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Business Issues In The Context Of Human Resources Add in library

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Question:

1. Understand key contemporary business issues affecting the HR function within private, public and third sector organisations.

2. Understand the main external contextual factors impacting on organisations and the HR function.

5. Know how to identify and respond to short-term changes in the business and external contexts.

 

Answer:

Introduction:

In the present business environment, organizations will have to consider several internal and external factors in order to maintain proper operational process. The present competitive business environment structure has induced organizations to deal with many business related issues so that it can able to maintain its position in the market. However, effective utilization of all the factors heavily depends on human resource activity of the organization. Since, human resource management team plays a key role in developing working atmosphere within the organization.  In this assignment, the focus will be on a law firm namely Duncan Lewis Solicitors. The organization is established in 1998 that focusing on providing services for both private individual and corporate entities. The organization has total 45 directors with more than 750 employees working for the organization. With its high quality services, Duncan Lewis Solicitors has able to increase its popularity in the entire UK region. Legal 500 has recommended Duncan Lewis Solicitors as one of the top tier law firm present in the UK region. In this assignment, we will focus on several business related issue that is affecting the human resource functions of the organization. The assignment will also try to provide specific recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the human resource functions for the enhancement of the operational process.

Key contemporary business issues affecting the HR functions:

Organization and its management:

The selected organization, titled “Duncan Lewis Solicitors” is a renowned law firm in England. It was founded in 1998[1]. The organization is providing legal support to both the individual as well as the corporate clients. However, according to the website of the organization, it is also providing services to the “disadvantaged, who may find the law complex and daunting[2].” The organization is a private organization and it is operating on the functional structure. The organization has, chairperson, CEO and team of management with directors for every wing, which is responsible for the overall management of the organization. The organization is

HR and the functional area of management:

The organization is now operating with more than 750 employees with 45 directors[3]. As the organization is serving diverse legal help, it has a number of managerial heads for every segment. However, the management is comprised of individuals from diverse cultural background, which is helping the organization in attracting clients from various cultural groups. Moreover, the organization has different segments for different pattern of services. It is helping the organization to employ the individuals with specialisation in their concerned field[4]. It is also helping the organization in ensuring better employee satisfaction.

Business performance and the change management agenda:

The organization can be identified as one of the majorly popular legal firm in UK. It is now operating in a diverse field of legal assistance. However, in recent times, the profit count has been noted as significantly low and the organization is losing its profit potentials due to lack of effective operational management. Moreover, the organization is facing the limitations of its functional management process. As the organization has directors for each of its wings, it is complicating the operation of the organization and the clashes of values have been noticed in some cases[5]. On the other hand, with the recent changes in the external issues, the company is losing a number of competent employees, which is posing a threat to the organizational management. In addition, the diversified service pattern of the organization is helping the organization to serve a large number of client bases[6]. However, with the huge management team, the organization is facing difficulty in interdepartmental co-ordination. All these are leading the organization to opting for change management.

Main contextual factors that affecting HR functions of the organization:

The market and competitive contexts of organisation:

The organization is now facing some market and competitive issue, which is directing the organization to opt for a change management strategy. The legal market of England is a major part of the economy. According to an article “it had a total output of £22.6 billion in 2013, up from 10.6 billion in 2001, and is equivalent to 1.6% of the country's gross domestic product for that year[7].”

Competitors: with the increase in the number of the competitors on the legal market of UK, the organization is now facing a huge threat in the market and retaining the customer base. According to a research, by “July 2010” almost 11,100 legal firms were listed in England[8].

The demographic, social and technological trends affecting organisation:

The demography, sociological and the technological factors are the key issues for a business’s performance.

Here, in the selected organization, the demographic change is altering the business pattern of the organization. UK is facing the issue with its growing population of the aged people. Hence, the cases, the firm is mainly dealing with is the issues related to welfare benefits and clinical negligence[9]. One of which has the policy of “no win no fee.” It is decreasing the profit count of the organization.

On the other hand, the modern advancement in the technological sector is also posing a threat to this legal firm. As the organization is lacking the technological advancement in the operation of the business and then social media promotion, it is hampering the customer base of the organization[10].

However, with the changes in the sociological terms in the modern world, the organization is reaping a good level of profit count[11]. As the familial structure in the western world is continuously disrupting, the organization is getting cases in the “family and divorce” service section. Moreover, with the increased trend of immigration, the organization is also gaining clients from the “private and business immigration” segment.

Globalisation and its influence on the organization:

With the global opportunity of business, the organization is gaining more business from the firms with are dealing in the global market. Moreover, with the “cross border transportation” facilities the nation is being populated with the immigrants[12]. It is helping the organization to serve cases related to immigration. Moreover, the organization is now serving the clients from the global market. The globalization is now directing the company to upgrade the technological strength so that it can serve the clients through the web interface. Moreover, with the diversity induced by the globalization the organization has become able to serve diverse demography with better precision[13].

 

Describe the impact of government and EU policy:

Being a legal firm the organization needs to follow the governmental rules strictly. However, with continuous changes in the legal frameworks, the government is posing complexity in the management of the organization.  “The Legal Services Board” serves a cross-sector supervision on the legal firms in England[14]. Moreover, the legal firms have to comply with the reulations of the “Legal Services Act 2007.”

Previously, the organization had to follow the legal procedures while dealing with the clients and cases involving the policies of EU. However, with the recent changes in the British politics and “Brexit,” a number of confusion has been emerged. As, the nation is going through a legal complexity due to this “Brexit” the law firms are also facing some legal dilemma. Moreover, it will make the organization loose a number of lawyers who were serving in the EU countries for the company[15]. On the other hand, the workload will increase which will affect the service status.  The Brexit can be identified as the major governmental impact on the organization.

Identification and evaluation of the major external contexts affecting the organisation, including any international factors:

The external factors:

As described previously, the decision of “Brexit,” is now being the major issue of concern for the legal firms in England. It will make the organization lose its business in the EU countries[16]. Now the company will have to depend on the domestic market to a great extent. As discussed earlier, the legal market of Britain is very profitable which has made it hugely competitive. Moreover, the organization now have to hire the employees with national identity, which may cause them pay an increased level of compensation for the employees or solicitors[17].

Moreover, the organization is still suffering the economic issues aroused from the great recession in 2010[18]. As discussed in a scholastic article, the threat to the national economy and the previous job cut and collapse of the major legal firms in the UK, is hurting the potentiality of the organization in attracting the competent employees.

In addition to this, as discussed in a scholastic article, the UK legal market is facing the trend of changed fee structure. Previously, the market trend was charging the clients based on hour. However, now the clients are demanding to have a flat and fixed pricing strategy, so that they become more aware of the expenses of such legal helps[19]. It is forcing the organizations to provide more services on a fixed price, enabling the clients to make choice that is more informed. It is helping the potential clients to switch among the suppliers and reduce the profit count of the organizations like Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

In addition, the domestic legal boundaries stemmed from the “Legal Services Board,” “Legal Services Act 2007,” “Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)” and “Bar Standards Board” is always there to regulate the operation of the organization. Moreover, with the changes brought by the “Legal Services Act 2007,” the organization is now facing a huge competition in the domestic level[20].

The internal factors:

The external threats are creating issues in the internal operation of the organization. With the threat of losing business in the EU countries, the organization is facing the issue of high employee turnover. On the other hand, the inherent limitation of the functional management system of the organization is creating a glitch in the co-ordination and complete development of the organization[21]. The “Brexit” is causing the organization a huge threat in the profit count. As the organization is losing the business in the EU countries and being compelled to hire employees with increased compensation, it is affecting the return of the organization. Moreover, with the “Brexit,” the organization is also losing one of its organizational strength, i.e. “diversity in work force.” It is affecting the management as well as service of the organization. Moreover, as the company is suffering from the technological issues, it is losing the advantage of the changing trend of virtual employment in British legal market[22]. Finally, the changed free structure in the domestic legal market is posing a threat to the operation of the organization.

The role of human resource management regarding to the identified internal and external context:

As per a scholastic article, human resource management team plays a key role in developing strategies so that the organization can able to utilize all the internal and external factors effectively[23]. HR management also has critical role in developing organizational structure of the organization. From the above discussion, it can be assessed that Duncan Lewis Solicitors has developed a functional structure of management for the proper utilization of the operational process. Since, the focus organization is a legal firm; it had to deal with several rules and regulations for utilizing the operational process effectively. Furthermore, the organization deals with services like health, debt and insolvency, public administrative law, crime and fraud many other legal issues. Furthermore, the organization also provides legal services to the corporate entities[24]. As a result, human resource management of Duncan Lewis Solicitors has developed separate teams for providing effective services to the clients. The HR management team has consciously separated team according to the specialization of the employees so that they can feel satisfied with their organizational responsibility. Furthermore, it will also ensure that clients of the organization can able to receive the best possible services from the organization.

The above discussion highlighted the fact that Duncan Lewis Solicitors is presently having more cases on clinical negligence, childcare and divorce related issue. Therefore, HR management team of the organization is focusing on to recruit people who are specialized in providing these services[25]. Furthermore, the organization is facing challenges regarding the decrease in the profit level. It has been assessed that the organization is facing challenges with the high rate of attrition. As a result, it is creating negative impact on the profit level. On the other hand, HR management of the organization is facing challenges regarding maintaining the amount of workforce at the desired level. It is also has been highlighted that the organization have to focus on several rules and regulations at the time of recruiting people. For that reason, HR management team is not able to recruit the best talent available in the market. Now, quality of the provided service is heavily depends on the knowledge and skills of the employees. Thus, recruiting relative low quality people is actually affecting the quality of the provided services by the law firms. In addition, due to intense competition in the domestic legal market of UK, organization is facing huge amount of challenges to maintain its position in the market. Therefore, HR management team is facing challenges in providing the effective level of benefit structure for the employees[26]. Furthermore, reduce profit level of the organization is increasing pressure for the HR management team to develop such a recruitment strategy that can able to attract the best possible available talent from the market. However, many studies have identified that benefit structure plays a key role in retaining employees for a long period of time. Therefore, HR management is trying to provide the best possible benefit structure that can help both employees and organizations effectively.

 

Recommendations for the identified internal and external context:

HR role in business planning:

Human resource team of an organization plays a key role in developing business plan for the future. Since, HR team has to consider factors like recruitment plan, demand plan, wastage plan and also career plan for the organization[27]. Thus, the role of the HR team will have to provide a clear path for the business development management regarding the kind of internal environment they will receive for the fulfillment of the planning. The role of HR management also include continues evaluation process of the internal environment of the organization. The HR management team will also have to provide proper guidance to the new employees so that they can able to adjust with the work culture of the organization. The role of HR in business planning also includes the factors like minimization of the operational cost of the organization[28]. Thus, HR management team of Duncan Lewis Solicitors will have to focus on all the factors to develop an effective business plan for the organization. The benefit of utilizing HR team for the development of business plan is as follows:

Activity

Benefit

Value

Recruitment planning

Proper identification of talent

Better utilization of the operational process

Demand planning

Effective utilization

Reduce the possibility of sudden adverse impact

Career planning

Improve performances

Reduce attrition rate

Wastage planning

Proper utilization

Lower operational cost

Table 1: HR role in business planning

(Source:[29])

Environmental planning:

Environmental planning reflects a process that organization utilizing at the time of developing decision-making strategy. It helps organizations to include factors like political, social, governance and economic factor at the time of implementing decision-making strategy. In UK, several rules and regulations has been implemented by government that legal firms like Duncan Lewis Solicitors have to focus in order to implement effective decisions for the development of the organization. As mentioned earlier, UK’s domestic market is extremely competitive in the legal industry. In this situation, Duncan Lewis Solicitors planning will have to focus on the provided quality of the services so that it can able to maintain its position in the market[30]. Furthermore, the organization has to focus on its internal environmental structure so that it can able to influence employees to employees to keep associated with the organization for a long period of time[31]. Furthermore, environmental planning of Duncan Lewis Solicitors will also have to encourage the team bonding among the all the members of the teams. Furthermore, it will also have develop a proper two way communication structure so that senior management can able to share the information regarding any change in the operational processes. This will help the organization to maintain a proper working environment for a certain timeframe.

 

Impact of strategies, policies and plans within the organization:

The above discussion highlighted the fact that, Duncan Lewis Solicitors will have to focus on the implementation of several strategies in order to maintain its position in this competitive market. For instance, UK has recently separated itself from the EU region. Therefore, it has created lot of difficulties for the organization to handle in order to maintain their business in an appropriate manner[32]. For instance, the organization will have to identify a plan that can help to maintain the relationship with the clients. Duncan Lewis Solicitors will also have to develop strategy regarding the enhancement of the communication process among the different level of employees[33]. Since, it has been identified that the organization utilizes several team for providing effective services. Majority of the time senior management face difficulties in convey a certain important message to all member of the organization in an appropriate way. This eventually is reducing the effectiveness of the employees. Furthermore, government policies and regulations have also created difficulties in maintaining the profit level of the organizations[34]. For instance, client previously used to pay on a per-hour basis but recent regulation from the government has induced the organization to utilize contractual technique in order to collect payment for the provided services. As a result, Duncan Lewis Solicitors has to change its operational procedure for calculating the payment structure for the clients. Thus, it actually increasing the pressure on the HR management team to recruit people that can able to formulate proper payment structure for the client so that the organization can actually able to maintain its position in the market.

 

Conclusion:

From the above analysis, it can be assessed that human resource management is an essential part of any organization. It can made significant amount of contribution on reducing external and internal issues for the organization. Thus, HR management team of Duncan Lewis Solicitors also has to utilize several policies and procedures so that it can able to made positive impact on the business operation of the organization.

 

References:

 Armstrong, Michael, and Stephen Taylor. Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers, 2014.

Aswathappa, K. Human resource management: Text and cases. Tata McGraw-Hill Education, 2013.

Bamberger, Peter A., Michal Biron, and Ilan Meshoulam. Human resource strategy: Formulation, implementation, and impact. Routledge, 2014.

Begg, Iain, and Fabian Mushövel. "The economic impact of brexit: jobs, growth and the public finances." (2016).

Berman, Evan M., James S. Bowman, Jonathan P. West, and Montgomery R. Van Wart. Human resource management in public service: Paradoxes, processes, and problems. Sage Publications, 2015.

Bratton, John, and Jeff Gold. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Cummings, Thomas G., and Christopher G. Worley. Organization development and change. Cengage learning, 2014.

Delahaye, Brian. Human resource development. Tilde Publishing, 2015.

Dhingra, Swati, Gianmarco IP Ottaviano, Thomas Sampson, and John Van Reenen. "The consequences of Brexit for UK trade and living standards." (2016).

Flood, John. "Institutional bridging: How large law firms engage in globalization." Boston College Law Review 54, no. 1 (2013): 2014-9.

Gottschalk, Petter. "Law Firms as Knowledge Organizations." In Financial Crime and Knowledge Workers, pp. 93-106. Palgrave Macmillan US, 2014.

Grillo, Ralph. Muslim Families, Politics and the Law: A Legal Industry in Multicultural Britain. Routledge, 2016.

Hill, Charles WL, Gareth R. Jones, and Melissa A. Schilling. Strategic management: theory: an integrated approach. Cengage Learning, 2014.

Hirst, Paul, Grahame Thompson, and Simon Bromley. Globalization in question. John Wiley & Sons, 2015.

Kluge, Fanny, Emilio Zagheni, Elke Loichinger, and Tobias Vogt. "The advantages of demographic change after the wave: fewer and older, but healthier, greener, and more productive?." PloS one 9, no. 9 (2014): e108501.

Mathis, Robert L., John H. Jackson, Sean R. Valentine, and Patricia Meglich. Human resource management. Nelson Education, 2016.

McGregor, Duncan, and David Simon, eds. The peri-urban interface: Approaches to sustainable natural and human resource use. Routledge, 2012.

McMorrow, Judith A. "UK Alternative Business Structures for Legal Practice: Emerging Models and Lessons for the US." Geo. J. Int'l L. 47 (2015): 665.

Purce, John. "The impact of corporate strategy on human resource management." New Perspectives on Human Resource Management (Routledge Revivals) 67 (2014).

Slapper, Gary, and David Kelly. The English Legal System: 2012-2013. Routledge, 2013.

Stone, Raymond J. Managing human resources. John Wiley and Sons, 2013.

Storey, John. New Perspectives on Human Resource Management (Routledge Revivals). Routledge, 2014.

Stredwick, John. An introduction to human resource management. Routledge, 2013.

Ulrich, David. Human resource champions: The next agenda for adding value and delivering results. Harvard Business Press, 2013.

Whish, Richard, and David Bailey. Competition law. Oxford University Press, USA, 2015.

Whish, Richard. "Brexit and EU Competition Policy." Journal of European Competition Law & Practice 7, no. 5 (2016): 297-298.

Wilton, Nick. An introduction to human resource management. Sage, 2016.

www.duncanlewis.co.uk,2016. Duncanlewis.Co.Uk.https://www.duncanlewis.co.uk/employment_ourteam.html.

[1] www.duncanlewis.co.uk,2016. Duncanlewis.Co.Uk.https://www.duncanlewis.co.uk/employment_ourteam.html.

[2] www.duncanlewis.co.uk,2016. Duncanlewis.Co.Uk.https://www.duncanlewis.co.uk/employment_ourteam.html.

[3] www.duncanlewis.co.uk,2016. Duncanlewis.Co.Uk.https://www.duncanlewis.co.uk/employment_ourteam.html.

[4] Hill, Charles WL, Gareth R. Jones, and Melissa A. Schilling. Strategic management: theory: an integrated approach. Cengage Learning, 2014

[5] Hill, Charles WL, Gareth R. Jones, and Melissa A. Schilling. Strategic management: theory: an integrated approach. Cengage Learning, 2014

[6] Hill, Charles WL, Gareth R. Jones, and Melissa A. Schilling. Strategic management: theory: an integrated approach. Cengage Learning, 2014

[7] Slapper, Gary, and David Kelly. The English Legal System: 2012-2013. Routledge, 2013.

[8] Gottschalk, Petter. "Law Firms as Knowledge Organizations." In Financial Crime and Knowledge Workers, pp. 93-106. Palgrave Macmillan US, 2014

[9] Kluge, Fanny, Emilio Zagheni, Elke Loichinger, and Tobias Vogt. "The advantages of demographic change after the wave: fewer and older, but healthier, greener, and more productive?." PloS one 9, no. 9 (2014): e108501

[10] Flood, John. "Institutional bridging: How large law firms engage in globalization." Boston College Law Review 54, no. 1 (2013): 2014-9.

[11] McMorrow, Judith A. "UK Alternative Business Structures for Legal Practice: Emerging Models and Lessons for the US." Geo. J. Int'l L. 47 (2015): 665.

[12] Hirst, Paul, Grahame Thompson, and Simon Bromley. Globalization in question. John Wiley & Sons, 2015

[13] Flood, John. "Institutional bridging: How large law firms engage in globalization." Boston College Law Review 54, no. 1 (2013): 2014-9

[14] McMorrow, Judith A. "UK Alternative Business Structures for Legal Practice: Emerging Models and Lessons for the US." Geo. J. Int'l L. 47 (2015): 665

[15] Dhingra, Swati, Gianmarco IP Ottaviano, Thomas Sampson, and John Van Reenen. "The consequences of Brexit for UK trade and living standards." (2016).

[16] Wilton, Nick. An introduction to human resource management. Sage, 2016.

[17] Begg, Iain, and Fabian Mushövel. "The economic impact of brexit: jobs, growth and the public finances." (2016).

[18] Whish, Richard, and David Bailey. Competition law. Oxford University Press, USA, 2015

[19] Whish, Richard. "Brexit and EU Competition Policy." Journal of European Competition Law & Practice 7, no. 5 (2016): 297-298

[20] Grillo, Ralph. Muslim Families, Politics and the Law: A Legal Industry in Multicultural Britain. Routledge, 2016

[21] Cummings, Thomas G., and Christopher G. Worley. Organization development and change. Cengage learning, 2014

[22] Stredwick, John. An introduction to human resource management. Routledge, 2013.

[23] Ulrich, David. Human resource champions: The next agenda for adding value and delivering results. Harvard Business Press, 2013.

[24] Storey, John. New Perspectives on Human Resource Management (Routledge Revivals). Routledge, 2014.

[25] Stone, Raymond J. Managing human resources. John Wiley and Sons, 2013.

[26] Aswathappa, K. Human resource management: Text and cases. Tata McGraw-Hill Education, 2013.

[27] McGregor, Duncan, and David Simon, eds. The peri-urban interface: Approaches to sustainable natural and human resource use. Routledge, 2012.

[28] Purce, John. "The impact of corporate strategy on human resource management." New Perspectives on Human Resource Management (Routledge Revivals) 67 (2014).

[29] Armstrong, Michael, and Stephen Taylor. Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers, 2014.

[30] Berman, Evan M., James S. Bowman, Jonathan P. West, and Montgomery R. Van Wart. Human resource management in public service: Paradoxes, processes, and problems. Sage Publications, 2015.

[31] Bratton, John, and Jeff Gold. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

[32] Bamberger, Peter A., Michal Biron, and Ilan Meshoulam. Human resource strategy: Formulation, implementation, and impact. Routledge, 2014.

[33] Mathis, Robert L., John H. Jackson, Sean R. Valentine, and Patricia Meglich. Human resource management. Nelson Education, 2016.

[34] Delahaye, Brian. Human resource development. Tilde Publishing, 2015.

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