The basic principle of the academic theory of human resource management is that humans are not machines; as a result, an urge to have an interdisciplinary assessment of people in the workplace is pondered upon. The human resource management sector in any organization is that sector that deals with ensuring that all the complainants relevant to all staff issues are passed forward to be addressed. A human resource manager is an individual who handles personnel decisions, including those that entail recruitments and competition. (Dewe, P. and Cooper 2007).
To protect the rights of employees, most governments would have formulated employment guidelines and legislation. It is one thing to frame such policies, but to be effective, the government should have effective machinery by which these laws are implemented. The US employment regulations are controlled by the US Department of Labor. The Department has a comprehensive policy covering a wide range of issues that the management has to comply with. Apart from general laws, there are special laws with regard to the employment and protection of minorities and immigrant workers.
There are also provisions for preventing sexual harassment and racism. The detailed areas in which legislations are available are given here. They are “Wages & Hours Worked, Benefits: Health, Retirement, Leave, Hiring Issues, Termination Issues, Equal Opportunity, Safety and Health In the Workplace and Whistleblower and Non-Retaliation.” (Help Navigating DOL Laws and Regulations).
Regulation regarding employment of migrant workers, seasonal agricultural workers, and also for relief in case of sexual discrimination or harassment is also available. The website is very useful for HR managers in getting to know the rights of the workers and also for compliance by the company. It can be seen that there is comprehensive coverage of all issues which might affect the workforce of the country. The workers can seek the help of the courts and other legal machinery if they feel that they have been wrongly treated.
The challenges faced by HR managers in the light of a globalized economy are large and diverse. There is a great variety in the social background, nationality, and beliefs of workers. Moreover, the high labor turnover due to rival companies taking away talented employees is also a big challenge. According to the Society for Human Resources Management, attracting the right talent is going to be the biggest challenge for companies in the next decade or so.
To compound the matter, 43% of the current workforce is eligible for retirement in the next few years. Moreover, globalization and free-market policies have resulted in a situation where companies are trying to attract the best and most talented employees without boundary barriers. While this is an opportunity, it is also a threat. Companies can now get employees from many countries in the world. The downside is that other companies can take away employees from the company, as well. The word talent is defined by the article as “any individuals who have the capability to make a significant difference to the current and future performance of a company.” (Rafa PC, p.7).
For this purpose, the article lists several ways in which companies can attract and retail challenge. First is the ability to acquire talent. Once this is done, the next step is to develop this talent. It is also important that this talent be recognized, and they call this step spotlighting talent. Leveraging this talent and strengthening such organizations (where talent exists) are the final two steps. The major issues that may come up in international business with regard to HRM are ethnic differences, cultural differences, social differences, language, etc. Moreover, labor laws and legislation will differ from country to country.
The level of competence of the authorities in implementing these laws is also to be understood. The level of transparency and correction in different markets will also reflect on the effectiveness of HRM in foreign markets. Labor unions will also have different levels of influence in different countries. The global implications due to globalization and free trade, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO), are also worth mentioning.
More and more countries are becoming richer and economically independent due to the effects of foreign direct investment. This means that they have the growing power to formulate and implement their own laws on all matters, including labor. The free flow of capital has resulted in the formation of global companies which have a global workforce. This scenario has led to intense competition at the global level. The need to attract, develop and retain a talented workforce is gaining extreme importance today, making the job of the HR manager more challenging. (The Talent Challenge).
It is a generally accepted fact that there is a high level of competition in all areas of business, especially with the growth in globalization and free trade. In such a scenario, the overall strategy of management will be on of stability, survival, or growth. In all these choices, human resources will have to play a very strategic role. For stability, the HR manager will have to see that employees are productive. They have to be service-oriented (towards the customers).
These two factors are applicable in all scenarios. Another issue is losing talented employees to rival organizations again due to the shortage of talent in the marketplace. There will always be the risk of companies trying to lure away the best of talent that will be problematic for any organization. In a strategy of survival, this is all the more critical. Maintaining productivity and customer service is also more critical when compared with a stability strategy. Moreover, employees may be uncertain about the future of the company (if they come to know of the survival strategy). The risk of losing them becomes greater in such a case.
In a growth-oriented strategy, apart from the above factors, the management has to attract the best of talent by hiring fresh employees and also by luring talent away from other companies. Thus, competitive environments pose bigger challenges to HR managers. This is one of the reasons why many companies are now resorting to outsourcing HR functions to professional HR firms.
Origins of HR Function
Even though human relations management is a highly regarded subject in management circles today, the concept itself is not very old. The functions of HR functions have been codified only after the recognition and subsequent evolution of HRM and HRD. Early management theorists like Taylor did not give much importance to the human side of HR and hence considered HR function as one where the employee is made to work for maximum productivity.
Early traces of human-oriented thought regarding workers were seen in the theories of Peter Drucker and Douglas McGregor and were considered to be the behavioral sciences. A book by Srinivas Kanduala, titled HRD in Competitive Business Environment, traces the development of HRM and its functions. The author citing from other sources, says that the “origin of HRM as a defined school of thought is usually traced back to 1970s with the development of human Resources Accounting Theory.” (Kanduala, p.52). Eric G. Flamholtz, an authority on human resources and author of many books on the topic, is credited with this line of thought and theory. With new concepts, ideas, and theories developed, the HR functions also came to be defined more clearly, with more and more functions coming under it.
There are many activities or functions of HR, and they are discussed elsewhere in this paper. The HR function at present involves “From recruiting to orienting new employees, from writing job descriptions to tracking attendance, and from instituting and monitoring policies to monitoring benefits, there has been a need for an HR generalist to assist senior management in both establishing a structure to holding down costs of administration.” (Winning). There is a need to differentiate HR functions from an HR Department. An organization will have HR functions even without an HR department. The functions, in this case, will be handled by another manager.
Personnel management and HRM
Personnel management can be defined as “Responsibilities related to hiring and firing staff, supervising, promoting, organizing, motivating staff, and developing their professional capabilities.” (Building a Common Vocabulary A Glossary of Management Terms). There has been a tendency among people to interchange both the terms HRM and personnel management, and prima facie, it would appear that they are one and the same.
But a closer look at both the definitions will reveal the similarities as well as the differences. The managing of personnel and activities like hiring, training, motivating, etc., are common to both posts. But personnel management is concerned more with being a caretaker of the employee, whereas human resources management has a broader view. Apart from the common features, HRM is more of a managerial post and is involved closely in assisting the management in achieving its vision and bringing down costs through HRM.
So, while personnel management is concerned with the management of employees alone, HRM, apart from this, has the additional responsibility of working with the top management also. The personnel manager is just an employee, while the HR manager is a part of the management team, and this is the key that differentiates both these posts.
In an organization, it should be clear that who should perform which work, when, and how, who should report whom, and to whom he is responsible. This is clear through a well-defined organizational structure. The flow of authority and flow of communication has a formal structure through it. There are generally three types of authority relationships in an organization; Line authority, staff authority, and functional authority.
Line authority is the authority whose activities directly contribute to the organizational goals. They have direct power to exercise on their subordinates. Staff authority is an advisory authority that assists the line authority. Functional authority includes both line and staff authority. It increases the power of staff authority to instruct the line authority.
Depending upon the size of an organization, the flow of authority is decided. In the early stages, in a small organization, the authority concentrates on the top managers. That is centralization. But as the complexity increased, the business expanded, authority was delegated to the different levels of managers so that they can perform their work independently. A firm with a tall structure that is having more organizational levels increases the expenditure. In such a situation, downsizing is done. Downsizing reduces the organizational level and increases the span of management. The span of management is the number of subordinates directly under one superior. The right size is decided based on the nature of the task and the capability of the manager.
The employees employed should be well placed, and no employee should be ideal. The organization is always facing a problem of labor when the work demand increases. These needs are fulfilled by the temporary workers, overtime working and part-time working or by retaining the existing employees.
“Employee retention is a process in which the employees are encouraged to remain with the organization for the maximum period of time or until the completion of the project.” (What is Employee Retention). It involves taking measures to encourage employees to remain in the company. The top managers value their employees and the reason for leaving the job, whether the reason is personal or professional. The reason is taken care and strategies for employee retention are followed.
At the same time, the problem of increased employees can be solved by reducing the strength.
The employees near retirement are discharged early. Another way to reduce employee is a layoff. It is the process of temporary suspension or permanent termination of employment of an employee or a group of employees for some business reason like lack of work, cash, material, etc.
The employees can also be reduced by termination. The termination can be voluntary termination or involuntary. Voluntary termination is the decision of an employee to leave the job. But the involuntary termination is the employee’s departure at the hands of the employer. Laid off and dismissal is done because of some fault from the side of an employee, such as disobeying the rules and regulations of an organization or violation of rules and regulations. It is a compulsory termination by the employer.
Goals of Human Resources Management
“The goals of human resource management are the more efficient and effective utilization of human resources in order to achieve the strategic objective of the organization while facilitating the accomplishment of individual goals.” (About Human Resource Management: What is Human Resource Management). The quote given above has been given to stress the fact that definition by almost all persons and organizations mentioning the strategic importance of HRM. Hence the most important goal of HRM is to have a strategic role in attaining management objectives combined with the traditional roles of managing personnel and human resources.
Another aspect that many other definitions include is cost reduction by optimum utilization of human resources. Another important goal that has not been usually covered in definitions is maintaining relations between trade unions and the management. In a broader sense, it entails balancing industrial relations and management views. Other general goals include staffing, training, and retaining employees. Apart from this, they have to see that the workforce is motivated and productive. Fixing salary, performance-oriented benefits, and other incentives like health benefits, leave benefits is also a part of their responsibility.
In planning, the human resource management team ensures that a firm has the right number and mix of people at the right times and places varying from long-range planning for large, stable companies to short-range crisis planning for thousands of small companies employing low-skilled and low-paid workers (Haksever pg 217). In this case, human resource managers have to consider all of the laws that protect against discrimination and all of the requirements that employees must meet for the company.
Effective planning by a human resource manager clearly brings accurate results that a company wants.in a case of staffing, understaffing results in the drop of the industries economies of scale and field of specialization, information, customers, and the attained profits, while Overstaffing is extravagant and expensive, if continual, it is costly to get rid of since of contemporary legislation in respect of joblessness payments, consultation and minimum periods of notice. Significantly, overstaffing reduces the competitive efficiency of the business, thus, hindering the overall performance.
An assessment of the current and future needs of the organization has to be evaluated with present and future predicted resources when considering staffing. When proper steps are used in planning, it brings demand and supply into balance. The future demands of a company are influenced by the predictions of the personnel manager, who examine and adjust the simple delivery of the other managerial staff and also recruitments which depends on the predictions of sales and productivity, impact of technological change on job needs, the disparity in the competence, output, and suppleness of labor as a training result, job study, organizational alteration and new motivational.
Renovation in employment performances by the involvement of subcontractors or organization staffs, hiving off tasks, buying in and substitution, deviation, countering fresh legislation, for example, payroll taxes, new health, and safety adjustment in Government policies, logical staffing demands a plan for varying dates in the future which can then be compared with the crude supply schedules also entail assessment.
The comparisons will then indicate what steps to be taken to achieve a balance that involves the further preparation of such enrollment, training, or alteration in labor force operation as this will result in a balance in demand and supply (Dovidio 2001).
Through the human resource manager, this sector of management is involved in identifying people who could fill positions within the firm and then securing them as applicants. He has to plan a good job picture for the position and a specification of skills and abilities the candidate should have. A potential applicants list is developed from various sources, depending on how the human resource manager decides to advertise the job opening.
Managers obtain their recruit sources from internal and external sources. The employee will not have to go through basic training learning all of the policies of the company. Inbreeding results in seldom new ideas that are brought into the company. (Jacuis, 1995).An external source for recruiting brings into account the opposite of internal recruiting from outside the company (Zimmermann 2008).
There are many forms of external recruiting. Some include employment agencies, advertising, Internet recruiting, and word of mouth. He is also involved in the recruitment of employees depending on: An examination of the work to be performed through careful consideration of the errands to be carried out to establish their essentialities written into a career description so that the applicants know what physical and mental distinctiveness applicants must acquire, what traits and attitudes are attractive and what uniqueness are a certain disadvantage. In a case where the substitution of employees has to occur, the need to employ at all should be taken into consideration (Hosie, Sevastos, and Cooper, 2007).
Selection of employees by the human resource team
After applications have been confirmed, the human resource management then begins the selection process basing on the undoubtedly established criterion for performance of the job. The application form should be designed to uncover the applicant’s skills and abilities for the job performance. The human resource manager’s selection criterion could also be based on testing, interviews, references, and probationary periods of employment.
An effective selection is considered as ‘buying’ an employee (the price being the wage or salary multiplied by probable years of service). Hence, they have to carefully select to minimize and avoid incompetence in the company. Some small organizations exist to catch the attention of staff with high status from existing employers to the recruiting employment.
Training is an efficient method for altering an employee’s behavior to prepare the employee for a job or upgrade the employee’s performance on the job. Development involves the preparation of a person for broader responsibilities and higher-level positions within the company. There exist a variation in the training of the recruits from firm to firm, as well as by type or size of a service organization. This entails a significant aspect played by the management in the varied changes from one organization to the next.
The all-inclusive interviews in the evaluation of candidates are clearly essential to good recruitment. To a greater extent, the former entails: teaching the recruits how to draw out the interviewee and the latter how to rate the candidates. For consistency (and as a help to checking that), rating often consists of scoring candidates for experience, knowledge, physical/mental capabilities, intellectual levels, motivation, prospective potential, leadership abilities, etc. (according to the needs of the post). The judgments are always affected by the submission of the usual curve of distribution to scoring.
Utilizing involves arranging the employees’ work to make them both productive and motivated. The factors that determine the effectiveness of human resource utilization include:
- The structure of the work that provides an opportunity for “stretch” performance.
- Participation in decisions that have a direct effect on the person’s job.
- Open communications and equitable scheduling of assignments.
- Competent supervision, and organizational flexibility, economic and non-economic rewards that recognize achievement and equity.
An opportunity for growth and a culture that encourages caring for both customer and worker needs. A small employee service firm’s employees may be encouraged to take the initiative and be given a variety of tasks and responsibilities. The “shop” operates like a family, with workers participating in decisions and communicating freely with a manager who provides experienced support. Non-economic rewards, such as flexibility in working hours, time off when needed, and an atmosphere of general caring about other people, are important. In large service firms, the work may be organized, so that small teams share responsibility for key tasks. Here, economic rewards and opportunities for growth are likely to be greater than in the small service firm.
The human resource manager is involved in gratifying since it helps them keep their employees, in turn keeping a small turnover and also making employees feel important and needed at the company. The management is able to develop a public image of the company such that employees have pride in carrying out the firms’ obligations, provide flextime working conditions so that people may fit their work to their personal needs and lifestyle, including working at their jobs, reward employees for participating in suggestions that can make their work more productive.
The management also has to structure jobs so that employees have control over their work and responsibilities that challenge them, provide first-class facilities, such as private offices, lounges, cafeterias, and the like, reduce the cost of employment for the worker, compensate bye salary or commission and design the service, so that the customer does more of the work. Depending on the type of service organization, offer employee discounts and even possible employee family discounts (Haksever pg 225-226).
Though not being done by a human resource manager, they are kind of part of their job because they need to make sure that the supervisors do one for each of their employees and then get the finished form turned into them. The finished copy goes into the employee’s file as part of their portfolio. In the designing of a new dimension, an apparent picture of the current appraisal is definitely required.
The analysis involves assessing the background factors of current appraisal follow-ups and satisfaction with them, work mean, and the goal-setting and prize organization practices. The crucial purpose of this system is to help the business accomplish better performance and attain substantial returns Managers and employees can have additional views of how this process ought to be used.
The Potential purposes are capable of including serving as a foundation for repayment, occupation planning, and recital improvement or giving performance feedback (Steer, Mooday & Porter1982).
The suitable building block of this system can be established after all the laid down procedures are clearly followed and should be able to have options about who will be performing the appraisal, who will be involved in the formative routine, how the performance is to be considered, and the frequency at which then the various reactions will be given. The criterion for manipulating an efficient recital system, therefore, includes; appropriateness, exactness, recognition, indulgence, focal point on serious control points, and the economic probability (Clegg, Sparrow 2007).
Managing workforce diversity
Today’s managers and professionals are challenged to create work environments for a diverse workforce. “Effective leaders must move beyond their own cultural frame of reference to promote strong intercultural communication and create cultural synergy in the workplace. They must recognize and take full advantage of the productivity potential inherent in a diverse population.” (Management Programs: Managing a Diverse Workforce). Workforce diversity is in terms of age, gender, race, ethnic composition, religion, and nationality. But now, diversity is not viewed as a problematic issue. It is an opportunity that is to be utilized to compete more effectively in both domestic and international markets.
In the service industry, the employees have to contact different customers. They have increased customer base with diversity. To understand their needs and expectations, the diverse workforce should be utilized. “With the Globalization of markets, business corporations should learn how to manage the workforce diversity. Successful corporations try to learn from their colleagues around the world. This will enhance corporate performance.
That would not be possible without a system to manage diversity.” (Managing Workforce Diversity for Better Corporate Results). Mergers and acquisition in the organization pools the two business in such a way that the cultures of an organization can differ from others. Here the issues related to diverse workforce exist. But the managers should be able to avoid clashes and utilize the competitive advantage of the organization.
Cultural diversity is common in today’s workplaces. The employees belonging to different cultures and societies work together in an organization where other cultural beliefs, attitudes, and practices are followed. This culture influences the communication style. Communication differs between generations, genders, races, and cultures. The main problem with communication is people have certain beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, and values with that they interpret the messages. They analyze the messages based on their personal experience or familiar cultural pattern. This leads to different interpretations of a message by different people. Gender differences are reflected in the communication styles of men and women.
“Diversity is often mistaken for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action. EEO and Affirmative Action are based on legal requirements.” (Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity). Equal employment opportunity laws help to ensure that race, sex, national origin are not considered as the characteristics for employment decisions. Affirmative action regulations help to remove the barriers of hiring and the advancement of minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities.
The Industrial relations explains the relations between employee and the management. The main aim of Industrial Relations is to improve the economic conditions of workers, socialization of industries, and vesting proprietorship of industries in the workers.
The employees have the freedom to make associations and bargain for the essential rights of workers. Collective bargaining is the process where employees come together and bargain regarding the workplace. It is the process of negotiation between the employee representative, generally the union leader, and the management. They can bargain for the terms and conditions of employment of employees such as working hours, grievance procedure, and about rights and responsibilities of trade unions. By collective bargaining, the employees are getting a voice to influence the rules and conditions.
“Negotiation is a discussion between two or more disputants who are trying to work out a solution to their problem.” (Maiese).
It can occur to solve a personal or corporate-level problem.
An association of workers in a particular industry is called a trade union. It is formed for regulating the relations between workers and employers or between workmen and workmen or between employers and employers. The association of workers should be registered under the Trade Union Act 1926 to become a legally recognized Trade Union after complying with all the conditions under the Act.
Under the Factories Act 1948, there are many provisions relating to health, safety, and welfare. Under this Act, sections 11 to 20 deal with the provisions ensuring health. They are;
- Cleanliness of workplace.
- Disposal of wastes and effluents.
- Proper ventilation and temperature.
- Measures to remove dust and fumes which are harmful to health.
- Artificial humidification
- Spacing between every worker is specified.
- Proper lighting.
- Pure drinking water.
- Separate latrines and urinals for male and female workers
Safety measures for workers working in dangerous situations and on or near dangerous machines. For such workers, many provisions are prescribed under Factories Act like fencing the dangerous machines, employing young skilled persons to avoid accidents, employing safety officers, emergency exit windows, etc.
Welfare measures for the workers are;
- Washing facility.
- Facility for storing and drying clothing.
- Facility for sitting.
- First aid appliance.
- Shelters, restrooms, lunchrooms.
- Crèches where female workers are more.
- Welfare Officer.
Stipulation of services
Meditation to the mind of employees is normal in the majority of organizations as a way of maintenance of high-quality staff and attracting others. This welfare can take many and varies, from loans to the deprived to counseling in value of the need of individual problem-solving approach.
The following aspects ought to be considered: plan for work-related sick pay, complete sick leave and right to use to the firm’s medical adviser, a proposal for mourning or other special leave, the healing of injured or disabled workers, and provisional or permanent shift to lighter work, the preservation of disablement data and registers, condition of monetary and additional maintenance for sport and other, activities of many kinds which are work-related, stipulation of restaurants and other food preparation facilities. The health and safety meaning within the association varies. More often than not, a crack of errands exists below which the administration cares for a safe work system.
The human resource management has to consider motivation to employees which basically comes about when an employee has had an interesting job or project that really attracts and has control over what is to be performed and how the patterns are without worries of a fanatical boss interference or absence of the job security. The management ought to employ self-sufficiency which involves having the chance to take control over a complete project of work in which an employee is really interested.
In order to finish the ineffective communication between the management and the employee, the following has to be employed. Communication will be achieved through honesty throughout interviews. When managers are serious about recital reviews, the employee is highly motivated, knowing that some aspects of him or her are considered. Employers should also engage in more career mapping and create a discussion to build up a greater force of involvement.
Strategies of Motivating Workers
Bernard Stoner et al. (1995) look at the following strategies for workers motivation: circumstances of service, the wages, and salaries: in order to use salaries as a motivator successfully, human resource managers have to take into consideration four main mechanisms of the salary structures which are the job rates, relating to the significance attached to each job by the organization; payment, give confidence to employees by rewarding them on their presentation; personal allowances, linked with aspects such as shortage of meticulous skills or certain categories of in turn professionals or librarians; and extreme benefits such as holidays with pays.
The prevailing pay should be compared to those of other establishments to take into consideration in formatting the pay structure of their organization.
Money: Hesketh (2006) portrays money as being the most vital feature in stirring the industrial workers to accomplish better productivity. To be able to sponsor the establishment of inducement wage systems, as a means of inspiring workers to higher presentation, obligation, and eventually, satisfaction connections need to be sought. Money has the authority to draw, keep, and stimulate individuals towards elevated performance (Zokushi 2000).
High productivity in an organization depends on the motivation level and the efficiency of the workforce. This is an essential strategy for motivating workers giving avenues for self-development in order to meet the disputes and requirements of new equipment and techniques of task performance. The continued existence of a career depends entirely on career resilience (Sinclair et al. 2005) and sensible alteration to modifying themselves. Employees must readily take charge of themselves and take the actions for managing their careers with sustainability from employers. This actually might be found in the labor of love (McDonald 1996).
Due to the examination in the workplace, the employee morale is boosted by the provision of detailed accounts embracing the clarity of the employer one will be under considering and not limiting to involve, including, but not limited to corporate traditions, range, hours personal appearance or dress code, and avenues for advancement. They are more motivated when detailed accounts of the recruiting process and interviews are elaborate, and the sequencing of who conducted their interview and the questions involved are elaborate.
There is a clear cut line to employees on salaries even in times of fluctuations, signing and year-end bonuses, stock options, the time at which one opts to go for a vocation, and reimbursements. The employee Capital Rewards is built up of four linked elements: recognition, bonuses returns, and finally, the pay bonuses. Their greatest performance solution involves delivering better recruitment tracking, enhanced nominee control, discussion, and management reporting and, therefore, saving the organization’s management time and demands in resources team to embrace its planned objectives and delivering significant added services to the business.
Turnover is the ratio of the number of employees hired by an organization to restore those who have gone in a given phase of time to the number of working workers. In a situation where it is comparatively simple to find and train new employees swiftly and at a rather little cost, it is feasible to uphold high eminence levels of service provision in spite of having a high turnover rate.
By difference, where skills are comparatively scarce, where recruitment is expensive, or where a vacancy takes several weeks to be filled, turnover is likely to be challenging from a management point of view, especially in situations where the company is losing staff to express opponent or where the client has developed bond with employees. Some employee turnover definitely benefits organizations. For example, when a poor performer is reinstated by a more helpful employee and can commence when a senior retirement allows the sponsorship or achievement of being welcomed. The moderate intensity of staff turnover also assists in lessening workforce costs in organizations with the unique quality changeable monthly.
Employee turnover embraces the following aspects:
In a case where firms and companies have remained constant or stagnant for a prolonged duration of time, it is an eloquent idea to come up with a workforce that embraces the long-term institutional knowledge. However, the firmness to avoid change is a convention aspect dating to the ages. Companies can easily disappear from the markets as a consequence of displacement in the market or by being fascinated by other associations in the course of becoming one and acquisitions.
The long-term institutional knowledge is becoming less serious since firms change themselves every four to eight years. This aspect involving the longer-term institutional knowledge and shared cultural ingredient might, in fact, hurt a firm that needs to become a more active one within its standards.
Modernism supersedes output
The performance of an employee who seems productive in the specified fields has always been held on to in that production was the number one success aspect in the majority of the industries. However, this is not enough in a flat world with constant changes and where products of increasing technology like mobile phones can become obsolete in six months or less. Stable demand for product and service modernization from customers has made the capacity to innovate and invent the new key success reason.
Employee fidelity is times gone by
Loyalty in any profession is not a new aspect since every individual possesses some aspect of dishonesty, especially those who were not brought up in well-set standards. If the assets in the bazaar size from being considered as future success, then all structures and programs which are based upon it as a motivating factor must also shift to replicate the new market priorities.
The human resource team needs to be capable of liberating employees who are no longer needed and, at the same time, be able to hire those who have new and appropriate emerging skills. That move toward this will put fresh demands on the organizational leadership. As more organizations hire on the basis of not focusing on practice but on the candidate’s ability to come up with new and be taught rapidly on these aspects. Evaluation will move prominence away from the perceived performance in the direction of measuring significance and true come back on talent. The Organizations that were involved in investing in official retention functions and sequence plans will also, as a result, abandon them.
Guest (1991) brings to a close that more organizational obligation is linked with the presence of lower turnover and its lack; nevertheless, there is no clear relation to show. The probability of expecting a lot more from obligation is an avenue of making a straight and urgent result on the performance. This is not similar to the motivation aspect since assurances are a much broader perception and have a tendency to endure the changing aspects of an employee’s job.
There is a probability of employees be discontented with a convinced characteristic of a job at the same time as an investment on to a reasonably high level of guarantee to the whole organization on the creation of an assurance approach. Armstrong (1999) declares that “it becomes a hard task to reject that an attractive aspect for the management to lay down vividly articulated and well defined planned goals and principles.
It turns out to be equally gratifying from the management point of view for employees to carry themselves in a way that clearly maintains those strategies and principles.- The creation of assurance has the following aspects; well-stipulated communication, quality education, enhanced training programs and schemes to raise participation and possession, and the development of performance and returns management systems.
Aspects that seem difficult to a human resources professional entail tackling filthy work that involves companies staff issues: which involve understaffing, mediating disputes which arise when two parties fail to come to terms, dismissal of available employees, bring up to date of existent or non-existent bonuses to employees and also maintenance of an appropriate culture. The following definite functions are etiquette to a human resource manager in any company though the variations in services provisions. They ensure that side by side updates of legislation and precedents of the industrial laws and also to informing managers concerning their accountabilities, i.e., monitoring requirements in terms of recruiting disabled persons, to avoid differentiating and to avoid sharing aspects of employees convictions.
The management also assists in the conduct of both local discussions that are inside the firm or performing as a representative in discussions that are held thought the nation as an advisor or reviewer with concerns to the articulated trade. The management guarantee that what has been discussed is realized in order to clearly define to those in all areas of work to understand and carry their effective duties to terms with the up-to-date activities put in the discussion. The management ensures that corrective functionality is adhered to in order to meet all the relevant requirements of the employees.
Wages, salaries, and benefits
The remuneration received by the employees is a very important factor in human resources management. Even though there are many factors mentioned elsewhere in the paper that affects the efficiency of HRM, remuneration is perhaps the primary factor that is most influential. Organizations should frame a sound and logical remuneration policy that is fair and easy to understand by everyone concerned. There are some factors relevant to both employees and employers with reference to a remuneration policy.
For employees, it is an indication that their skills are amply rewarded financially. The more skills (and qualifications) the employee has, the more financial benefits he will receive. The policy should be made according to this factor. Another factor is that discrimination can be avoided since all employees are paid according to their skills and not for their race, color, or social background. A sound policy is also good for the morale of the employees.
For employers, it is the best way to attract and retain talent. They can avoid unnecessary friction among employees on the basis of feelings of discrimination. Financial planning, which is quite essential, is possible with a clear-cut remuneration policy. Moreover, the best way to negotiate with trade unions is to have such a policy. It is beneficial for both the union and employer in coming to a decision that is favorable to all parties concerned.
Determining salary and wages
Two methods are usually adopted by an organization in fixing remuneration for a particular job. The first step is known as job analysis. Here the nature of the job, the working conditions, the qualifications or skill required, the safety factor, and other relevant issues are taken up and analyzed. This will help the organization to understand which job requires more pay and which ones can be compensated less. This will involve grading the job into different criteria. The next step is to assign monetary values to the above-mentioned issues. For this purpose, a wage survey is also resorted to.
This involves what the competitor and the industry, in general, are paying for similar jobs. Most firms seek the help of professional survey companies or make use of the information available with government agencies, trade associations, or other related organizations. But for this survey to be effective, it has to satisfy certain conditions. Firstly, it should be frequent. The usual practice adopted is to do this once a year. In highly competitive environments where employee turnover is high or when a particular class of employees is in great demand, shorter time durations can be set. It will also be done when a wage/salary revision is being considered by the organization.
The next step is to ensure that the survey has covered a sufficient number of relevant firms. This is important because of the need for accuracy. If a sufficient number of firms is not surveyed or if the survey is not done for a relevant geographical area, chances for getting flawed data are there. This will cause the wage policy itself to be unequal and flawed. Employees will eventually understand this, leading to problems with the management.
There are some fundamental aspects that are followed when fixing remuneration. One of them is the financial ability of the organization. It should be seen that the company is financially able to provide the wages according to current market rates. The next thing is to see the factor of demand and supply. To a large extent, labor is also like any other product and is influenced by supply and demand. If there are a lot of workers chasing few jobs, the remuneration is bound to be low and vice-versa. The rates prevailing in the market (mentioned above) are also relevant. One factor which is important is to understand the cost of living in the area where the employee is working.
This will usually be available from government agencies in charge of labor. This index will also have to be taken into consideration when fixing remuneration. Another factor is the rules and regulations of the government regarding wages. For example, most governments would fix a minimum wage that must be paid to employees. In the US, the minimum wage is approximately 5.50 dollars per hour. But it should be noted that such regulations are applicable to only certain classes of employers in most countries. For example, small sole proprietorships and similar organizations may not come under the ambit of such regulations in some countries. Other factors include the level of skilled labor available in the market, the attitude of the management regarding compensation and job requirements.
Wages can be paid periodically (monthly, bi-monthly, weekly, etc.), on an hourly basis, or on productivity. Whatever may be the case, what is important is that it is just and easily understood by everyone concerned.
There have been many wage theories that have evolved over the years. They include the early ones like the Subsistence theory of David Ricardo, the Wages and Fund Theory developed by Adam Smith, and the surplus-value theory propounded by Marx. Most of these theories have no relevance today. Other theories include the Residual Claimant theory of Walker, the Marginal Productivity theory of Wicksteed and Clark, and the Bargaining theory of Davidson. These theories are more relevant to the way in which remuneration is fixed today. There are also behavioral theories that follow the lines of thought given below.
Remuneration is a factor that motivates employees to stay with the company or leave for better rates elsewhere. This decision is also influenced by the size, reputation, trade union power, etc. The internal wage structure will also be a factor that influences employees on their decisions.
Incentives and other benefits: A just and equitable remuneration policy may not be enough to motivate employees to stay on with the organization. As a result, many forms of incentives and other financial on non-financial benefits to workers have evolved over the years. Such incentives and benefits will depend on the nature of the job, the level of market competition, the productivity of the employee, etc., of which the last factor is the most important one in fixing incentives. Such incentives may be direct or indirect. Direct incentives mean that the employee is paid in relation to his productivity and his ability to attain or exceed targets. Indirect benefits are given collectively, like when a whole factory is given benefits if they achieve or exceed the target. In such a case, individual work performance is not considered.
The defect of this policy is that highly productive workers may be resentful because even low productivity workers will share the benefits equally. Other indirect benefits include group insurance schemes, health benefits, holiday and leave benefits, etc. For such benefits (especially direct benefits) to be accepted well, the job description should be clear, job evaluation systems should be in place, and periodic audits and reviews of the benefits policy should be done.
A proper, just, and well-balanced pay system will help the HR manager in managing his human capital well. It will also motivate employees and help in reducing labor turnover.
“A Human Resources Management System is a software application that combines many human resources functions, including benefits administration, payroll, recruiting and training, and performance analysis and review into one package.” (Human Resource Management System).
Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)
To be effective, HRMneeds to be backed up by proper human resource information systems. “It is the system used to acquire, store, manipulate, analyze, retrieve, and distribute pertinent information regarding an organization’s human resources.” (Kumar). Human resource information systems can assist the HR department in a wide variety of functions and responsibilities. The important sources from the article mentioned above are given here.
- HR planning
- Succession planning
- Workforce planning
- Workforce dynamics analysis
- Applicant recruitment and tracking
- Employee database development
- Performance management
- Learning and development
- Compensation and benefits
- Job evaluation
- Salary survey
- Salary planning
- International compensation
- Benefits management
- Develop innovative Org. Structure
- Develop IT
From a purely paper-based system that existed merely for keeping employee records, the system has now been incorporated into the organization’s information technology systems. In the context of computerization, this term can be defined as “…the primary transaction processor, editor, record-keeper, and functional application system which lies at the heart of all computerized HR work”. (Walker, Perrin and Perrin, p.8).
A properly designed HRIS can make the whole information process much faster. There will be greater accuracy in available information. Planning and developing strategic HR will be more effective. The most important benefit is that automated communication systems will overcome the problem of human weaknesses in communicating facts and figures to all those concerned in the organization. But the fact is that many organizations fail to capitalize on the benefits of a good human resource information system. The problems that cause this to happen are given below. These are the views of Prof.
Dileep Kumar mentioned above and are sourced from his article. Even though a proper system may be in place, the management may not be committed to making use of it. They may not see the HR function as too important in the overall scheme of things. In case the system is newly implemented (or even otherwise), the management may feel that the organization is functioning properly. Hence, too much dependence on HRIS is not necessary. An analysis of data for proper understanding of the situation may not be done. They may not include key personnel while making use of the system. They may not consider or consult the relevant groups (trade unions, HR staff, etc.) while making policies.
Last but not least, organizational politics and informal groups may make the system ineffective. It is to an organization’s advantage that many software packages are now available to manage human resource information systems in the organization. Alternatively, the organization can develop one that is tailor-made to cater to their needs. The role of information technology in human resource information systems can be represented by the following diagram.
Professionalism in Human Resource Management
A study of human resources will reveal the growing importance that is being accorded to this field. What is happening in the field is that it is getting more complicated and strategic when compared to the situation when the concept first began to be studied. People who are related to this field have been feeling the need to bring the concept of professionalism into this field, and steps have been taken to make this happen. Professionalism will bring in a proper system of order control, universality, and control to the profession. This is very important since the field itself is growing in value. Hence a more detailed review is given on this topic.
The term professional will bring in the picture of an expert (in any field) who is authorized due to his expertise to practice his profession. “A profession is not so much an occupation as a means of controlling an occupation. Human resource management is obviously not in this category”. (Armstrong, p.85). To be called a professional, there should be a recognized body/bodies that have the authority to control the activities and the persons equipped to indulge in that profession.
So, this is one of the aspects that have been taken up in bringing professionalism into HRM. He adds that the HRM function cannot be fully considered to be professional in this regard. Some of the problems why this happens are also given in the book. There are ambiguities that still exist in the role of the HRM. Due to its inherent nature, the function evades a proper definition. For example, people still confuse the role of a personnel manager and an HR manager, thinking that they are one and the same. The role also seems to keep expanding, and one instance is the inclusion of strategic partnerships with top management as a function of HRM.
Another reason is the conflict that is also inherent in the profession. The role simultaneously needs to look after the welfare of the workers as well as the interests of the management. In effect, the author says that the HR manager has two clients, often with conflicting interests. The two clients are the organization (top management) and the workers. The HR manager could be confused about his loyalties. This might lead to conflict with other departments also. For example, the production manager might like to drive his workers hard to bring about maximum productivity. This will result in conflict with the HR manager with regard to employee welfare. It would also be worthwhile to define the word professional.
Some guidelines that distinguish a professional from other employments are given here. If these are incorporated into the HRM profession, a high level of professionalism can be achieved. It should be mentioned that most of them have already become a reality even though it has not spread throughout the profession. The guidelines are given below.:
- Terminology that is standardized throughout (and across regions/countries) the profession and a body of knowledge about the field.
- A process whereby the right person can be certified as a human resource management professional. In other words, he will hold a certificate provided by a recognized body that he is qualified to practice the profession.
- Formation and implementation of a uniform code of ethics.
- The existence of a common objective amongst the practitioners.
- The public recognizes HRM as a profession and not just as a job.
- Access to this field should be limited only to persons who hold the required qualifications.
- Professionals should be licenses to practice the profession and hence the development and implementation of a licensing system.
- High level of closeness or collegiality among members/practitioners of the profession. It indicates that people can be professional HR managers without being members of a professional body.
The most important is the existence of a professional body/bodies that have the authority to implement all that is said above. It will also have the provision to accept HRM managers as members and can also act as their representatives. (Kim and Bae, p.211).
As mentioned earlier, there are many organizations that are engaged in certifying professional human resources managers. Two examples of such organizations in the United States are the American Certification Institute and the HR Certification Institute. The former certifies professionals in other fields also. A sample of an HRM professional certification is also given below.
Human resources management today
As mentioned earlier, the field of HRM is constantly evolving. While at one stage it was equated with personnel management, the current role of HRM is more strategic in nature. It works in close association with the top management and plays a part in formulating and implementing the policies of the company with a focus on the bottom line. There are some clear trends emerging in the field today. “Times certainly have changed from those days when the HR department was called the “smile and file” department since, in that era, the primary qualifications for HR were simply a friendly disposition and an ability to file.” (Buchanan). The article gives the view of Rita Craig, president of the Craig Group and a long-time professional HR consultant.
According to her, there is a ‘shrinking talent pool’ in the industry. Most HR department managers are not in the required league to be able to qualify for the definition of an HR manager. This shrinking talent pool is relevant for many other jobs as well. The demand in the workplace for specialization in different fields of study has resulted in a shortage of qualified employees. The result is that HRM is more and more outsourced. There are many professionally run organizations that are specialized in this field.
With such specialization, they are more equipped to handle the current requirements of HRM. The demographics of the workplace are also undergoing tremendous change. The HR manager is faced with handling people coming from a variety of backgrounds, beliefs, and social backgrounds. One reason is the growing levels of globalization that take place today. The practice of not sticking to one organization and changing loyalties in favor of better work conditions also results in high labor turnover, a critical aspect for HR managers. Hence talent management in companies has become more challenging than what was needed a decade ago.
Craig also outlines the problems that cause HR managers to be ineffective in performing their duties. The most important problem is resistance to change. Many HR managers simply continue to carry the same old outlook of the HR manager of the past. This has resulted in two things that have further compounded the issue. The first is that they are unable to implement all the strategic plans of the top management. This would result in the failure of the HR department to contribute to the company’s success.
This failure will develop into a fear of failure, which will make such managers more ineffective. The complicated demographic structure has also prevented HR managers from anticipating the consequences of their actions. This would result in diverse, unexpected reactions from employees. The key here is apart from strategic thinking, is the need to create a shared vision between the goals of the company and that those of the employees.
HRM in the electronic age
Apart from the complicated nature of HR management in the current age, the use of information technology has also brought two important dimensions. One aspect may be welcomed by everyone concerned, while the other maybe be viewed with suspicion or even resented by employees. The acceptable dimension is that computerization of HR activities can give the worker more flexibility and speed for the worker with regard to the work itself and also to estimate his performance with set targets. “There the newly informated worker is ostensibly emancipated and empowered by a machine which can reveal so much about the whole activity within which that worker is embedded.” (Towers, p.379).
While this aspect may be welcome to the employee, the second dimension mentioned above may not be so. The information about worker activity that is available now electronically to the management may give them additional control over them. Their work is being constantly monitored with or without the knowledge of the employee. His performance level, as well as integrity, is known to the managers. While it is a good thing that integrity will be enhanced, many workers, according to the author, resent such close round-the-clock surveillance.
From the discussed chapters, it is evident that continual industrial relations problems clearly bring the companies forced to a standstill, unable to operate normally. These problems, when not sought, can clearly affect the overall performances of the company and, when not thoroughly followed up, may result in the companies closure. It is the responsibility of the human resource manager to bring into focus the various aspects of proper relationships to curb any future closure and to attain self-sustainability.
Failure to advocate on the means in resolving employee grievances also emerged as a company’s failure possibility. Employees emerge as the basic functional unit of a company. Attempts not to consider their views result in frustration which in turn brings about low job morale. A company that increases unreliable employee turnover is said to be inconsistent with the job performance of its employees; specialization crops around this section since when one’s aspect of work shifts, morale in its continuation fails.
Thus, the continuity of perfection remains at a standstill. It has also been found that a company that accumulates the number of customer complaints has most of its clients considering a different perspective in that they tend to shift direction in search of green pastures where their plight will be addressed with ease and without delays. This raises a dispute featuring the human resource management since he is supposed to entail smooth operation within the firm.
When the managerial system and the employees lose morale in the company’s pride, attaining success becomes a difficult task since the underperformance and laxity will prevail without any interventions since all the chain of command is involved.
It has also been well-known that conflicts among the firm or external sources clearly contribute to an organization’s dysfunction. The parties involved may tend to undermine performances of each other therefore hindering the effective administration of the services. In case of rivalry, all operations remain at a standstill because though the two are on the same side of one firm, a smooth service flow is not going through therefore hampering the developments within the firm.
The other aspect that may result in a firm’s failure is the absence of a career path for motivated, talented employees who wish to exploit o the fullest their ultimate potentialities in various tasks. An employee has targets that all tend to focus on the acquisitions of future prospects. A lack of an elaborate career system and the impossibility of expansion make one lose morale and tend to look for areas where these opportunities are offered.
In most of the current life, the increasing urge to attain economic success increases with the total participation of the individuals’ motivational factors. Displeasure with pay and conditions are the main factors that contribute to the employee’s continuity to the firm or not.
When there entail contradictions in the pay, one will opt to move to areas where there are continual financial beneficial factors that will motivate them other than continuing facing the financial injustices, and unclear job roles result in a lack of specialization. This, in turn, reciprocates to improper service deliveries. When one specializes in the performance of a task, he or she clearly knows the job that best suits him or her. By this, it means that one is only perfect in an area where he or she is well versed. Therefore, shifting them from one job to another will result in imperfections hence failure in the attainment of the intended objectives.
When there is an absence of clear performance measures and standards, the employees will see that the quality of the products or services being provided is unimportant hence end up producing poor quality products that are neither entertained by the customer. The efficiency of a companies trend will depend on how the recruitment exercise went underway. Poor recruitment standards contribute fully to the imperfections within a firm since when unqualified persons are taken for these works, total failure will be attained.
A firm with an absence of management development programs risks not retain most of its skillful employees. They can be sourced by other firms which provide these services. The first aspect of a new employee in a firm should be the introduction. Most managers assume that these are certified employees since they passed through training tend to know everything entirely within the firm.this is not the case since one needs to pass through an induction training for new employees.
Companies with critical skill shortages have no standard measures in continuity. For example, specialization entails that one person has to have well-versed knowledge in the field in which he or she is well verses. Therefore when one area lacks this aspect, it is a clear indication of a failing company. Finally, the management team is entitled to change the above eventualities to success than trying to hinder their total performances in the firms to be able to adjudicate for effective financial returns and maintain a proper client relationship (Zimmermann 2008).
The recommendations will be categorized into four aspects; the organization’s staff should be able to identify with the association and the achievement of the organization as having a direct benefit to themselves since they are the sole performers and that the success of the entire organization contributes to their objectives. The human resource managers should also have universal interests with their work contemporaries and group hence building a strong team spirit that will clearly work in cooperation to attain overall success. The employee’s work should be allocated based on the individual expertise rather than position in the organization since the specialization of the individual matters more than what position he or she holds Hesketh, A.J. (2006).
There should be consistent and sufficient skills in the organization to limit incompetence. The managers should ensure that there is an appropriate leadership skill within the organization that demands the need to be adhered to by the employees. The employees should be encouraged to say what they think about the organization in order to cub any encroaching difficulties that may arise.
The organization should encourage modernism and creativity amongst staff to boost each member’s morale to those who are willing to exploit the various fields at hand. The companies staff should feel a sense of personal responsibility for their work and be able to emphasize their work quality in all the specialized fields in the unit. The organization structure should be able to encourage effective performance to instill faith in the employees. It should also be supple in the face of more and more varying hi-tech strain. The structure of the organization should not be considered complex so as to motivate the employees, so the areas should be addressed.
The organization should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of its members. The organization’s structure should be such that it is unable to move forward with problems but trying to solve them at the point where they appear.
The organization’s procedures and management should be able to facilitate the accomplishment of tasks to enable continuity in the flow of the results. The employees should be allowed by the management to constantly challenge their organization’s structure to cub the loopholes within the organization structure. The staff should be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to execute their jobs in the most successful manner. They should also understand their jobs well and how they donate to overall business performance, for example, well-set goals and objectives. The employees should also embrace good communication skills for the customer service orientation, which will portray a vivid image of what the company is.
The organizations should ensure that all the systems concerned with the selection and recruiting of employees, promotion and planning, and also information and control management together are able to clearly encourage effective performance among the employees and the entire staff concerned. These systems should be consistent across the entire organization. All the companies should provide clear tokens of appreciation for capable performance within the workgroup to boost the morale of the employees and ensure that habitual aspects are taken to term.
For effective performance, the organization needs to review its systems regularly and make sure that they mutually support each other (Hellmann, C.M. 1997).
How can the human resource manager understand the business strategy?
By highlighting the means and forces of the business, the management team will have a full capability of motivation which will intern guarantee the success of the entire business. This can be emphasized in the following areas:
The business enterprise should ensure technology is up to date to the latest versions in order to attain the same level or be much ahead of other competitors to facilitate efficiency. Since technology keeps on changing, the business has to be flexible to cope up with the changing times.
Distribution should be well coordinated to ensure that produces and service deliveries are effectively managed; good management is one that has a regular time frame on the flow of events within the organization. With such perfect delivery of services, the enterprise will be on the move towards attaining its desired objectives (Fleetwood 2006).
Competition from outside sources are basically day-to-day aspects and unless taken seriously by the management one’s company can be on the verge of total collapse.to cub this scenario from occurrence the business enterprise has to ensure that all is effectively done from the service and product distribution to the employees work performance in order to hinder the poor flow of events (Sparrow 2006).
The management has to venture to the markets that attract high returns so as to maintain its continuity and survival. The management has to develop a mission statement of intent that relates to the people side of the business. Negative reactions or references to idealistic statements should not put off the vision and morale of the sole establishment and aim of the company. Through the actual thinking process, issues will be tackled in a formal and open manner, making it the most important consideration.
The aspect of what the employees contribute to the enhancement of the business should also be put forward in this case. The human resource manager should be able to conduct a SWOT analysis of the organization. By focusing on the internal strengths and weaknesses of the people side of the business, then management is able to lay balance on the position it ought to take in case an emergency occurs. The management also considers the current skill and capability issues in its employees in order to guarantee the satisfaction of the overall performance so that it can be able to strengthen research the external business and market environment.
Through the SWOT analysis, the management is able to: ascertain the impact the people side of the business might have on business performance, their skill shortages, and the contact of new technology on staffing levels. From this analysis, the management then needs to evaluate the competence of the personnel department. A Complete SWOT analysis of the departments should then be considered.
The current day HR manager has to face a lot of challenges when compared to earlier times. Almost all definitions of HRM functions show that he should be a strategist who is involved in harmonizing the goals of the organization with those of his employees. Moreover, the role now involves formulating human resources strategies along with other departments (with their own strategies) and the top management of organizations.
Normally in the management of the people’s component of their production, senior managers tend to focus on one or two proportions and abandon dealing with the others. Companies restructure their structures in order to free managers from official procedure and force for more entrepreneurial elegance and then fail to regulate their training and the s reward systems. As soon as the preferred entrepreneurial performance does not come up, managers often look confused and mesmerized at the obvious failure of the alteration to deliver results. The reality is that rarely will employees focus, and a certain strategic outlook meant for the identification of the association between all four dimensions is required (Brewster, & Vernon2007).
An organization with appropriate human resource management principles, excellence, and service will not only have to retrain its staff but must also carry out an evaluation on the reward, assessment, and communications systems. The disbursement and return scheme is a common problem in the majority of this area. Often organizations have disbursement systems that are organized in the order of the volume of output formed. The development of a company that considers excellence requires a change in the payment systems. Seven steps are involved in the development of a human resource strategy, and the dynamic connection of senior line managers should be sought after through this approach (Hosie, Sevastos & Cooper 2006). i
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