ABCUniversity is a modern university, with over 20 000 students and 3000 academic staff and 1000 support staff. The mission of ABCUniversity is to be a centre of excellence in education, research, consultancy services and to prepare its students for their lives after leaving university. The key strategic objectives of the university are to offer high quality teaching, achieve excellence in research,provide high quality consultancy services to business and community organisations and increase incomes.The university depends on the commitment and performance of its staff to achieve these objectives. It recognises unions for academic staff and support staff and negotiates core pay and conditions nationally. Senior managerial and professorial staff are on personal contracts and performance-related pay. Given the competitive nature of student recruitment, research funding and other funding opportunities, university management, led by a new vice-chancellor, is planning to revise the institution’s Human Resources Strategy (HRS). Looking to the future, the HR aims of the institution include reviewing staffing needs, addressing staff recruitment and retention difficulties, preparing staff for future job demands, promoting equal opportunity targets, rewarding good performance and dealing with poor performance.
Using this basic information about this organisation, imagine that you are an HR consultant who has been asked to advise the university management on which model of Human Resources Strategy –best-practice, best-fit, or RBV of the firm –this organisation might usefully adopt to achieve its overall objectives.
Discuss the advice that you would give and why you would give it. In determining your answer, do not make any unreasonable assumptions about the organisation and do not change the case study in any way by what is added.
In doing this, you should also consider:
1.Critically discuss all three models/strategies (best-practice, best-fit, RBV).
2.Choose one of these three strategies and explain why this should be adopted by ABC University.
3.What would be the role of the HR department in implementing the strategy.
Concepts in Employee Resourcing
Employee resourcing entails strategies used by organizations to recruit employees and then training and developing them as well as managing their performance for business effectiveness of competitiveness. The human resource management has evolved to become a strategic component for meeting organizational needs. Employee resources can be achieved through strategies like best-practices, best-fit and resource-based views which
Organizations meet their business objectives if their human resources practices are organized and implemented according to business goals. Since the strategic human resource is an interface between strategic and human resource management then business resources have to be organized in a way that ensures the strategic thrust is achieved (Boxall & Purcell 2011, p. 23). Through strategic human resource, ABC University can meet its goals through people by developing the best approach for managing its resources. The outcome will be an organizational capability that ensures the organization has the right minds to attain competitive advantage.
According to Caliskan (2010, p. 105), the resource-based view is based on the fact that organizations have different resources that produce unique character to create competitive advantage. The uniqueness of the resources and capabilities that the firm derives from them is what differentiates it from others. The resources include experience, risk-taking propensity, knowledge, and wisdom of leadership that define the resource potential (Gilani, Zadeh & Saderi 2012, p. 229). The resource-based view thus sees the organization as being constrained or uplifted by the nature of the resources that it holds and establishes identity. For example, ABC University has to have adequate resources that can be invested in the students that pass through the institution to develop competitive advantage in fields that they are pursuing. This means that there must be some unique abilities that such students have to remain competitive in the career world. Therefore, the resource-based view seeks to develop human resource advantage that fits between opportunities and resources to create value that achieves the strategic goals.
The best-practices approach focusses on developing a set of practices that work best thus leading to superior performance. The outcome of this strategy is to achieve high commitment and high performance of the human resources within the organization (Lengnick-Hall, Lengnick-Hall, Andrade & Drake 2009, p. 69). Human resource professionals have developed a set of best people management practices that increase employee effectiveness, motivation, and performance. These strategies are employee security, selective hiring, training and development, employee engagement, teamwork, high compensation, information sharing and reducing employee status differences. In this case, ABC University needs to differentiate between the strategies for overall organizational performance and high-performance work systems. Despite the above practices, the organization can develop its own set of practices based on the organizational environment, resources, and characteristics to ensure that the ones developed to meet the needs of the organization.
The best-fit approach, on the other hand, borrows from the contingency approach where an emphasis is put on congruency based on the circumstances in the organization. This approach focuses on the relationship between strategic management and human resource management through vertical integration to increase the link between human resource policies and business practices (Rastislav & Petra 2016, p. 115). This approach seeks to match human resource policies and practices with the organizational environment to achieve the best results. This creates close alignment between organizational strategy and the human resource system thus creating business competitiveness (Teena & Sanjay 2014, p. 4). This means that the human resource strategy must understand the strategic needs of the organization so that it is aligned to meet the needs of the organization. In this case, ABC University human resource management needs to understand the university’s strategy and develop the best fit strategy that is aligned with the needs of the organization. Thus the level and kind of performance that the university wants to achieve must be demonstrated in the best fit that the human resource team develops.
In my opinion, the best fit strategy works well for ABC University because it entails developing a human resource strategy based on the business processes in the organization. Since the environment is dynamic and keeps on changing due to internal and external forces, ABC University needs a human resource strategy that best fits the needs of the organization. As seen in the case, the university is operating in a dynamic environment where competitive pressures and quick change force the organization to revise its strategies every time. This means that every time the business strategy is adjusted, then the best fit in the human resource system has to be developed to meet the needs of the organization. Since the human resource is the only thing in the organization that can quickly be changed, then the best fit has to be developed based on the changes that the organization is experiencing. Chenna (2012, p. 181) suggests that the best fit strategy makes it easy to align the human resource system with the organization since the human resource plan is designed based on the organizational strategy. This means that the best fit is more important than best practice and resource-based view.
The human resource department will play the major role of implementing the strategy in ABC University through organizing and maintaining the 4000 staff in the university by delivering the human resource needs that meet the needs of the company and its employees. This leads to enhanced human capital management since employees are management through developing the best fit that meets the needs of the organization (Schroeder 2012, p. 79). Through the best-fit approach, human resource departments compliment strategic needs through strategic recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management, compensation, and reward management human resources in an organization can be aligned to meet the strategic needs of the organization. This means that ABC University can use the strategic fit approach to strategically align its human resources to organizational needs.
Strategic management is an approach modern organizations are using to develop a competitive advantage. However, a strategy can only be implemented by the human resource systems that can be aligned to the business objectives. This means that the human resources and the business strategy must reflect the business fit that ABC University seeks to achieve. By adopting the best approach, the university can adequately achieve its business objectives.
Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2011) Strategic and Human Resource Management. 3rd ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Caliskan, E. 2010 The impact of strategic human resource management on organizational performance. Journal of Naval Science and Engineering, 6(2), pp. 100-116.
Chenna, N. 2012 Contribution of HRM Practices on Customer Satisfaction a Conceptual Outline. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 7(2), pp. 178-185.
Gilani, M. H. N., Zadeh, M. S. & Saderi, H. R. 2012 The Role of Strategic Human Resource Management in Creation of Competitive Advantages (Case Study: A Commercial Organization in Malaysia). International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(16), pp. 225-0238.
Lengnick-Hall, M., Lengnick-Hall, C., L, A. & Drake, B. 2009 Strategic human resource management: The evolution of the field. Human Resource Management Review, Volume 19, pp. 64-85.
Rastislav, R. & Petra, L. 2016 Strategic Performance Management System and Corporate Sustainability Concept - Specific Parametres in Slovak Enterprises. Journal of Competitiveness, 8(3), pp. 107-124.
Schroeder, H. 2012 The importance of human resource management in strategic sustainabiloty: An art and science perspective. Journal of Environmnetal Sustainability, 2(2), pp. 75-81.
Teena, B. & Sanjay, S. 2014 SHRM: alignment of HR function with business strategy. Strategic HR Review, 13(4).
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