Term Paper: To What Extent Can HRM Contribute to Improved Organizational Performance

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¶ … HRM contribute to improved organisational performance?

To what extent can Human Rights Management contribute to improved organizational performance?

In the economic environment that is both highly competitive and undergoing rapid change one has to stay on top in order to continue functioning and make a profit. Adaptation and self-improvement of the undertakings is essential for keeping and improving their respective place on the different global market.

As globalization gets to a worldwide level, economic barriers tend to fail and innovation conquers all the field of a business change in an organization has not only become necessary, but it has become crucial. Unfortunately, many organizations, implementing change leave out a very important factor in the process: human resources. In reality, human resources are not only something that adapts by itself to change and not even a catalyst of change. They are the very factors implementing and using the new processes. Therefore starting change, or at least implementing change at the human resources level is decisive in the success of that change and adaptation process.

Human resources, or better said labor, represent the only production factor that, by itself, brings a plus in the value of the organization and of the other production factors. Human resources can make or break undertakings and need to be treated as such. As a matter of practice, in most organizations, human resources departments are usually introduced in the process of change only at a later stage. Even worse, it falls upon them to implement the change program even though they have not been involved and considered in the drawing of the plan. The result is that the later in time the change program is addressed by the human resources the more difficult it is for it to be implemented and be successful.

This essay will strive to demonstrate how important human resource management is in a nowadays organization. Moreover, it will also analyze some of the different theories in the field and draw a conclusion on which would be the most effective for certain organizations.

Specialists dealing with human resources management believe that people and organizations are able to change for the better, to evolve and become more effective. They also believe "that change requires open communication and empowerment of community members as well as a culture of collaboration." These are the fundamental values on which one of the theories form Human Rights Management, Organizational Development is based on. Organizational Development involves the use of many change factors and elements for the change of the organization. It is actually a long-term process of continuous improvement in all areas and at all levels of the undertaking. Modern technologies are implemented as part of the process in order to increase productivity and reduce costs. "Organization Development is the mother field that encompasses interventions, such as organization learning. OD is about people and how they work with others to achieve personal and organizational goals. Many times achieving goals means making changes that require creative thinking and problem solving. French and Bell report that the values held by OD practitioners include "wanting to create change, to positively impact people and organizations, enhance the effectiveness and profitability of organizations, [to] learn and grow, and exercise power and influence."

Organization Development puts an emphasis on the people, on their integration, on their proactive participation and on their development. An undertaking that has successfully applied Organizational Development is working with "fully awakened" people." They are taking a conscious part in their work, they believe in the values and the evolving of the organization they are a part off and they have transformed the goals of the organization and of their co-workers into their own. Employees of an Organizational Development share a common vision and a common purpose which coincide with the ones of the company. Thus they strive to give their best to the extent of their potential to the fulfillment of these objectives. The employees stand to gain from this because they develop their abilities; they are never behind with the new developments in management, technology and other useful fields and they constantly improve themselves. The organization stands to gain even more since all the information that the employees accumulate they put into the organization they pertain to.

Emphasis is also put on team work since the employees share common goals and visions they work very well together, completing each other. Working in such an organization stops being someone must to support themselves, but with no enjoyment and personal satisfaction whatsoever. Being a part of such a company makes one be a part of a system, a little wheel that is essential to the whole and that is well aware of its scope and purpose and strives to fulfill it using his best resources. Every little wheel depends on the others around it and the organization depends on the whole aggregate.

It, therefore, becomes clear why such an emphasis should be made on human resources in an undertaking. A part of the system that does not work well breaks the chain to everybody's loss and, moreover, an extra piece that has no place being there will quickly be either adapted or eliminated.

Another consequence of implementing Organization Development is the fact that when a problem or an obstacle arises people will always try to find long-term solutions that save the organization from more troubles, just as they would do for themselves, and not try to quickly fix a problem or pass it further to another person or department. Responsibility and risks are undertaken by the employees in order to come up and implement these durable solutions that they believe in. "Lifelong commitment to high quality work can result when teams work together to capitalize on the synergy of the continuous group learning for optimal performance." Therefore, employees working in a company that applies Organization Development do not act as "workers" for a boss who is simply telling them what to do while they are executing, "they can serve others in effective ways because they are well-prepared for change and working with others."

Organization Development is very strongly interlinked with the concept of Learning Organizations as they share common values. Nowadays, this concept is rapidly developing as more and more companies are embarrassing it. It has not been proven yet if creating a Learning Organization is the best strategy for a certain company, but it is certainly trendy. The concept has been defined by Professor Richard Karash: "A Learning Organization is one in which people at all levels, individually and collectively, are continually increasing their capacity to produce results they really care about"

In general a Learning Organization is one in which people are continuously learning and developing. They improve themselves and they improve the organization to which they belong. Learning within the concept of Learning Organization does not mean acquiring knowledge per say, it means learning to do something new, a new skill. A Learning Organization is a special place to work in as all employees, at all levels work together and learn from one another. It seems that these companies are the ideal place to be and work in. They have brought exactly what was lacking in undertakings today: motivation, understanding and a shared goal.

Learning Organization does not only encourage learning by its members as individuals, it also strives to learn, itself, as an "entity" and constantly better itself. The organization needs not only be aware of its own gain, it needs to be aware of its members. This concept has derived in the 1950's and it is called System Thinking: "A framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things; to see the forest and the trees." The aspirations of individual workers are thus noticed and included in the general goal of the company. A concept derived from System Thinking, called Decision Support Systems, was used by corporate executives in the decision making process as the company benefited from a better communication between its members and information traveled much faster.

The concept of Organizational Learning appeared in the 1970's. It was basically the Decision Support System that had been renamed and a little improved. Unfortunately, despite the extensive research in the field and studies being published, the new concept was not implemented by the companies.

A further development took place in 1980 when "time" was recognized as a valuable asset for companies and they wanted to find ways to preserve it. As a consequence companies began to understand the importance of learning, both as entities and as improvement of their members. It is, therefore, easily observed that the two are conditioning themselves: if the organization is learning it will treat its members better, if the members are learning the organization will have to gain. It is a win-win situation.

The employees are encouraged to exchange information between themselves, thus if a person learns something new, its peers will know it too, to some extent. The organization in itself is very flexible. So are its members who understand new things… [END OF PREVIEW]

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