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Universalist Approach To Strategic Human Resource Management Business Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 3752 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Your role and background is that of a Human Resource Management generalist consultant who has been called in to provide observations and suggestions to the current situation. You are an HRM generalist who has been asked to sit in on the meeting with John of PF. The CEO will ask for your opinions about how the organisation can move forward and overcome the current issues that it is experiencing.

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This is based on two critical forms of fit. Firstly, external fit and secondly internal fit. The external fit has to do with the HR strategy that fits with the demands of business Strategy. It is also referred to as vertical integration, the internal fit which is also referred to as horizontal integration suggests that all HR policies and activities fit together so that they make a coherent whole, are mutually reinforcing and are applied consistently. The strength of this model is that it provides a simple framework to show how selection, appraisal, development and reward can be mutually geared to produce the required of employee performance.

Resource based approach

This approach in concerned with the relationships between internal resources of which Human resources are one, strategy and the firm performance. It focuses on the Promotion of sustained competitive advantage through the development of human capital rather than merely aligning human resources to current strategic goals.

The ‘universalistic’ perspective posits the ‘best’ of HR practices, implying that business strategies and HRM policies are mutually independent in determining business performance. The ‘contingency’ perspective emphasizes the fit between business strategy and HRM policies and strategies, implying that business strategies are followed by HRM policies in determining business performance. The ‘configurationally’ perspective posits a simultaneous internal and external fit between a firm’s external environment, business strategy and HR strategy, implying that business strategies and HRM policies interact, according to organisational context in determining business performance.

Recruitment and selection

Using the three recruitment methods of advertising in the national press, advertising in the technical press, and the internet, evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each.

National press

When considering a press adverting campaign there are two main venues to think about; newspapers and magazines. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The magazine ads look better but the quality and the workmanship that goes into producing a magazine ad make it expensive. The readership of a magazine, on the other hand, is much easier to target, and is comes with the type of magazine you choose; a car magazine, sports or fashion magazine. On the flip side, magazine ads are viewed more times than newspaper ads and can double the exposure of the readership. the newspaper ad is much quicker and cheaper. Newspapers vary in circulation and with that they vary drastically in price. From the national press advertising campaign in newspapers, advertising in newspapers still holds a charm.

Newspapers give credibility to the ads unlike radio advertising that is heard while doing something else, newspaper reading is done when a person has leisure time and his attention is not diverted. Local press advertising has benefits when dealing with a local supplier.


Advertising is the branch of marketing that deals with communicating to customers about products, brands, services and companies. The Internet, as a global communications medium, provides advertisers with unique and often cost-effective ways of reaching advertising audiences. As with all media, however, advertising on the Internet has unique advantages and disadvantages.

Advertising on the Internet is almost a necessity for modern businesses, especially those that do business outside of their local community. Consumers use the Internet for more than simply entertainment or information, as they do with radio, television, magazines and newspapers. Consumers use the Internet to assist them in nearly every aspect of life, creating countless opportunities to place relevant, targeted ad messages. The Internet’s vast reach can allow advertisers to reach significantly more people than traditional advertising media at a fraction of the cost. Internet advertising is ideal for businesses with a national or international target market and large-scale distribution capabilities. As a rule, the more people your business serves, the most cost-efficient internet advertising can be. Internet advertising can also be more targeted than some traditional media, ensuring that your messages are seen by the most relevant audiences. One disadvantage of advertising on the Internet is that your marketing materials are automatically available for anyone in the world to copy, regardless of the legal ramifications. Logos, images and trademarks can be copied and used for commercial purposes, or even to slander or mock your company. This is not the case with television and magazine advertising, wherein images must be replicated rather than simply copied electronically. Another disadvantage is the fact that the Internet-advertising gold rush has begun to introduce ad clutter to the Web. Web users are so inundated with banner ads and spam email that they have begun to ignore internet advertising just as much as ads on traditional media.

Technical press

There are many trades, technical and professional magazines read by customers, suppliers and businesses in your sector. If your business sells to other businesses, advertisements in these publications can be a powerful way of gaining sales, product enquiries, higher profile, trade partnerships and even potential investors.

Editorials are generally perceived by readers to be independent and impartial and are therefore seen as more trustworthy than advertisements. Editorial support or endorsement helps lend your business credibility with the reader. A proactive PR strategy can increase your chances of gaining favorable editorial content. The technical press can also be used for recruitment and to source suppliers. Trade magazines provide a variety of ways to advertise:

Classified advertising – particularly for recruitment and gaining suppliers.

Display and semi-display – display advertisements are bigger and more sophisticated, often appear on editorial pages or in special supplements, and can use pictures and other design devices.

Advertisement features – they’re laid out like editorial pages but feature you and your business or product. You pay for them, and you may also be given advertisement space. Your suppliers might advertise as well and offset the cost.

Loose inserts that you supply yourself to the magazine publisher for them to insert into the magazine.

Advantages and Disadvantages of performance related pay

Performance related pay is the idea of Fredrick Taylor who comprised his theory of scientific management. It is a bonus salary increase awarded in line with an employee’s achievement over a range of criteria. These criteria depend on each job. Awards are decided based on appraisal results. They must link achievements to pay.


Rewards employees with highest productivity

It is argued this system motivates staff

It enables firms to recruit highly qualified staff who like the idea of being to earn a bonus

Encourages employees whose performance is not u to scratch to leave company on a voluntary basis

Easy to identify companies aims and objectives


Only those who perform well get paid

High flyers find it attractive possible to give employees no pay rise at all

Inflation means pay will be cut and this coupled with; the indignity of being judged and found wanting, would make it that employee’s see a job elsewhere.

Employees can be de-motivated if the goals set are too hard to achieve.

Disgruntled employees

Performance related pay cannot be determined unless there is a measuring system in place to assess output. It also provides a limiting factor to the use and extension of incentive pay in instances where work is difficult to measure. Where output cannot be measured, the sensible solution seems not to pay any bonus. However, because some jobs are difficult to measure, doesn’t mean that good performance shouldn’t be rewarded..

Learning and Training

The essential purpose of training is to develop that knowledge and those skills and aptitudes which contribute to the welfare of the company and its employees. Further, all training programmes aim at making the employees more effective and productive in their present job and increasing their potential for higher level jobs.

For effective transfer of training to occur, two conditions must be met;

The trainee must be able to take the material learnt in the training process and apply it to the job context in which they work.

The use of the learnt material must be maintained overtime on the job.

Benefits of Good Training Programme

It increases performance on the job, if applied. It help employee to raise current skill levels and correct any deficiency that have in doing their job efficiently.

It enables present employees to acquire more and greater skill, thus increasing their versatility for transfers and their qualifications for promotions.

If employees are properly trained, accidents, soiled work, and damage to machines and equipment are reduced.

Training helps employees to adjust to new methods and processes that are introduced from time to time.

Good training reduces dissatisfaction and absenteeism because it helps both new and experienced employees to use to the full, their individual capacities.

It improves the quality of output which will benefit the company in the long run.

Training improves the promotional prospect.


The HR Manager has o critically assess the training after the training exercise to determine if there is any change in their knowledge, skills, attitudes and ability. It is important to understand which skills; attitude and ability existed before therefore it is recommended that a measure of performance be undertaken before the training program begins.


This address the question, to what extent did the participant job behaviour change as a result of the training? Are the participants using their newly acquired skills and knowledge in their work environment? Is their change in behaviour and new knowledge sustained, are they using them effectively overtime. Is the trainee able to transfer the new skills to another person?


Results answer the question, how is the training impacting on the organization overall. Is There a reduction in cost, increase in sales, are there more persons being attracted to company, improvement in production levels, less customer complaints or reduction in incidents?

Performance appraisal

This system is designed to measure the actual job performance of an employee. It provides feedback about the success about previous trainees and discloses the need for additional training. It helps to determine rewards or sanctions eg, of reward are pay increases based on his/her performance, promotion, commendation, demotion, warning or termination. It also gives the employee a clear understanding where he stands in relation to the organisation performance expectation.

Performance Management System

Performance appraisal is a method of evaluating a workers performance to ascertain how well he/she is meeting up with performance standards and targets and communicating it to the worker in order to set up a plan of improvement. Performance is the degree of accomplishment of the tasks that make up an employee’s job. An individual’s performance is a combination of:

Effort-physical and mental energy put in a work

Ability-personal characteristics used doing a job

Role perception-an understanding of direction and requirements of a job

Performance evaluation on individual and group is usually based on:

Standards set at the planning stage

Performance targets set for individual or groups

Accountability-the rate at which an employee understands and takes responsibility for his actions

Competencies-the skills, experience, knowledge that a worker exhibits in a job

Uses of performance appraisal

Performance appraisal information can be used for:



Merit pay increases

Individual and organisational training and development

Suggesting changes in behaviour, attitudes, skills or knowledge

Selection procedures, and

Human resource planning

Performance Appraisal Methods

Performance appraisal methods include:

Goal setting, or management by objectives (MBO)

Work standards approach

Essay appraisal

Critical incident appraisal

Graphic rating scale


Behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS)

Ranking methods

1. Goal setting or management by objectives. Management by objective consists of the following steps:

Establishing a clear objectives for the work to be done by an employee

Developing an action plan indicating how these objectives are to be achieved

Allowing the employee to implement the action plan

Measuring objective achievement

Taking corrective action when needed

Establishing new objectives for the future

2. Work standards approach. This method of appraisal involves setting a standard or an expected level of output and then comparing each employee’s level to the standard. Performance standards include:







Attendance, etc.

3. Essay appraisal

In this method the appraiser prepares a written statement (narrative) describing a worker’s strengths and weaknesses, and past performance. A typical essay appraisal question might be “Describe this employee’s performance, including quality and quantity of work, job knowledge, and ability to get along with other employees.”

4. Critical incident appraisal

In this method the appraiser keeps a written record of incidents that illustrate both satisfactory and unsatisfactory behaviors of the employee. The appraiser then uses these incidents as a basis for evaluating the employee’s performance.

5. Graphic rating scale

This method requires the appraiser to indicate on a scale where the employee rates on factors such as quantity of work, dependability, job knowledge, and cooperativeness. Graphical ratings include both numerical ranges and written descriptions. Ex. On “quantity of work” (1) the worker does not meet minimum requirement (2) Does just enough to get by…(5) has a superior work production record.

6. Checklist

In this method the appraiser answers with a yes or no to a series of questions about the behaviour of the employee being rated. The checklist can have varying weight assigned to each question.

7. Behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS)

This method of appraisal determines an employee’s level of performance based on whether or not certain specifically job behaviors are present. BARS consist of scale value and anchors.

Scale values define specific categories of performance such as: Excellent, good, average, poor, etc. Anchors are statements which indicate the level of performance on the scale opposite that particular anchor.

8. Ranking methods

In this method of appraisal, the performance of an employee is ranked relative to the performance of others.

Ranking methods include:

Alternation ranking

Paired comparison ranking, and

Forced distribution

Alternation ranking-the appraiser lists the names of employees to be rated on the left side of a sheet of paper. The rater chooses the most valuable employee on the list, crosses that name off the left-hand list, and puts at the top of the column on the right-hand side of the paper. The rater repeats the process for all names on the left hand side of the paper.

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Paired comparison ranking: suppose a rater is to evaluate six employees. The names of these individuals are listed on the left side of a sheet of paper. The rater then compares the first employee with the second employee on a chosen performance criterion, such as quantity of work; he then makes a mark on the first employees name if he produced more. He then compares the first employee with the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth employees on the same performance criterion.

Forced distribution-In this method, the appraiser places a certain percentage of employees at various performance levels. It assumes performance in a group of employees is distributed according to a normal curve. Thus, the rater could place 60% of employees as meeting expectation; 20% as exceeding expectation, and 20% as not meeting expectations.

Model of Attendance

Your company won’t suffer much from the occasional employee day off or sick day, but patterns of absences can create havoc in your work place. With several employees out of the office, production slows, or other employees may have to pick up the slack causing the quality of their work to suffer. While you can’t prevent every absence, you can take steps to decrease the number of overall absences.

Create an Attendance Policy

Some employees may show up late or take several days off because they do not understand the company’s stance on absences. You need a clear-cut attendance policy so every employee knows what you expect of him. Include reasons for acceptable absences, what you consider unacceptable and any disciplinary action or reduction in pay the employee may face after abusing holiday or sick days. Make sure every employee receives a copy of this policy. Have your supervisors monitor their employees and enforce the policy.

Improve Morale

If your office staff suffers from general low morale, employees will start to dread coming to work. This can increase absences throughout the staff. Spend time each week on boosting morale. Make sure every employee has regularly scheduled breaks throughout the day. Offer group lunches, prizes for completing projects or other incentives. Creating a positive environment that incorporates hard work with down time helps boost morale.

Reduce Stress

An employee can feel stressed in the workplace, especially if she has a large workload. High levels of stress can lead to avoidance, or even cause an illness. Both of which can lead to frequent absences. Make sure every employee has an even workload and can complete tasks given to them. Create teams to complete projects, rather than assigning one employee to the entire task. Reducing workloads and placing the right people with the right jobs will reduce stress levels in the office.

Steers and Rhodes developed a model on absenteeism which according to Harrison and Martocchio, 1998 was deemed to be very influential and frequently cited in literatures about absenteeism within organizations. The model states that the capability of employees or workers to attend work is primarily dictated by how motivated as well as their ability to attend and perform their duties. These variables, ability and motivation have been thought to interact in a manner that an individual supposed ability to be present at work usually moderates his/her enthusiasm to attend work-what has been known as attendance relationship(Steers and Susan, 1978).The two further argued that personal characteristics or attributes which include sex(gender), tenure, family size, education, in addition to that, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, the ability to attend which encompass sickness, family responsibilities, accidents as well as transport problems, pressure to attend that include attendance reward system/incentives/bonuses, work group norms all either in isolation or in combination influence absenteeism of employees. It is worth to note that these were addition to their initial model developed in 1978 which only identified job satisfaction as the only specific significant factor affecting attendance motivation. From the diagram, attendance motivation is influenced by organizational practices, culture of absenteeism, attitude, values and goals of employees. Employees who are fully satisfied with their jobs do have strong loyalty to the organization and proud of it hence will desire to actively engage in activities to better the organization, and this is done by being present at work.


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Retrieved August 3, 2011, from, from World Wide Web


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