The integration of psychosocial determinants of motivation and performance in strategic human resource management leads to the stimulation of collaboration and teamwork that lead to a conducive working environment and job satisfaction (Ciobanu, & Androniceanu, 2018; Ciobanu, Androniceanu, & Lazaroiu, 2019). Although there are two types of HRM –soft and hard; their respective demerits warrant the development of other models, especially those that focus on quantitative aspects of HRM (Uysal, 2019). The paper will apply theories developed in strategic human resource development to provide recommendations and solutions to the problems in the case study.
The effect of sociocultural factors on the performance ranking continues to be a matter of interest given the effect of perception of inequality, unfairness, nepotism, racism, and corruption. Social factors such as age and gender play considerable roles in determining social constructs that, in turn, affect performance measures criteria, especially in a large organisation with a diverse workforce. Gender inequality is one of the major causes of errors in performance ranking, especially under competitive pressure. Gender differences have been shown to lead to a change of attitude under competitive pressure (Brandts, Groenert, & Rott, 2015). The research affirmed the increase of weak-performing men and strong performing men. The emergence of gender gaps that is inherent in the working environment in contemporary society where affirmative action policies have taken dominance.
Moreover, performance ranking is flawed, given specialisation and collaboration that is inherent in modern organisations. Contemporary organisations focus on agile methods of production and development such that the employees work by contributing to the overall output. Therefore, the measurement of performance of one employee, although different from the other, is still dependent on the other problem employees because of synergy and agility. Because of the lack of systematic evidence-based, and personalised scale for measuring performance appraisal is also a factor of concern. Problems like these stem from normative and comparative fit, such that the efficacy of a given performance ranking method may be mostly dependent on the perceiver or manager and the meta-contrast principle.
Favouritism and unfairness may lead to the performance ranking system to be flawed. In this case, inconsistencies in the performance ranking criteria used by DA may be flawed due to the prevalence of category hierarchy problems. The old system of performance appraisal, although providing satisfying results leads may be flawed, given the lack of specialisation in the appraisal method. In the case study, only four were ranked as satisfactory out of twenty-four. It is due to problems emerging from categorisation and social attraction.
Change and transformation are constant for many modern organisations. In this case, the resistance to change might be the sole reason the old regime before the application of the new appraisal standards by DA. According to the theory of self-categorisation, when social identities become present in the groups, self-stereotyping and depersonalisation occur (Reynold, 2017). Furthermore, employees conform to the beliefs, behaviours, and norms of the in-group members. They avoid the beliefs, norms, and behaviours of the out-group members like DA. Due to social influence, in-group members may conform and execute goals and objectives that are skewed and biased (Trepte & Loy, 2017). Information asymmetries may develop between the groups mentioned above: information that is perceived as valid when it is considered as normative within the in-group. The seclusion inherent between the groups bring gaps in communication and dissemination of information.
The elimination of the negative consequences of self-categorisation and social influence is critical for the organisation. Out-group homogeneity where managers perceive the out-group members as more similar than in-group members. Under these circumstances, the manager is more likely to classify based out-group and in-group members, thereby being typically drawn to focusing on differences between and among the groups. The reverse is true because of the unavailability of the members psychologically.
The indication from social identity theory shows that people enhance their self-image by showing favouritism to a selective group of people at the expense of others. In this case, DA’s workplace was characterised by this, given the perception of in-group and out-group, as illustrated by the performance appraisal results. Social identity, in this case, can be reduced by applying multifaceted, personalised, and evidence-based performance appraisal methods that are aimed at reducing unhealthy synergy due to social identity.
The increase in recommendations for organisations to favour female leadership has been gaining momentum in recent years. Female managers have been shown to exhibit a self-imposed cycle of illegitimacy (Vial, Napier, & Brescoll, 2016). Moreover, the efficacy of female leaders in management roles has a significant advantage, especially in roles such as quality assurance and compliance. However, centuries of male chauvinism have rendered the stereotype to be directed at women, thereby affecting their leadership.
Given that the essential criteria for education standards of junior management positions have changed and OE does not possess the educational standards, there are psychological implications as a result. The psychological contract model is akin to the input-output model, where content is provided as a prerequisite in the contract. The contribution from the individual constitutes the input, while the respective inducement from the firm is the output. The inputs can be employee, organisations, and HR practice, while the output is employee behaviour and performance delivery. On the other hand, the predetermined content can be fairness and trust.
One factor that might have caused the recent withdrawal from performing is job security. It is so given that OE lacks the required education standards and job security. Besides, it can also be used to explain his recent boycotts and attitude towards work. Moreover, the presence of other career opportunities that do not require such education standards might have lured OE. Given that OE has previously enjoyed status, opportunities, and benefits that accompanied the junior management position, OE envisioning a work environment scenario where he is demoted has a psychological impact on his behaviour. Job satisfaction, effectiveness, commitment, and loyalty is diminished with the decrease in the levels of agreement in the psychological contract reached by the organisation and OE. The reduction of PC or the work policy change leads to the OE feeling betrayed, sense of injustice, anger, and resentment. Another reason why OE’s work performance has been substandard after the introduction of a new selection and recruitment policies is the failure to adapt to change and personal insecurities due to educational attainment.
Offering education and training is the best solution for OE’s personal and professional needs. Improving the employee’s academic experience encourages loyalty and increases employee’s job satisfaction. Just like the business, employees should use the concept of life-long learning to stay better agile, informed, and current on their areas of specialisation so that they increase their sustainability, performance, and productivity. Another method can be used delegation and goal-oriented actions. Before delegating tasks, make sure scope, capacity, and desired output are outlined beforehand. The delegation will provide the chance to OE to improve his skills and knowledge as he continues to conduct his work.
There are two versions of HRM; hard and soft version. Each one, the versions of HRM, have inherent merits and demerits. Hard versions of HRM contribute to effective staff monitoring leading to cost-checking measures for input and output. There is centralisation, and more control is provided to the managers. The presence of more efficiency and control leads to better standardisation of the process within the organisation. There are two scenarios in this case. To allow BD to return to work by offering reasons to explain the predicament that he was. Another scenario is treating BD’s explanations as unreasonable and treating their absence as an act of termination of work on their part. The position that the HR will take in this case is that of offering corrective disciplinary action on the employee. As such, this means that no BD will not be dismissed on the grounds of abandonment of employment. However, corrective measures must be taken to deter BD not to retake alcohol at work. The corrective measures will be those like employee influence and reward system that is tailored to the needs of the employees like BD so that incidences like these are avoided.
Soft HRM is employee-focused with high commitment, while hard HRM is considered as being organisation-focused. The decision on the choice of applicability between the two depends on the overall strategic business goals and objectives of the organization (Rahman, Tabassum, & Sultana, 2017). Strategic HRM endeavours to align the strategic organisational goals and objectives with the human resource to foster job satisfaction, improve motivation, productivity, and general performance. Hard HRM places focus on short-term employee changes accompanied by an appraisal system that is based on judging employees on the bases of doing good or bad. Hard HRM akin to dictatorship as soft HRM is to democracy.
In this case, employee training and coaching should be offered to BD that is geared towards personal and professional development. Motivation and participation in fostering the needs of the employee will provide long-term output. Contemporary HRM practice suggests flexible and agile management criteria for effective handling of the intricacies of managing employees with diverse backgrounds. Hence, since better efficacy will be accrued for both the employee and the organisation, the position taken is Solomonic. Mutual benefit and understanding of the socioeconomic and cultural background of the employees are key in HRM. That is why BD will not be dismissed, but actions will be taken against getting drunk when on duty so that he does not repeat the misdemeanours.
Working while under the influence of alcohol is against the rules. However, dismissing BD on the grounds of abandonment of employment, in this case, is not fair given that the rule postulates that this can only happen if the employee is only absent for five business days. Unfair dismissal is not encouraged given it may paint the organisation negatively to the public resulting in public loathing. The increasing role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CRC) in HRM is of strategic importance for both the parties involved (Diaz‐Carrion, López‐Fernández, & Romero‐Fernandez, 2019; Stankevičiūtė & Savanevičienė, 2018). Concerning hard HRM, although the organisation can improve on production efficiency, this is not permanent, and the employees normally feel tired, under pressure, and control, leading to them getting discouraged. Applying hard HRM on BD without dismissal will likely lead him to over-indulge next time in a situation next time, given that he has a prior history of alcohol-related issues. On the other hand, soft HRM has the merits of increasing the levels of employee participation, collaboration, coordination, and enthusiasm. When there is an increased commitment, there is less absenteeism, which in turn leads to better productivity (Sarvaiya, Arrowsmith, & Eweje, 2019).
The organisation should be agile and flexible enough to accommodate high diversity in the organisation. Strategic human resources management focuses on the alignment of the human resource departments to the overall goals and objectives of the organisation to foster job security, performance, and employee retention. Human resources management methods, either soft or hard, are chosen for applicability purposes. However, contemporary HRM practice advocates for optimal judgments that are flexible and agile as scholastic environmental determinants affect the organisation from both internal and external entities. Future studies are warranted in the domain of holistic performance ranking approaches and the application of quantitative methods in HRM.
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