HRM

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    Undergraduate
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No Name’ Aircraft: Case Analysis

‘No Name’ Aircraft: Case Analysis

Introduction

Human resource management is one of the important functions in an organization. Human resource management play a critical role in an organization as it ensures that an organization has the right people with the right skills, knowledge and abilities to enable a company achieve its objectives, success and competitive advantage (Dowling et al. 2008, p. 12). HRM also ensures that employees are highly satisfied, motivated and capable of working harmoniously as a team to ensure organizational success. HRM does by performing five, principal functions that include recruitment and selection, training and development, compensation and benefits and labor relations as well as maintaining health and safety of employees. However, the nature of the environment in which HR managers operates has been changing due to globalization, technological developments, as well as flow of labor and employees across boundaries and this has resulted in increased focus on a number of concepts that include culture, diversity management, international performance management and training and development (Liebowitz 2010, p. 50). This paper analyzes these concepts as they apply to human resource management with reference to the case study ‘No Name’ Aircraft.

It is noted that merely having a great strategy does not guarantee a company a sustainable success because there are many factors that affect organizational performance. Corporate culture is one of the factors that have a great impact on organizational performance. Dowling et al. (2008, p. 22) define corporate culture as the values, traditions and norms shared among members of an organization and that defines the behaviors of staff in a given organization. In other words, culture simply implies how things are done in a given firm. In order to succeed in the 21st century companies must strive to build a corporate culture that promotes team work, innovation and where quality is promoted. Human resource has a great influence on the corporate culture in an organization. HR plays a critical role in the development of a corporate culture because it is the employees who are employed in a given organization, embrace and develop a given culture (Liebowitz 2010, p. 50).

In the case of No Name, the company has developed a corporate culture that cannot enable a company to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Edgley‐Pyshorn and Huisman (2011, p. 612) argue that, for a company to succeed in today’s dynamic and fast-changing business environment, companies must build corporate culture that promotes teamwork. Unfortunately, the case indicates that at No Name, employees are not working effectively as a team and across teams and management. This has the potential not only triggered conflicts between members of a team and between employees and management, thus impacting negatively on the firm’s performance. The HR has a responsibility to promote team work culture by promotion of team work culture by building employee relationship.

Change is another issue that presents in No Name. Globalization and technological developments have resulted in a situation where organizations have to embrace change. Dowling et al. (2008, p. 28) indicate that change is part of an organization, as no company operates in a static environment. For this reason, HR has a critical role to promote change management. This implies that HR must be able to anticipate change and ensure that change is effectively implemented. However, as indicated in No Name’s case, resistance is a big challenge that managers of the company faces as the employees of the company has developed a culture that resist any change. However, HR managers have a responsibility to initiate change management through effective communication of the change and involving the staff in the implementation of change efforts (Edgley‐Pyshorn & Huisman 2011, p. 610). Additionally, quality is an issue at the company as it is indicated that the company has developed a culture where quality is not a priority. Because of this culture, the company develops low quality products that has seen customers complain every time a product is delivered which in most cases have to be returned for modification. HR of the company has a role to promote a culture where quality is a core emphasis and the HR can ensure this through its recruitment, selection, and training and development policies.

Diversity Management

Diversity management has emerged as one of the most discussed issues in human resource literatures in recent times. Globalization coupled with large cross-border movements has resulted in workplaces becoming increasingly diverse as it results in a situation where people from different backgrounds and cultures end up working together. For this reason, diversity management has become an important function of HR manager. Diversity management is a concept that has to do with creating a workplace environment where individual cultural differences are recognized, embraced and respected. Creating a diverse workplace has been found to have many benefits to an organization (Saxena 2014, p. 76). According to a study by the Australian Centre for International Business (ACIB), it was found that diversity enhances the quality of the decisions made by the management and results in innovative ideas and superior solutions to the problems facing an organization (Shen et al. 2012, p. 235). At the same time, empirical evidences indicate that company that have effective diversity management has a better bottom line returns compared to those that do not promote diversity. Additionally, it has been found that when people from different backgrounds and cultures work together as a team, this results in different perspectives, opinions and ideas being shared, thus resulting in emergence of creative ideas and effective problem solving. This is supported by Olsen and Martins (2012, p. 1169) and
Saxena (2014, p. 78) study that found that workplace diversity results in better-quality solutions to show quality behavior and brainstorm, which consequently ensures organizational efficiency, effectiveness and profitability. Moreover, it has been noted that effective diversity management contributes to organizational success by enabling a company to have access to changing marketplace by reflecting the increasing diverse markets and improving the reputation of the company (Roberge & van Dick 2010, p. 297). For this reason, diversity management is viewed a source of competitive advantage, and good business performance.

At “No Name,” however, diversity management faces serious issues that human resource managers of the company needs to address to ensure that it realizes the benefits of diversity management. Although No Name has a policy that recognizes the need to respect, cultural differences, such as race, gender, physical disabilities, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs, in practice the company does not embrace diversity. For instance, the case indicates that there is intolerance towards working with individuals from different generations, as managers are not willing to work with apprenticeship. At the same time, the case indicates that its Chinese subsidiary does not hire people with disability as such applicants are ignored even where they qualify more than other candidates.

However, lack of effective diversity management at No Name, evidently makes the company lose the benefits that come with diversity management. The fact that senior managers at headquarters are not tolerant towards working with apprentices is counterproductive to the company as it might not only results in conflicts, but also make the company fails to benefit from the ideas, knowledge and skills that apprentices could have brought to the company and the same applies to the disabled in China. Roberge and van Dick (2010, p. 299) argue that diversity management is premised on recognition of individual differences as positive attributes of a firm and not as problems to be sold.

Therefore, based on the literatures on diversity management, the HR managers of No Name have a responsibility to promote diversity to ensure that the company benefits from diversity management. This requires the development of a diversity policy that prohibits discrimination in hiring and promotion. At the same time, the HR managers of No Name can promote diversity management by offering diversity training to managers and employees so as to enable members of the organization understand the importance and value of embracing individual differences and working as a team for the benefit and success of No Name (Shen et al. 2012, p. 239). Besides, effective diversity management would minimize the risk of litigation that can prove costly to the company.

International Performance Management

Performance management is a critical function of human resource managers. However, as businesses increasingly go global, human resource managers now have to manage performance on global scale. International performance management has become important today (Woods &
Barker 2007, p. 17). The concept of international performance management (IPM) entails assessment and monitoring performance of employees of employees both domestically and internationally to ensure conformance to the standards agreed upon (Fee et al. 2011, p. 2). IPM enables companies operating on global scale to assess and continuously improve the performance of both individuals and company as a whole against the predetermined targets and goals.

Despite the increased recognition among managers of the need for international performance management, Ngo et al. (2008, p. 74) indicate that international performance management is more challenging than conducting performance management in the domestic market. There are many factors responsible for the difficulties encountered when conduction IPM. Cultural differences between the domestic and host country ranks among the factors responsible the difficulties in IPM. Empirical evidences indicate that the performance of expatriates is affected by the cultural differences between expatriate’s culture, social, political, economic and language barriers and the culture of the host country in which the subsidiary operates (Claus & Briscoe 2008, p.12). For this reason, HR managers must establish precise criteria for measuring performance across all nations to ensure that there is no conflict. Failure to conduct performance management for expatriates can create antagonism between the managers at the headquarters and subsidiary.

At No Name, there are serious gaps with its international performance management as the company lacks a forma performance appraisal process for its employees on international assignments. Besides, the case indicates that, although performance appraisals are conducted at parent company in Australia, no such performance reviews is conducted in all its subsidiaries in China, Vietnam and Singapore. As indicated in the literature, the failure of No Name to conduct performance reviews of its expatriates in subsidiary is exposing the managers at subsidiaries to conflict with managers at headquarters, which is not a good thing for the company. Additionally, to ensure that expatriates integrates and performs up to standards in its foreign subsidiaries; the company must ensure that there is consistency in performance management at the headquarters and subsidiaries.

Training and Development

Today, successful companies see their employees as valuable assets. However, for employees to deliver to the objectives of a firm they work for, they must be equipped with the right skills to be able to execute their roles effectively and efficiently. Literatures indicate that companies across the globe, both large and small have recognized the importance of having skilled and highly competent workers and this has resulted in companies increasing their investment in training and development so as to equip employees with the right skill sets. HR managers have a responsibility to ensure that employees are properly trained to help them strengthen their weaknesses. According to Pokharel 92016, p. 313), both new and continuing employees have certain weaknesses in their workplace skills. For this reason, the best way to strengthen such weaknesses is for the HR managers to provide employees with training and development program. However, the training and development program needs to be based on need assessment. Teena and Sanjay (2014, p. 6) suggests that, before starting a training program for employees, HR managers need to perform a job evaluation exercise to understand employees’ strengths and weaknesses so as to be able to design a training program that suits individual employee’s training needs. By providing the right training to employees, a company is able to minimize the weak links within the firm who depend on other to perform basic tasks. Literatures also indicate that training and development is necessary as it builds an overall knowledgeable workforce with workers are capable of taking over for one another when need arises, and even work as a team or independently with minimal or no supervision.

Training and development is also an important HR function in any organization as it results in greater employee productivity, which translates to better performance. When employees are properly trained and equipped with the right skill set, they not only become more efficient in executing their roles, but also make minimal or no errors. This is important ensures the success of a company as it ensures high degree of safety and no wastage, which results in greater productivity. Besides, Teena and Sanjay (2014, p. 11) observed that training and development is important to the success of an organization as it helps build employees’ confidence because it enhances employees’ understanding of their responsibility and the industry and this confidence motivates them to increase their efforts, come up with creative ideas that help them excel in their positions.

Training and development has also been found to have motivational effect on employees. Having highly motivated workforce is critical to organizational success (Teena & Sanjay 2014, p. 9). As such, human resource managers have a responsibility to build a highly motivate team of workers to ensure organizational success. Training and development is one of the tools that HR managers use to motivate employees. According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, training and development is a self-actualization need that employees seek to fulfill once the lower level needs have been met. For this reason, companies have the opportunity to increase the motivational level of their staff by providing training and development program that is tailored to their needs.

The importance of training and developing employee skill sets and competencies is particularly necessary in this digital age. Globalization and technological advancements cause constant changes in the business environment and this necessitates training and development to enable employees adapt the changes in their nature of work and the industries in which they operate (Dowling et al. 2008, p. 16). For instance, the emergence of computers rendered paper works, and typewriters obsolete. To compete effectively, companies have had to train workers on the use of computers and application software in order to remain relevant in the job market.

Training and development is particular important for expatriates on foreign assignment as it equips expats with the skills and knowledge about the business culture of a foreign nation (Ko & Yang 2011, p. 158). When an expatriate is sent on an international assignment as is the case at No Name, there is a possibility of the expatriate experiencing a culture shock due to national cultural differences as noted by Geert Hofstede. Therefore, Ko and Yang (2011, p. 161) argue that for expatriates to execute their duties effectively in a foreign country, it is important that they be trained about the business culture of the foreign nation and be equipped with the right knowledge about the foreign nation to ensure success. At No Name, however, expatriates being sent to China, Vietnam and Singapore are not provided with the right training about these Southeast Asian nations whose culture is different from that of Australia and this is a shortcoming on the part of the company’s HR managers. Apart from the online resources provided, the HR managers of No Name do not seek expatriate’s feedback regarding training. Others like Alice Morgan complain that the company does not train them to help them integrate in foreign countries.

Therefore, to maximize the benefits of expatriate’s on foreign assignment, the HR manager of No Name ought to ensure that, before sending its employees on international assignments in China, Vietnam and Singapore, all of which differ from Australia on all Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, including power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation and indulgence and other cultural aspects such as language. Therefore, for expatriates to adapt well to these Southeast Asian nations, No Name’s HR ought to train its expatriates on these cultural aspects to ensure ease of integration and to minimize culture shock that might affect their performance (Pokharel 2016, p. 311).

Conclusion and Recommendations

The analysis has shown that culture, diversity management, international performance management and training and development have become important HR functions. Based on the case analysis, it emerged that No Name is facing serious challenges as regards corporate culture, diversity management, international performance management, training and development and this is likely to impact negatively on its current and future success. Therefore, going forward, the following suggestions need to be implemented to ensure the company’s future success. First, No Name needs to improve its corporate culture by creating an environment, where team work, effective community, innovation and change, as well as quality are a priority. Second, the company needs to improve in terms of diversity management by developing a diversity policy that prohibits any form of discrimination on the basic of culture, as well as initiative a diversity training program to emphasize the need for employees to understand and embrace individual differences so as to ensure team cohesion and organizational success. Additionally, the company needs to ensure that there is consistency in international performance management so as to minimize conflicts between managers at subsidiary and headquarters. Moreover, the company needs to train and develop its expatriates before sending them on international assignment as this ensures that they gain knowledge about the foreign culture and foreign business practices, thus ensuring their success in foreign assignments.

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