Human Resources Essay, Research Paper
1. Name and explain at least 5 factors that have caused the HRM to act strategically to meet the competitive challenges which companies face.
A. Meeting customer needs for quality. Total Quality Management was first developed in Japan; it is an ?get it right the first time? approach, as opposed to the traditional U.S. way of ?fix it if it is wrong? It is defined as a ? cooperative form of doing business that relies on the talents and capabilities of both labor and management to continually improve quality and productivity using work teams.? When using TQM, corporations emphasized collective and cross-functional work, coaching and enabling employees, customer satisfaction, and quality. They try to prevent any problems and use safety precautions. It is based on more team than on just an individual.
B. Development of Global Markets. Companies that have multinational corporations are more successful is the have created organizations with work forces and corporate cultures that reflect the characteristics of the global market in which they operate. These companies believe that people are there most important asset. Believing that employees are key to the success of the business means human resource practices such as rewarding employee performance, measuring employee satisfaction, using an intensive employee selection process, promotion from within, and investing in employee development.
C. Competitiveness in Global Markets through HRM Practices. For a company to be successful in the global market, they need to invest in human resources, as well as understand cultural differences. Japan, Germany, and other industrialized countries are challenging the U.S. in the export markets. For us to compete in the world economy, the companies need to put greater effort into human resources and their employees.
D. Composition of the Labor Force. Company performance is influenced by the characteristics of its labor force of current employees. The labor force of current employees is known as internal labor force, while persons seeking employment are known as the external labor force. The skills and motivation of a company?s internal labor force is determined by the composition of the available labor market. The skills of the external labor force determine the need for training and development practices and the effectiveness of the company?s compensation and reward systems. Competition for skilled workers in the external labor force may limit the employees needed to fill the job.
E. Structure of the Economy. The growth and decline of industries, jobs, and occupations influence the structure of the economy. The people actually available for full-time work as well as alternative work schedules also influence competition for the labor.
F. Skill Deficiencies. It may be that the supply of individuals with the skills and training necessary will not meet the demands of the job. Most new jobs in the following years will require a higher education and training level. Companies are investing in a school-to-work program that includes basic skills training and joint training ventures with universities, community colleges, and high schools.
2. The Griggs vs Duke Power Company case has had a major impact on HRM. How so?
Duke Power had instituted a new system for making selection and promotion decisions. The system required either a high school diploma or a passing score on two professionally developed tests (the Wonderlie Personnel Test and the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test). A passing score was set so that it would equal the national median for high school graduates who had taken the tests. The prosecution met their prima facie burden by showing that both requirements had an adverse impact on African-Americans. The 1960 census showed that 34 percent of white males had high school diplomas, whereas only 12 percent of African-Americans had one. Also, 58 percent of white males passed the test battery, compared to only 6 percent of African-Americans. Duke Power wasn?t able to defend its use of these employment processes. A company vice president testified that the company had not studied the relationship between these employment practices and the employee?s ability to do the job. Also, employees already employed who did not have a diploma or take the tests were doing their jobs to satisfaction. Duke Power lost the case. The court recognized that the company had not intended to discriminate. This means that the company did have a disparate impact, since the consequences of their employment practice was discrimination.
3. Advantages and Disadvantages of internal and external recruitment sources.
Internal recruitment sources has several advantages. It generates a sample of applicants who are well known to the company. These applicants are relatively knowledgeable about the company?s vacancies, which can minimize the possibility of inflated expectations about the job. It is also generally cheaper and faster. However, there may not be enough internal sources for entry-level positions or even higher level specialized positions. Bringing on outside people may lead to new ideas and ways of doing business. Using only internal recruitment can result in a workforce whose members all think alike and who therefore may be poorly suited to innovation. Direct applicants are people who apply for a job without prompting from the company. Referrals are people who are informed of the vacancy by someone already employed. Both ways are a low cost recruitment for the organization. Advertisements in newspapers tend to generate less desirable recruits and it is a greater expense. Many companies fail to adequately communicate the specifics of an open job. It would be more expensive to run an ad that extensively portrays the company and its current needs, but it does eliminate the applicants who are under-qualified or ill suited to the job. Employers can register their vacancies with their local state employment office and the agency will try to find someone suitable using its computerized inventory of local unemployed individuals. Because of certain legislative mandates, state unemployment offices have specialized desks for minorities, handicapped individuals, and Vietnam veterans. This is a good source for employers who are under-utilizing any of these groups. Private employment agencies charge the organization for its referrals. Most college and universities have placement services that help their graduates obtain employment. On-campus interviewing is the most important source of recruits for entry-level professional and managerial vacancies. There are few rules about the quality of a given source for a given vacancy, so it is a good idea for employers to monitor the quality of all their recruitment sources. One way is to develop and compare yield ratios for each source. Yield ratios express the percentage of applicants who successfully move from one stage of the recruitment and selection process to the next. Comparing these ratios for different sources help determine which is best or most efficient.
4. Define Job Design, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Reasonable Accommodation, Herzberg?s Two-Factor Theory.
Job Design. The process of defining the way work will be performed and the tasks that will be required in a given job. To effectively design jobs, one must thoroughly understand the job as it exists, and its place in the larger work unit?s workflow process. The motivational approach to job design focuses on the job characteristics that influence the psychological meaning and motivational potential and it views attitudinal variables as the most substantial outcomes of job design. The mechanistic approach identifies the simplest way to structure work that maximizes efficiency. The biological approach minimizes the physical strain on the worker by structuring the physical work environment around the way the body works, where as the perceptual motor approach emphasizes on the human mental capabilities and limitations.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII. This act is the direct result of the civil rights movement of the early 1960?s. Congress wrote and passes Title VII and President Johnson signed it into law. It states that it is illegal for an employer to ?(1) fail or refuse to hire or discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of such individual?s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, or (2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee because of such individual?s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.? The act applies to organizations with 15 or more employees working 20 or more weeks a year that are involved in interstate commerce, as well as state and local governments, employment agencies, and labor organizations.
Reasonable Accommodation. Reasonable accommodation places a special obligation on an employer to affirmatively do something to accommodate an individual?s disability or religion. Individuals with strong religious beliefs find that some observations and practices of their religion come into direct conflict with work duties. The employee needs to provide the employer with notice of the need to accommodate his religious practice. For employees with disabilities, they need to make sure that the employer has violated this act by not reasonably accommodating them.
Herzberg?s Two-Factor Theory. This is an example of a motivational approach to job design. It argues that individuals are motivated more by inherent aspects of work such as the meaningfulness of the job content than by external characteristics such as pay. Herzberg argued that the key to motivating workers were not through monetary incentives but through the redesign of jobs to make their work more significant.