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Explanation of the theoretical concept
The theoretical concept of Human resource management is based around the strategy of initiating the composition and implementation of working practices that, as well as being conducive to promoting the organisations business objectives, also seeks to plan in a strategic manner for issues that may arise to affect the business. As opposed to being an agent that reacts to internal and external changes after the fact, this is a defining characteristic that separates it from the concept of personnel management.
Human resource management can also encompass the development and fostering of an appropriate culture within the organisation and, ideally, examples of genuine HRM strategies are both related to the organisations overall aims but are also systematically integrated with each other as part of an overall plan. The concept of integration is the core idea of HRM.
For example, Beer and Spector (1985) remark:
‘A business enterprise has an external strategy…It also needs an internal strategy: a strategy for how its internal forces are going to be developed, deployed, motivated and controlled…the internal and external strategies must be linked’.
In the longer term though the essence of Human Resources Strategy is the analysis of the whole organisation and its needs and scope for development rather than a purely mundane day to day management of people. Encompassing the whole sphere of employment issues from, the organisations needs, skills required, amount of employees needed, type of contracts given etceteras, to also, the training and future development of the staff team as well as recruitment policies. With, consideration of these issues -always in line with a consideration of the organisation objectives- a strategic plan can be drawn up.
This plan however must also be flexible enough to respond to external factors such as, changes in employment law, changes to demographics relating to the local labour market, skills shortages, plus of course, competition and, increases/reductions in demand for the organisations products/services.
Human resource Management achieves these strategic aims on a day to day basis through the implementation of strategic policies related to training, recruitment, work practices and discipline etceteras.
Analysis of issues.
The company is following a major organisational trend in instituting a model of flexibility in its contractual arrangements with its employees.
Following a flexible recruitment policy can result in reduced employment costs, improved flexibility and productivity.
Because Atkinsons model is so comprehensive in the range of employees that can be fitted into it, and the work at Home Cosy distribution is so similar, it would seem to me, that Home Cosy is more easily defined in relation to the permanent/temporary split, as the main problem seems to be a contractual one, regarding only a specific section of its employees.
While catering well for the companies’ needs there are institutional problems related with this practice which Home Cosy seem to be suffering from.
Firstly, the temporary or “periphery” staff, for Atkinson (1985) are commonly more detached emotionally from the company than its full time “core” staff. They are less willing to follow instructions comprehensively or give the same level of commitment and quality of work as the full time members. For Home Cosy the easiest reference here is the level of commitment from the majority of the Saturday staff employed. As the supervisors in the case study have noted most of the student rump of the Saturday staff “do not take their work seriously and are difficult to control”.
Secondly, when managing a company that relies heavily on temporary staff, particularly where there is a high turnover of employees, the core staff are involved in the initial training, ongoing supervision and are also, often called on to help or rectify problems caused by temps. Again the supervisors questioned mentioned this was a cause for concern.
There can be difficulties in monitoring the quality and reliability of both the work produced and safety standards when permanently hiring temporary staff.
There is also a problem at Home cosy regarding the monitoring of staff. There seems to be no system to effectively monitor the composition of or trends existing within, their workforce. The company can neither give accurate figures stating the companies gender mix nor can they accurately analyse trends in hours worked because of the “lack of any formal company statistics”.
The companies’ competitive advantage though is its ‘speed of delivery’. As so far it has successfully
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Human resource management, Employment, Organizational behavior, Economy, Turnover, Telecommuting, Human resources, Recruitment, Consultant, E-HRM, Strategic human resource planning
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