John Chambers Of Cisco System Commerce Essay


There are many business leaders such as John Chambers of Cisco Systems & Howard Schultz of StarbucksTM who consider the employees of their organisation as their assets and want to ensure that the talent that they have is retained and work with same amount of excitement and satisfaction for years to come (Jackson, Schuler, & Werner., 2009). These manpower resources who work in organisations performing various jobs in return for payments, incentives and other benefits are called Human Resources (H.R) and the people who manage the resources i.e their recruitment, salaries, performance evaluators are known as Human Resource Personnel's (What is Human Resources, 2010).

Human resources drive the company to do the best by using finance, knowledge and other available resources. These human talents must be managed and cared for to ensure the organisational goals are attained. The function that enables this task is called Human Resource Management (HRM) (Bohlander, G. & Snell, S., 2007). HRM ensures that the Human talent is effectively utilised by doing the following basic functions such i.e manpower planning, recruiting, managing performances, training, development, salaries, benefits and industrial relations (Dowling, J. P., Festing, M., & Engle, D. A., Sr., 2008).

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Wilton (2011, p.6) states that decades ago organisation had a separate department which was considered to be more administrative in function such as working on payroll, leave record keeping, conducting safety related trainings and dealing between trade unions (industrial relations) etc known as Personnel Department which managed HR activities as well. However, in mid 1980's focus was shifted to more of people management techniques which has now emerged to become people centric known as HRM. HRM today in organisations still continue to do the prevalent administrative functions along with a gamut of other activities. He further states that in the old approach HR was a responsibility of Personnel Department which has now been replaced by making line Managers responsible for this function and there has been a shift from Pluralism (Trade Union to employer dealing) to Unitary or Individualism management (employee to employer dealing).

Storey (2007, p.7.), defines HRM of today as and I quote, "Human resource management is a distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and capable workforce using an array of cultural, structural and personnel techniques."

HRM approach differs from soft to Hard in organisations. 'Soft' HRM primarily means that if an organisation aligns its HR policies to that of the organisational goals, treats their employees as talents and assets they will automatically be able to ensure quality and adaptability in their workforce and will be able to retain and nurture committed employees who strive hard to achieve organisational goals. Soft HRM is based on the use of human element. The 'Hard' HRM on the other hand uses HR systems, to achieve organisational goals. It focuses more on the effective and efficient use of the available resources and considers people as a resource. Management using Hard HRM focuses only on short term gains, company and shareholder profits. They consider focusing on human aspects as a waste of time and believe that success of an organisation benefits all (Collings, & Woods, 2009, p. 2.). Radcliffe (2005), states that New Zealand business environment is generally small with just a few organisations employing more than 20 employees, satisfaction of each and every employee is necessary to optimize performance and increase organisational growth, and hence New Zealand organisations seem to be using 'soft' HRM because it is more people centric. He further adds that even though the 2 HRM approaches are different, organisations would be using both because the objective of the organisation is to get profitable which is only attainable through 'Hard' HRM approach where as the 'Soft' HRM deals with a humane approach. (Radcliffe, 2005)

Organisations need the help of people for efficient production of goods and services. The relationship between the organisation and its workers to efficiently and effectively perform and complete the desired work is called Employment Relations. However, Employment relations are tripartite relationships as they have direct involvement of the employer and the employee and indirect involvement of the state or respective governments. The state or the respective government dictates laws of operating an organisation on one hand and has to mediate between both party needs in case of disputes or dialogue to ensure satisfaction respectively (Nel, Werner, Haasbroek, Poisat, Sono, Schultz, 2008, p.120.)

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In these turbulent times HR also provides strategic knowledge on how to motivate and retain employees, changing of the work design, recognition systems, collaboration across time zones, bridging cultural gaps etc as the office environment is changing and more and more companies are going global and virtual. Jeffrey Joerres (CEO - Manpower Inc) states that organisations are not only moving their back office operations to emerging nations but are also moving their R&D and other knowledge centric divisions to developing countries such as India, China, Russia, Brazil etc because of the available talent and cost effectiveness hence the role of HR becomes strategic, complex and important in organisational success (Lesser, 2006).

Sinha (2007), defines Strategic HRM to be the link between HR and the strategic company goals. SHRM enables various business performance improvements in terms of innovations, flexibility and competitive advantage. Strategic HRM (SHRM) in an organisation would mean the involvement of HR in formation and implementation of the organisational strategies through the entire staffing process (i.e. recruitment, training, performance management and rewards and recognition). He further states that SHRM focuses on long-term HR planning, improvement of employee productivity by removing the external business obstacles confronted by Human Resources, mergers and acquisitions etc. However, SHRM will not be effective if there is no involvement of HRM in the boardroom in all stages of organisational planning development decisions.

Today we would be discussing the tertiary service sector (Financial Services) which is growing at tremendous pace where the role of HR & ER is very crucial and complex. There are a number of explanations for growth in the service sector. One reason is that as incomes rise, consumer demand for services increases even faster than income. This is evident in services related to health care, leisure, education and travel, which all need finances. The power today of purchasing these facilities improves quality of life and hence they are being consumed in increasing levels as discretionary incomes are rising. In higher-income countries such as New Zealand, the share of employment in both manufacturing and agriculture has declined steadily over the last 50 years, as labor has increasingly shifted to services. The share of workers employed in services is now over 70% in most developed countries (ILO, 2006) In OECD countries, most employment growth over the last decade was due to services, and in particular, business services(OECD, 2005).

Answer 1

We have briefly defined HR and ER and understand that HR and ER are both extremely important functions for any organisation to sustain and grow. Infact it has been realised by organisations of today that along with Vision and Mission of an organisation, the HR policy and manual based on the vision/mission statement and an ER policy and code of conduct manual is extremely critical in ensuring that the strategic objectives of the organisation are met. People generally tend to form relationships and are interdependent and need each other personally, and in their work environment. Human Resources deal with the Humans and their issues. It works in the interest of employees - giving them proper guidelines and work environment, employers-ensuring smooth and efficient functioning and profits and stakeholder's - return of investment. Employment Relationship is a tripartite relationship which works in the interest of building the company and worker relationship along with ensuring adherence to the policies of the ruling body i.e. state. ER mediates between organisation management and employees to clear prevalent and ongoing disputes and improves working conditions; it ensures that the legalities of the relationships are understood clarified through proper channels of communications. I quote "ER is the cornerstone of Employment Relationship."(Nel et al., 2008).

New Zealand being a country with businesses having lesser staff many organisations have no separate HR and ER divisions and the HR professional is therefore expected to take care of the ER role. However, the HR professional if wants to operate this role efficiently, he has to ensure that he is well aware of all the legislations and quick changes that are happening in them all the time, he needs to make sure that he is able to deal with the Trade Unions, handling of disputes effectively and values the organisation, the HR and the Employment Relations Policies. Therefore if an organisation needs to consider optimal performance it needs to ensure that the HR and ER policies are integrated in the work culture.

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The HR & ER policies in New Zealand are based on the guidelines of 1) Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA), Act No. 24 of 2000, dated 19th August 2000, consolidated version as last amended in October 2010 by Act No. 120 of 2010. 2) Human Rights Act No. 82 of 1993, consolidated version including amendment upto Act No. 1 of 2010. 3) Parental Leave of Employment Protection Act 1987, Act No. 129 of 1987, dated 10 July 1987, consolidated version including amendments up to Act No. 97 of 2007 (Dialogue - Industrial and Employment Relations Department - New Zealand, 2011).

Researches today have been reviewing HR in two systems 1) The micro or traditional, functional aspects of the field dealing with selection, training, compensation, and performance appraisal and 2) a more macro, or strategic aspects of HRM dealing with mergers and acquisitions, international HRM, and downsizing etc. The purpose would be to provide a framework for identifying the intersections of macro and micro in service sector businesses today.

System according to me would be bringing together or integrating various elements to achieve a common goal. In HR the meaning of system would be how the use of various HR practises would influence the firm's effectiveness (Storey, Wright, Ulrich, 2009). Hence it is imperative that we must study the HR systems and its impact on tripartite relations in organisation.

Wright & Bosewell, consider Micro HRM to be more of functional view of HRM. Micro HRM reflects the relevance and the effect of HR on individuals and is based on studies relevant to the fields of psychology and science/technology which works on identifying the means of increasing performance, efficiency and satisfaction of an individual employee relates it to improvements in production. It finds out ways and means of analysing the employee based on characteristics such as skill, abilities, etc and relates it to performance measure of productivity, turnover etc. This enables the HR to identify the differences in the employee intellect. They consider Micro HRM to enable the following the HR functions of Selection (Job description) / Recruitment (Job Content) /Training & Development / Compensation / Performance Management form the core of Micro systems and should be integrated with the organisational Business Strategy to achieve organisational objectives.

Further, they view that Macro HRM constitutes a broader, strategic view and is more organizationally focused. It analyses the impact of HR practises on the organisation. It works out designs or tends to focus on the differences in relevant variables across organizations, assuming relative uniformity in the variables within the organisation. The core functions of Macro HRM would be Linking Business strategy with HR policy (linking employees to Business Strategy) / Identify and nullify the differences in policies and practises / Bring commonality if differences identified in the entire organisation HR policies and practises / Conduct multi - level research within and outside the organisation to identify issues, satisfactions, improvement recommendations / trends - national, international and global. Integrate Micro and Macro HRM systems to ensure optimal benefit such as training and development based on multi level research which would give feedback on employee needs vis a vis global trend / Assess the horizontal fit (based on abilities, skills, competency with job requirement, compensation, personal growth) / Satisfy employees perceptions and growth requirements. They further state that each of these areas in HRM system has shown great progression and that integration of the two functions would benefit HR and organisation as a whole maximise impact (Wright & Boswell, 2007). I would also add that the HRM system today would also need to have knowledge of mergers, acquisition, global laws, management of manpower & other resources & prevalent industry norms which is an ongoing phenomena and an everyday occurrence today.

Different organisations use different strategies to manage their employees, namely knowledge based, job based / contract / alliance and partnership mode. This shows that employees working in any or each of these modes are unique and different. Further this shows that HR functioning and role in each of these modes is also different (commitment based / productivity based / compliance based and collaboration based). This also shows the company's strategic approach towards HR.

Bohlander, G. & Snell, S. (2007). Managing Human Resources (14th ed.). USA: Thomson South-Western.

Collings, D. G. (Ed.). (2009). Human Resource Management : a critical approach. Oxon, UK: Routledge.

Dialogue - Industrial and Employment Relations Department - New Zealand. (2011). Retrieved from

Dowling, J. P., Festing, M., & Engle, D. A., Sr. (2008). International Human Resource Management (5th ed.). London: Thomson Learning.

GE in New Zealand. (2011). (General Electric Company) Retrieved from

ILO. (2006). Global Employment Trends. Global Employment Trends , 120.

Jackson, Schuler, & Werner. (2009). Managing Human Resources (10th ed.). USA: Cengage Learning Inc.

Lesser, E. (2006). How Human Resources Keeps its seat at the table. IBM Institute of Business Value (pp. 1-12). IBM Global Business Services.

Nel, P.S., Werner, A., Haasbroek, G.D., Poisat, P., Sono, T., Schultz, H.B. (2008). Human Resource Management (7th ed.). Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd.

OECD. (2005). Promoting Innovation in Services. Working Party on Innovation and technology Policy , 11.

Radcliffe, D. (2005). Critique of Human Resources Theory. Otago Management Graduate Review , 3, 51-67.

Sinha, R. (2007, May 02). What is strategic Human Resource Management? Retrieved from

Storey, J. (2007). Human Resources Management : A critical text (3rd ed.). London: Thomson Learning.

Storey, Wright, Ulrich. (2009). Routledge companion to Strategic Human Resources Management (1st ed.). New York: Routledge.

The Service Sector, High employment with low productivity growth prospects for emerging economies. (2010). Accountancy Business and the Public Interest , 9, 125-146.

What is Human Resources. (2010, September 17). Retrieved from

Wilton, N. (2011). An Introduction to Human Resource Management. London: Sage Publications.

Wright & Boswell. (2007). Desegregating HRM : A review and synthesis of Micro & Macro Human Resource Manaagement Research. Russian Management Journal , V5, N1.

ILO, 2006 -Global Employment Trends, January 2006, p. 120

Answer 2

GE is a global infrastructure, finance and media company operating in over a 100 countries with more than 300000 employees worldwide. In New Zealand, GE has a major presence in Auckland and Wellington and 4 businesses with more than 650 employees. The organisation in view here is GE Capital which is a finance branch of GE.GE Capital offers consumer finance products to more than 450000 customers. GE Capital is one of the leading lenders in the mid market segment and has long standing funding relationships with large New Zealand's iconic brands such as Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming Group, Mitre 10 and BBQ factory etc (GE in New Zealand, 2011). Since GE Capital is a finance company providing services, we would be considering the HR and ER practises which would be applicable to this sector.

GE as discussed above has global presence and has been consistently

Operating in more than 100 countries with 315,000 employees worldwide, General Electric's (GE's) business ranges from aircraft engines and power generation to financial services and television programming.

With such a diverse range of commercial interests and a not inconsiderable number of major acquisitions over the years, engendering a homogenous culture across the company has been made easier largely due to strong leadership support for GE's HR function and a heavy focus on alignment of HR with business strategy.


The service sector is a driver of economic growth. While international trade and investment in

services have grown substantially in recent years, there is great potential for even more

growth, given a supportive international trade environment. As the sector accounting for the

majority of employment and economic output, services will play a key role in achieving

economic recovery and long-term sustainable growth both in the U.S. and in the global

economy. While it is acknowledged that making the various structural adjustments necessary

to realize its goal of creating a service-oriented economy will undoubtedly be a painful process,

it is, ultimately, necessary. Therefore human resources development must be an integral part

of any services sector development plan. The central wealth-creating activities will be neither

the allocation of capital to productive uses, nor labor, rather value is now being created by

productivity and innovation, both applications of knowledge to work. Services are no longer

considered as peripheral activities supporting the manufacturing sector, but the backbone of its economic performance (The Service Sector, High employment with low productivity growth prospects for emerging economies, 2010)

However the basic HR and ER policies in the employee manual are formed on the below mentioned guidelines:

General Guidelines: This would reflect the compliance prerequisite for all employees to follow the ethical code of conduct, good behaviour and acceptance of company's ethical principles and promote performance and efficiency to the job assigned and recruited for. The employees behaviour when in office or off duty while dealing with staff, subordinates, peers, customers governments and public has to be immaculate as it affects the reputation of the company. The employee should carry out his duties and responsibility truthfully with complete integrity and ethical conduct.

Employee Responsibilities: All employees are expected to ensure no discredit to the organisation by observing good behaviour. They are expected to perform well as per their desired role requirements, they are expected to be suitably attired and arrive to work on time. They are expected to abstain from drugs and or alcohol at the time of duty and should be in complete control and mentally alert to enable them to perform their duties accordingly. Employees are anticipated to give complete cooperation to their team members and seniors and if needed only to work some extra hours they should be willing to do so. They should treat everyone with respect, courtesy and create productive, good, clean and hospitable environment. They should respond promptly to supervisors and comply with the directions and instructions provided to them. Employees should act professionally and maintain a neat and presentable attire at all times, they should safeguard all classified and unclassified company information at all times unless specifically instructed to do so. They will conserve, protect and use the company funds, property, equipment and materials, information and human resources provided. They will abide by all the written and unwritten the laws, rules of the company and country of jurisdiction. They will report any suspected violations of law, regulations or policy through appropriate channels and fully participate in the inquiry.

Senior Leaders Responsibilities: All of the above policies would be applicable to the supervisor, which includes management and senior management staff who are also responsible for applying conduct and discipline to employees under their supervision. Leaders must encourage subordinates to review the HR and ER policies of the company. The leaders must become role models for their subordinates by demonstrating job loyalty and commitment. They should encourage their teams and themselves make use of the training programs which are made available by the company for the growth and development of the employees. Ensure that all the classified, unclassified and financial, legal disclosures, or information regarding organisational dealings, should be protected until otherwise informed. They will treat and encourage all to treat people with respect, dignity and will not tolerate any indiscipline with regards to discrimination of racial or financial by any employee or team member. They will immediately notify HRM Division should they suspect any criminal or unethical activity or behaviour by any employee. They will accept all the rules, laws, policies and programs which are to be complied with according to the company or government guidelines.

GE is a global infrastructure, finance and media company operating in over a 100 countries with more than 300000 employees worldwide. In New Zealand, GE has a major presence in Auckland and Wellington and 4 businesses with more than 650 employees. The organisation in view here is GE Capital which is a finance branch of GE.GE Capital offers consumer finance products to more than 450000 customers. GE Capital is one of the leading lenders in the mid market segment and has long standing funding relationships with large New Zealand's iconic brands such as Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming Group, Mitre 10 and BBQ factory etc (GE in New Zealand, 2011). Since GE Capital is a finance company providing services, we would be considering the HR and ER practises which would be applicable to this sector.