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Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 1021A/B
Kevin Thompson

Chapter 1 HRM -A leader explained that everyone has a personal knapsack of things they carry around with them. It is therefore important to recognize individual differences and vary your style accordingly. -Successful organizations are particularly good at bringing together different kinds of people to achieve a common purpose. This is the essence of human resource management. WHAT IS HRM? Human resources management is a integrated set of processes, programs, and systems in an organization that focuses on the effective deployment and development of its employees. WHAT ARE THE HRM PROCESSES AND ACTIVITIES 1) Organizational, work, and job design -- determining what tasks need to be done, in what order, with what skills, and how individual tasks fit together in work units. 2) Planning -- ensuring that people in the organization are the right people with the right skills at the right time in right place. 3) Recruitment and selection -- sourcing, attracting, and hiring the people with the necessary skills and background. 4) Training and development -- providing the resources to assist employees in developing the necessary knowledge and skills to do their job today and in the future. 5) Performance Management -- ensuring that there are appropriate mechanisms in place to provide feedback to employees on a regular basis. 6) Compensation (pay and benefits) -- developing and administering pay and benefits programs that will attract and retain employees. 7) Occupational health and safety -- ensuring that the safety and health of employees are maintained. 8) Employee and labour relations -- ensuring that there are positive and constructive relations between the employees and their supervisors or managers and/or union representatives. -While the above lists the more traditional areas, a number of areas are emerging as the field of HR grows and responds to the concerns of both employees and employers. Some of these are: 1) Organizational development and learning (an extension of training and development) 2) High-performance work groups or teams (an extension of job design) 3) Flexible work arrangements (ways to engage employees and address demographic issues) 4) HRIS -- human resource information (and management) systems (talked about later). WHY STUDY HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT The line manager or supervisor is the key link between the employee and the organization. ROLE OF LINE MANAGER - Although HR professionals may have responsibility for coordinating programs and policies pertaining to people-related issues, managers and employees themselves are ultimately responsible for making the organization successful. All line managers, in effect, are people managers -- not the HR professional or HR unit. -In a survey, it was noted that employees tend to trust information from their direct managers more than other managers and that these same direct managers have a huge influence on the reasons employees stay with the organization. For example, when an organization wishes to place an increased emphasis on the growth and development of its people, it is the line manager who is front-and-centre in identifying the gaps in any skill sets. -Managers or supervisors have “line authority” -- being directly responsible for the product or service. Unlike line managers who are directly responsible for a product or service, HR professionals are typically “staff” -- people who help and support the line manager. - HR professionals may have “functional authority”; that is, they have the legitimate authority in HR areas, such as recruitment strategies or developing organizational programs, to recognize employees. In today’s organizations, most HR professionals no longer have total functional authority and are expected to provide advice and guidance to the line. In dire situations, the HR professional will be expected to provide advice in a strong and influential way ensuring that the line manager understands the impact on the organization prior to taking action. -An HR professional can assist the supervisor in developing steps to improve the performance of a particular employee. ROLE OF THE HR PROFESSIONAL Besides knowing how to recruit and pay people appropriately, HR professionals need sound business knowledge, good problem-solving and influence skills, and personal credibility (trust and the ability to build personal relationships). -The HR practitioner’s primary role in today’s organizations is to help equip the line manager with the best people practices so that the organization can be successful. HR professionals can provide service activities, such as recruiting and training. Further, they can be active in policy formulation and implementation in such areas as workplace harassment, healthy work environments, and change management. Lastly, an HR professional can be an employee advocate by listening to employee concerns and ensuring that the organization is aware of and responding to those concerns. THE ONGOING PARTNERSHIP The key is to find ways to develop and utilize the talents of employees so that they reach their greatest potential. If an organization has an HR unit, the HR professionals are there to provide guidance and assistance as internal consultants to the line manager or to help design and deliver programs and services to better equip employees, supervisors, and managers to contribute to organizational success. -In organizations that have an HR unit, HR managers assume a greater role in top-management planning and decision making, a trend that reflects the growing awareness among executives that HRM can make important contributions to the success of an organization. CURRENT BUSINESS CHALLENGES Organizations (like Conference Board of Canada) conduct ongoing studies of the most important competitive trends and issues facing firms: 1) Global economy -globalization: moving local or regional business into global marketplace-effects of globalization on HRM: -When managers start to “go global,” they have to balance a complicated set of issues related to different geographies, cultures, laws, and business practices. 2) survival of firms and business sectors -Managing Costs: -Organizations have tried a number of approaches to lower costs, particularly labour costs. These include downsizing and outsourcing, each of which has a direct impact on HR policies and practices. -Downsizing is the planned elimination of jobs -Through studies, it has been demonstrated that it can take 6-18 months for a company to realize the savings from job cuts -Outsourcing and Employee Leasing -Outsourcing: contracting outside the organization for work that was formerly done by internal employees. The small-business owner saves money, time, and resources by outsourcing tasks such as accounting and payroll. -Outsourcing simply means hiring someone outside the company or bringing in a company to perform tasks that could be done internally. -Interest in outsourcing has been spurred by executives who want to focus their organization’s activities on what they do best. Increasingly, activities such as maintenance, security, catering, and payroll are being outsourced in order to both increase the organizations flexibility and to lower overhead costs. -Since there is a risk in outsourcing, here are some things to
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