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HR Review Answers.doc

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COMM 410
Tom Knight

Comm 392: HR Review Questions 2009 I. Introduction to the Employment Relationship 1. What is “human resources management?” (HRM) • Activities to manage right number and skill mix of employees • To achieve individual/company goals, max productivity and effectiveness 2. Who is responsible for HRM? • HR department, sub-departments, managers (small firms), outsource 3. What are the interests & objectives of employees and employers in the employment relationship? • Employees: fairness, equity, compensation, working conditions, job security, etc • Employer: profitability, productivity, minimize conflict, reputation 4. Explain the difference in role of “line” & “staff” managers. • Line manager: revenue-generating department, direct authority over employees • Staff manager: revenue-consuming department (HR), support line managers with info and advice but don’t make operating decisions 5. What environmental conditions & developments affect HRM? • Internal: organization culture, climate, structure • External: labour market (economy, unions), demographics, tech, gov’t, globalization 6. Explain the key employment trends affecting HRM. • High labour costs, flatter org. structures, aging popl’n, tech advancement, globalization, immigration, women, complicated legislation 7. What is a “knowledge worker” and why is this type of worker so critical to the success of businesses in Canada? • Transform info into product/service (planning, problem solving, decision making) • Dramatic growth in service sector; knowledge workers highly demanded 8. How can HRM practices contribute to an organizational effort to gain a sustained competitive advantage? • Human capital is value-adding source for business • Strategic HRM (ex. foster innovation in org culture) 9. How does progressive HRM lead to business success? (Be ready to refer to studies discussed in class) • Watson Wyatt – strong HRM drives financial performance (higher ROI) • Businesses should adapt high-involvement HR practices, supportive work env’t 10. Other than offering job security, what other measures should businesses take to “boost profits through people’? For each measure cited, explain how this will boost profits if implemented correctly. • Employment security – won’t layoff people too early, putting them out for competition • Selective hiring – attract large pool of qualified applicants • Self-managed teams – lower supervising costs, more creativity and responsibility • High compensation – motivation, recognition • Extensive training – competitive advantage • Reduce status differences – equity, fairness • Sharing info – open communication, improvement, efficiency 11. You have been hired as a consultant by a biotechnology company, Genosys Ltd. which is about to go to an Initial Public Offering. What do you advise Genosys Ltd. to do in order to have the greatest chance of success in implementing the measures you cite in #10? • Delegate, focus on long-term, comply with legislation, employee involvement, be clear on what job requirements are to screen ppl out, symbolically reduce status differences, reduce wage inequality, change communication system, etc. II. Legal Regulation of the Employment Relationship 1. What are the various “legal authorities” affecting the employment relationship? • Employment Standards Act, Human Rights Code, Common Law (Wrongful Dismissal), Workers’ Compensation (Health & Safety), Privacy Laws, Labour Relations Code, Collective Bargaining Agreement, Employment Equity Act 2. What are the variations in “jurisdiction” or coverage of the different legal authorities? • Federal, provincial/territorial; multiple/different laws may apply to employees 3. Which agencies or “adjudicators” are responsible for applying & resolving disputes in each of these areas? • See SRP 4. What are the underlying public policy objectives of each of the legal authorities? • See SRP 5. What are the fundamental elements of the Employment Standards Act? • Wages, leaves of absences, termination, work hours, holidays 6. Differentiate between employment standards legislation, and the impact of the common law on the employment relationship. • Common Law – precedents don’t derive from specific legislation, principle of wrongful dismissal, “just cause”, length of reasonable notice, pay in lieu of notice, bona fide occupational requirements (BFORs), reasonable accommodation (accommodated to the point of undue hardship) • ESA – minimum standards (including termination), equal pay for equal work 7. What does “discrimination” mean and what are the “protected” categories or groups of employees under the Human Rights Code? • Distinction, exclusion or preference based on a prohibited ground • Impairs person’s equal recognition of his/her human rights and freedoms • Prohibited grounds: race, colour, age, political belief, religion, disability, gender… 8. What is the only circumstance under human rights legislation that an employer would be permitted to discriminate? • Reward/punish based on work-related criteria • Not prohibited ground 9. Explain the difference between Pay Equity and Employment Equity. • Employment: remove employment barriers for 4 designated groups (women, Aboriginals, visible minorities, disabled) • Pay: equal pay for work of equal value; remove wage differences between male- dominated and female-dominated jobs 10. Define what is meant by “diversity management” and explain the strategic business reasons for implementing diversity management initiatives. • Integrate all members of firm’s multicultural workforce • Economic (spending power), competitive advantage, represents clientele, global 11. What should be the aim(s) of all diversity management programs? • Use diversity to enhance firm’s effectiveness 12. Cite and explain the 7 characteristics shared by businesses which have successfully implemented diversity management programs. • Top mgmt commitment, diversity training programs, inclusive communication, celebratory activities, support groups, diversity audits, mgmt accountability 13. What are the main privacy law principles applying in the workplace? • BC – Personal Info Protection Act; Federal – PIPEDA • Read SRP (Limiting collection, consent, accountability, etc) III. The Nature & Role of Trade Unions 1. Explain the differences between a local, a national and an international union and a labour federation. • Local – key unit of union structure, belong to national/int’l, day-to-day operations • National/International– support locals; Canada or Canada+US • Labour federation – associations of unions; federal level, includes nat’l/int’l 2. What is the level of union presence (or “union densi
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