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In this assignment you should examine and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation in which you work, or another organisation that you know well, from one of the following perspectives:

a. Structural Frame,
b. Human Resource Frame,
c. Political Frame, or
d. Symbolic Frame.

Strength of Cotton On

The four-frame model of Bolman and Deal identifies four distinctive frames from which the employees can see their organizations. The employees can see their workplace from four distinctive frames like structural, human resource, political and symbolic (Lyon et al. 2014). This study will discuss only about human resource frame in respect to an organization. Human resource frame deals with the individual needs, feelings, skills, prejudice, limitation and relation of the employees at their workplace. The organization chosen for this study is Cotton On. Cotton On is a popular clothing retail in Australia. The study will discuss about the human resource frame followed in this organization. Moreover, throughout the study, it will discuss about the strength and weakness of the organization from the perspective of human resource frame.

Effective communication in the workplace is extremely important, which allows an organization to be more productive and operate effectively. According to Sheehan (2014), open communication in the workplace allows the employees in communicating with the management openly. Therefore, the employees can easily share their concern and issues with the management for getting immediate solution. As per the human resource frame, the workplace of Cotton On has an open communicative environment, where the low-level employees can easily communicate with their upper management. The direct communication between the employees and employers often solve critical issues easily.

Teamwork is extremely important for an organization, where the employees work collaboratively with each other for enhancing overall organizational productivity. According to Kramar (2014), teamwork enhances the collaboration and support of the employees for each other. The team members can share their workloads among each other, which reduce the workloads of the employees. In case of Cotton On, the employees of the organization always work in team by sharing task among each other. In this way, the collaboration and support of the team members for each other make them able to complete even complex task easily. On the other hand, Arvanitis, Seliger and Stucki (2016) opined high level of collaboration among the team members encourage them towards enhancing their overall productivity. Likewise, high level of cooperation and collaboration among the team members of Cotton On leads them towards enhanced productivity.

Workplace support is an important characteristic, which influence on positive nature of an organizational culture. According to Jackson, Schuler and Jiang (2014), adequate support from supervisors enhance the confidence level of the employees towards completing any complex organizational task. In case of Cotton On, the supervisors provide high level of support to the employees, which enhance the employee confidence in completing complex task easily. On the other hand, Kehoe and Wright (2013) opined that adequate support from the supervisors also builds positive relationship among the employees and supervisors. Such positive relationship enhances the enthusiasm level of the employees for enhancing their overall productivity for achieving organizational success. In this way, supervisor support fosters positive workplace environment in Cotton On.

Proper recruitment builds the foundation for organizational success. According to Alfes et al. (2013), hiring right people can help an organization towards getting the best out of them for achieving organizational success. Talented employees are always efficient in their performance, which ultimately leads to organizational efficiency. Likewise, the hiring managers of Cotton On always hire the best talents for achieving organizational efficiency. The talented employees can properly understand the goals and objectives of the organization and align their efforts with overall organizational goals for achieving organizational success. On the other hand, Marler and Fisher (2013) opined that the skills and talents of the talented employees could also be exploited for fostering organizational innovation towards gaining competitive advantage. Likewise, the talented employees of Cotton On helps in giving innovative store ideas for enhanced store convenience. In this way, hiring right employees helps Cotton On in achieving huge competitive advantage.

Effective Communication

Shared value within an organization fosters healthy business culture, which promotes and models same level of shared value system from top to down. According to Messersmith and Wales (2013), in shared value system, the leaders of an organization consider the value of every employee and utilize them for business progress. Moreover, shared value system enhances the worth of the employees in their workplace. They can have a great feel that they are really a part of their organization. In this way, shared value system encourages the employees to be more productive.

In case of Cotton On, the leaders of the organization shared important information of their organization with the employees. In this way, the employees have very clear and transparent ideas regarding their organizational goals. Therefore, they can perfectly align their individual effort with the overall organizational goals and objectives for achieving organizational success. On the other hand, Hoch and Dulebohn (2013) opined that shared value system minimizes the gaps and enhances the transparencies between the employees and employers. Likewise, the shared value system in Cotton On fosters positive relationship between the employers and employees. In this way, shared value system develops positive workplace relationship in an organization.

Employee empowerment provides certain degree of autonomy and responsibility to the employees regarding decision making of their own task. According to Carmeli, Gelbard and Reiter?Palmon (2013), in employee empowerment, the leaders allow decision making to be made at lower level of an organization, where the employees have some unique view of issues facing the organization at certain level. Therefore, the employees can make better decision for their own task by considering their specific issues. Likewise, the leaders of Cotton On provide enough empowerment to the employees, which enhance value of the employees at their workplace. Such enhanced value of the employees encourages the employees to be more productive.

Thunnissen, Boselie and Fruytier (2013) pointed out that empowered employees always feel free to challenge their current status quo, which is extremely important for fast changing and technology driven environment. Therefore, empowered employees are always willing to adapt changes in an effective way towards bringing innovation in organization. Likewise, adequate empowerment provided to the employees allows them towards embracing tough challenges for completing complex organization task. Furthermore, empowered employees are also willing to take responsibilities of their own task. In this way, they can better lead their own task in their own way for achieving overall goals and objective of their organization.

According to the viewpoint of Ployhart et al. (2014), it can be said that career growth helps in motivating and retaining existing employees. Candidates are able to exercise various roles that help in maximizing their growth potentialities. On the other hand, Wood, Bansal and Kim (2016) pointed out that organizations try to hire candidates from external sources so that diversified ideas are shared across branches. However, it influences existing employee motivation, as the potential existing employee does not get the opportunity for promotion. Eventually, growth potentiality is hampered. Furthermore, Wright, Coff and Moliterno (2014) highlighted that when career growth opportunities are halted by the management, potentialities are employees are not explored, which leads to improper resource consumption. Similarly, Cotton On has been found to depend on external recruitment from agencies. This has influenced the motivation of employees and there has been a huge gap in communication between the middle level and lower level employees. Poor growth opportunities also resulted in gradually accelerated attrition in the past years.


Al Ariss, Cascio and Paauwe (2014) pointed out that training need analysis constructs the pathway for human resource development, however since this is cost effective; most of the organizations focus on onsite training rather than full time training session. This results in inadequate training accomplishment. On the other hand, Jackson, Schuler and Jiang (2014) pointed out that many organizations in retail sector believe in one-time training session, however employees are hardly given sessions for updated operational procedures in future. This results in poor performance and ultimately it is noticed huge gap between proposed and projected business outcome. Considering Cotton On as well, the scenario is quite similar because there is no seasonal training session. Most of the training needs are required for sales staffs and customer support but those are hardly provided.

While considering the viewpoint of Marler and Fisher (2013), rewarding creates a sense of achievement among employees and this in turn inculcates drive for better performance. On the other hand, Thunnissen, Boselie and Fruytier (2013) indicated that reward system forms a part of hygiene factor which when is not present, creates dissatisfaction among employees. Cotton On has been quite successful in the recent years but there is no monthly reward system. Any reward scheme is applicable on or after every six months. Therefore, there is very less distinguishing between poor and good performer. However, the fringe benefits and special allowance are quite adequate but those do not depict the seniority and sense of achievement among employees. All such reasons will create differences in future, as the organization will not able to retain

While considering the viewpoint of Wright, Coff and Moliterno (2014), it can be highlighted that balance between work and personal life heels in boosting employee performance. On the other hand, Hoch and Dulebohn (2013) pointed out that most of the organizations fail to justify work-life balance, because of the time and budget and constraint. This influences human resource management. Cotton On has been facing similar issues in the past couple of months, as the managers of respective stores are not able to complete their roles within mentioned time.  Since the managers are given the responsibility to undertake quality check, this has raised the period beyond normal, working hours. On the other hand, store managers are responsible for undertaking on job training, resolving issues, preparing sales report and operation management. Eventually work-life balance is hampered.

According to the viewpoint of Ployhart et al. (2014), it can be said that performance of employee depends on how well they are engaged within a team. Engagement tends to form motivation and this in turn ensures employee satisfaction and retention. On the other hand, while considering the ideas of Hoch and Dulebohn (2013), it can be said that employee engagement is impacted due to poor work culture, lack of leadership, poor training and biased human resource management approach. Similarly, Cotton On is facing challenges related to staff management. The most important issue is related to onsite staff engagement, as there are no fun activities, reward and motivation or even leaders’ support. This has resulted in more hurdles among the store managers as experienced and qualified human resource is no more interested to be associated with the brand.



While concluding the study, it can be said that human resource frame of an organization explore the needs, wants, prejudice, skills, limitation and relationship of the employees. Cotton On has an effective communication framework in the workplace, where the low-level employees can easily interact with high-level management. In this way, effective communication allows the low-level employees towards sharing their issues with the management and get immediate solution for those issues. On the other hand, the organization also has collaborative teamwork at their workplace, which enhances the cooperation level of the team members among each other. Adequate support from the supervisors facilitates the employees towards completing any complex job easily. Furthermore, shared value and empowerment provided to the employees encourage them towards more productivity with high sense of ownership at their workplace. However, as per human resource frame, Cotton On has lack of adequate career growth option, which often discourages the employees towards being more productive. Apart from that, the organization also has lack of training programs for developing the skills level of the employees as per changing business requirements. Therefore, the employees often feel lack of confidence in doing any complex jobs without having adequate skills and knowledge. Furthermore, Cotton On has lack of reward programs, which discourage the employees to be highly productive. Lack of work-life-balance often fosters employee conflict and reduces their jib efficiency level. In this way, the overall job efficiency level of the organization is reduced.

Reference List

Al Ariss, A., Cascio, W.F. and Paauwe, J., 2014. Talent management: Current theories and future research directions. Journal of World Business, 49(2), pp.173-179.

Alfes, K., Shantz, A.D., Truss, C. and Soane, E.C., 2013. The link between perceived human resource management practices, engagement and employee behaviour: a moderated mediation model. The international journal of human resource management, 24(2), pp.330-351.

Arvanitis, S., Seliger, F. and Stucki, T., 2016. The relative importance of human resource management practices for innovation. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 25(8), pp.769-800.

Carmeli, A., Gelbard, R. and Reiter?Palmon, R., 2013. Leadership, creative problem?solving capacity, and creative performance: The importance of knowledge sharing. Human Resource Management, 52(1), pp.95-121.

Hoch, J.E. and Dulebohn, J.H., 2013. Shared leadership in enterprise resource planning and human resource management system implementation. Human Resource Management Review, 23(1), pp.114-125.

Jackson, S.E., Schuler, R.S. and Jiang, K., 2014. An aspirational framework for strategic human resource management. Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), pp.1-56.

Kehoe, R.R. and Wright, P.M., 2013. The impact of high-performance human resource practices on employees’ attitudes and behaviors. Journal of management, 39(2), pp.366-391.

Kramar, R., 2014. Beyond strategic human resource management: is sustainable human resource management the next approach?. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(8), pp.1069-1089.

Lyon, L.J., Nadersahi, N.A., Nattestad, A., Kachalia, P. and Hammer, D., 2014. A curricular reform viewed through Bolman and Deal’s organizational frames. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 14(3), pp.16-33.

Marler, J.H. and Fisher, S.L., 2013. An evidence-based review of e-HRM and strategic human resource management. Human Resource Management Review, 23(1), pp.18-36.

Messersmith, J.G. and Wales, W.J., 2013. Entrepreneurial orientation and performance in young firms: The role of human resource management. International Small Business Journal, 31(2), pp.115-136.

Ployhart, R.E., Nyberg, A.J., Reilly, G. and Maltarich, M.A., 2014. Human capital is dead; long live human capital resources!. Journal of Management, 40(2), pp.371-398.

Sheehan, M., 2014. Human resource management and performance: Evidence from small and medium-sized firms. International Small Business Journal, 32(5), pp.545-570.

Thunnissen, M., Boselie, P. and Fruytier, B., 2013. Talent management and the relevance of context: Towards a pluralistic approach. Human Resource Management Review, 23(4), pp.326-336.

Wood, M., Bansal, P. and Kim, A., 2016, January. The importance of scale on organizational attention to issues. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2016, No. 1, p. 10600). Academy of Management.

Wright, P.M., Coff, R. and Moliterno, T.P., 2014. Strategic human capital: Crossing the great divide. Journal of Management, 40(2), pp.353-370.

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