an employee advocacy role: it ensures that the management should fairly treat employees, remove unfair practices.

1.2 The changing environment of HR management [1] 

1.2.1 HR's Changing Role

The HR department's role has become broader and more strategic with time. Before their work was limited to hiring and firing of employees or administration of pay role and benefit plans. With the advent of technology in areas like testing and interviewing the personnel department started to play an important role in employee's selection, training and promotion.

1.2.2 A changing environment

Globalization: It refers to the expansion of a firm's sale, ownership and manufacturing to new markets abroad. For example, now Dell produces and sales PC's in China. The increased globalization has resulted in more competition and hence lower costs to and users. One expert said "The bottom line is that the growing integration of the World economy into a single, huge market place is increasing the intensity of competition in a wide range of manufacturing and service industries". So in Global companies like Dell, managing and designing policies for expatriate employees are a measure HR challenge.

Technological Advances: The forms make improvements in technology through continuous research and development. For example, Carrier Corporation is the World's largest manufacture of air conditioners and saves an estimated $100 million per year by using the internet. In Brazil, the company handle's all its transaction with the partners (dealers, retailers, installers) on the web.

Exporting Jobs: Increasing competition and search for lower HR costs promotes the employer to export jobs abroad. For example, in between 2005 and 2015, an estimated of about 3million US jobs, ranging from office support and computer jobs to management, sales, and even legal jobs are likely to move offshore.

The nature of work: The technology advancement is changing the nature of work. Now a day, even the factory jobs have become more technologically demanding. For example, high tech manufacturing jobs in aerospace, computer, telecommunications and medical instruments are replacing factory jobs in steel, auto, rubber and textile. Today, nearly 2/3rd of US work force is employed in producing and delivering services. In between 1998 and 2008, the number of jobs in good producing industry will remain at about 25.5 million while the number in service producing industries will rise from 99 million to 118.8 million. This is mainly due to shift of manufacturing jobs to low wage countries as well as the increased productivity allows a company to produce more products with fewer employees.

Chapter 2 Strategic Challenges of personnel management in an Organization

In this chapter of the thesis, I will discuss the main functions of an HR manager, Personnel Management, differences between Personnel Management and Human Resource Management like joy analysis, personnel planning and recruiting, employee testing and selection as well as training and development.

2.1 Challenges facing Personnel Management

Personnel management faces many challenges in their working lives. They are dealing with a workforce; have to deal with many conflicts that occur, either between different members of staff, or with management.

Another challenge that faced is analyzing the statistics that faces all businesses, which includes employee absences and the market forces impacts on business that outcomes can be predicted and categorized. This also includes being aware of successful, otherwise the current market strategies can be put into place to ensure the smoothness of the business running. This mean that necessary skills are recognized within the workforce in an efficient manner.

Changes in technology, one of the major challenges that needs to be pointed. Personnel management must keep on the top of recent innovations so that the business does not get left behind, and appropriate training is given to the staffs which are best suited to implement it. 

All businesses have to deal with restrictions, because of budget constraints or not having appropriate skills within the workforce. Personnel management has to be adept at finding the possible, closest resolutions to overcome with these restrictions in certain limit to increase what is available for the best possible outcome.

Sometimes, practical problems can obstruct the way of the smooth running of a business, like breakdowns in machinery and equipment. Personnel management have to keep in mind that any staff are not idle throughout this time and their skills can be used in effectively.

2.2 Personnel Management and Human Resource Management: What's the difference?

The main difference between personnel management and human resource management is: personnel management is the traditional approach and human resource management is the modern approach towards managing employees in an enterprise.

We compare personnel management and human resource management, personnel management is a predominantly administrative record-keeping function that establishes and manage equitable terms and conditions of employment contract, whereas human resource management integrates the traditional personnel management functions to corporate goals and strategies, and performs additional people centered organizational developmental activities.

Significant difference exists between personnel management and human resource management in terms of scope, approach, and application.

2.2.1 Differences in Scope

The scope of personnel management includes activities like manpower planning, recruitment, job evaluation, job analysis, training administration, and related tasks. Human resources management includes all the above activities and organizational developmental activities like leadership, motivation, developing organizational culture, communication of shared values.

The human resource management approach remains integrated to the company's core strategy, and seek to optimize this use of human resource for the achieving organizational goals. This strategic and philosophy context of human resource management makes it more purposeful, relevant, and more effective compared to the personnel management approach.

Difference in Approach

Personnel management approach tends to attach much importance to norms, customs and established practices, where the HR approach gives importance to values and mission.

Personnel management approach also concerns itself with establishing rules, policies, procedures, and contracts, and strives to monitor and enforce compliance to such regulations, with careful delineation of written contract. The human resource management approach remains impatient with rules and regulations, and tries to relax them based on business needs and exigencies, and aim to go by the spirit of the contract rather than the letter of the contract.

An illustration of this difference in approach lies in the treatment of employee motivation. The personnel management approach holds employee satisfaction as the key to keeping employees motivated, and institute compensation, bonuses, rewards, and work simplification initiatives as possible motivators. The human resource philosophy hold improved performance as the driver of employee satisfaction, and devise strategies such as work challenges, team work, and creativity to improve motivation.

Difference in Nature

Another dimension of the difference is approach between human resources and personnel management is the nature of human resource management compared to the nature of personnel management.

Personnel management remains aloof from core organizational activities, functions independently, and takes a reactive approach to changes in corporate goals or strategy. Human resource management remains integrated with corporate strategy and takes a proactive approach to align the workforce toward achievement of goals. Example, the personnel management approaches concerns itself with performance appraisal process, human resource management approach has a more comprehensive performance management system that aims to correct performance rather than make a report card of past performance.

Difference in Application

Personnel management is an independent staff function in the organization, with the actions from managers, and no linkage to the organizations core process. Human resource management remains integrated with the organizations core strategy and functions. Though a distinct human resource department carries out much of the human resource management tasks, human resource initiatives involve the management and operating staff strongly.

Personnel management also strives to reconcile the aspirations and views of the workforce with management interest by institutional means such as collective bargaining, trade union based negotiations and the like. This leads to fixation of work conditions applicable for all, and not necessarily aligned to overall corporate goals.

Human Resource Management gives dealing with each employee independently and provides more importance to customer developmental activities and facilitating individual employees (not bargaining or negotiating with trade unions).

Finally, in our discussion of personnel management and human resource management, we find that personnel management lays down rigid job description with many grades and a fixed promotion policy - usually based on seniority and performance appraisal ratings. Human resource management on the other hand has relatively fewer grades and ranks, with broadly defined job responsibilities providing much scope for applying creativity and initiative, and plenty of career paths, with skills, talent and commitment the key drivers of career advancement