Advantages Of Human Resources In Strategic Planning Essays Example
One of the known advantages in incorporating the HR department into organizational planning and strategy is because HR has the ability to conduct researches relevant to the strategic goals. Evidently, the pool of data within the HR department can provide a wealth of critical information that organizational decision makers can use at their disposal. Information such as what has been done before, results of previous work, success and failures and other relevant information of what has been done in the past offers a strategic advantage that can be used for planning and decision making. In this context, it is obvious that the HR department serve as a tool to better understand the organization as a whole. The HR department can offer new and different perspectives in viewing the organization’s culture, which is priceless in a managerial decision making. Evidently, understanding an organization’s culture and past experiences before planning and developing strategies offers a major advantage. In fact, inadequate knowledge regarding the experience, people and culture of an organization could translate to failure as in the case of Ron Johnson, the former CEO of J.C. Penney. Before joining J.C. Penney, Johnson was a successful executive for Apple who pioneered Apple’s retail strategies. Unfortunately, Johnson’s success with Apple did not translate with his new organization primarily because he failed to incorporate the historical and cultural aspect of his new organization, which could have been provided adequately by the HR department. In fact, Johnson tried to restructure the whole organization and got rid of several key executives that could he could have, otherwise, used as consultants to increase his knowledge about his new organization. Also, by taking out the store’s traditional discounts and promotions as well as the commission and incentives of J.C. Penney’s employees, Johnson’s plans and strategies did not realize its full potential because his strategies were met with resistance by customers as well as his subordinates. For the same reason, his plans and strategies were not implemented effectively, which resulted to failure. What happened to Ron Johnson is exactly the same issue that concerns Simpkins in his suggestion to incorporate Human Resources to strategic planning. According to Simpkins, when leaders outside the organization are employed, chances are, they lack the contextual understanding of what is actually going on internally; the exact information that the HR department could have effortlessly provided. Aside from providing critical internal information that can be utilized by decision makers, the HR Department may serve as a backbone for implementing the recommended strategies. Harley Davidson, for example, has been struggling with quality issues because of their traditional manufacturing strategies. After several years of dominating the world’s motorcycle industry, in the 1960’s, Japanese manufacturers have rapidly gained the American market with their smaller and more fuel efficient motorcycles. One of the major differences between Harley Davidson as compared with Japanese manufacturing processes is that Harley Davidson employs less skilled employees as compared to Japanese manufacturers. As a result, quality is compromised and Harley Davidson became even less competitive. Eventually, the company realized it shortcomings and decided to learn from the Japanese the Lean manufacturing processes. In the Lean system, the basic principle is to identify and eliminate waste through continues improvement. With this objective, constant training and employee development is among its primary action plan. For the same reason, the participation of HR is crucial in achieving this objective. In the case of Harley Davidson, after implementing the Lean process, the company was able to bounce back and regained lost sales and market share. It appears then that the HR department provides a crucial contribution to the strategic planning of an organization primarily as an information resource and also as a support department for initiating the organization’s strategic initiatives.
Kilpatrick, J. (2003). Lean Principles. Retrieved January 2015, from http://mhc-net.com/whitepapers_presentations/LeanPrinciples.pdf
Minato, C. (2012, June 16). THE JC PENNEY DISASTER TIMELINE: How Ex-Apple Guru Ron Johnson Is Destroying The Company. Retrieved November 2013, from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-jcpenney-disaster-timeline-how-ex-apple-guru-ron-johnson-is-destroying-the-company-2012-6#
Simpkins, R. (2008). Bringing Human Resources Back into Strategic Planning. Wiley Periodicals Inc., 142-147.
Teerlink, R. (1996, July). Transformation at Harley-Davidson. Retrieved September 2014, from http://faculty.bschool.washington.edu/: http://faculty.bschool.washington.edu/skotha/website/cases%20pdf/hd.pdf