HRM Effectiveness within the Role of HRM Department at the Large Companies in Malaysia

Topics: Human resource management, Management, Strategic management Pages: 16 (3724 words) Published: May 14, 2014
HRM Effectiveness within the Role of HRM Department


ISSN 1985-692X

Received 10 December, 2009
Accepted 18 May, 2010
SAFA = 0.61

HRM Effectiveness within the Role of HRM
Department at the Large Companies in Malaysia
Yusliza Mohd.Yusoff bHazman Shah Abdullah
and cAniah Baharom




of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia
of Admin Science and Policy Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia cRegistry Office, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

Abstract: This study examines the relationship between the role of the HRM department (strategic partner, change agent, employee champion, and administrative expert) and HRM effectiveness among large firms (i.e., manufacturing firms that have 150 or more full-time employees, whilst, 50 or more full-time employees for the service firms) in Malaysia. Data from a survey of 108 firms were analyzed using hierarchical multiple regression. The results indicated that business partner role positively related with HRM effectiveness, whilst the other two roles were unrelated to HRM effectiveness. Lessons and implications for the role of the HRM department and HRM effectiveness are presented. We conclude that the role of the HRM department is changing in Malaysia from administrative expert role to business partner role. Role changes of the HRM department helped the organization to increase the effectiveness of HRM.

Keywords: Role of the HRM department, HRM effectiveness, HRM, Malaysia

The field of human resource management (HRM) is in transition. The linkage between HRM and firm performance has dominated much of the debate within the HRM literature since the mid-1990s. HRM practices and firm performance links are well established in the Western literature (e.g., Delaney and Huselid, 1996; Delery and Doty, 1996; Huselid, 1995). HRM has been an appealing area of corporate management but less academic focus since socio-economic 

International Journal of Business and Management Science, 3(1): 1-16, 2010


HRM Effectiveness within the Role of HRM Department

ISSN 1985-692X

development started. While the politics and economy of Malaysia is well covered, less is known about its people management (Rowley and Saaidah, 2007). Hazman Shah (1998) found that Malaysian human resource (HR) managers tend to have little influence in the strategic management process. Rowley and Saaidah (2007) concluded that as for overall, Malaysian people management generally would be better characterized as still more like „personnel‟, than „HR‟ management. For instance, there was to a certain extent a low commitment to HR by top management, who showed little, if any, long-term commitment to HR issues. Management tended to treat staff as variable, rather than fixed, assets and HR issues of secondary importance as priorities centered upon financial control and profit maximization of the operations. Hope-Hailey, Farndale and Truss (2005) noted that one particular area of neglect in unpicking the link between HRM and performance is the role played by the HR department. Chew (2005) highlighted that although the role of the HR department and its importance is gradually expanding in Malaysia, the general notion is that the HR department still plays largely an administrative role. Consistent with Chew‟s argument, a more recent study involving 32 manufacturing in Malaysia by Long and Wan Khairuzzaman (2008), they found that HR professionals are lacking in their capacity to play an important role as a strategic partner and agent for change. In effect, it will weaken the performance of the HRM department and consequently affect overall organizational effectiveness. To increase the performance of the HRM department, HR managers need to devolve some of the HR activities (i.e., operational activities) to the line managers as a move to become more strategic in their orientation. Evidence can be seen in Perry and Kulik...
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