Strategic Approaches to HRM

Strategic Approaches to HRM

Learning Outcomes being assessed:

1. Critically investigate advanced, often conflicting concepts, theories and current research on strategic human resource management in a changing environment

2. Formulate human resource strategies to improve efficiency and effectiveness in human resource management in a changing environment.

 Assignment Type: Individual Report (meaning that while you might talk with or share ideas with other students about this assignment, what you hand in MUST be your own work. Turnitin will pick up as plagiarism content that is too similar to other student submissions).The Scenario:

 A strategic approaches to HRM suggests that HR best practices need to be bundled into an integrated and cohesive complementary HR system (horizontal fit) that supports an organizations strategy (vertical fit), is responsive to changes in the external environment a business operates within (external fit), and provides a sustained competitive advantage that others are unable to match (exclusive fit). Your client is an Auckland based software development company specializing in digital graphics for games and movie special effects. Their premises are on one entire open-plan floor in a converted factory at the bottom of Parnell rise. Onsite employees each have their own workstation. There is a well-stocked communal kitchen, some comfortable sofas for downtime, as well as several soundproof rooms used for standup meetings or just quiet zones. Otherwise it looks fairly spartan.

The company has grown rapidly since it was started 5 years ago by two university friends working from a spare bedroom, one of whom graduated in digital business and the other in fine arts. They retain 70% ownership of the business. It now employs 90 people, mainly highly qualified and experienced software engineers and creative graphic artists who work together in project teams. Most will work on several project teams simultaneously, and 20 people work remotely from locations around the globe. In addition, the company works with 5 freelance contractors who provide extremely specialized technical services on retainer. The current culture is perhaps described by the owners as ‘work hard, play hard, but get it right first time.’

Current working capital is $53 million from a mixture of retained earnings and an angel investor who owns 30% of the business. Annual revenue is in the region of $35 million and remuneration costs (salaries and retainer payments) are $10.5 million. Annualized ROI since inception is 28%. Annual staff turnover is currently 15%, almost all due to direct poaching by competitors. Finding replacement talent is difficult, time consuming and expensive.

Rapid growth brings its own people management problems and the owners are now seeking to formalize HRM in the firm. On the advice of its angel investor, the company has decided to pursue a (insert your chosen HR strategy from the list below) strategy and the owners want to implement that strategy by ensuring they have the right mix of HR practices to support it. They do not see the businesses as large enough in headcount to justify inhouse HR staff and currently outsource the HRM function.Your Task:

You have been engaged as an external consultant with the brief to research, analyze and recommend a complementary set of HR practices necessary to support the selected HR strategy. In your report, you will need to clearly identify and explain the key elements of the HR strategy selected, and the matching HR practices that should be implemented to enable the strategy.

Special Instructions:

1. Use Employee Engagement as your HR strategy that you will use for the purposes of the assignment

 2. Your clients ‘live by data’ and expect your recommendations to be based on evidence. The bulk of the source materials cited and referenced are therefore expected to be recent academic peer reviewed journal articles, books, and reports from highly reputable firms such as Deloittes, PWC, McKinsey’s, Gartner. They are not paying you for junk they could find for themselves in a 10-minute Google search on the internet. Nor would they expect to see your report based on only a handful of sources. The better your sources, and the more you have, the more confident they will feel about what you are recommending them to do (and the more you are likely then to be rewarded).

3. For a top mark, after I have read your report, I will need to believe you are an EXPERT on your chosen HR strategy. So, become one. Read, read, and read some more!!!

4. The report should not exceed 3000 words, excluding references and Appendices.

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