The contemporary business environment is characterized by stiff competition among organizations for more markets, customers, and sales just to mention but a few (Wheelen & Hunger, 2011). To most firms, it is of paramount importance to wither this competition arising from changes caused by globalization, technological advancements among other factors (Buckley & Ghauri, 2004; Porter, 1986). Consequently, the market conditions drive them to devise different strategies that could enhance their competitive advantage. Some of the goals include reduction of costs, increased levels of sales, a wider customer base, increased market share, improved productivity and quality, as well as research and development (Porter, 2011). The human resource function of the organization plays an integral role in the achievement of these goals. The human resource, as the key to success, enables organizations to achieve greater organizational performance. The focus of the current project is to determine how strategic HR Management best practices can lead to the overarching goal of organizational success. This project was chosen because strategic human resource management is now widely regarded as one of the most important sources of competitive advantage in today's firms. It is perhaps more important than other sources of competitive advantage because people use other assets within their firms to create competitiveness and realize organizational objectives.
Project Work Objectives
The purpose of strategic HR management is to enhance organizational success through the management of people. Better performance of the intended business goals and objectives can be achieved in the organization if it manages its human resources more effectively and efficiently. Achievement of these goals and objectives leads to better organizational performance. It is, therefore, appropriate to discuss issues related to the way organizations manage their human resources and whether strategic human resource management helps firms to achieve their business goals and objectives. Within this context, the main objectives of the current study are:
To examine the application of strategic HR management best practices in organizations and determine how applicable the theoretical aspect of SHRM for the achievement the organizational success is in practice.
To determine whether the organization uses the SHRM for the achievement of its performance objectives.
To relate the effects of strategic HR management best practices on the organizational performance of the firm.
Introduction to the Project Work
Organizations must find and utilize sources of competitive advantage in order to achieve organizational success. As human resource management is one of the key sources of advantage, the firm must understand the expectations of its workforce to achieve the desired performance. The fulfillment of the employee expectations will help in the inculcation of the desired employee behaviors in the organization. Some of the desired employee behaviors that are often associated with better performance outcomes include but not limited to teamwork (cooperation among employees as well as the leadership), motivation, job effort or commitment and satisfaction, correct employee attitude and lower employee turnover.
The current project reviews a few among the many human resource management models used by organizations to manage the expectations of their workforce and turn them into strategic partners for the achievement of organizational success. The first section outlines how organizations use different models to assess their competitiveness in the market (SWOT, PESTLE, Five Forces for strategy etc.). The paper then looks at how organizations assess their employees' needs through models such as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and eventually how firms create and maintain a culture of high performance in which individuals and teams take responsibility for the continuous improvement of business processes and their skills (e.g. Hertzberg's Motivator-Hygiene Theory).
Description of the Project Work
The current work involved literature searches and review for relevant information concerning the application of SHRM practices and their effects on organizational success. A systematic literature review of various databases was conducted for relevant data on the role of strategic human resource management practices on the achievement of organizational success. Secondary data plays an important role in research because it gives information of other studies in the area of interest. The gathering of evidence on the role of strategic human resource management practices on the achievement of organizational success consisted of searching databases and reference searches. The strategy began with identifying relevant keywords for the database search. In addition, a review of EBSCO headings revealed relevant keywords to be used in the database search. This strategy was replicated for other databases in order to optimize the search sensitivity of the keywords in keeping with each database's functionality. It is expected that the key terms used for the search of individual databases will reproduce the same results when running the searches in future. However, the exact sources might not be guaranteed at that point in future because databases continually update their journal entries. The achievements of organizational objectives differ from one organization to another. Only recently published articles (2010 - 2018) were included in the study.
Strategic HR Management
SHRM refers is the process of using overarching approaches to attract, develop, reward, and retain employees for the benefit of both the organization and its workforce. This integration of human resources strategies both vertically and horizontally is related to the overall organizational strategies including organizational effectiveness as well as people management (attraction, development, reward, and retention of employees). According to Armstrong & Taylor, 2014), the focus of strategic human resource management is on activities that differentiate the organization from its rivals. Various studies suggest that strategic HRM tends to be associated with planning, a coherent approach to the design and management of the workforce, employment policy and workforce strategy-based systems, underpinned by a philosophy, use of people as a strategic resource, matching human resource management activities and policies to the business strategy, and using these activities to achieve a competitive advantage (Brauns, 2013; Cania, 2014; Meyers & van Woerkom, 2014; Monks et al., 2013).
The focus of strategic human resource management practices clearly is on implementing strategic change and growing the talents of the workforce to ensure that the firm can compete effectively in the future with the rivals (Sparrow, Farndale, & Scullion, 2013). Albrecht (2015) posits that strategic human resource management facilitates the development of a human capital base that is consistent with the needs of the organization's business competitive strategy for purposes of achieving the desired organizational success. This argument suggests that strategic human resource management is an integral part of any organization's business strategy since firms target this strategy to pursue organizational success. Therefore, strategy reflects the set of formally planned strategic choices of a firm. In other words, the strategy the organization uses for management of its business activities becomes more evident in the course of time (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014; Purce, 2014).
Human Resource and Organizational Success
Organizational success or performance is related to the actions or behaviors that are relevant to the achievement of scalable and measurable organizational goals and objectives. In his theory of performance, Campbell (1999) relates to job performance to people doing what they are paid to do. Organizational success is a measurable component whereby the performance of the organization is rated against the specific input actions. Campbell (1999) suggests that the measurement of the various parameters should be valid, reliable, and free of contamination from sources i.e. be of highest integrity. Care should be taken during performance measurement to avoid contamination from situational enhancers or constraints.
Although organizational performance is one of the most extensively used dependent variables in organizational studies today, it is still one of the most loosely-defined concepts. In the strategy literature, studies are immensely focused on financial measures of organizational performance. Organizational performance concept has been defined as the proportion of the value a firm created vis-a-vis the value owners expect to receive from the organization (Alchian and Demsetz 1972). A narrower definition of organizational performance focuses on the application of outcome-based financial indicators to reflect the achievement of the firm's economic goals (Venkatraman and Ramanujam, 1986). However, the literature reveals that human resource performance studies have not yet determined a specific and precise meaning of the concept of organizational performance. While some use subjective measures such as employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, employee commitment, and other behavioral constructs to evaluate organizational performance, others use objective measures such as financial and market indicators. Consequently, a common theory relating to organizational performance is yet to be formulated and such, various indicators or variables are currently used to quantitate this construct.
The performance construct has also been expressed in terms of both behaviors and outcomes (Brumbrach, 1988). Behaviors emanate from the employees who transform abstract ideas into action. The results depend on the actions of the workforce and so, behaviors are also outcomes- the product of mental and physical effort applied to tasks. Therefore, employee behaviors cannot be isolated from the measurement of organizational performance. This inevitably leads to the consideration of the various dimensions that determine organizational performance (Boxall, Purcell and Wright, 2007). An increasingly popular concept in organizational performance studies involves factors that enhance job performance. The insistence on the improvement of job performance is because of its importance in achieving organizational success.
The overarching aim of strategic human resource management is to enhance job performance in order to achieve organizational success. In very general terms, job performance can be described as all the behaviors that employees harbor in the workplace (Jex 2002). However, this definition is rather vague because not all the behaviors that employees display at the workplace are job-related. Job performance is related to how well an employee performs the work. In other words, there is no conclusive definition of job performance. There are various definitions ranging from general to specific aspects as well quantitative versus qualitative aspects. Murphy and Kroeker (1998) defined job performance as the worker's performance on particular objectives consisting of defined standard job descriptions. According to Rotundo and Sackett (2002), job performance is related to the employee behaviors and activities that contribute to the specific organizational goals. However, Campbell and colleagues' (1990) definition of job performance is the apparent behaviors related to the organizational goals that individuals have at work that are important to the achievement of the goals of the comp...
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