Assessment #2 - Powerpoint presentation
Assignments 2 and 3 are connected.
In this set of assignments you are asked to adopt the role of HR manager who is required to design the HR strategy for an organisation.
Your task is to (i) identify an appropriate set of business and HR strategies that will better achieve the organisation's goals, given the external context; (ii) identify appropriate HR practices that will enable the business to fully implement its business and HR strategies.
The purpose of the two assignments is to develop strategic awareness in the design and delivery of HR systems and operations. Specifically, the exercise aims to:
1. Build knowledge of the principles of strategic HRM.
2. Develop a practical understanding of how the external context can shape HR priorities.
3. Build a strategic orientation into the design of HR systems and delivery of HR operations.
4. Develop communication skills in the context of HR strategy formulation and making a case for a strategic HR approach.
Choose an organisation that you have knowledge of, or interest in. Make sure it is an organisation where you can get useful information, preferably from first hand sources. You may wish to interview the HR manager of the organisation responsible for managing HR issues at a strategic level, for greater insight into the issues faced by the organisation. Please note: your task is to make an independent assessment of the needs of the organisation. You are NOT to report on current practice within the organisation.
Quite often students make their task more difficult by selecting organisations that are too large, too complicated or too distant, or for which there is too little available information. Examples of organisations that are too big, too complicated, or too distant from you include Woolworths, Telstra, Optus, Qantas, General Motors, Nokia, Apple. Sometimes students choose organisations that are too distant â€“ not in geography, but in useful, independent information about the organisation â€“ and leave the student reliant on organisational websites, press releases or newspaper articles about the business. If you work for these organisations in a managerial role you probably will be able to obtain sufficient information.
Often students, especially HR practitioners who work in the organisation they are using for this exercise, are unable to make an independent assessment of the organisation. As a result, these papers tend to repeat existing policy or be limited to current organisational thinking.
Sometimes students look at businesses for which there is too little to analyse â€“ for example, analysing small retail stores, which are part of major chains, who are caught within major national business strategies, have no money to change anything and have already worked out the most efficient way to do business. One consequence of these approaches is that you will be limited in your scope to analyse the business. As a result, these papers tend to be the weakest submitted and receive the lowest marks.
You can use the case study â€“ outlined each week in the course reading list - as an organisation if you are unable to find an organisation to study.
Use a variety of sources of information in your background research on the organisational context. If you can, (but you are not required to) talk to people that work in the sector. Search and read stories in business news media, and study websites of the organisation and similar organisations in the sector. Be aware of the possibility of bias in an organisationâ€™s material. The course material will introduce a specific framework that links the organisationâ€™s external circumstances, business strategy, HR strategy and HR practices into a coherent framework.
Assignment 2: Prepare a PowerPoint Presentation
In this assignment you are required to prepare and submit a Powerpoint Presentation that links the organisationâ€™s external circumstances, a proposed business strategy, a proposed HR strategy and appropriate HR practices into a coherent framework, using a framework that will be introduced during the course.
Although you can submit a recorded version of the presentation (refer to the assignment 2 discussion forum for details), you are only obliged to submit a PowerPoint presentation.
This presentation will be no longer than 15 slides, not including the cover page that contains your name and key details, and a page that contains reference details. The audience is the organisationâ€™s board of directors. This presentation will be deemed to be the equivalent of 1500 words.
Key issues to address in your presentation:
(i) Did the presentation contain details about the external environment of the organisation? Was the STEEPLED analysis coherent? Are the main opportunities and threats explicitly identified?
(ii) Is there a clear statement of business strategy? Is there a clear logic for the business strategy?
(iii) Is there a clear recognition of the organisationâ€™s HR-related strengths and weaknesses in being able to implement the business strategy?
(iv) Is there a clear statement of HR strategy? Is there a clear logic for the HR strategy? How well does it support the business strategy given the strengths and weakness analysis?
(v) The ways in which specific HR practices support the organisation in achieving the proposed business strategy.
(v) Is the presentation organised in a coherent manner?
You will not need an executive summary because the document is so short.
No minimum number of references, however, if you draw on the argument or the evidence of someone else you are obliged to acknowledge the source.
Use a recognised referencing style of your choice, but be consistent throughout the assignment.
Further clarifications will be available on the Assignment 2 discussion forum.
Assignment 2 should be submitted electronically using LearnOnline