Hrm at General Motors

Topics: Human resource management, Human resources, General Motors Pages: 6 (1888 words) Published: January 7, 2013
Background to HRM at General Motors Corporation

General Motors Corporation (NYE: GM) is the leading American automaker in the world with its operations spanning in 157 countries. The car manufacturer was established in 1908 in Michigan and today it is headquartered in Detroit, the United States of America. Besides the domestic industry of the United States of America, General Motors manufactures cars and trucks in other 30 countries around the world. Among its brand products are Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Hummer, Holden, Opel, Saab, Pontiac, Vauxhall, and Saturn. Besides these brands that are owned by the automaker, GMC also operates joint ventures in China and Japan. That is, Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile respectively. From its Website, General Motors Corporation is among the leading American employer with 204 000 employees distributed throughout its global markets. The employees include production engineers, financial auditors, marketers, and researchers among others. Before restructuring and retrenching that took place in 2008 following a harsh global financial crisis that resulted into a loss of $37.3billion by the automaker, General motors corporation was the leading American employer with 284 000 employees (GMC, 2008).

Because of its large network of global presence in 31 countries, General Motors human resource management practices entail international practices that are designed in accordance to the international operation requirements and the organizational culture designed to reduce operational costs. Majority employees of the corporation’s subsidiaries in the 31 countries are drawn from the domestic pool of local labour markets and only a few expatriates are drawn from USA as back office managers due to their wide knowledge of its organization culture (Cappelli, 1999). The Board of directors which draws from the organization’s international market presence is charged with the responsibilities of making major decisions critical to the company’s operation. According to Gustin (2008), General Motors Corporation spent up to $103 million in settling healthcare insurance benefits of its retired employees in 2007. From this information, it is evident that the American automaker provides life insurance covers for its employees upon retirement. However, following restructurung, these benefits were stripped off and only a few employees still enjoy them today. From January 1, 2010, pension scheme of retired hourly employees of General Motors Corporation was transferred to United Autoworkers; a third party insurance firms and all permanent employees who were hired after january 1, 1993 nolonger receive health care insirance benefit upon retirement(GMC,2008). The entry salary of the global automaker is dictated by the labour laws of each market of operation and thus varied with the United States of America being the highest irrespective by job categories ( Main et al., 2007). The organization has invested in a Human Resource Management system that allows close interraction of its global employees through technology such as e-mailing and enterprise resource Management (Azrul, 2010). Marketing strategy entails presentations by field marketers to the organization’s large distributors and online follow ups.

Reccommended HRM practices for GMC

From the above background analysis of General Motors corporation, it is clear that the organization requires international Human Resource Management practices that will integrate the cultural diversity of its employees.The catastrophic impact of the 2008 financial ciris that resulted into massive restructuring and retrenching of its human resources also underscores the organization’s poor human resource planning. The following recommendations are prescribed for the automaker on the basis of figure 1 below.


The first recommendation, is Re-designing the business strategy to target the bottom line of the market....

References: Azrul, A. (2010). Human Resource Management & General Motors. Monash University Publication, p.1-13.From:
Main, B.G.,Jackson, C., Pymm, J.,& Wright, V. (2007). GMC:The Remuneration Committee and Strategic Human Resource Management. University of Edinburgh publications, p.1-49.
Cappelli, P. (1999). Employment Practices and Business Strategy. Oxfford, ew York : Oxford University Press.
General Motors Corporation. (2008). Restructuring Plan for Long-Term Viability: Submitted to Senate Banking Committee & House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. Detroit: General Motors Corporation.
Rouse ,D. (2000). Manufacturing Sdvantage:Why High Performance Work Systems Pay off. Journal of Team Performance Management, vol 96(5) , p.1420.
Dreher, G., & Dougherty,T. (2002). Human resource strategy: A behavioral perspective for the general manager. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Gustin, L. R. (2008). Billy Durant: Creator of General Motors. Ann Arbor. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
Konrad, A. M. (2006). Engaging Employees Through High-Involvement Work Practices. IVEY Business Journal , n.p.From:
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