Analysis And Comparison Of Four Management Activities Essay

This essay examines the importance of the function and activities of a Human Resource Manager in medium ‘ big administrations in the UK and shows how the function and FOUR of the chief activities of a line director comparison and contrast with the Human Resource Manager ‘s strategic and operational function and in the four activities chosen. In the essay the writer provides theoretical and practical illustrations from wider reading of text books, diaries, experience in work, the Internet and UK concern administrations to back up the scrutiny of these pull offing people at work ‘good patterns ‘ in people direction activities. The Times Top 100 UK Companies and the FTSE list were used for practical illustrations of ‘good pattern ‘ and its nexus to theory. The four activities chosen are Recruitment and Selection, Training and Development, Managing Performance and Motivation.

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Lefkothea has a grade in Information Technology ( IT ) and a 10 old ages working experience in the IT field. She works as a Network Operations Centre ( NOC ) technician in a medium-scale Greek University and for the past twelvemonth she is on survey leave in order to make her MSc. Before traveling to UK, she had worked for 2 old ages as an IT adviser for the Greek deputy Minister of the Interior. She considers that she has a comparatively good experience of being a line director and a good sense of pull offing people ‘s behavior, as her occupation most of the clip included the direction of little groups of people ( i.e. other IT technicians and contractors ).

In Greece, were she was born and raised, the construct of HR ( Human Resource ) direction is still non really popular and it is now turning and spread outing as an thought and practise. However, this essay is her effort to grok and show the basic constructs of HR direction in the UK and hopefully this survey will lend to the betterment of her direction accomplishments. She believes that holding all ‘square nogs in square holes ‘, the uninterrupted preparation and development of professionals, the motive of employees and eventually their public presentation direction are the four most of import HRM activities which will be discussed in this essay.

Main findings ( Word Count=3,467 )

The importance of the function of HR director in medium-large UK administrations

The function of HR practicians in an administration can change widely depending on the degree of the hierarchy they are involved. In general footings though, their function is supportive and consultative to other directors [ Haffner,2010a ]. HR professionals can play different functions in an administration. Sometimes, they have to ease alterations or accommodations ( alteration agents ), other times they have to work in analyzing jobs and suggesting solutions ( internal advisers ), while other times they have to play the service bringing function for line directors, squad leaders and employees. Above all, they have to be the defenders of the administration ‘s values and moralss [ Armstrong, 2009 ].

When HR directors are involved in a strategic degree they are likely to take part in the decision- devising procedure. The strategic function of HR directors is about the preparation and execution of HR direction schemes that are aligned to concern aims and contribute to the development of concern schemes. However, when HR professionals play the concern spouse function so they portion duty and work closely with line directors supplying an mundane footing support [ Armstrong,2009 ].

The importance of HR directors ‘ function in medium- big administrations relies on the impact that HR schemes have on public presentation. HRM does non impact straight on the organizational public presentation. All administrations are influenced by the internal and external environment ( eventuality theory- PEST/SWOT ), nevertheless, HRM patterns make an impact on employees ‘ features ; these features can better public presentation and accomplish better fiscal consequences [ Armstrong, 2009 ].

The activities and function of Line ( LN ) Manager

On the other manus, the primary function of LN directors is to take all the determinations in their section [ Haffner,2010a ]. Typically their direction duties would include pull offing people and operational costs, supplying proficient expertness, look intoing quality and mensurating operational public presentation, nevertheless, in many administrations LN directors now have to transport out traditionally HR activities. Furthermore, the LN director function is important particularly in countries where, although the procedure may be designed by HR, it can non be delivered by HR [ CIPD,2010a ].

More significantly, LN directors have to construct a good working relationship with their staff and create effectual squads, have to steer and back up employees and eventually promote discretional behavior which will ensue in higher public presentation. However, because it is non plenty to educate LN directors in higher quality direction, administrations should besides develop the environment and civilization in which LN directors are actively encouraged to exhibit the above behavior [ CIPD,2010a ].

Context analysis

At this point it is of import to depict the context in which this essay will be deployed. In the Appendix 1 there is a elaborate Plague analysis for the Food retail merchants ‘ industry. The subjective weighting consequences ( +15 ) indicate that the industry is in good form, and that the economic clime has influenced it positively [ Haffner,2010a ]. The Tesco ‘s SWOT analysis ( -10 ) on the other manus ( Appendix1 ), implies that the company still has borders for betterment [ Ivoryresearch,2010 ].

Although Tesco has invested in different states and markets, put on the lining at the same clip its net incomes and capital, still depends on the UK market, therefore being vulnerable to its alterations and exposed to ‘market concentration hazard ‘ [ Ivoryresearch,2010 ]. Their general scheme at this point is ‘growth ‘ ; nevertheless the recent alterations in the UK nutrient retail sphere ( Wal-mart purchased Asda ) threatened the company ‘s rank as the top UK supermarket. Tesco expands into different services and retailing countries, however they need to see the good PEST analysis and stress on enlisting, preparation, motive and public presentation direction methods that will be aligned to an international profile and strengthen the company ‘s place abroad [ Ivoryresearch,2010 ].

Recruitment & A ; Selection ( R & A ; S )

Key constructs

The process of R & A ; S aims foremost, through a just, efficient and cost effectual procedure, to obtain ‘a pool of suited campaigners for vacant stations ‘ [ Haffner,2010b, p.7 ] and secondly to use appropriate techniques and methods for choosing, naming and investing competent individuals for these vacant stations. The ultimate cause of this act is to detect and use people, who will ‘fit ‘ the concern scheme and contribute in accomplishing the administration ‘s SMART objectives [ Haffner,2010b ]. The HRM attack to resourcing includes the constructs of Human Resource Planning ( HRP ) and Human Capital Management ( HCM ), which aim to make a flexible and productive work force that will lend to the administration ‘s competitory advantage [ Haffner,2010b ].

Main theories

Two chief theories, both ’emphasising on the ‘fit ‘ between the individual and the occupation environment ‘ [ Haffner,2010b, p.15 ], have been developed sing the R & A ; S methods, the traditional and the processual 1. The first one reasonably supports that taking the right people for the right places helps an administration to avoid major jobs that may emerge like labour turnover, absenteeism and low productiveness. The 2nd 1 is ‘based on fixed dimensions of both the occupation and the individual, with the administration ‘s direction holding the exclusive privilege to find the tantrum ‘ [ Haffner,2010b, p15 ]. Administrations do n’t hold to take purely between the two attacks, a mixture of the them can bring forth a more effectual and efficient one [ Haffner,2010b ].

Key theoretical accounts

The HR and LN directors portion different but complementary functions in the R & A ; S process. HR directors design the just policies and processs and advice other directors on the jurisprudence facets of R & A ; S [ Haffner,2010a ]. Particularly during the interview procedure, HR directors assure that the sex, race and disablement favoritisms Acts and the Age Discrimination Regulations will be considered [ Armstrong,2009 ]. LN directors on the other manus, act more practically by making the occupation analysis/descriptions and by transporting out the interviews ever under the protections of HR directors [ Haffner,2010a ]. However, it is of import for all directors and squad leaders to be trained in questioning techniques [ Armstrong,2009 ].

The R & A ; S theoretical account, depicted in Appendix 2, is based on the traditional attack. The tabular array below summarises the basic stairss of the theoretical account and the engagement of HR and LN directors in every measure of the process. Clearly, the HR and LN directors will be both functional but the ‘HR Manager or Department will develop the schemes in line with good pattern ‘ [ Haffner,2010b, p.11 ].

Table 1: R & A ; S the basic stairss of the R & A ; S process and HR ‘LN directors ‘ engagement [ Haffner,2010a ]


Good Practise illustrations

Enrolling and choosing the right people is of paramount importance for medium-large companies in the UK. Through their R & A ; S Policy they try to guarantee that the best people are recruited and the enlisting procedure is free from prejudice and favoritism. The occupation description plays a critical function. For illustration, BT aims to make a ‘high-performing, engaged and motivated squad who can do a difference for the clients, the stockholders, the company and themselves ‘ [ BT,2009 ]. They besides consider that the quality of leading is critical for the company [ BT,2009 ].

On the other manus, for GSK, every twelvemonth ‘s recruiting and retaining processs are critical for ‘enhancing and prolonging their public presentation and repute ‘ [ GSK,2009 ]. They are more focussed on ‘talent acquisition enterprises ‘ [ GSK,2009 ] in order to pull specializers and they have good sequence programs for all the critical places across the administration [ GSK,2009 ].

Training and Development ( T & A ; D )

Key constructs

Learning for employees is a uninterrupted procedure that largely arises informally through work ( informal acquisition ). The farther purpose is for employees to be ‘equipped with the right accomplishments, cognition and competencies in order to set about current and future undertakings ‘ [ Haffner,2010b, p.22 ]. Training, on the other manus, is a systematic and planned activity to advance acquisition and when it is officially performed ensures that the defined demands are met [ Armstrong,2009 ]. However, whether larning and preparation are effectual and efficient depends on employees ‘ personal development program which relies on their assurance, capableness, motive and the counsel they get from their directors.

Administrations public presentation and scheme are related to the constructs of learning civilization and the learning administration. Both of them should be integrated with the accomplishment of concern aims and human resource schemes and should be taking into history the demands and the aspiration of people for growing and development [ Armstrong,2009 ]. Each administration should back up procedures which guarantee that all persons and squads have equal chances in T & A ; D.

Main theories

Two chief and beliing theories exist about the investing on Human Capital ( HC ), in footings of preparation and developing employees. From one manus, successful administrations achieve their strategic aims by back uping the theory that ‘trained and developed employees add more value to an administration ‘ [ Haffner,2010b, p.26 ]. On the other manus, unfavorable judgment of the larning administration lineations that its major failing is that it seems to pay less attending on what or how persons want to larn and therefore might non be carry throughing the coveted consequences [ Armstrong,2009 ].

Armstrong supports that ‘establishing a nexus between larning and organizational public presentation is debatable ‘ because it is hard to ‘distinguish between cause and consequence ‘ [ Armstrong,2009, p.659 ], beliing surveies that advocate that a well-designed preparation programme can be linked to betterments in concern consequences. However, it looks that the impact of T & A ; D on public presentation can be measured by utilizing the ‘return on the investing ‘ expression:

( benefits from preparation ( ‘ ) -costs of preparation ( ‘ ) ) / ( costs of preparation ( ‘ ) ) ? 100 [ Armstrong,2009, p.696 ]

Key theoretical accounts

The activities of the HR director, sing the T & A ; D, are largely about planning and administrating the process harmonizing to the administrations strategic program [ Haffner,2010a ]. The HR Development is fundamentally led by the competencies and the motive of employees, the HR directors though play a critical function in ‘persuading the employer to let go of resources for this activity ‘ [ Haffner,2010b, p.21 ], by set uping preparation and development programmes and supervising the whole procedure [ Haffner,2010b ].

The publicity of acquisition is considered an of import facet of LN directors ‘ duties as good. They have a cardinal function in ‘facilitating acquisition by carry oning public presentation and development reappraisals ‘ [ Armstrong,2009, p.689 ] and assisting their staff to implement their personal development programs through coaching and mentoring [ Armstrong,2009 ].

The tabular array below summarises the activities and the engagement of HR and LN directors on the systematic T & A ; D theoretical account depicted in Appendix 3.

Table 2: the engagement of HR and LN directors in the T & A ; D model [ Haffner,2010b ]


Techniques of analysis

There are two techniques of analysis for preparation and developing people. The first 1 is the Learning Curve, which refers to the ‘time it takes an inexperient individual to make the degree of public presentation on the occupation or the undertaking ‘ [ Haffner,2010b, p.27 ]. The 2nd 1 is the Forgetting Curve which depicts the devolution of public presentation through clip. Each employee has its ain acquisition and burying curves and all the T & A ; D programmes should see this diverseness and assure that every person has equal chances in the procedure [ Haffner,2010b ].

Practical illustrations

Administrations like BT and Tesco are committed to developing their people and supply their staff with preparation programmes and personal development planning. Furthermore BT, in order to better their client service public presentation they encourage people to volunteer in communities and even work with other administrations. Finally, GSK launched a mentoring strategy where each senior leader wise mans at least one single [ BT,2009 ] [ Tesco,2009 ] [ GSK,2009 ].


Key constructs

Motivation, described as a purposive behavior, is a cardinal construct for direction and is related to about every activity directors perform. There are two types of motives, the intrinsic and the extrinsic. The first one can ‘arise from the spontaneous factors that influence people ‘s behavior ‘ [ Armstrong,2009, p.318 ]. Employees can be self-motivated when they feel that their work is of import, ambitious, fulfilling and provides grounds for farther development. The 2nd type of motive includes wagess such as payment, congratulations, publicity but penalties as good [ Armstrong,2009, p.318 ].

The methods and techniques of motive should be described in the administration ‘s HRM Strategy. Motivation is largely about puting SMART aims for people either touchable or intangible. Therefore, well-motivated people are people who are willing to set attempt in order to accomplish their ain SMART objectives lending at the same clip to the administration ‘s public presentation [ Armstrong,2009 ].

Main theories

Many theories have been developed sing how and why people are motivated. Some of them are about fulfilling demands ( Maslow ), others about peoples anticipation for wagess ( Expectance ) and some others are about bi-polar employees ( McGregor ). The most interesting one, the end theory, which implies entire and incorporate engagement of LN and HR directors, supports that SMART objectives play an of import portion in finding work behavior and public presentation. Puting realistic aims, supplying feedback and affecting employees in puting these aims are rules associated with high public presentation [ Haffner,2010d ].

Key theoretical accounts

The function of HR director in the motive map is to plan just policies related to public presentation which will ‘provide challenges and motivate staff across the administration ‘ ( motive scheme ) [ Haffner,2010a, p.19 ]. The function of LN director though involves more practical maps like the execution of organizational policies and maintaining the motive high [ Haffner,2010a ].

The motive theoretical account, in Appendix 4, depicts the theory developed by Porter and Lawler. This theory suggests that the attempt that will be expended in a given state of affairs depends on the value of the wagess and on the persons ‘ outlooks. Effort though, is effectual if produces the coveted public presentation. The theory advocates that two variables affect attempt, the ability and the function perceptual experiences which have to be coinciding between the person and the administration [ Armstrong,2009 ].

The tabular array below is based on the Armstrong ‘s HR part on motive list [ Armstrong,2010, p.330-331 ) and outlines the engagement of HR and LN directors in motive. The bi-polar technique of analysis was used for making this tabular array.

Table 3: Hour and LN activities in motive maps

HR director

Practical illustrations

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust motivates employees within the ‘Framework for Partnership Agreement ‘ to develop a civilization of engagement and a ‘framework for alteration in behavior and pattern ‘ [ NHSpartners,2007 ]. A research conducted for the NHS about the importance of engagement to organizational public presentation proved that the trust ‘s enterprise helped to better employees ‘ dealingss and resulted in important decrease in martinets and grudges instances [ NHSpartners,2007 ].

Organizations offering a positive civilization and a acquisition environment have more satisfied employees who are motivated to execute better. Every employee, in Kelloggs, has an single development program, while 80 % of Napp ‘s employees think that working for the company is good for personal growing and happen their preparation of great personal benefit [ TimesOnLine,2010a ] [ TimesOnLine,2010b ].

Pull offing Performance ( MP )

Key constructs

Performance direction ( PM ), as a agency of acquiring better consequences within an in agreement model, should concentrate on two aims, foremost to guarantee that people are motivated to execute and secondly to back up a personal development programme for everyone [ Haffner,2010c ]. PM operates as a uninterrupted rhythm and is about set uping a civilization. In order to be efficient and effectual it should be strategic, integrated with the corporate scheme and should integrate with public presentation betterment, development and pull offing behaviour [ Armstrong,2009 ].

The public presentation assessment is the first basic constituent of PM. Effective and efficient systems rely upon the preciseness in the definition and measuring of public presentation. ‘Most employees want way, freedom to acquire their work done, and encouragement non command ‘ [ Haffner,2010c, p.6 ] and see equity and natural justness as the most of import assets. Performance assessment should be nonsubjective, based upon occupation analysis and should be taking into consideration the diverseness and individualism of staff [ Haffner,2010c ].

The 2nd constituent of PM, the wages direction, is a strategic undertaking which includes the constructs of wages policies/procedures and payment systems. ‘Managing wagess is mostly about pull offing outlooks ‘ [ Haffner,2010c, p.22 ], which could be expressed either by contracts of employment or by relational contracts. Once these contracts are in topographic point, employees should be motivated towards improved public presentation. Finally, each administration ‘s payment scheme is shaped after the dialogues between employers and trade brotherhoods and is largely affected by the organisations/industry context.

Main theories

‘When public presentation is managed efficaciously and expeditiously the administration will be more able to accomplish its strategic aims and its employees will be motivated and therefore retained longer ‘ [ Haffner,2010c, p.4 ]. PM is underpinned by three chief theories. The theory that connects ends to public presentation results ( end theory ), the theory that pays attending to feedback as a agency of determining behavior ( command theory ) and the theory that is base on the cardinal construct of self-efficancy ( cognitive theory ) [ Armstrong,2009 ].

Finally, mensurating public presentation, the footing for bring forthing feedback, is an of import construct in PM. All occupations produce results, therefore it is possible to mensurate public presentation by mention to what ‘outcomes have been attained in comparing with what results were expected ‘ [ Armstrong,2009, p.623 ]. Most public presentation direction strategies include some signifier of evaluation which indicates the quality of public presentation or competency achieved [ Armstrong,2009 ].

Key theoretical accounts

The engagement of HR directors in this activity is largely in ‘designing and monitoring of the public presentation direction system ‘ [ Haffner,2010a, p.19 ], incorporating it with the corporate mission with an accent on continuing the wagess relative to rivals. LN directors on the other manus may be more involved in ‘negotiating with their staff and trade brotherhoods or covering with wage and wages grudges ‘ [ Haffner,2010a, p.19 ] but largely they are involved in the public presentation assessment procedure. However, PA frequently is considered a ‘dishonest one-year rite ‘ [ Armstrong,2009, p.619 ] because either LN directors are non interested or they do n’t hold the accomplishments for making it.

The tabular array below summarises the engagement of HR and LN directors in the basic stairss of the PM activity, as it is depicted in the public presentation direction theoretical account in Appendix 5 adopted by Haffner with a few changes. The bi-polar technique of analysis has been used for making this tabular array.

Table 4: LN and HR directors ‘ engagement in PM


Practical illustrations

BT conducts a reappraisal of wages every twelvemonth. The company apart from giving fillips to directors, their ‘long-term inducements are linked to BT ‘s entire stockholder return public presentation measured over a period of three old ages ‘ [ BT,2009 ]. Employees outside the UK receive an one-year award of free BT portions or a hard currency equivalent while in the UK, employees receive free broadband [ BT,2009 ].

For GSK ‘the public presentation and development planning procedure means employees have business-aligned aims and behavioral ends ‘ [ GSK,2009 ]. Their reward systems ‘motivate high public presentation and aid to pull and retain the best people ‘ [ GSK,2009 ]. The company uses performance-based payment, fillips and share-based equity programs [ GSK,2009 ].

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust improved the assessments process by utilizing an e-learning preparation programme. The Medical Appraisals Programme has made it easier to update new physicians on the assessment system, to develop medical staff who wish to go valuators and by and large improved the quality of assessments carried out across the Trust [ NHSpartners,2007 ].


The analysis and comparing of the four selected activities indicate that both LN and HR directors play different but of import functions for administrations. However, in the concern universe, everything is about public presentation, effectivity and efficiency. The inquiry is what is the impact of HR or LN directors ‘ activities and functions on the administration ‘s competitory advantage and on the accomplishments of SMART aims?

Up to now though, the HRM does non belong merely to specializers but belongs to every director who gets consequences through people. Still though, it is hard for HR directors to derive the support and committedness of LN directors, who need to be assured that every proposal will take to better consequences without extra loads.

LN directors are the front line soldiers for administrations. They play the strongest portion in structuring people ‘s existent experience, they influence discretional behavior and they play a polar function in ordaining HR policies and patterns. When employees develop a good relationship with their LN directors are more likely to hold higher degrees of committedness and trueness, therefore execute better.

The debut of HR patterns in the concern, on the other manus, is related to the life quality betterments people have been sing the last century. The place of the HR directors ‘ in administrations is about to alter over the following old ages as employees will demand and derive more rights for equity, equal chances and justness. Over the following old ages the concern universe will gain even more that its power is trusting on the investing in Human Capital and that guaranting that people operate in a secure and satisfactory environment will lend to administrations ‘ prosperity.


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