Good Human Resource Management Term Paper Example
Discuss and evaluate the role that Human Resource Management plays in modern organizations
Organization is a dynamic concept which changes with time and according to needs. Traditional organizations were simple structures based on hierarchy. They were mostly bureaucratic organizations which were formal in nature and bounded with too many rules and regulations. The main focus of traditional organizations was on land and capital. And labour was also considered a factor of production. But with changing complexities, organizations structures too changed like from bureaucratic organizations to flat structures, by giving human resources their due importance. Today’s organization has flexible structures, less formalisation and more freedom. Now organizations take labour not just factor of production but as an asset, which can be valued and developed further through training and skill development (Ulrich and Brockbank, 2005). Hence, the separate Human Resource Department has many functions to perform. In the present scenario, human resource department is the most important part of an organization as humans are the most dynamic concept.
Human resource management is a subject which deals with employees working in an organization. The main task of human resource management is to maintain, develop and retain the human assets of the organization (Hollinshead and Leat, 1995). Human resource management holds an important place in modern organizations as the attitudes, motivational needs, behaviour patterns and performance/ skills of human beings are changing person to person. Earlier organizations had personnel department which took care of only external factors of employees like hiring, attendance payment, holidays etc. But today`s organization has human resource department which takes care of both internal and external rewards for the employees (Efron, 2014). Human resources, as the name itself says , is the most important part of firm's resources and once developed, as per the competition in the market through training, then they are the best form of capabilities a firm can have like Research & Development teams, Technical team, legal team etc
According to research, “Happy employees are productive employees”. For example, Google always tops the list of the best place to work with charts. It’s because they understand that human resource is the most valuable asset of the company. In Google, appropriate measures are taken by the head honchos of the organization, to enhance the employee’s morale and keep them happy, like paternity leaves, pet days, and work from home, training, 20% engineers time (Solomon, 2014) and many more. And these strategies are considered as one of the reason for the success of Google.
Role of Human Resource Management
The roles and responsibilities of Human resource management are gradually expanding. Other than hiring, firing, compensating etc., there are many other functions that a modern day human resource departments has to do. Some of the extended roles of HR department are enumerated below:-
Managing workforce diversity
In the globalisation era, workforce is heterogeneous mixture of people from different culture, backgrounds, regions or religious beliefs. And to manage this diversity there are certain strategies that are adopted to improve workforce diversity like to improve corporate culture by imbibing diversity as a cultural value in its members (Knippenberg, et.al., 2004). And for this HR department has to adopt some very prevalent strategies like increasing employee morale, productivity and also retention. And also it is the duty of HR department to see that there are less complaints and litigations (Patrick and Kumar, 2012).
Organizations effectiveness is achieved through the way companies organize their staff and manage their human capital (Hollinshead and Leat, 1995). Contemporary organizations are dependent on many complex systems and on the knowledge of their employees. Hence, other than having the right amount of monetary capital and valuable hard assets, it is important to have soft assets that are more and more contributory towards making a difference in the organization. Human Resource management facilitates strategic change in the organization by spotting the behavioural change that may be needed for the implementation of new strategy (Lawler, 2014).
Attracting and developing talent
Other than the basic function of compensation and recruitment it is important for organizations to attract and develop new talent. In this competitive world, finding talents and recruiting them is a key concern for organizations. Once recruited it is also important to develop these people recruited to increase the effectiveness of organizations (Groysberg, Kelly and McDonald, 2011). By establishing integrity in the talent area, organizations naturally discuss about organizational design, rewards and compensation systems, strategy and change management (Lawler, 2014).
Human resource has always been an administrative function for the organizations. But researchers and corporate honchos now feel that Human resource should be divided into two departments- Administrative and Leadership (Charan, 2014). The administrative division would primarily manage benefits and compensation, report to chief financial officer, and would see compensation as a tool to attract talent and not just a major cost. The other division, HR for leadership and organization would mostly focus on improving the capabilities of people in the business and further report to the CEO of the organization (Groysberg, et.al., 2011).
Establishing competitive advantage
An organization can achieve its competitive advantage by reducing is cost. To reduce the costs, companies have to reduce their operating costs. Human resource can facilitate competitive advantage by employing skilled workers, who would facilitate increase in productivity and reduction of mistakes. Highly skilled worker can allow the company to produce superior products for which the company can charge premium price too (Ulrich and Brockbank, 2005).
A team can be defined as group of people who come to work together towards common goal or objective of the organization. Hence team building is a management issue that can be well addressed by the human resource management in the organization. Team building refers to all those activities undertaken to motivate the members of team and improve their overall performance (Van Der Vegt and Bunderson, 2005). The structure of organization is changing from being bureaucratic to more flat structures. In flat structure, employees work more in teams and it becomes important that these teams, so built, are right and effective. An effective team is one which shares idea, communicates well, give feedback and work towards a common goal. Human resource department have to place right individuals (those who are skilled and work in teams) in a team, have to motivate them and improve their morale (Van Der Vegt and Bunderson, 2005).
As like earlier times, human resource management is much more than administrative functions. Other than recruitment, training, induction, orientation, compensation and benefits, HR department of an organization has to other leadership oriented tasks too. The responsibility has come on the shoulders of human resource department to align the objectives of individuals in the organization with the objectives of organization. Human resource has evolved as strategic human resource management which also plays a role in implementation of strategies in the organization. Strategic human resource management is the part of strategic management which aligns human resource goals with organizational goals. Hence, organizations focusing on improving firm's performance should consider the most important resource, the human resource.
Charan, R., 2014, It’s Time to Split HR, [Online] Harvard Business Review Available at: https://hbr.org/2014/07/its-time-to-split-hr Date accessed: 07 March 2015
Efron, L., 2014, What Organizations Need Now From Human Resources, [Online] Forbes Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/louisefron/2014/08/18/what-organizations-need-now-from-human-resources/ Date accessed: 07 March 2015
Groysberg, B., Kelly, L.K, and MacDonald, B., 2011, The New Path To the C-Suite, [Online] Harvard Business Review Available at: https://hbr.org/2011/03/the-new-path-to-the-c-suite/ar/1 Date accessed: 07 March 2015
Hollinshead, G. and Leat, M., 1995,Human Resource Management: An International and Comparative Perspective, London: Pitman Publishing
Knippenberg, D. V., de Dreu, C. K. W., and Homan, A. C., 2004, Work group diversity and group performance: An integrative model and research agenda. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, pp. 1008-1022
Lawler, E., 2014, HR Should Own Organizational Effectiveness, [Online] Forbes Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/edwardlawler/2014/02/11/hr-should-own-organizational-effectiveness/ Date accessed: 07 March 2015
Patrick H.A and Kumar V.R., 2012, Managing Workplace Diversity Issues and Challenges [Online] Sage Journals Available at: http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/2/2/2158244012444615 Date accessed: 07 March 2015
Solomon, M., 2014, The Secret Of a Successful Company Culture: Spread A Sense Of Ownership, [Online] Forbes Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/micahsolomon/2014/07/07/what-an-effective-customer-service-culture-requires/ Date accessed: 07 March 2015
Ulrich, D. and Brockbank, W., 2005, HR's New Mandate: Be a Strategic Player. Harvard Business School, Working Knowledge [Online] Harvard Business Review Available at: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/4861.html Date accessed: 07 March 2015
Van Der Vegt, G. S. and Bunderson, S. J., 2005, Learning and performance in multidisciplinary teams: The importance of collective team identification source. Academy of Management Journal, 48, pp. 532-547
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