Huwebes, Agosto 5, 2010
Human Resource Management in Action by Jolito Ortizo Padilla- What The Book Is All About..
A heart surgeon took his motorcycle to the garage to be serviced. The experienced mechanic working in his bike said to him, "You know, there are a lot of similarities between your job and mine. We both make a diagnosis, take off covers, replace worn out parts, do some cleaning up, put it back together again and check that it is all working well."
"Your are right, " said the heart surgeon, "but you try and replace the pistons while the engine is running!"
What has this to do with Human Resource Management in Action?
An organization is like a living creature:
An organization is complicated; it was born and grew; it has a mind of its own (often behaving irrationally), it thrives in the right environment, occasionally falls ill, and eventually die. Yet we sometimes study human resource management(HRM) as if managing people in organizations is like building and maintaining a machine. HRM in Action gives you the opportunity to step back from the mechanistic study of the individual elements of HRM ( resourcing, reward, relations and development) and see how, by linking them together, "joined -up" HRM contributes to the living organization. That is one of the reasons why this topic area is such an exciting challenge and a great opportunity if you are a student.
Each Organization is unique:
Just like human beings, no two organizations are the same and each one calls for a different set of HRM actions. By basing each HRM in Acion on a case study, you are given an opportunity to apply your HRM knowledge (possibly already gained in other fields) to a "real" situation. The book is always looking for understanding rather than textbook knowledge, and this is essemtial in HRM in Action.
Think broad-not in waterfight compartments:
We like it when candidates can open up their answers by proposing wide ranging solutions that bring together the different HRM subject areas. (But beware, this is not an invitation to drag every question back to your one favorite topic.
HRM is integrated:
Let me demonstrate. Recruitment links to employee reward because people join an organization to get a total reward package. Reward links to learning because people will learn only if they see a benefit from doing so. Learning and development links to career management and career management to employee relations (how many employees have sensed the psychological contract was breached because they were promised a career but were given only a job with no prospects?)An organization's employee relations climate influences its HR strategy, and the HR strategy dictates the types of employee the organization is trying to recruit. So we have come full circle back to recruitment. There are so many routes we could take, linking every aspect of HRM. Understanding this is central to your success in HRM in action.
If I kick you in the shin, your integrated response would include your rational brain, your emotions, your mouth, probably your arms, and possibly even your fist! In HRM in Action we want you to demonstrate this holistic approach to managing and developing people. So when you look at the syllabus, pay attention to how each of the topics covered integrate with each other.
But there are a few topics that are central to integration:
By its very nature, performance management is a bundle of HR practices that together improve individual and collective performance. Likewise, the psychological contract and job design are wide ranging. Reward management is often the key to getting people to change; offer employees a reward for changing and they may pay attention; threatens to take away a reward to which they are accustomed and they will definitely listen!
Adopt a managerial perspective:
Recommending managerial action requires students to see things as managers would see them. Seeing things from employees' prespective is useful, but you need to be able to look after the needs of managers and owners as well. Assuming that managers are always bad leaders, owners are unreasonable and money grabbing, and employees always dedicated, overworked and underpaid is only acceptable if that is what the case study says.
"How" not just "what":
This is a very practical paper and candidates need to be able to show not just what they would recommend but also how they would put theirs into action (hence the title HRM in Action). You will find questions say" outline the steps you would take" or "describe how this could be implemented" or "suggest how would you evaluate its effectiveness".
A living organism depends upon its external environment:
So you would expect the management and development of people in organizations to be highly dependent upon the external environment. For example, we would expect you to recommend different HR solutions for a huge public sector bureucracy than for a small high performance paternalistic hotel.
But how do you approach a case study?
It is valuable to ask" what is happening in this case study and (more imnportantly) why?" The approach taken by a medical practioner provides a useful paralle, which you might do well to imitate in the HRM in Action:
1. Identify symptoms: What are the features in the case study?
2. Diagnosis: What are the underlying problems/ issues causing these symptoms?
(Use your knowledge of HR to help you with this analysis.)
3. Solutions: What should be done to address the underlying problems /issues.
Let me illustrate this: In Chapter 4, I presented candidates with a hotel case study. Question 1 asked how candidates would improve the hotel's staff retention without significantly increasing operating costs. Some candidates ignored the cost requirement and simply recommended "increase pay and holidays" But the case study already said that pay was excellent and staff retention already better than in other hotels. So increasing pay would be unlikely to help. (In fact, if it reduced profit too much it could close the hoteland that isn't good for staff retention!)
Staff satisfaction was the key, and the case study gave the clues-quality customer service was critical and this called for better training and employee engagement. We were looking for the employee to improve the quality of working life: increasing the variety of work, autonomy and social interaction-with colleagues, customers and suppliers; engaging staff more with business and providing more responsibility; improving work life balance; and providing a career rather than just a job-which isn't easy in a hotel but was important to this paternalistic employer. All these could be drawn from analyzing the issues given in the case study and applying the sorts of job design solutions.
Don't depend on your experience of work:
Lot's of students have worked in only one organization and have experience of only one sector, size , structure, culture, stage of maturity. If you are in this position you need to read , talk and think about different organizations. Take a look at the previous case studies we have used and you will see some variety.
Practice makes perfect:
HR students always need practice in developing their case study technique. It is somethimg that is rarely natural. There are plenty of HRM in Action case studies to use for practice and discussion.
There is still a long way to go but I am determined to help you apply your knowledge of HRM to real world situations. The way you are more likely to become a useful manager and developer of people. I hope you will help me in this endeavor.
The launching of this book "The Human Resources Managemenent in Action" will be announced in the future time...