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Human resource refers to the individuals who build up the workforce of an organization. It is also applied in labor economics and business sectors. Human resources is applied in work institutions to refer to the department charged with the general responsibility for implementing strategies and policies relating to the management of personnel. 

In the modern world, the term has vast applications especially in organization of strategies in the businesses. The HR department in any organization is involved in administrative management activities, coordination of a range of worker related processes and the implementation of a better quantitative and strategic advance to workforce management. Boudreau, J. and Ramstad, P.

Introduction

Organizational effectiveness depends on having the right people in the right jobs at the right time to meet rapidly changing organizational requirements. Right people can be obtained by performing the role of Human Resource (HR) function. The application of a distinctive set of integrated employment policies, programs and practices ensures that a strategic approach to managing employment relations which emphasizes leveraging people's capabilities is achieved. This ensures that a sustainable competitive advantage is secured.

Standard Human Resource practices

An important aspect of an organization's business focus and direction towards achieving high levels of competency and competitiveness would depend very much upon their human resource management practices to contribute effectively towards profitability, quality, and other goals in line with the mission and vision of the company.

In the small to mid-sized manufacturing enterprises, human resource practices are not that well developed as compared to the large enterprises. The small and medium companies do not have many employees and hence the process of strategic management is not well defined as compared to the large corporations which have comprehensive methodology in strategic management. Boudreau, J. and Ramstad, P.

The most important tools in the practice of human resources are training, staffing, compensation, as well as performance management. These tools greatly shape the organization's role in the satisfaction of the needs of the stakeholders. The human resource management plan should always consider the stakeholders of the business which include the stockholders, the customers, the government and the society at large. Ngoc, S. and Ashley, C. (2006).

Common regulations and measures of human resource management must be held on to by the organization as they form basic guidelines on its practices. Teamwork among lower ranks of staff and the management should be formed and maintained in order to assist in different angles that would reason necessary in eliminating communication breakdowns, hence nurturing better relationship among workers. The application of these standard human resource regulations will ensure that the organization succeeds in its work.

HR initiatives to organizational strategy and effectiveness

In the rational and systemic process of human resource management, a key component is the performance appraisal (PA). This is because it provides information of foundations for recruiting and selecting new hires, training and development of existing staff, and motivating and maintaining a quality work force by adequately and properly rewarding their performance. Holmes, T. (2005).

The primary functions of performance appraisal are evaluative and developmental. The evaluative purpose is projected to inform people of their performance standing while the developmental purpose is anticipated to spot problems in employees performing the assigned task. The collected performance data is then used to provide necessary skills in training and professional development. Boudreau, J. and Ramstad, P. (2006).

Implementing effective organizational strategy

A firm and foundational understanding of business policy allocates an organizational strategist to investigate the organizational propositions of the strategy and to determine, expand and lead those organizational program essential to build an organization that is competent in delivering the strategy.  A good example is the HR activities in an architectural firm. Ngoc, S. and Ashley, C. (2006).

At the end, there emerges a map of key strategic organization initiatives, mapped out over multiple time horizons, definite in detail, articulated with clarity and secured through discernable and realistic subject-matter expertise. The implementation of effective organizational strategy ensures that the business succeeds in its activities because the planned activities are carried out as expected hence leading to the realization of the set objectives and goals.

Impact of HR initiatives to organizational strategy and effectiveness;

Merger between T-Mobile and Sprint

Rumors on potential mergers are always there in the business press.  This is usually done in order to evaluate the outcome of such possible mergers. A good example is the merger between mobile phone giants T-Mobile and Sprint.  Mergers between two large companies are always complex, but some have noted the possible synergies in advanced technologies that might be possible in such a merger. Holmes, T. (2005).

Mergers can bring about great rewards but also can result in great risks and pitfalls. The main topic of concern when evaluating a merger should be considering it from the point of view of whether or not it will be a profitable undertaking that would add value to the shareholders. Ngoc, S. and Ashley, C. (2006).

A merger between the two companies would combine the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the country. This is because Sprint and T-Mobile have both struggled to hang on to customers that are drawn to AT&T and Verizon, the two largest wireless carriers in the U.S.

Sprint, for example needs more size so as to be able to compete for devices like the iPhone, which is carried by Verizon and AT&T. At the same time, Sprint could save a lot of money on marketing and overhead by merging with T-Mobile. They could use some savings hence getting Sprint out of the current debt it holds. Becker, B. and Huselid, M. (2003).

T-Mobile on the other hand is falling behind in the next-generation-network-building race and merging with Sprint could give Deutsche Telekom a boost in that race without a major investment. 

However, the contract cannot be made quickly as there is some disagreement about the value of T-Mobile, and some question about the ownership and leadership of the proposed combined company. This is one of the challenges that the merger would face. This is because Sprint feels that it should own more than half of the combined company, and it would choose who would run the lately merged business.

If the parties clear the question of what T-Mobile is worth, they will have to figure out a way to finance a transaction, particularly given Sprint's heavy debt load. A combination of Sprint's 49.9 million subscribers with T-Mobile's 33.7 million customers would create a stronger challenger to AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which have 95.5 million and 94.1 million subscribers, respectively. Holmes, T. (2005).

Sprint is upgrading its network with tools that makes it easier to change technologies, which would make it more possible for Sprint to take on another standard. But the merger would still have to fit in unsuited technologies in the various phones previously sold to clients. A merger would leave only three players in the market and would merge the two that are most aggressively competing on price. Becker, B. and Huselid, M. (2003).

Conclusion

From the analysis of the cases above, we can comprehend that strategic human resource practices and processes, is a way of achieving competitive advantage through one of a company's most significant assets which is its people or customers.

The resource-based outlook of competitive advantage means that resources provide lasting unique advantages to a corporation to the degree that they remain limited or hard to imitate, hence enabling companies to pursue unique business opportunities.

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