Textbook Notes (369,133)
Canada (162,403)
GMS 401 (203)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 HRM

12 Pages

Global Management Studies
Course Code
GMS 401
Kirk Bailey

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Chapter One: Strategic Importance of Human Resource Management  Challenges Facing Canadian Organizations Economic Challenges:  Economic factors facing Canadian business today, including global trade challenges to increase one’s own competitiveness and productivity levels. Surviving a Recessionary Cycle o HR managers face challenges during recession such as carrying out unpleasant tasks of planning, communicating and implementing employee layoffs. o Workforce morale is low during recessions thus, supplementary employee counseling might be necessary Facing Global Trade Challenges o To attract and include highly skilled, innovated employees, progressive human resource practices have to be adopted o HR now dominates corporate strategic priorities. o The most common identified strategic priorities are HR related: attracting and retaining skilled staff, improving workforce performance, changing leadership and management behaviours, and changing organization culture and employee attitudes. Meeting the Challenges of Productivity Improvement  Productivity  The ratio of the firms output divided by the firms input o Productivity increases as an organization finds new ways to use fewer resources to produce output o Improved productivity can reduce costs, save scarce resources, and enhance profits. o Improved profits allows companies to provide better pay, benefits, and enhance profits o Thus, this results in a higher quality of work life for the employees who are more likely to be motivated to improve productivity further. o HR managers contribute to improve the quality of work life for their employees by more efficient ways to meet their objectives. o Employee productivity can be measured by output per worker or output per hour o Productivity of equipment can be measured by sales or production per dollar of investment in equipment o One popular way to increase productivity is to cut costs by outsourcing.  Contracting tasks to outside agencies or persons.  Outplacement:  Assisting employees to find jobs with other employers Technological Challenges o Technology influences organizations and the way people work Computerization o Computerization o A major technological change allows the processing of cast amounts of data at great speeds, enabling organizations to improve efficiency responsiveness and flexibility in operations o Key developments in computerizations o Processing large volumes of information on a timely basis  They make it possible to process and prove large amounts of data to managers  They make information available with great speed. o Flexible work design and telecommuting  Computers bring considerable flexibility into when and where the work is carried out  Telecommuting:  Paid labour preformed at the employee’s home, full or part time with assistance of PCs, modems fax machines, etc. o Information sharing and knowledge management  Computers also enable organizations to manage their operation innovatively, often reducing costs or capitalizing on new opportunities Automation  Automation:  The automatically controlled operation of a process, system, or equipment by mechanical or electronic devices o Organization use automaton for various reasons. o First is the push for speed, we improve out manufacturing practices if we want to stay competitive. o Second is to provide better service to the customer to increase predictability in operations, and to achieve higher standards of quality in production. o Thirdly, automation allows flexibility in operations. o Automation, to be beneficial, should permit elegant meshing of existing and new technologies o A negative aspect of automation is that robots are extremely expensive and thus unattainable for small and medium sized organizations. o Negative union attitudes towards mechanization are another barrier to the introduction of robots in the workplace. o Automation may result in a smaller workforce together with fewer opportunities for socialization on the job. o HR managers today must be conversant with the emerging technologies and their implications for organizational strategies, processes, and employee behaviours. Demographic Challenges o The demographic of the labour force describe the composition of the workforce: the education levels, the percentage of the population participating in the workforce, and other population characteristics.  Demographic Changes:  Changes in the demographic of the labour force, that occurs slowly and are usually know in advance Trend 1: Increasing Number of Women in the Workforce o The number of woman in the labour force grew at twice the pace of men until 2006 o More women have also left more traditional unprofessional occupations and now work in management, law, engineering and medical fields. Trend 2: Shift Towards Knowledge Workers o Today’s workforce can be divided into two main categories: information and non-information workers. o Information workers can be further divided into two groups: Data workers and knowledge workers.  Data Workers:  Members of occupations that use transmit or manipulate symbolic information created by knowledge workers.(clerical occupations)  Knowledge Workers:  Members of occupations generating, processing, analyzing, or synthesizing ideas and information. (Scientists and management consultants.) o The non-information category is composed of person working in the manufacturing and service sectors. Trend 3: Educational Attainment of Workers  Educational Attainment:  The highest educational level attained by an individual worker, employee group or population o Employability skills consisting of basic academic skills, (communications, thinking, learning) personal skills, (positive attitudes and behaviours, ability to accept responsibility, adaptability to new challengers) and teamwork skills (ability to work with others, ability to lead a team). o These skills were considered to be the foundation skills for employability in the future. Trend 4: Employment of Older Workers o One of the impending issues for HR managers is what Maclean’s termed our Old Age Crisis:  Refers to the social (health care) and organizational (new workplace ergonomics) challenges caused by aging population. o Pressure for expanded retirement benefits, variable work schedules, coordination of government benefits with company benefits and retraining programs are just a few of the challenges that await HR specialists in the future. Trend 5: More Part-Time, Contract and Contingent Workers o There are more Part Time Workers now than ever before  Persons working fewer than required hours for categorization as full time workers and who are ineligible for many supplementary benefits offered by employees. o Part time workers are far less likely to reap the benefits of increased demand and pay for higher skilled jobs. o There is also an increasing trend to use Contract (Contingent) Workers using contingent workers, organizations can benefit from the services of trained personnel without increasing their payroll costs in a permanent fashion  Freelancers who are not part of regular workforce and are paid on a project completion basis. o Contract workers are of two major types: Freelancers are employees who work for the employer through independent contract arrangements Leased employees, in contrast, are typically former company employees who are members of a leasing firm and work for the previous employer on an as need basis. Cultural Challenges o There are three important Cultural Challenges:  Challenges facing a firms decision makers because of cultural differences among employees or changes in core cultural or social values occurring at the larger societal level. Work – Related Attitudes o The increasing entry of women and educated young persons into the labour force has resulted in the same changes in employees expectations o Attitudes Towards Work:  Variety of work related assumptions and values including the role of work in a person’s life and the role of women and diverse groups in organizations. o HR departments have been confronted with requests for longer vacations, more holidays and varied workweeks. o Many Canadians firms instituting code of ethics for their employees o The HR department will be a key player in this important activity. Ethnic Diversity  Cultural Mosaic:  Canadian ideal of encouraging each ethnic, racial, and social group to maintain its own cultural heritage, forming a national mosaic of different cultures o It is HR department’s responsibility to maximize the beneficial outcomes and minimize the challenges posed by a diverse workforce. Attitudes Towards Governments  Attitudes Towards Governments:  Basis assumptions about the role of government in business and society, including the desirability of a welfare state with a key interventionist role the government o Individuality and a kind of do it yourself attitude seem to be supplementing faith in government in the minds of many. o Today’s “global village” requires major changes in the way managers – especially HR managers – thing and operates.  Objectives of Human Resources Management o HR management aims to improve the productive contributions of individuals while simultaneously attempting to attain other societal and individual employee objectives. o The fields of human resources management thus focuses on what managers – especially human resource specialists – do and what they should do o Role of human resources departments (HRD) shows considerable variations across organizations, almost all HRDs carry out several common activities including the following. o Assist the organization to attract the right quality and number of employees o Orient new employees and place them in new jobs o Create a safe, healthy and productive work environment o Establish disciplinary and counseling procedures. o HR management in more organizations attempts to achieve three key objectives Organizational Objectives o HR management should help an organization to identify the right quality, type and number of employees.  Organizational objectives:  An organization’s short and long term goals tha
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