Strategic Human Resource Management

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Cadbury Schweppes with manpower of 50,000 and manufacturing operations in more than 35 countries is the 3rd largest soft drinks company in the world. Strategic human resource management is the linking of HRM with strategic goals and objectives in order to improve business performance and develop organizational cultures that foster innovation and flexibility.

To ensure its workforce and business strategies are aligned, different approaches relevant to the Strategic Human Resource Management model are undertaken.

The best practice view is different from the best fit view because a universal prescription is preferred. Human resource is a key resource of organizations and that the intangible resource of knowledge that goes hand in hand with the human resource may form the bedrock on which firms may try to build performance and competitiveness. (Boxall & Purcell, 2003)

A key to effective management is the development and maintenance of a good flow of communication to and from all employees. Employers should strive to keep employees informed about the company’s policies, procedures, programs and products. The first step in strategic planning is establishing a mission, vision and goals for the organization. (Snell & Bateman, 2004) The case study clearly shows that Cadbury Schweppes’s board of director communicated to all levels of people of the company’s direction “to deliver superior shareholder performance’

The best fit view is based on a contingency paradigm for making adjustments to practices in the organization in response to internal and external environment pressures and demands, maintains that we should fit the HR strategy to the surrounding environmental context. (Salaman et al, 2005)

With the acquisition of Trebor Bassett and Adam, Cadbury’s human resource needs to develop a new culture in order for its business to be successful. Working Better Together framework was introduced and it provides more than 50 online tools in a decentralized business structure where people can perform their work more collaboratively.

In the resource-based view of SHRM, the firm is seen as a bundle of tangible and intangible resources and capabilities required for product/ market competition. (Leopold et al, 2005)

An added advantage is there is a HR Director, Bob Stack, on the main board thereby HR has a well-informed, global direction, top-down programmes combine with local, bottom-up initiatives.



Trends like globalization and technological innovation, and deregulation mean that companies must be better, faster, and more competitive to survive and thrive today and are changing the way firms are managed.

Today, HR’s role is shifting from protector and screener to strategic partner and change agent. If a firm’s competitiveness depends on its people, then the business function responsible for acquiring, training, appraising, and compensating those employees has to play a bigger role in the firm’s success. (Dessler, 2003)

An organization gains competitive advantage by using its people effectively, drawing on their expertise and ingenuity to meet clearly defined objectives. Human resource management is the attraction, selection, retention, development and use of human resources in order to achieve both individual and organizational objectives. (Cascio, 1998)

The HR department plays central roles in providing several avenues of communication.

HR Function (Dessler, 2003)
- Recruitment and selection
- Employee/Labour relations
- HR planning
- Training and Development
- Performance Appraisal
- Benefits and compensation
- Equal Employment Opportunity

Example in the case of Cadbury Schweppes
- Cross-training
- Sharesave scheme
- Managing for Value program
- Working better together (online tools, decentralized structure, teamwork) - Growing our People
- Passion for people...
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