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ACADEMIC SESSION: AUGUST – DECEMBER 2010

BMB2208 HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

ASSIGNMENT 1 SUBMISSION DATE: 11 OCTOBER 2010

TIME: BY 5.00 PM

INSTRUCTIONS TO STUDENTS

1.This is an individual assignment.

2.It will contribute to 30 marks of the total marks for coursework.

3.The assignment should be submitted using the essay format.

4.The Harvard referencing style will be used.

5.It should be typed, using font size 12, and 1.5 line spacing.

6.Word length is 2,500 words.

7.There are FOUR (4) pages in this Assignment including the cover page

Assignment 1

Due date: 11 October 2010
Word length: 2,500 words (± 10%)
Format: Essay

Questions

Students will read through the Case Study: “Comparing different styles of people management” provided below, and answer the three questions that follow.

Organisation A

Bearing Co. was formed in 1990 from a merger of a British company and a Japanese company. The European HQ of the company is based in the UK and employs 470 people at a greenfield site in the East Midlands. The organisation as a whole employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide and produces a wide variety of bearings ranging from tiny parts for computers to huge bearings used in construction. The market for bearings is not expanding so the only way to compete is by increasing market share. The company faces international competition, particularly from organisations in Sweden and Germany and seeks to compete with them on the basis of the volume and quality of production and the quality of service and technical support. Price is already at rock bottom so there is no further scope to compete on this basis. People management matters are seen as high priority in the organization and the HR director is a member of the board. The HR department policy is to integrate HR and business goals through ‘best practice’. Over the last few years the role of HR has moved from being primarily a policing function, ‘directly involved in managing other people’s areas’, to more of an advisory function providing support to line managers. The HR strategy, ‘right people, right place, right time’, is communicated through a series of management workshops and via a leaflet given to all employees that also lists the organisation’s values of openness, trust, recognition, helping people develop, enthusiasm, team work, communication, fairness and courtesy. The company adopts a relatively sophisticated approach to employee selection, using work-related exercises and psychometric tests when appropriate. For some roles, team members are included in the final interview panel. HR has an input into the selection process but the ultimate decision lies with line managers. Jobs are advertised internally and 30 per cent of the sales team were recruited from elsewhere in the organisation. This has caused some problems, especially if they have moved from engineering or technical posts that are herder to fill. Pay is based on individual performance and line managers are given discretion to award within defined salary ranges. However, whilst performance should have the most impact, in practice most managers award similar rates to everyone and increases are usually very close to the cost of living. The open-plan layout of HQ helps facilitate communication generally. Formal downward communication is mainly via department meetings/briefings although feedback suggests that the quality and quantity of information shared is variable. Upward communication channels include an attitude survey and an employee-produced newsletter. The attitude survey enables employees to influence management decision making; for example, working teams have been set up to investigate particular areas of concern, including pay and commission. Management are also currently considering a proposal for flexitime proposal that has come from a working group. The majority of employees work full-time...
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