Case Study: Australian Cladding Company

Pages: 10 (3291 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Management  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] These approaches place the human resource management policy formulation at the strategic level. In these approaches to Strategic Human Resource Management it is claimed that: (1) human resource problems are problems solved by linking HRM and strategy formulation at an early stage; and (2) problems with strategy implementation are solved by early adjustment of the HRM to these strategies." (p.299)

Human resources must be included in the planning from the very earliest of stages and this enables Human resources to understand what is needed and enables HR to adjust which means that the decisions made about company employees are geared toward the company's overall strategies. Mueller (1996) states that strategic use of human resources requires the following:

(1) Management is not reactive but instead is active;

(2) High policy integration exists;

(3) Senior management plans an orchestrational role; and (4) There is clear articulation of policies by senior management. (p.759)

Strategic theories of HRM include the Resource-based view of the firm. It is reported that the most recent entry into the theoretical discussion of strategic human resource management "comes from the organizational economics and strategic management literature and has been coined the resource-based view of the firm." (Wright and McMahan, 1993, p.10) The firm resources can only provide sustained competitive advantages if:

(1) The resource adds positive value to the firm;

(2) The resource must be unique among present and future competitors;

(3) The resource must be perfectly imitable; and (4) The resource cannot be substituted with another resource by competing firms. (Wright and McMahan, 1993, p.12)

Stated second is the 'behavioral perspective', which is a theory that focuses on the behaviors of employees as the mediator between strategy and performance for a firm. It is held by the principles of this theory that the "purpose of various employment practices is to eclict and control employee attitudes and behaviors." (Wright and McMahan, 1993, p.15) The particular attitudes and behaviors that are the most effective in organizations are differentiated by various organizational characteristics including the strategy of the organization. Schuler and Jackson (1987) propose a model that stresses the requirement for congruence across HRM practices.

V. HRM Practices -- Menu of Choices

HRM practices are such that can be viewed as menu of choices for HT executives from which they may make a choice of practices that:

(1) Promote the most effective role behaviors consistent with the organizational strategy; and (2) That are aligned in a way that each HR practice is congruent with other HR practices. (Wright and McMahan, 1993, p.16)

The third stated theoretical model of HRM is reported to be those of 'cybernetic systems' which is a popular theoretical model applied to SHRM. Cybernetic models are reported to vary in their treatment of the system in that "some models focus on closed systems that seek to set up mechanisms to buffer the technological core from the environment. Other models treat systems as being open to exchanges with their environment." (Wright and McMahan, 1993, p. 17) Open systems models are such that are based on general systems models, which hold that organizations "can be described as input, throughput, output systems involved in transactions with a surrounding environment." (Wright and McMahan, 1993, p.17) Reported as central to open systems models is the "idea of a negative feedback loop that informs the system that it is not functioning effectively, thereby allowing for changes to reduce any discrepancies." (Wright and McMahan, 1993, p.17) Competence management in HR practices is that which refers to the processes and methods used to cope with the findings and to make sure that the organization's employees "have the skills required to execute a given organizational strategy." (Wright and McMahan, 1993, p.18) This is reported to acknowledge the "negotiations with the external labor environment in order to attract, select, retain, and use employees with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities of re-executing the strategic business plan." (Wright and McMahan, 1993, p.18)

VI. Four Competence Management Strategies

Four competence management strategies are proposed as follows:

(1) Competence Acquisition -- refers to the training and selection activities that are geared toward ensuring that organizational employees have the necessary competencies;

(2) Competence utilization -- this deals with the activities that seek to utilize latent skills or skills that have been deemed unnecessary under a provision strategy;

(3) Competence retention -- this is a strategy aimed at retaining various competencies in the organization through reduction of turnover and constant training.

(4) Competence Development -- this is comprised by activities aimed at eliminating competencies that are no longer necessary for the organizational strategy. (Wright and McMahan, 1993, p.18)

VII. Analysis

This study set out to answer the questions of what sort of HR activities need to be put in place reasonably quickly and what HR approaches need to be taken in the longer term to ensure ongoing strategic competitive advantage? From the literature reviewed, it is clear that the company needs to focus on both short- and long-term strategic goals. As noted in the introduction to this study the company has failed in the area of strategic human resources planning and due to this failure has had problems with retention of employees stated to be due to the inability of employees to envision a future with the company. Secondly, the employees do not receive training and accompanying career advancement opportunities, which further exacerbates the problems being experienced by the company in terms of management of its human resources. Additionally, there have been reports of instances of sexual harassment on the job by some of the female employees of the company. It is clear that this company needs to provide training and education in several areas including the need for a workshop of what constitutes sexual harassment and the company policies and penalties for such sexual harassment. In addition, the company needs to meet with employees and determine the needs for training and education that will best support employees of the organization in performing their work in an efficient and effective manner. Employees are well aware of their own shortcomings and allowing employees to make the identification of these shortcomings and accepting feedback from those working with the company. Feedback on the needs of education and training initiatives will provide a clear picture of what the company needs to invest in for providing training and education that broadens the employee's skill set and knowledge that enable them to perform at a more optimal level for the organization. SHRM offers the potential to build a more knowledgeable base of employees that have as their focus the overall development and growth of the company. Retention of employees can be accomplished by promoting from within the organization and additional training and education resources. When the organization promotes form within its rank of employees, the individual being promoted is already familiar with the organizational structure and culture and this results in a greater level of productivity.

VIII. Long- and Short-Term Activities to Support SHRM

In view of needs for the short -- term the company needs to focus on more strategic use of its employees and specifically to conduct an assessment of the needs of employees to advance their knowledge and skills. In the long-term, the company needs to invest in its employees which results in the employees being more knowledgeable and more capable and ultimately resulting in much less in terms of employee turnover or retention. This can be accomplished through SHRM strategies including better planning and more accurate scheduling processes that eliminate the downtime that results from lack of planning and response to immediate problems of the company. Training of employees in various areas of company policies, procedures, and best practices results in a base of employees that have specific guidelines to follow and company enforcement of those policy decisions. Additionally, it is important that the company address the problems related to the perception of sexual harassment and educate employees on what they must do to avoid committing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Bibliography

Akhtar, S; Ding, DZ, and Ge, GL (nd) Strateic HRM Practices and their Impact on Company Performance in Chinese enterprises. Retrieved from: http://www.shrm.org/Education/hreducation/Documents/47-1%20Akhtar%20et%20al.pdf

Appleby, A. & Mavin, S. 2000. 'Innovation not imitation: Human Resource Strategy and the Impact on World-Class Status,' Total Quality Management, vol. 11, no. 5, s554-s561.

Becker, B.E., Huselid, M.A., & Ulrich, D. (2001). The HR scorecard: Linking people, strategy, and performance. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Beckers, A.M., & Bsat, M.Z. (2002). A DSS classification model for research in human resource information systems. Information Systems Management, 19(3), 41 -- 50

Cascio, W.F. (1984). Costing human resources: The financial impact of behavior in organizations.Boston: PWS-Kent.

Cascio, W.F. (1991). Costing human resources: The financial impact of behavior in organizations (3rd ed.). Boston: PWS-Kent.

Cascio, W.F. (2000). Costing human resources: The financial impact of behavior in organizations (4th ed.). Cincinnati, OH: South-Western College.

Fitz-Enz, J. (1980). Quantifying the human resources function. Personnel, 57(3), 41… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Australian Cladding Company.  (2012, October 11).  Retrieved March 26, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/australian-cladding-company-objective/7162319

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"Australian Cladding Company."  Essaytown.com.  October 11, 2012.  Accessed March 26, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/australian-cladding-company-objective/7162319.