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					BMO5564 –Human Resource Management

Lecture 1 - Human resource management in Australia

Human resource management (HRM)
• Refers to the policies, practices and systems that influence employees’ behaviour, attitudes and performance. • Many companies refer to HRM as ‘people practices’.


HR Information Systems Job Analysis & Design

HR Planning Recruitment Selection & Placement

Managing Diversity Industrial relations
Performance Management

Strategic human resource management

Learning and development

Measuring and Evaluating

Figure 1.1 HRM practices

Company Performance


The development of theoretical bases for HRM
• Theoretical perspectives of HRM include:
– Behavioural view – Resource-based view – Politically-influenced view.


Figure 1.2 The Harvard Analytical Framework for HRM
Stakeholder Interests
Shareholders Management Employee groups Government Community Unions

HRM Policy Choices
Employee influence Human resource flow Reward systems Work systems

HR Outcomes
Commitment Competence Congruence Cost effectiveness

Long-term Consequences
Individual well-being Organisational effectiveness Societal well-being

Situational Factors
Workforce characteristics Business strategy and conditions Management philosophy Labour market Unions Task technology Laws and societal values

Source: M. Beer, B. Spector, P.R. Lawrence, D.Q. Mills & R.E. Walton, Managing human assets, Free Press, New York, 1984, p. 16.


Features of the dominant approach to HRM
Focus on enterprise or firm. HRM is an investment in human capital. Reciprocal fit between organisational strategy and HR strategy. All managers are responsible for HRM.

Role of HR
• Role of HR has changed dramatically over the last 50 years:
– Personnel to Human Resource Management (HRM) – HRM to Strategic HRM
– (Dessler, et al, 2004, 11)


Table 1.1 Most significant changes in HR (1990-95)
Integration & strategic focus of HR policies 120 Employee relations 118 Contribution of HR to company performance 77 Worker participation and team work 62 Quality issues 53 Training 41 Flexible work patterns 41 Devolution of function 40 Legislative changes 34 Economic rationalism may have answered more than one suggestion) 33 (*n=322; open-ended data; respondents

37.3 36.7 24.0 19.3 16.5 12.7 12.7 12.4 10.6 10.3

Source: C. Fisher & P.J. Dowling, ‘Support for an HR approach in Australia: the perspective of senior HR managers’, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 37 (1), 1999, p. 9.


Table 1.2 Issues with greatest impact on HR

HR role in change & strategic planning Employee relations Contribution of HR to company performance Flexible work patterns Legislative changes Quality issues Internationalisation Training Worker participation and team work Technology Performance management Outsourcing
(*n=322; open-ended data; respondents may have answered more than one suggestion)

n* 90 64 62 39 30 28 27 25 24 21 19 15

% 28.0 20.0 19.3 12.1 9.3 8.7 8.4 7.8 7.5 6.5 5.9 4.7

Source: C. Fisher & P.J. Dowling, ‘Support for an HR approach in Australia: the perspective of senior HR managers’, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 37 (1) 1999, p. 9.


HR Practitioner
• With the change in role of HR has meant a new breed of HR Professional
– Welfare officer ►Personnel Officer►Human Resource Officer ► Human Resource Consultant
(Dessler, et al, 2004, 12)


Roles performed by HR professionals (Ulrich, 1997)
• • • • Administrative expert Employee champion Change agent Strategic business partner


Figure 1.3 HR roles and competencies
Evaluation Benefits Audit Data management Compensation Strategic management Organisational development Change management

Analytical, fact-based decision making

Leadership Conceptual ideas Visioning

Industrial relations Legal

Compliance Regulation Administration Control

Interpersonal team work

Diversity Counselling Employee development

Source: The Conference Board, Inc., The Changing Human Resource Function, The Conference Board, New York, 1990, p. 11.


Figure 1.4 Competitive challenges influencing Australian companies

Competing through high-performance work systems

Competing by meeting stakeholders’ needs

• Change employees’ and managers’ work roles • Integrate technology and social systems

• Provide a return for shareholders • Develop employees and create a positive work environment

Competing through globalisation • Expand into foreign markets • Prepare employees for work in foreign locations

Australian Business Competitiveness


The global challenge for HRM
• Development of global markets • Global competitiveness through HRM practices • Preparing employees for international assignments


The challenge of meeting stakeholders’ needs: Table 1.7 The balanced scorecard


Questions answered
How do customers see us?

Examples of critical indicators
Time, quality, performance, service, cost


What must we excel at?

Processes that influence customer satisfaction, availability of information on service and/or manufacturing processes Improve operating efficiency, launch new products, continuously improve, empower workforce Profitability, growth, shareholder value

Innovation and learning

Can we continue to improve and create value?


How do we look to shareholders?


The challenge of meeting stakeholders’ needs: Figure 1.5 The Australian Business Excellence Model

Source: Australian Quality Council Ltd., ‘Success stories’,


The challenge of meeting stakeholders’ needs: characteristics of the Australian workforce

• • • • • • • • •

Gender Ethnic diversity Structure of the economy Skill deficiencies Changes in the employment contract Changes in the place of work Employee values Legislation Ethical considerations


The challenge of highperformance work systems (HPWS)
• Change in employees’ work roles and skill requirements • Increase in the use of teams to perform work • Changes in the nature of managerial work • Changes in company structure • Increased availability of HR information bases • Competitiveness in HPWS

Figure 1.7 Examples of how HR practices can help companies meet the competitive challenges
Global Challenge Stakeholder Challenge High-Performance Work System Challenge

HR Practices
• HR strategy is matched to business strategy
• Work is performed by teams • Pay systems reward skills and accomplishments • Selection system is job-related and legal • Work attitudes of employees are monitored • Skills and values of a diverse work force are valued and used

• Continuous learning environment is created
• Discipline system is progressive • Customer satisfaction and quality are evaluated in the performance management system


Next Generation HR Professionals
• Need to be:
– More externally focused and skilled in building and maintaining alliances and productive relationships – More analytical and justify support for progressive HR policies – More skilled in using information to deliver and communicate HR policies
– (Kochan, (2004), Restoring Trust in the human resource management profession, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 2004 42(2), p144)


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