Analyze the Forces Affecting the Human Resource Management Role and Discuss the Ways in Which the Roles May Change.

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  • Topic: Human resource management, Human resources, Management
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  • Published : September 17, 2008
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Living in the 21st century, the world of human resource management is changing more rapidly than can be imagined. As such, HRM in many organizations are facing constant challenges as a result of constant environmental changes ahead of time. Given the new emphasis on adding value as an organizational player, the role of the human resource department has become considerably more multidimensional in m. firms. This essay will reinforce and argue on why HRM today; must respond by taking advantage of gradual yet profound changes in the nature of the field, current practices, and overall human resource management policies, mission and vision . The paper will first start off with the definition of Human Resource Management and its roles in an organization. It will then analyze how HR activities add value and contribute to organizations’ overall effectiveness. Last but not least, it will bring us through the trends happening in the labor market force in recent years; followed by its impact on HRM practices in the world today.

Kossek and Block, (2000, Pg 3.18) have classified HR activities into four distinct roles- transactions, translations, transitions and transformations. The transaction and translation roles are more focused on people and have a short term view whereas the transition and transformation roles are more oriented towards improvement or transformation of new processes;where organizational processes are realigned to support customer and market demands, have a future orientation. In short, transaction roles includes HR activities like hiring and firing people, protecting employee’s welfare, ensuring on-time pay as well as handling grievances. In this role, HR works to build an efficient infrastructure by acting as an administrative expert. (Kossek & Block p.3.19) Moving on to the second major role, the translation role simply refers to the communication responsibilities associated with the listening and responding to employees and customer concerns, as well as explaining to and implementing for employees the policies established by higher management. In this role, HR also act as an employee champion and advocate by ensuring that their views and rights are being expressed. (Ulrich, 2005) Some of the HR activities under this role include communicating to employee’s human resource policy relating to matters like opportunities laws, business operating objectives and customer needs. Third in place comes the transition role which simply refers to the execution of human resource activities, policies and practices to make necessary on going changes to support or improve business operational and strategic objectives. Typically, this role focuses on the implementation of new or revised HR practices and long term procedural changes in the HR policies and practices. Lastly; under the transformational role, HR acts as an agent and realigns systems to support massive organizational change. Other than the above roles stated by Kossek and Block, HR roles; according to Ulrich, could be also be categorized into administrative experts, employee champions, change agent and also strategic approach respectively. It also represents a sweeping attempt to overcome the negative counter images of the personnel function and re-invent a new set of proactive roles for HR professionals (Ulrich, 1998 p.124)

Trends in Labor Market Affecting Human Resource Management in Organizations

Asian subsidiaries of US based companies were the first to feel the effects of the worldwide trend towards mergers and consolidation. Now, the trend has grown to encompass a large proportion of European and Asian Firms. An article ‘ M&As poised to rise in Asia-Pac: survey’ extracted from the business times in year 2006 also projected that M&A activities are to set rise in Asia Pacific during the next few years. The study of Asia Pacific by Hewitt also shows that 44 percent of companies in Asia Pacific intend to step up their M&A activities in the next three...
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