The Role of Human Resource Management in a Company Development

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Abstract

Human resource management features personnel administration, organizational management, industrial management, and manpower management. According to Mathis and John (2008), it is the management of an organization’s human resources and factors related to them. This paper aims at identifying different human resource strategies used in the successful development of big organizations such as Coca-Cola, Boeing, and the Wakefield Winery family business. It also aims at explaining the role of human resource management in leadership and coping with changes in the current unstable economic environment. The paper finally gives recommendations on how to ensure strategic human resource management.

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Introduction

According to Mathis and John (2008), “human resource management (HRM, HR) is the management of an organization’s employees”. Human resource management features; personnel administration, organizational management, industrial management, and manpower management. The author continues to point out that a business’ human resources are a key determinant of how successful it is going to be and how long it will last. As the labor markets get more and more competitive, and the need for talent becomes more obvious for optimum performance, human resource managers are facing major challenges as they try to get the best in the market, retain them, and ensure they have consistent performance.

Aims

  • Identify different human resource strategies used in the successful development of big organizations such as Coca Cola, Boeing and the Wakefield Winery family business
  • Explain the role of human resource management in coping with changes in the current unstable economic environment.

Objectives

The research intends to meet the following objectives:

  • Consider the main strategies human resource managers employ in their practice
  • Identify the role of human resource managers in the creation of leadership relationships in a business. This will include discussing the role of training in leadership.
  • Investigate the advantages and disadvantages of coaching and training strategies human resource managers apply and the results.
  • Highlight the role of human resource managers in the successful functioning of an organization using specific examples.
  • Clarify the role of human resource managers in information management
  • Use an example to understand how effective human resource management strategies have a helped a business grow.

Rationale

This research has specific practical value. Having considered the results, it will be possible to state whether human resource management plays a vital role in a company’s development or not. The answers will explain different responsibilities of human resource managers and how they contribute to a company’s development. The influence of HRM in a company’s leadership is evident in their role in training, coaching and development.

Literature review

Beck explains the role of HR management in family businesses such as Wakefield Winery family business. The article uses mom-and-pop stores to illustrate the role of HRM in family businesses. Dunn, in his article, leadership coaching, explains the role of training and coaching in building leaders. The author explains that one major challenge facing businesses today is dealing with slowed results. The best approach for such a situation is for the bosses and the assistants to have a discussion over the solutions available, which ones have been tried out, and the results they have offered. If the current solution is not producing any results, the organization should give a go ahead for the implementation of a new strategy and have different solutions tried out.

Haesli and Boxall, through their article in the International Journal of Human Resource Management, explain knowledge management as a human resource management tool. Gaining competitive advantage has become a major challenge for businesses today. Using available information to the business’ advantage requires advanced knowledge management tools to allow the business convert available information to useful knowledge.

Kalinoski, in his article on finding a niche in leadership, explains the role of human resource managers in establishing solid leadership skills in a business. As markets get larger and more competitive, strategic human resource management is a key recipe when formulating effective strategies. Employers must be able to establish what works in their human resource management efforts and what doesn’t, in order to eliminate those strategies that waste time and resources.

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Lockwood explains crisis management in today’s business environment and HR’s strategic role in ensuring positive results in such circumstances. According to the author, ensuring open communication channels between employers and employees is the first step towards identifying problems and implementing solutions. Incentives, recognition, rewards and strict discipline measures are key strategies towards ensuring that employees deliver, keep in line with a business’ timeliness, and stay disciplined. When such measures lack, the business’ efforts to have the best talent in the market may not be rewarding. Finally, Torrington, Laura and Stephen explain human resource management today and transformations in the last 10 years.

Methodology

To understand the background of the topic and collect relevant information, methods used in this research paper included study of books, journal articles and statistics from different companies. Companies’ studied include Coca-Cola and Apple Inc. It also included a study of past research papers on the subject. Online articles and data proved very helpful in this secondary research.

Analysis and discussion

According to Lockwood (2005), human resources form the foundation of many businesses today. They act as change advocates and advise businesses on major issues (Gatewood, Field and Barrick, 2009). The research revealed that most multinational organizations are moving from strategic international human resource management (SIHRM) to strategic global human resource management (SGHRM). The transformation of intangible dimensions of human resource perspectives are summarized on the table below:

Traditional hierarchical SIHRM Evolving network heterarchy SGHRM
Agency
Control/monitoring
Structure-oriented
Hierarchy
Formal rules
Oriented towards cost
Administrative spirit
Information asymmetry
Stewardship
Trust/commitment build
Process-oriented
Heterarchy
Informal norms
Oriented towards value
Entrepreneurial spirit Knowledge sharing

Data analysis

From the study, the role HRM play in human capital development interventions can be summarized in the following percentages:

Human capital development interventions Percentage (%)
Career pathway
On-the-job soft skills training program
Team intervention
Technical training program
Comprehensive intervention
Training on values and company’s philosophy
Structural intervention
Team building and intervention
81
81
65
67
84.1
82
45
75

Different organizations and individuals have varying levels of trust on HRM to accomplish different roles in an organization. They can be summarized as follows:

Role Percentage of people who agree (%)
Strategic partnership in developing organizational intelligence
Employees advocate
Organizations’ functional expertise
Human capital development
80%

90%
70%
95%

Role of human resource management today

“Traditionally, the role of HR managers has been to serve as the systematizing, policing arm of executive management” (Kalinoski, 2005). Today, HR managers are strategic partners, employees’ advocates, change champions and business’ advisers on human resource issues. The principle function of HRM in an organization is recruiting the right team for a given task. Today, retention is another fundamental function in HRM. With the help of HRM, loyalty among employees is developed.

Another fundamental role played by HRM is handling legal pressures from employees related laws. Today, organizations are faced with tussles arising from racial biases, sexual harassment and discrimination and ethical issues, among others. The HR manager serves as an arbitrator between employees and the management to avoid legal suits that could damage an organization’s reputation.

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HRM is a key organ in any organization when it comes to expansion of a business or implementation of new strategies. This happens through managing employees performance and facilitating training. Other HRM roles include job designs, accountability, division of labor, training and development, just to mention a few.

Main strategies employed in HRM

According to Daft and Dorothy (2009), “the main priority of organization strategy and strategic management is to secure a long-term future of the company”. This research established that HRM strategies in major companies vary to suit different objectives. However, there are common fundamental strategies in big organizations today, and retention and rewarding is one of them. Training allows businesses deal with constantly changing demands for skills. Rewarding plays a crucial role in a day when retention is among the biggest challenges for businesses.

Another significant HRM strategy is coaching. Coaching plays a role in building leaders in a business. In an age when businesses have to deal with overwhelming volumes of information, information management is a key strategy for many organizations. Successful businesses have to be able to convert information to knowledge, and know how to use it in decision-making.

Role of HRM in leadership

HR managers act as leaders in issues regarding labor. They create leaders through training and coaching. Leaders have to be trained on delegation, authority and responsibility (Adkins, 2005). Recruitment processes play a major role in determining the future leaders of a business (Dunn, 2009). For multinational companies such as Coca-Cola, understanding and integrating markets with different cultural and business styles is a hard task left to the HM managers.

HR and information management

Information management is the collection, distribution and conversion of information to knowledge (Gardner, 2002). Today, it is easier for HR managers to manage information through HR information systems. HRM plays a major role in communicating information between employees and employers (Haesli and Boxall, 2005).

Case study

By the end of 2010, the Coca Cola company had employed 139,600 (Beck, 2010). Such large numbers make HR management a challenge. The most notable element in the Coca Cola workforce is its cultural diversity. For the business to survive and even thrive, every person has to be aware and sensitive of each other. The company puts so much emphasis on core values such as innovation, quality, passion and accountability. Respecting individuals, valuing differences and representing consumers enables the business to have a peaceful co-existence with its stakeholders.

From the study, human resource practices in the company are influenced by both internal and external factors. Internal factors include labor policies, training and support policy, shareholders and the labor market. External factors include government policies, legal factors and technology. Since the company is a multinational, a global presence means that the behavior of different economies has enormous effects on its operations.

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Conclusion and recommendations

As Beck (2010) argues, “successful organizations are becoming more adaptable, resilient, quick to change directions, and customer-centered”. The business environment today is constantly changing and demands strategic planning and organization. Technological innovations such as Human Resource Management Systems have made it easy for organizations to handle HR information.

Human resource management features personnel administration, organizational management, industrial management and manpower management. People in an organization are a key determinant of how successful it is going to be and how long it will last. As the labor markets get more and more competitive and the need for talent becomes more obvious for optimum performance, human resource managers are facing major challenges as the try to get the best in the market, retain them and ensure they have consistent performance.

Gaining competitive advantage has become a major challenge for businesses today. As markets get larger and more competitive, strategic human resource management is a key recipe when formulating effective strategies. Employers must be able to establish what works in their human resource management efforts and what doesn’t, to eliminate those strategies that waste time and cost the business.

Another major challenge facing businesses is ensuring talented employees stay motivated and disciplined. A good employer must be courageous enough to let go of employees who affect a business’ results negatively. If such qualities lack, holding on to employees simply because they are talented may be costly for a business.

Ensuring open communication channels between employers and employees is the first step towards identifying problems and implementing solutions. Incentives, recognition, rewards, and strict discipline measures are key strategies towards ensuring that employees deliver, keep in line with a business’ timeliness, and stay disciplined. When such measures lack, the business’ efforts to have the best talent in the market may not be rewarding.

Reference list

Adkins, C.L., 2005. Staffing organizations: A comprehensive applied exercise. Human Resource Management Review,15, 226-237.

Beck, D., 2010. HR can help ensure the success of family business-From mom- and- pop stores to Wal-Mart. Employment Relations Today, 35 (4), pp. 31-38.

Daft, R. and Dorothy, M., 2009. Understanding management. Mason, OH: South- Western Cengage Learning.

Dunn, M.W., 2009. Leadership coaching: The development power of one-on-one. Employment Relations Today, 35(4), p.25-29.

Gardner, T., 2002. In the trenches at the talent wars: Competitive interaction for scarce human resource. Human Resource Management, 41(2), pp. 225-237.

Gatewood, R.D., Field, H.S. and Barrick, M., 2009. Human resource selection, 8th ed. Mason, Ohio: Thomson South-Western.

Haesli, A. and Boxall, 2005. When knowledge management meets HR strategy: An exploration of personalization-retention and codification-recruitment configurations. International Journal of Lock Human Resource Management, 16(11), pp. 1955-1957.

Kalinoski, G., 2005. HR firms find niche in leadership. Fairfield Business Journal, 44(4), p.19.

Lockwood, NR., 2005. Crisis management in today’s business environment: HR’s strategic role. HR Magazine, 50(12), pp.1.

Mathis, R.L. and John, H.J., 2008. Human resource management. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.

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