The Art of War and Human Resource

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The Art of War
Erica McNairy
Lawrence Wagoner
TELS 3345
November 27, 2011

The Art of War and Human Resource
The field of Human Resource coincides with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War in many approaches. “The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry, which can on no account be neglected” (Tzu). This book was based on military strategies but in reality these strategies can be used in all job fields such as the Human Resources. Sun Tzu broke down each chapter with different strategies for war. From the “Laying of Plans” to the “Use of Spies” an instrumental lesson could be formed with the challenges that Human resource Management is faced with. Success is the goal and Sun Tzu’s Art of War helps one obtain it. “The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat” (Tzu). In other words planning is a key to success in the business aspect and victories in the military aspect. This was the first topic discussed in the Art of War. With any project or job, there should be proper planning and preparation before executing anything. Text from Managing Human Resources, state “H R managers must be concerned with meshing HRP and strategic planning for the organization as a whole”(Bohlander 51). HRP stands for human resource planning and it’s the process of anticipating and providing for the movement of people info within and out of an organization. The idea of strategic planning is making decisions for about the organizations long-term goals and strategies. Both human resource planning and strategic planning coincides with Tzu’s “Laying Plans” chapter. The five factors that determine the outcome of military engagements (The Moral Law, Heaven, Earth, the Commander, and Method and Discipline) can be both compared and argued to the steps in strategic planning for human resource management; (mission, vision, values, environmental analysis, internal analysis formulating strategy, strategy implementation, evaluation and assessment). By thoroughly evaluating each step success would be granted at the end, there would be misfortunate events along the way, but a lot can be avoided. Just like a commander will be able to estimate his chances of a victory when explore the five fundamental factors that Tzu explains in the literature. For example Earth and environmental analysis can be compared with each other. Earth in Tzu’s views is the surroundings, the area in which a person at, other translators translates earth as the terrain, when planning its best to know everything about your surroundings in order to position yourself in the best place against an opponent. Environmental analysis is just like planning of the surroundings of the business. Scanning the environment will decrease external issues that will occur, such as how competition will target the business. Analyzing the competition is apart of scanning the environment. Competition equals the opponent at war. Comparing Earth and Environmental Analysis is one of the few ways The Art of War and Human Resource management coincides with each other. Another way is comparing the business aspect of politic as a manager to Moral Law, which is one of the fundamental factors. A company cannot survive if the manager and its employees do not sync well with each other. Tzu explains that Moral Law is the commander/ruler being on one accord with its troops. Trust is a component in Moral Law because the troops will have to trust the ruler even when their lives are at stake. Just like the business aspect a manager and it subordinates will have to be on one accord with every task, job, project, etc so that success is reached. As stated previously the “Method and Discipline” is one of the five factors that determine the outcome of military engagement. This is not only the plan of the business but the...
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