Hrm Case Study

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Café Co Project|
Introduction to Human Resource management|
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1. With reference to the’ hard’ and ‘soft’ (Storey, 1989) academic model of HRM, explain the main similarities and differences between the approaches to people management at Café Co before and after the review When Kim became appointed as HR director, the attitude towards HR changed from viewing employees as a tool for reaching the company’s objectives to a valued asset to invest in. Before the new structure, performance of the staff was higher valued than communication and commitment, their work was linked to the achievement of company goals and the HR manager was responsible for recruitment, taking on countless administrative duties. After implementing the new policies, the HR manager became a member of the board, they started to refer to the personnel as “HR partners” and colleagues, the development and retention of staff was crucial and a leaflet with values and workshops were executed. HR changes to an advisory function within the company, line managers were getting responsibility for HR activities and those activities were considered to contribute to the development and success of the organization. Kim argued for better compensation, especially for baristas. Commitment and encouragement of employees was emphasized with the aim to improve the retention rate. The previous approach can be linked to Storey’s hard model of HRM where HR is a source of controlled, intellectual capital which is used as a tool for achieving goals. (Price, 2007) The soft approach values commitment and motivation in order to attain objectives and getting successful. Well-being, satisfaction and development of the individual make the business better off. (Bloisi, 2007). The implications of the new approach will give incentives to work, raise morale and passion. Having a satisfied workforce will improve the efficiency of the company. Although both approaches aim to achieve long-term goals and improve performance, they differ in how to utilize and value the HR.

2. Kim, the HR manager, is trying to convince line managers that taking more responsibility for HR activities such as recruitment is ‘in the best interest of the organisation and employees as well as the line managers themselves’ Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of devolving HR activities to line managers and explain how this will benefit Café Co Line managers possess valuable knowledge about their department which HR does not. Reasons for line managers taking responsibility for HR are; deeper insight in the position, closer relationship to workforce, insight in suitable personal attributes. They provide appraisal, openness and encouragement for development which is difficult for HR to offer. (http://www.cipd.co.uk) They are likely to work close to the candidate so it is in their interest to find the best. Employees are also motivated by a personal relationship with the manager. (Purcell and Hutchinson, 2007) Their insights enable them to identify the suitable candidate, hence the process gets efficient and the company is benefited, holding a qualitative workforce, with lower turnover and costs in return. On the backside, line managers are already put under great workloads and may be resistant to take on more. If pressured to carry HR activities, they might not be motivated to do their best which hurts the company. If neither HR nor line managers are committed, it could have bad outcomes. (Douglas Renwick, 2002)

3. Discuss how each of Ulrich’s HR roles could help the HR manager solve some of the problems in Café Co.

Being an employee advocate, the manager is the voice for employees, responding to their concerns and putting them forward to managers. Listening to and speaking for the employees, they represent the human capital and attempt to improve their working environment. (Marchington and Wilkinson, 2005) Taking this role, Kim can speak for the employees to improve their situation. A...
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