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Human Resource Management: British Airways

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1. (a) Based on your experience, explain the difference betweenpersonnel and human resource management and asses your role and responsibilities as a human resource manager.

(b) Evaluate the role and responsibilities of the line manager of your chosen organisation

(c) Examine the organisational factors that affect the HRM function in your organisation, outlining the impacts of legal and regulatory framework of the country.

2. (a)  Explain how important is human resource planning in your organisation and discuss the stages of the planning process.

(b)  Analyse the recruitment and selection process in your chosen organisation and assess your contribution as a Human Resource Manager

3. (a)  Using the example assess the link between motivational theory and reward within the context of your chosen organisation.

(b) Analyse and discuss how your organisation determine pay using the process of job evaluation

(c) Assess the effectiveness of the reward systems in the chosen organisation.

(d) Discuss how would assess the effectiveness of the reward system in the chosen organisation. Explain how employee performance monitored and measured in your organisation

4. (a) Examine the causes of termination of employment with an organization and compare the exit procedures used in your and another similar organisation.

(b) Evaluate the impact of legal and regulatory framework when arranging employment cessation or termination using your organisation as an example.

Answers :


Human Resource Management has gained importance over the last few years. The report has been prepared to analyse the human resource management practices being followed at British Airways. The study highlights how the organization has overcome a variety of challenges during the successful implementation of their current human resource management Policy and strategy. The various aspects that have been studied in the report are

  • Understanding on Personnel Management and Human Resource Management
  • Recruitment and Selection Process
  • Reward System and motivation of employees
  • Termination and cessation of employment

All the above aspects have been discussed with respect to British Airways. Based on the discussion on these aspects the policies and framework of human resource management have been understood for the implementation, constraints and concerns.

1. Based on your experience, explain the difference between personnel and human resource management and asses your role and responsibilities as a human resource manager

With the evolution of the different management perspectives and the role of managing the workforce has evolved over the years. This has resulted to the development of personnel management and human resource management. The major differences between the personnel and human resource management are on the basis of (Rothwell & Kazanas, 2003)

Scope of Service: Human resource management has broader approach in comparison to personnel management as personnel management is concerned with functional activities in an organization such as manpower planning, job evaluation, recruitment and performance appraisal. The human resource management is integrated to the core strategy of the company and is associated not only with all these aspects but also the activities such as leadership, development of organizational culture, motivation etc.

Approach: From the viewpoint of human resource management values and mission are important whereas personnel management attach importance to norms and established practices in the organization

Nature: Personnel management is indifferent to the core organizational activities and reactive approach is followed wherein the actions are taken with respect to corporate strategy and goals. On the other hand human resource management is proactive approach wherein the human resource management is integrated with corporate goals and the workforce is aligned accordingly.

Application: Personnel management has little involvement of line managers and lays down job description that is rigid and has many grades. Human resource management has less ranks and defined career path with consideration to initiative and creativity.


Evaluate the role and responsibilities of the line manager of your chosen organization

The line managers play a very important role in the modern business environment wherein the human resource management has greater influence on the business processes. Considering the business of British Airways it can be seen that the business processes require efficient staff and knowledge of the tasks that need to be performed. The various roles and responsibilities of the line managers at British Airways have been discussed below (Boxall, Purcell and Wright, 2007)

Employee Engagement: The line managers at British Airways are quite important as it has been seen that the line managers help in developing organizational culture. Focusing on the strengths of the employees and encouraging communication they are likely to engage with the team better and also result encouragement of employees. Although HRM can result in measurement of employee engagement but it is generation and reduction of level of engagement is influenced by line managers.

Performance Appraisal: Line managers play an important role in the performance appraisal as well as they provide feedback to the HR managers. The level of engagement of line managers influences the performance appraisal and effective communication and discussion results in effective performance appraisal that will certainly impact the performance.

Imparting Discipline: The expectation set out by the line managers and the regular monitoring of the performance results in imparting discipline. The commitment and the enforcement of the rule by the line managers will certainly be a step forward towards imparting discipline and influence employee performance.

British Airways has also realized the importance of human resource management with central focus on proper management of the organization on properly managing the people. As a result the role of line managers has evolved from traditional supervisory role to people resource management. This includes take effective step and involvement in recruitment & selection, reward management, employee relations and performance appraisal. The above discussions highlight the high level of performance that has been attained.

Examine the organizational factors that affect the HRM function in your organization, outlining the impacts of legal and regulatory framework of the country.

There are several factors that can affect the HRM in an organization. These are environmental as well as organizational factors. The organizational factors having an effect on the HRM function have been discussed below (Myloni, Harzing & Mirza, 2006)

Competitive Strategy: the level of competitive strategy requires high level of efficiency and commitment from the different teams. This leads to important aspects of HRM and these functions of HRM greatly impacts the implementation of the competitive strategy of the organization.

Management Values: the knowledge, value and competence of the management influence how the new operations and growth aspects in the business are organized. This constitutes the administrative heritage. Such aspects of the management values greatly influence and increase the role of HRM in the organization.

Control of Owners: With the need of the integration and coordination of the policies and practices. The control of owners, especially in case there are several subsidiaries of the company.  The control of owners can be managed by having effecting HR practices wherein these practices will resemble that of the owners.

Staff Size: The firms with size of that of British Airways have a large number of employees. Managing large employee base requires continuous involvement in order to ensure that the right number of employee strength is available (Myloni, Harzing & Mirza, 2006).

The legal and regulatory framework in UK is quite stringent and ensures that the concerns of the staff members are well addressed. In view of this the role of HRM is quite important as it ensures that the regulatory and legal framework is abided by.


2. Explain how important is human resource planning in your organization and discuss the stages of the planning process.

Human resource is quite important in the current business environment. The significance and role of human resource department, on the high level, has been discussed above. From the viewpoint of British Airways the human resource planning is important for two different processes such as

Recruitment: The recruitment process at British Airways is given huge importance. This is because of the level of expertise that is required for example in case of pilots and also the quality of services that is provided which is highly influenced by the front desk staff and the customer care executives. The other departments are also quite important and the presence of professionals will greatly impact the performance of the company (Lloyd, 2007).

Training & compliance: The training and compliance as important as the recruitment process in the organization. The British Airways is subjected to different challenges. Further the implementation and development of effective strategy is required. Considering this the training and compliance it will be helpful for the company to identify the factors where training is required thus accordingly the training plan can be developed. Also another important role of the HR planning is to ensure the compliance to federal and state laws which will impact a huge range of processes such as employee hiring, compensation requirements and workplace safety regulations.

Human resource planning assesses the manpower requirement in an organization. Further based on these requirements it is attempted to perform organizational activities. The complete HR planning process is a continuous process. Following are the different stages of HR Planning process (Boxall, Purcell and Wright, 2007)

Identification/ Assessing Human Resource Needs: This is the first and very crucial step in the HR planning process. In this step the company workforce is analyzed for the strengths, weaknesses and the capabilities. The personalities and the skill set at the individual level is also required to be analysed

Demand & Supply Forecasting: The demand and supply of the personnel in the market is forecasted and accordingly the future needs of the company are assessed and the expected availability of resources is estimated.

Analyzing Manpower Resources: The analysis of the available manpower resources is conducted based on which the requirement of the company is analyzed and accordingly the suitable resources are recognized.

Appraisal & Action Plan: The complete action plan is developed. The appraisal of the action plan ensures that any shortcoming in the action plan needs to be handled. This is a continuous process and the appraisal is done on monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

Analyze the recruitment and selection process in your chosen organization and assess your contribution as a Human Resource Manager

The selection process at British Airways includes three stages depending upon the post for which application has been given in British Airways. The first stage is the application form. The screening of the candidate is done at this stage based on the candidates meeting the criteria. The second phase of the recruitment process at British Airways includes the group exercises, interviews, psychometric tests or role playing games. The first stage is the screening of the applicants while the second stage is the assessment of the applicants.  Last stage is the testing stage. It is used in case there is consideration for the unreliability of interviews as an indicator of the potential of the candidate. There are several forms of testing for example aptitude test etc. The nature of test will highlight the capability of the candidate although at times it may seem time consuming. However for certain job positions at British Airways this stage is quite important.

The human resource manager plays a very important role in the recruitment and selection process. It is the responsibility of the human resource manager in the screening of applications i.e. at the first stage itself. Unless the right candidates are identified at the first stage itself and all the candidates are interviewed the cost of recruitment will increase and at the same time if very few candidates are interviewed as a result of strict parameters to be fulfilled the cost related to retaining of the resource may go up. In both cases the company will have to suffer. It is thus the responsibility of the human resource manager to ensure that optimum number of candidates go through the recruitment process (Storey, 2007). Further the human resource manager also play a role in the development of the complete process.


3. Using the example assess the link between motivational theory and reward within the context of your chosen organization

There are several motivational theories that have been developed. Firstly discussing the Herzberg’s two factor theory highlights that there are Hygiene factors and the satisfiers/ motivators, there is certainly impact on the reward within the British Airways. Salary, working conditions and organizational policies are the hygiene factors which do not motivate the employees but do impact the level of dissatisfaction. On the other hand the Authority, opportunity and recognition do improve the motivation level. The reward for the employee is the recognition or the authority. The recognition can be in terms of the additional benefits that are provided by the company and authority in terms of the level at which the employee is there in the organization (Van Herpen, Van Praag and Cools, 2005).

Considering the other motivational theory i.e. Maslows Need hierarchy theory it ranks the various expectations of the employees from bottom to top in terms of the job security to self actualization. This model of motivation has been employed to a certain extent and training and motivational programs are developed in order to satisfy these needs of the employees.   

Analyze and discuss how your organization determine pay using the process of job evaluation

The job evaluation process establishes the relative value of the jobs at British Airways. The two steps that are involved in the job evaluation process are job description and evaluation. The job description identifies the major aspects related to the job such as responsibilities, accountability, decision making, qualification required (Schuler & Rogovsky, 1998). The job evaluation analyses three major factors. The knowledge that is required for effective performance, the complexity of the decision making role in the organization and authority or control that is there and required within the position.  Based on these factors the pay structure in the company is developed.

Another important tool that is utilized by the company is the salary surveys wherein he salaries of the staff and the compensation policies of the company are compared with the cross section of other employers  in the company. This is analyzed and accordingly the suitable changes to the payment structure of different employees are determined. Lastly the jobs are rated based on the classification of jobs in the company, responsibility, education or qualification required, physical involvement. These aspects are determined in the first step i.e. job description stage of job evaluation.

Assess the effectiveness of the reward systems in the chosen organization

The reward system at British Airways has been the prime concern for the top management. It is believed that effective reward management is important from the viewpoint of maintaining motivation level of the employee and at the same time depicts the harmonious management style of the company in comparison to the other market players (Kiyani, Akhtar and Haroon, 2011). The reward system at British Airways includes both monetary and non monetary benefits components. The key aspects of the reward system of British Airways are

Controlled Reward and Managing Reward System: The reward management control strategy employed at British Airways is quite efficient. Control offers opportunities with regards to planning and execution in a organized manner reflecting the spirit and mission of the company. It also enables the continuity of the reward system in the company and at the same time gives opportunity to bring in changes in the system in accordance with those implemented by the other companies.

Monitoring and Evaluating Reward Theories: This requires huge involvement from the line managers. Line managers play an important role in the monitoring and evaluation of the reward system as well as they provide feedback to the HR managers. The level of engagement of line managers influences the performance appraisal and effective communication and discussion results in effective performance appraisal that will certainly impact the performance.

Devolution for line managers: As per this practice all the employees and not only the line managers are involved in the reward system. Further the senior management is also involved in the reward system.

Discuss how would assess the effectiveness of the reward system in the chosen organization. Explain how employee performance monitored and measured in your organization

The performance of the employee is assessed at both individual level as well as at team level. The evaluation of the performance of the team is quite important HRM activity. The performance is evaluated in terms of whether the performance is aligned to the organizational goals. The performance of the employees is measured by the performance appraisal scheme.  

Further as discussed above British Airways has ensured that reward is measured and continuous monitoring of the of the performance n terms of the feedback from the line managers is an important tool. It is important to note that British Airways employees 360 degree feedback process for performance measurement wherein the feedback from peers, team mates, juniors, line managers and the customers is taken and accordingly the reward is given to the employees.


4. Examine the causes of termination of employment with an organization and compare the exit procedures used in your and another similar organization.

The termination of employment within an organization can be based on the factors such as

Inadequate Job Performance: The employee may be terminated from its jb considering its inability to perform in the tasks that have been assigned. The termination in such cases is backed by the proper opportunities given to the employee

Business Conditions: During the times of tough business conditions such as during the financial crisis may force the companies to lay off employees for economic reasons and thus can be considered as cost cut measures in order to sustain in the business environment.  

Unacceptable behavior: The unacceptable behavior of the employee at the workplace may result in termination. The unacceptable behavior includes theft, sexual harassment, verbal or physical threat to other employees  

Absenteeism: Frequent leaves and absenteeism from the job is another reason for termination. The absenteeism may be due to illness, lack of job satisfaction or psychological issues being faced by the employee resulting negative productivity.

The exit procedure at British Airways is quite quick as most of the termination was related to the business growth during the financial crisis. The termination related to the performance of employee is quite low and can be linked to the training, growth opportunities and the reward system at British Airways. Overall the employee is provided sufficient time even after the notice is given to the employee. In the cases related to business growth the company ensures sufficient time is provided to the employee to take necessary steps to find new job. The support that is provided by the company depends on the case of termination. For example in case of all other cases except unacceptable behavior interview with the HR manager is conducted in order to get the feedback on the suitable changes that can be brought in so that the factors impacting the performance can be tackled. In case  of unacceptable behavior the company employs fast processing and does not indulge into much formalities.

The exit procedure at Harrods has been analyzed further. Considering Harrods it has been viewed that the cessation rate is very low in comparison to that in the UK economy. The major cases associated with cessation are because of theft and fraud. Further the exit process at Harrods is quite similar to that followed at British Airways. This is to say that it provides sufficient opportunities to the employee to provide an argument against the termination and accordingly the termination is reviewed and suitable action is taken by the company.

Evaluate the impact of legal and regulatory framework when arranging employment cessation or termination using your organization as an example.

Maintaining and abiding by the legal and regulatory framework at the time of termination of employee can have considerable effect on the company as every organization has to abide by these regulations and employ the cessation and exit procedures mentioned in these regulations.

Considering the employment cessation or termination has been evaluated based on different perspectives such as published reports such as annual report and sustainability report of the company. Further the procedures employed by British Airways have been analyzed and lastly the news articles with respect to the violation of legal and regulatory framework.

Based on the study it can be said that British Airways has been quite particular in this respect. It may be considered non-productive exercise by any other organization but at British Airways it is ensured that there is no impact on the performance of the company or in terms of the cost aspect as a result of negligence or non compliance with the regulatory framework for employment cessation or termination. Overall it can be said that the cessation and termination process at British Airways is quite stable and is as per the legal and regulatory framework. As per the sustainability report and the annual report it has been observed that the company has taken sufficient steps to ensure that the productivity and growth of the employee is there. This provides sufficient proof of the steps taken to ensure that no issues are faced by employee in performing as per the requirements. Further the study of the procedures employed by the company highlights that strict norms have been developed to ensure that there isn’t any aspect that isn’t covered as per the standards that have been developed. The company has never tried to oversee the provisions related to labor laws and its provisions. Further considering the latest news articles or the studies in this context there isn’t any incident of


The above discussion on human resource management highlights the importance for British Airways. The study highlights how the organization has overcome a variety of challenges during the successful implementation of their current human resource management Policy and strategy. Another important point that has been analyzed is that as the company grows in size the need, importance and role played by human resource management increases. The analysis of the different aspects such as personnel management and human resource management, recruitment and selection process, reward system and motivation of employees and termination and cessation of employment shows that implementation of human resource management is a planned process and is evolved over the period of time. It also ensures that the proactive approach is employed resulting in better manpower planning and utilization as well as increased growth opportunities for the employees.



Myloni, B., Harzing, A.W. & Mirza, H. (2006). The effect of corporate-level organisational factors on the transfer of human resource management practices: European and US MNCs and their Greek subsidiaries. The International Journal of Human Resource Management.

Schuler, R.S. & Rogovsky, N. (1998). Understanding compensation practice variations across firms: The impact of national culture. Journal of International Business Studies, 29(1): 159-177.

Myloni, B., Harzing, A.W.K. and Mirza, H. (2004). Host country specific factors and the transfer of human resource management practices in multinational companies. International Journal of Manpower, 25(6): 518-534

Benedict, A. (2008). HR’s Evolving Role in Organizations and Its Impact on Business Strategy. 

Ulrich, D., Brockbank, W., Johnson, D., Sandholtz, K., & Younger, J. (2008). HR competencies: Mastery at the intersection of people and business. Alexandria, VA: Society for Human Resource Management.

Budd, J. W., & Bhave, D. (2010). The Employment Relationship. In A. Wilkinson, T. Redman, S. Snell, & N. Bacon (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Human Resource Management (pp. 51-70). Los Angeles: SAGE.

Boxall, P., & Macky, K. (2009). Research and Theory on High-Performance Work Systems: Progressing the High-Involvement Stream. Human Resource Management Journal, 19(1), 3-23.

Rothwell, W. & Kazanas, H., (2003). Planning and Managing Human Resources – Strategic planning for Personnel Management. 2ed. Amherst: HRD Press

Kuvass, B .and Dysvik , A .(2009), “ Percieved Investment in Employee Development, Intrinsic Motivation and Work Performance”, Human Resourse management Journal, Vol. 19(3),pp. 217-36

Kiyani, A . and Akhtar, S.and Haroon, M. (2011). “ Impact Of Monetary Rewards On Achievement Of Employee’s Personal Goals”, IHART , Vol 14, ISSN 2150-6906.

Van Herpen, M.F.M., Van Praag, C.M. and Cools, K. (2005), “The Effects of Performance Measurement and Compensation on Motivation: An Empirical Study.” De Economist, Vol. 153(3), pp. 303-29.

Lloyd, C. (2007). ‘Qualifications and an employer- led system: recruitment practices in the UK fitness industry’, SKOPE Research Paper No. 75, Cardiff: Cardiff University, SKOPE

Armstrong, M. (2003), A Handbook of Human Resource Management, Aberystwyth, Wales, 9th edition

Boxall, P., Purcell, J. and Wright, P. (eds) (2007). The Oxford Handbook of Human Resource Management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Storey, J. (ed.) (2007) Human Resource Management: A critical text, 3rd edition. London: Thomson Learning.

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