Nature of Research to Business Generally with References by ojk56732


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									                     HR211 Human Resource Management
                        Generic Examination feedback

1) What is the Psychological Contract? Evaluate the impact on your
psychological contract if you were in the following situations.

1) a part-time job while studying 2) your first graduate position

Most students who answered, discussed that the psychological contract goes beyond
a written employment contract as the system of unwritten rules and perceptions. This
underpins the relationship between the employer and employee in organisations. The
expectations of employer and employee are the basis of the psychological contract
and a key factor in competitive advantage. Answers generally referred to the
changing nature of the psychological contract and demonstrated an understanding of
transactional and relational psychological contracts.

Stronger answers fully acknowledged the challenging nature and subjectivity of the
psychological contract and referred to the research by Guest (2002) or the People
and Performance Model (Purcell 2002). They discussed how HR practices send
strong messages about expectations and that an employee with a part time job while
studying would expect basic remuneration, some flexibility from the employer with
maybe reduced hours during exam time and longer hours during the holidays. The
expectations of a graduate employee would include an attractive remuneration
package, training and development with opportunities for career progression.
Good answers focussed on commitment, motivation and discretionary behaviour in
relation to these scenarios and offered specific organisational examples as support
and appropriate references. They also featured an introduction and a conclusion.

2. Explain how the external and internal context of an organisation impact on
Human Resource Management practice.

Most students who answered this question made reference to the multidimensional
nature of organisational contexts. Issues relating to the external (wider) context
included the economy, society, politics and culture; for example workforce
characteristics, labour market, employment legislation. The impact of technology and
globalisation were also introduced in some answers. The internal (immediate) context
relates to organisational size, sector, location and structure.

Stronger answers demonstrated an understanding of the relationship between
organisational objectives and HRM and the importance of aligning HR practice to
organisational strategy. They also made reference to a strategy model or the Harvard
Map of HRM (Beer et al, 1984).
Good answers offered specific organisational examples to support the points being
made and appropriate references. They also featured an introduction and a

3. What is “Blended Learning”? Assess how it benefits both the organisation
and individuals
Most students who answered this question identified that “Blended Learning”
combines e-learning with other training and learning methods such as mentoring,
coaching, as well as a variety of other on the job and off the job training methods.
The answers addressed these various methods of learning, including e-learning, and
demonstrated understanding of the particular issues relating to them.
Stronger answers discussed how different methods available suit different learning
styles of individuals and encourage “buy-in” from the trainee. Individual development
is maximised through this approach and learning is largely self-managed with a focus
on the learner.
Good answers offered specific organisational examples such as House of Fraser and
Shell as support and appropriate references. They also featured an introduction and
a conclusion.

4. Discuss Atkinson’s Flexible Firm Model and its application to contemporary

Most students who answered this question drew out the flexible firm model and
illustrated the position of core workers and levels 1 and 2 peripheral workers in
organisations. Answers generally demonstrated a good understanding of this and
addressed it in detail, discussing the position of valuable knowledge workers at the
core, less specialist peripheral workers and the role of outsourcing and offshoring in
the model.
Stronger answers gave examples to demonstrate practical application of the model.
Their discussion then included the rationale for contemporary organisations to adopt
this model in order to remain agile to respond to external and internal labour markets
as well as organisational demand for labour.
Good answers pointed out that flexibility gives the organisation competitive
advantage and suggested the importance of being an employer of choice or “talent
magnet” in the current climate. They offered specific organisational examples as
support and appropriate references. They also featured an introduction and a

5. Evaluate the key advantages and disadvantages of internet based
recruitment and selection to employers and candidates.

Most students who answered this popular question acknowledged how critical
recruitment and selection are for organisations in terms of competitive advantage and
made distinction between recruitment and selection techniques. Answers generally
referred to a range of types of internet recruitment and selection discussing company
websites, jobsearch sites, cybersites and links to newspapers and journals.
Advantages of internet recruitment and selection which were highlighted include
speed, cost savings, global application, 24/7 availability. The disadvantages
highlighted were costs, the time taken to process unsuitable and speculative
candidates, confidentiality fears and the important issue of equal opportunities.
Stronger answers acknowledged that many contemporary organisations use internet
methods and included discussion of high profile examples such as B&Q and KPMG.
Good answers made reference to research done by CIPD, Reed, or Dulwiez
concerning graduate internet selection and pointed out the impersonal nature of the
process as perceived by the candidate. They also featured an introduction and a

6. “The point is that, aside from any concerns with social justice, fair treatment
simply makes good sense.” (Beardwell, Holden and Claydon, 2004). Discuss
this quote in relation to diversity in organisations.

Most students who answered this question discussed the nature of diversity and
focussed on the business case for diversity which included better use of human
resources, wider customer base and service, wider pool of labour for recruitment
purposes, reduced legal costs, better use of individual skills and abilities,
organisational flexibility and creativity as well as a positive company image.
Stronger answers related this to profit and efficiency as organisational objectives
and illustrated with examples including B&Q (promoting age diversity) and Halifax
(promoting cultural diversity)
Good answers discussed the quote, acknowledged the legal obligation on
organisations to avoid discrimination and discussed corporate social responsibility in
treating people fairly at work. Research by Kandola and Fullerton was occasionally
introduced. They also featured an introduction and a conclusion.

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