The Approach to Talent Management at Standard Chartered Bank

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1Section A
1.1Question 1
1.1.1Personnel, human resource management and SHRM
If you want to evaluate Standard Chartered’s approach to talent management (TM) in relation to strategic human resource management (SHRM) you first have to clarify the terms related to this area such as: personnel, human resource management (HRM) and SHRM.

‘Human Resource Management is a distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to obtain competitive advantage though the strategic deployment of a highly committed and capable workforce, using an integrated array of cultural, structural and personnel techniques.’ (Storey, 1995, p.5)

Bratton and Gold argue that: ‘Human resource management is a body of knowledge and a set of practices that define the nature of work and regulate the employment relationship. HRM covers the following five functional areas: Staffing, rewards, employee development, employee maintenance, employee relations’. (Bratton and Gold, 2007, p. 15)

On the other hand there is the term of ‘personnel’, which is according to Cornelius (2001) the more traditional way and viewed as a support activity to line activities. It is closely associated with administrative tasks and coordinating and liaising between the demands of the management and the concerns and needs of the employees. Personnel management is essentially workforce centred, while HRM is resourced centred. (Bratton and Gold, 2007)

Nowadays the term strategy is used to describe the management activity of long term planning.

Johnson et al. (2008) argue that: ‘Strategy is the direction and scope of an organisation over the long term, which achieves advantage in a changing environment through its configuration of resources and competences with the aim of fulfilling stakeholder expectations.’

The roots of strategic literature on HRM are in ‘manpower’ planning. In the 1980s the words ‘strategy’ or ‘strategic integration’ became important in HRM literature. Bratton and Gold (2007) explain the rise of SHRM in the context of a changing business environment and a changing understanding of HRM itself.

‘Interest among practitioners in linking the strategy concept to HRM can be explained by the pressure to enhance the status of HRM professionals within companies (Purcell and Ahlstrand, 1994) at a time when 're-engineering' is questioning the need for HRM specialists in a 'flatter' organizational structure.’ (Bratton and Gold, 2007, p. 47) 1.1.2Best practice approach, best fit approach or resource-based approach? Much of the SHRM literature has focused on three aspects of the strategy debate: The ‘best practice approach’, the ‘best fit approach’ and the ‘resource-based approach'. (University of Sunderland, 2007) A ‘best practice approach’ is a set of techniques, methods or processes that is believed to lead to a better performance as it was developed over time and coped best with all difficulties in business. The case study says that Standard Chartered revamped its talent management activities which means former activities did not lead to satisfactory performance. This clearly shows that they do not take a ‘best practice approach’. The ‘best fit approach’ is the integration or 'fit' of human resource management strategy with business strategy. To a limited extent Standard Chartered’s talent management approach is a best fit approach. They derive 90 per cent of their profit from outside the UK and are mainly an internationally acting bank. To cover this international perspective and their problems, business and HR strategy have not only to be connected, they have to be integrated. That might be a reason why they revamped their talent management program. As a bottom-up view the ‘resource-based approach’ focuses on the potential and development of available resources. Standard Chartered realized the dormant potential of their biggest resource: the employees. As a bank and service provider employee qualification is significantly more important...
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