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Sept 5, 2002. Meeting Human Resource Challenges. Learning Objectives for Chapter 1. Explain how a firm’s human resources influence its performance. Describe how firms can use HR initiatives to cope with workplace changes, business and societal trends

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sept 5 2002

Sept 5, 2002

Meeting Human Resource Challenges

learning objectives for chapter 1
Learning Objectives for Chapter 1
  • Explain how a firm’s human resources influence its performance.
  • Describe how firms can use HR initiatives to cope with workplace changes, business and societal trends
  • Identify HR strategies that fit corporate and business unit strategies.
  • Formulate and implement HR strategies that can help the firm achieve a sustained competitive advantage.
  • Distinguish between the role of the HR department and the role of the firm’s managers in human resources management.
critical types of capital contributing to firm success
Critical Types of Capital Contributing to Firm Success
  • Financial capital (money, plants, and equipment)
  • Human capital (abilities and skills)
  • Intellectual capital (ideas and knowledge)
  • Social capital (resources from relationships)
  • Human Resource management contributes to the development and effective utilization of three of the four types of capital
societal trends work place changes and human resource challenges
Societal Trends, Work Place Changes, and Human Resource Challenges

Societal trends

  • Rapid Change
  • Globalization
  • Rise of Internet
  • Legislation
  • Hyper competitiveness
  • Rise of the service sector

Work place changes

  • Competitive Position: Cost,
  • Quality, Distinctive Capabilities
  • Decentralization
  • Downsizing
  • Organizational Restructuring
  • Self-Managed Work Teams
  • Small Businesses
  • Organizational Culture
  • Technology
  • Outsourcing

Human Resource Challenges

  • Ethical Dilemmas and Social Responsibility
  • Staffing, Development, and Productivity
  • Job Design and Empowerment
  • Brain Drain and Talent Shortage
  • Safety Net and Job Insecurity
human resource challenges in hk and china
Human Resource Challenges in HK and China

Hong Kong

    • Declining growth, a stagnant economy
    • Primarily service economy
    • Influx of talents from mainland
    • Unclear competitive edge in global market
  • Chinese mainland
    • Rapidly growth, especially private sector
    • Competitive skilled & professional labor markets
    • Evolving business and labor laws
    • WTO and increasing competitiveness
    • Business ethics
a hong kong company computime
A Hong Kong Company: Computime
  • 28 years old
  • 30% annual sales growth in past 3 years
  • 5% profit margin
  • Production plant in Shenzhen
  • Administrative and HQ offices in HK
  • 7 divisions – 4 functions and 3 business units
  • About 500 staff employees and 3000 production workers
  • ISO objective but defective products due to rush
computime vmv
Computime (VMV)

Vision 目標


To become a global leader in electronics supply chain services through establishing long-term partnerships based on integrity and ethical business practices.

Mission 使命


We act as one responsive, flexible and innovative team with full commitment and dedication to exceed our customers’ expectations in quality, cost, delivery and service.

Value 信念







Customer First

Zero Defect


One Team

Business Ethics

Social Responsibility

discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • What are the HR challenges facing Computime?
  • What information do we need to identify the HRM challenges of Computime?
  • How can Computime use HRM to stay competitive and sustain its rapid growth?
an hrm framework for analyzing hrm challenges of a company
An HRM Framework for analyzing HRM challenges of a company










HR Strategies

And choices










influence of business strategies on hrm
Influence of Business Strategies on HRM

Common Organizational




HR Strategies

  • Explicit job descriptions
  • Detailed work planning
  • Emphasis on technical
  • qualifications and skills
  • Emphasis on job-specific
  • training
  • Emphasis on job-based pay
  • Sustained capital investment
  • Tight cost control
  • Low-cost distribution system
  • Structured organization
  • and responsibilities




  • Broad job classes
  • Loose work planning
  • External recruitment
  • Individual-based pay
  • performance appraisal as development tool
  • Product engineering
  • Strong capability in basic research
  • Reputation for quality or technological leadership



  • Combination of HR
  • strategies above.


  • Combination of business
  • strategies above.
the importance of organizational characteristics on hrm
The Importance of Organizational Characteristics on HRM

Overall management philosophy



influence of environment on hrm
Influence of Environment on HRM





Degree of



  • Detailed work planning
  • Job-specific training
  • Fixed pay
  • High dependence on superior
  • Control emphasis
  • Efficient production
  • Job-specific training
  • Fixed pay
  • Loose work planning
  • Generic training
  • Variable pay
  • Multiple inputs for appraisals
  • Flexibility
  • Innovation
  • Generic training
  • Variable pay
influence environment on hrm cont
Influence Environment on HRM (cont.)






of Change


  • Explicit job descriptions
  • Formal hiring and socialization of new employees
  • “make” skills
  • Uniform appraisal procedures
  • Control emphasis
  • Internal recruitment
  • Centralized pay decisions
  • High dependence on superior
  • Broad job classes
  • Informal hiring and socialization of new employees
  • “buy” skills
  • Customized appraisals
  • Flexibility
  • External recruitment
  • Decentralized pay decisions
  • Multiple inputs for appraisals
importance of organizational capabilities on hrm
Importance of Organizational Capabilities on HRM

Leadership – at all levels

Technology – process and product

Management Systems – information and control

Quality – reliability and timeliness

Distinctive competences?

human resource strategies and choices
Human Resource Strategies and Choices
  • Determining HR needs– HR planning and job analysis (chapter 2)
  • Importing HR – recruiting and selection (chapter 5)
  • Preparing HR – socialization and training (chapter 8)
  • Compensating HR – setting compensation (chapter 10)
  • Evaluating HR – appraising and managing performance (chapter 7, 14)
  • Incentivise HR – rewarding performance (chapter 11)
  • Appreciating HR differences – managing diversity (chapter 4)
  • Developing HR – career development (chapter 9)
  • Protecting HR – designing and administering benefits (12)
  • Positive HR relations – developing employee relations (chapter 13)
  • HR in global companies – international HRM (chapter 17)
  • Exporting HR – separation, downsizing and outplacement (chapter 6)
questions to consider
Questions to consider
  • How much responsibility does an organization have to shield its employees from the effects of rapid changes in the environment?
  • Does an employer have an ethical responsibility to train employees who lack basic literary and numerical skills? Why yes or why no?
  • In today’s increasing chaotic business and economic environment, does an employer have a responsibility to help employees prepare for these changes that may affect their jobs and careers?
  • All civil servants in HK will face a pay reduction of 1 to 5% this October. Is this fair to the employees? Why yes or why no?
  • Some European countries have laws barring organizations form using computer technology that invades employee privacy. Do you believe that similar laws should be developed in Hong Kong? Why yes or no?
hrm and the bottom line
HRM and the Bottom Line
  • Research has shown consistently a clear link between progressive HR practices (e.g., High involvement HR systems) and
    • Sales
    • Productivity
    • Retention
an exceptional company southwest airline
An Exceptional Company: Southwest Airline
  • 31 years old
  • Post 9/11, SWA had no layoff, posted profits and

did not reduce flights

  • What account for the success of SWA?
  • Can or how can SWA sustain its success?
  • Can other companies imitate SWA’s approach to HRM? If not, why not?
  • What can Computime learn from SWA?