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UGB 320. Critical Analysis the London Ambulance Service’s Human Resource Strategy. Andrew Scott.

This report will focus on the Human Resource Strategy of the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and will critically evaluate the extent to which the academic theories, concepts, models and considerations are evident in the strategy and will discuss how the HR strategy is integrated within the organisation. Different approaches to the strategy making process.

Beardwell & Claydon (2007) describes a range of approaches to producing a strategy that have been identified by Whittington (2001). The first approach mentioned is the classical approach, this approach analyses factors in the internal and external environment and then uses the findings to assist with the development and implementation of a strategy that meets the requirements of these factors. There is also a clear goal, normally profit and the strategy will be designed to ensure the organisation meets their goal. Mintzberg (1990) identifies the classical approach as being “the disciplined readiness and capacity of managers to adopt profit-maximising strategies through rational long-term planning. Whittington (2001: 15). Mitnzberg does however critique this approach as he believes there is not much flexibility and is very much like a military school of thought. The second approach identified by Beardwell & Claydon (2007) is the evolutionary approach. This approach has been described by Whittington (2001) as “the natural law of the jungle”. The concept behind this approach is markets dictate strategies and because markets are ever changing and unpredictable it focuses on cost management and efficiency opposed to the analysis of the internal and external environment. The processual approach is the third approach discussed by Beardwell & Claydon (2007). It suggests that nobody has all of the answers to complex problems and people have to move forward without knowing all of the details that they may like too. Barr, Stimpert and Huff (1992) warn that organisations may become complacent if they do not recognise that there will always be a degree of uncertainty when making decisions. Mintzberg (1987) suggests that as companies operate, their strategies will emerge through their learning and argues that planning then implementing is not always possible. The fourth and final approach described by Beardwell and Claydon (2007) is the systemic approach. It suggests organisation’s strategies are shaped by the culture of the society in which the organisation operates and people making organisational decisions may make their decisions based on the culture and social network they are part of opposed to the economic benefit. Consideration of internal and external factors is evident in the context section of the LAS strategy which shows a clear likeliness to the classical approach. The service recognises key drivers that will unquestionably influence their strategy. They recognise external factors such as “Taking Healthcare to the Patient” and “Health care for London” and internal factors such as their finance, Service Improvement Programme and Employee Relations. Section four (Organisational Benefits) states the most important aim of the organisation is to provide patients with a high class healthcare service. As the organisation is a non profit organisation it is suggested that this aim should be considered as the main organisational goal of the LAS that Wittington describes as normally profit to other organisations. There are also elements of the systemic approach evident in the strategy, especially when it describes its strategy as one that will strive to meet the ever changing needs of the public, thus shaping its strategy to meet the social expectations that are expected by the people of London. The LAS strategy has an expected life span from 2008 to 2013. The author suggests that having a strategy that is expected to last five years is very ambitious. As...
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