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Strategic & Contemporary Issues Essay

You must choose one of the 6 contemporary issues and write an essay exploring this issue.

Part 1: explain why your chosen issue is important.

Part 2: analyse your issue using concepts and theory.

Part 3: Discuss critically the implications of your contemporary issue for the future of human resource management practice.

Part 1: Explain why the chosen issue is important

Globalisation influences for competition between organisations both at the domestic and the international level for notably three possible outcomes like enhanced customer satisfaction and quality products at low cost. Competition is becoming stronger with incrementing international movement of services and goods. Globalisation is one of the possible causes that have made such possibilities. The various international agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have provided supportive platforms to such movements of goods and services (Baier, Bergstrand and Mariutto 2014). The globalisation effect has produced some benefits to the overall organisational outcome whereas it has also generated an ample list of challenges to it. The management is under severe challenge. Most importantly, the global human resource management now has loads of tasks to take care of appropriate strategic plans which are highly productive and have very minimal flaws in it (Bhatti and Ahsan 2016). Some of the notable challenges to the global HRM are the extensive industrial conflict, stressed labour-management relationship, the appearance of militancy in trade unionism, and increasing trade union pressure on workers. There are other few challenges as well such as globalisation & inequality and the cultural differences. However, the study focuses specifically on the globalisation & inequality at the global level.

This assignment is aimed at understanding the few issues of HRM at the global workplace. The study tries to understand the importance of the organisational culture that enforces a viable resistance to such issues. Hence, it also shows how the human resource management at the global level can influence a positive organisational culture.

The chosen issue for this study which is the globalisation & inequality is important for various reasons. According to Burman and Fernandes (2017), globalisation has helped to people to move to other countries seeking better job opportunities. Opportunities can be categorised into remuneration & benefits, work-life balance, and exploration to a varied range of job-related skills. These are a few of considerations that graduate professionals make up in their mind when they think of a global workplace. The global workplace is also occupied with labours who are less qualified and seek to find a job probably at the assistant level just to satisfy their needs of income (Brewster, Mayrhofer and Smale 2016). Both the scenarios are different; however, the study is centric only to inequality in qualified professionals. In most cases, the qualified graduate professionals do not get the best work-pay; however, they are asked to do a lot of work-related tasks. Additionally, recruiters at the time of interview prefer hiring those who are skilled in a varied range of expertise. Jobs are also designed in such a way that a single post seems to be carrying the multiple kinds of responsibilities. However, those multiple tasks could have easily been distributed among two or more professionals (Kumar 2014).  

Part 2: Analyse the issue using cultural aspects of the HRM

Such job designs do really hamper the career of many professionals. They either keep on bearing the challenges or they get frustrated and are left with no place to move ahead. It is then necessary that the HRM takes some serious approach to make the management realise the possible ways out of it. The following figure just validates the highlighted concerns. It shows that how different countries perform in regards to inequality.

The figure shows that middle classes have a very less share in the National Wealth as highlighted by the “Global Wealth Databook” (Inequality.org 2018). The United States tops the list and just shows how adverse the situations are there. Other countries like as shown in the figure are also not performing well in this regards (Inequality.org 2018).  

It is evident that inequality is a global issue which needs to be resolved with effective human resource strategies. The global human resource management has loads of tasks regarding the job designs, pay scales and the training & development. In the opinion of Bos-Nehles and Bondarouk (2017), job design is important as this can do the half of the task required to be done to reduce the global inequality level. As viewed from Story et al. (2014), Job design communicates the allocation of tasks from the assistant level to executive level staffs and the managerial positions. It has been observed that jobs are designed in such a way that professionals do multi-task alone. Such job designs are responsible for job-related stress, reduced work-life balance, health-related issues and others. Some people might be efficient enough in handling multi-tasks; however, some may not be that much capable. It appears like the particular style of job design is not applicable at the universal level (Story et al. 2014).

As stated by Glaister et al. (2018), “distributive pay scales” is another issue which appears as if like a strategic HRM flaw. The distributive pay scales do probably contribute to the global inequality. Different positions from assistant to managerial levels are offered the fix salaries; however, they all vary in terms of numbers. The difference in numbers is acceptable; however, fix salaries might be critical to the fact that there exists a global inequality (Glaister et al. 2018). There are situations when business is not making potential earns; however, those managers and assistant level staffs will still keep on drawing their fixed salaries. It appears that such practice might put pressure on the net profit for a certain period of time (Glaister et al. 2018).   

Part 3: Discuss critically the implications of the contemporary issue for the future of human resource management practice

As opined by Namazie and Venegas (2015), organisational culture is created which depends on how strategic is the human resourced management. According to Zubair, Jabeen, and Zahid (2015), organisational culture can be defined as its characteristics to look at different essential organisational elements like job design, pay scale and the training & development. In the light of the facts stated earlier in this section, it looks possible that the HRM can play a very significant role in influencing the organisational culture.

The first and foremost thing that the HRM needs to take care of is the dispersive job roles. In spite of allocating multi-tasks to one person, they rather need to differentiate the workforce based on their expertise. This may produce both positive and negative influences. The positive influence will be the reduced work pressure, enhanced work-life balance, self-satisfaction & enhanced motivation of employees and improved business outcomes (Sheehan et al. 2016). The negative influence can be the need of recruiting more professionals, so that, unallocated tasks could be distributed. Added investments will be needed for the recruitment process. The change might not produce the spot benefits to the organisation; however, they may be able to observe the benefits in long-term.

The human resource management (HRM) can follow up certain ways to respond to the identified needs. The dispersive job roles may leave some works as undone because the number of employees in relevant to the variety of tasks is less. The switching over strategy to dispersive job roles will then require a strategic response from the HRM (Haak-Saheem, Darwish and Al-Nasser 2017). There are a few suggestions which the HRM can follow to reduce the required investments for recruitment, training and pay scales. They may go ahead and recruit some fresh graduates for the internship (Haak-Saheem, Darwish and Al-Nasser 2017). This is indeed a very effective move to ensure low expenses made on recruiting professionals and also ensuring the development of skilled professionals. Professionals are hired for an internship with a minimal amount as a stipend (Sheehan et al. 2016). The stipend is always very less than a normal basic pay. This means a straightforward saving on the pay scales (Sheehan et al. 2016). Such interns may possibly be the valuable professionals for organisations provided that, if they take their responsibilities seriously (Sheehan et al. 2016).

There are clear prospects in recruiting interns as it is a foundation for quality professionals with fewer expenses being initially made on them (Zubair, Jabeen and Zahid 2015). According to Baier, Bergstrand, and Mariutto (2014), normal recruitment, on the other hand, means a comparatively high distribution of salaries which itself never guarantees that whether professionals will be the assets in future. As argued by Zubair, Jabeen, and Zahid (2015), the internship can also never guarantee of the production of skilled professionals or a continued participation of interns. In fact, in both the case, a high attrition is expected but, the real difference lies in the amount of money being paid to them on a monthly basis. This is indeed a real gain.

Another benefit with the interns is they themselves look to learn. It means they may tend to bear the work-pressure thinking of its benefit in their long-term career. Some of them may also quit after not being able to handle the pressure. However, the loss in terms of investments will be comparatively lesser. The fact still persists that interns are paid a very less amount than the permanent staffs (Namazie and Venegas 2015). Some examples could also help to understand the benefits of adopting the strategy of an internship. The various PR (public relation) management agencies like the ‘Advertising Agencies’ do also follow the same procedure. They recruit the professionals for the internship. They nurture them to grow to the maturity level, so that, they are productive at that stage (Namazie and Venegas 2015).


In a very similar way, the human resource management at the global level can take the initiative and follow up the same process. However, the human resource management has added responsibilities in such situation. It is not just about recruiting the interns. The quality of interns needs also to be enhanced, so that, productivity at the maturity stage could be more. The quality of interns could be enhanced if organisations and the universities have better coordination. If they have better coordination, the HRM will then be able to guide the universities to job-oriented courses (Kumar 2014). Job-oriented courses mean aspirants being nurtured on the job-related elements. Hence, such interns will have high domain-specific knowledge. The number of efficient interns will then increase and hence, the HRM will have the ample number of skilled interns to select from (Kumar 2014).

“Distributive pay scales” is the other suggestion for reducing the global inequality. It means there should not be the fixed salaries. The assistant level staffs and the managers must have the difference in salaries but, that needs to be flexible and be in direct proportion to the business outcomes. There is a need for a system which could effectively manage the percentage of variation in either of the situation such as the incrementing and the reducing business outcomes (Brewster, Mayrhofer and Smale 2016). This may indeed be challenging to the global HRM and also very unique of its kind as the standard rule of salaries is different to what is being suggested (Brewster, Mayrhofer and Smale 2016). However, global inequality needs a robust strategic move from the global HRM and this is one of those kinds. There are practical examples that support the same fact. The sales department, for example, does follow the similar kind of strategy. They offer fixed salaries to salespersons; however, there can also be deductions in cases they are not able to meet the target. The executive level and the managerial staffs though have the fixed salaries; however, they may also get commissions on overshooting the target. The assistant level staffs will seek for overshooting the target or at least, meeting the target, so that they could get their full salaries and also the incentives in case of overshoots (Kumar 2014). On the other hand, managers will always look for overshoot as they have no such threats of losing their fixed salaries. They rather look for commission based pay.  

The few suggestions that have been given to the global human resource management (HRM) if being implemented by the global HRM may expectedly bring a lot of the difference. Distributive pay scales will bring some of the changes whereas dispersive job roles will bring the rest. There will be an environment where employees have the competitive spirit and are doing hard works to ensure that they get at least the basic salaries. They will focus on developing skills, so that; they open up ways to ensure an improved performance every time. Overall business production will get improve due to the enhanced commitment to work. Employees will live in fear to lose the job and hence, will not think of taking things lightly.

Distributive pay scales will also mean that assistant level staffs have no feeling of injustice in them. It may be the case when there are unequal salaries distributed among assistant level employees. However, the future workplace will probably have a reduced such feeling as fixed salaries are not ensured anymore. They will rather be motivated to good performance, so that, they get the same values as that of others.

Dispersive job roles will contribute to a dynamic workforce who is concerned with their specific roles and responsibilities. This looks possible indeed as staffs will have reduced work pressure due to being assigned to their expertise only. They will not be bothering the multi-task which they have to do at present. Work-life balance will be redefined. Employees in the future will be able to find sufficient time for their personal life and hence, will feel rejuvenated on every office morning. The future workplace will also have the skilled interns who will be strengthening their roots to become the permanent professionals. The future organisation will be finding the solutions for labour shortage which is at present a challenge to HRM (Bhatti and Ahsan 2016).

Labour shortage is an added issue for the contemporary workplace as employee turnover rates are also higher. Attrition is increasing as many employees look for jobs which satisfy both their basic pay and also the work environment (Burman and Fernandes 2017). However, the future workplace will have a reduced rate of attrition as employees will be able to get their desired work profile and also the work environment. Interns will be getting the elevated opportunities for their career due to a proposed internship in future. Moreover, they will in most cases be in the line of their destination.  

Conclusion:

Therefore, globalisation and HRM is a resource to many challenges of which global inequality is one of the challenges. It has affected even the developed nations. Developed nations have also struggled to make ways to lessen the inequality. The situation is even worse in countries as such the United States. The global human resource management has ample of challenges to face. The global inequality can be reduced if the HRM identifies the place for some change as suggested in the study. There is a need to implement the distributive pay system in organisations, so that, there are no fixed salaries and employees work hard to ensure their fixed salaries are at least saved. There is also the need to consider a change in job design, so that, there is an ample number of place for interns. If this happens, permanent employees will be allocated to their expertise related works only. On the other hand, interns will get the elevated opportunities, so that, they could be exposed to the world of opportunities. If such changes happen then the overall business outcome will get better. The rate of attrition will also reduce as employees will have maximum satisfaction at the workplace.   

References:

Baier, S.L., Bergstrand, J.H. and Mariutto, R., 2014. Economic determinants of free trade agreements revisited: Distinguishing sources of interdependence. Review of International Economics, 22(1), pp.31-58.

Bhatti, M.W. and Ahsan, A., 2016. Global software development: an exploratory study of challenges of globalization, HRM practices and process improvement. Review of Managerial Science, 10(4), pp.649-682.

Bos-Nehles, A. and Bondarouk, T., 2017. HRM implementation in Europe–the need for a dialogue between HR and line management. European journal of international management, 11(5), pp.511-514.

Brewster, C., Mayrhofer, W. and Smale, A., 2016. Crossing the streams: HRM in multinational enterprises and comparative HRM. Human Resource Management Review, 26(4), pp.285-297.

Burman, A. and Fernandes, M., 2017. Globalization and Strategic Human Resource Management: An Overview and Theoretical Framework. International Journal of Engineering and Management Research (IJEMR), 7(1), pp.132-136.

Glaister, A.J., Karacay, G., Demirbag, M. and Tatoglu, E., 2018. HRM and performance—The role of talent management as a transmission mechanism in an emerging market context. Human Resource Management Journal, 28(1), pp.148-166.

Haak-Saheem, W., Darwish, T.K. and Al-Nasser, A.D., 2017. HRM and knowledge-transfer: a micro analysis in a Middle Eastern emerging market. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28(19), pp.2762-2791.

Inequality.org. 2018. Global Inequality - Inequality.org. [online] Available at: https://inequality.org/facts/global-inequality/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].

Kumar, N.P., 2014. Human resource management in future an obstacle of champion of globalization. Human Resource Management, 1(1), pp.49-57.

Namazie, P. and Venegas, B.C., 2015. Culture and HRM in the Middle East: Building a theoretical foundation. Refreshing the Cultural Paradigm, pp.33-40.

Sheehan, C., De Cieri, H., Cooper, B.K. and Brooks, R., 2016. The impact of HR political skill in the HRM and organisational performance relationship. Australian Journal of Management, 41(1), pp.161-181.

Story, J.S., Barbuto, J.E., Luthans, F. and Bovaird, J.A., 2014. Meeting the challenges of effective international HRM: Analysis of the antecedents of global mindset. Human Resource Management, 53(1), pp.131-155.

Zubair, S.S., Jabeen, N. and Zahid, M., 2015. Evaluation of Tenure Track system in higher Education institutions of Pakistan: an hrM Perspective. New Horizons, 9(2), pp.29-38.

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