Management: Process Evaluation
- The link between the performance of an organization and its effective management of the human resource cannot be underestimated. Different research works and studies including those done by Hawthorne have attempted to chart a logical connection between the two significant variables. Information on the performance of an organization is usually obtained from the Human Resource Managers (Cascio & Boudreau, 2011). The human resource has many advantages in management. The competitive advantage of an organization is penned on the proper, efficient and effective handling of the people working. The human resource advantage is a combination of the policies, processes and practices that have a contribution to the competitive advantage of a given organization (Purcell etal., 2007). The human capital advantage and the organization process advantage are some of the two aspects of the human resource advantage that define the extent of competitive advancement (Fearon et al., 2012).
There are a number of different organizations that rely on such advantages for competitive purposes. The development of practices like training, recruitment and team building are usually responsible for the human capital advantage. Processes and routines by the organization that are usually put in place to check on the human capital advantage are aspects of the organization process advantage (Fearon et al., 2012). When the implementation practices of the human resource are examined, an understanding of the decisions managers make is understood together with the differences in the use of the practices. As a result, most of the organizations are therefore observed to have a dependency on employee discretionary behavior and line managers for the effective delegation of its performance. Discretionary behavior from employees helps these organizations to make appropriate decisions and development of skills.
What is therefore important for an even much better performance? The concept of the Human Resource Advantage can be used when reasons for policiesand the difference between the actual and proposed policies and considered. The role of the employee discretionary behavior and the line managers are similarly to be considered. Performance as noted goes beyond the general achievement of particular criteria in the finance department. It is therefore important to use indicators that are closely related to the human resource practices and the development issues of the organization, more like the use of a balanced scorecard (Holland, 2001). The need for rejuvenation is as a result highlighted that considers the need of appreciation that however good the human resource strategies may be, they need to be put into practice by the line managers who are within a particular firm, culture, context or organization. This therefore provides a justification on the importance of an engaged project to providing significant contribution in the overall improvement of human resource outcomes (Ulrich & Brockbank, 2005).
The ‘Big Idea’ as a result implies appropriateness and consistency which gives a clear sense of mission that is underpinned by culture and values that express the aims and objectives of a firm, giving a good description of its characteristics. It highlights on the relationship between the employees and clients. There are a number of elements found in the ‘big idea’ that when integrated by different firms and organizations can improve the overall performance. The’ big idea’ to begin with is embedded within an organization and not just stated in its mission statement, it is expressed through the values and practice of the organization.
Secondly there is the element of connection, whereby the values help to interconnect the different relationships between the culture and behavior of an organization and its customers. This provides a link between the human resource and customers and hence the reinforcement of links with different other areas like marketing for instance. The element of endurance comes in third whereby a firm is able to build a stable base for different initiatives and policies in the events of changes in circumstances.There is also the collective aspect of the’ big idea’ which focuses on values that relate to routine sets and OPA which essentially gives an added advantage which is unlike most of initiatives in human resource initiatives which have a focus on the individual. Lastly there are the elements of management and measure which apply the use of a balanced scorecard to not only measure the performance of the organization but also to allow the linking of different functional decisions to single processes (Purcell et al., 2007).
Purcell et al have demonstrated that the outcomes for ‘Big Idea’ in organizations are highly effective and result in a higher level of commitment in the organization. Their research explains that the link between performance and culture is manifested through the individual behaviors of the employees (Purcell et al., 2007). Some of the observed and expected changes include an organization with a strong culture, employees with high levels of commitment and satisfaction with the human resources practices sets. There is similarly a satisfaction with the relationships within the line management and a high level of employee discretionary behavior which all contribute to the effective increase in the performance of the organization.
- Established in 2002, the Pearson Australia Group brings together the entrepreneurial, creative and commercial strengths of the Pearson Education Australia. The group supports different types of businesses through a team termed as the Shared Services which includes several departments like Facilities, People, Finance and Pearson Technology. It believes in the growth and development of individuals and communities through its emphasis on the importance of learning and is a leading learning company globally that has businesses in education and information including the Financial Times and the Pearson Education. Its Financial Times leads in business information that provides an array of business information to the international business community together with other significant multimedia services (Leopold & Harris, 2009). It also leads in education, providing learning from pre-school, to high school and even early learning and professional certification using their curriculum, testing programs and multimedia tools.
Although it is a thriving organization with a fully operational and complex organizational structure, Pearson, Australia has a number of different factors that have the potential of significantlyaffecting their decisions on people management policies and strategies. A SWOT analysis will therefore be of assistance to help highlight on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the organization. SWOT will be significant in exploring the different possibilities for efforts and solutions to problems that arise in the organization (Guest &King, 2007). It will similarly help to make decisions on the best path for varied initiatives in Pearson, Australia.
What are the strengths of the company? Pearson, Australia is comprised of two business units that are very distinct and are each headed by chief executive officers, the Pearson Education and the Shared Services. With an approximate number of 314 employeesthe Pearson Education takes an active role to ensure that measurable progress is achieved through efficient teaching(Baxter & MacLeod, 2008). They also lead the way with the utilization of technology that helps to improve the overall learning process. Such responsibilities are effective to ensuring they set the trend and act as a global benchmark through which students are able to measure their education progress. The strategy of the Shared Services on the other hand is similarly efficient and effective given their structure of operations. Shared Services has a staff of roughly257 employees have maximized on the profitability of their internal business through a choice of reliable, efficient, smart and proactive work practices. Such goal oriented practices are factors that have contributed to the smooth running of the human resources department as well as ensuring that people management in the organization is effective. Also in their efficient internal organisation is a need to understand the market trend and their customers in order to ensure that their resources are matched with the climate that is continually changing (Purcell et al., 2004). The Shared Services measure their performance through constantly seeking the feedback of the clients they support.
With a vision of being a leading provider of educational services and solutions to help progress of people’s lives, the organization has to take a keen interest however on the several factors that have the potential of affecting their decisions. According to an Employment Engagement Survey that was carried out in the organization in 2012, it was observed that the company’s employees had an engagement score of 3.79 out of the 4.5 and an overallenablement score of 3.78 out of 4.5. Most of the favourable scores were observed to be in the company culture, attitudes of the employees and the faith in their managers. However in some areas like the Pay and Benefits and the Career Advancement, the overall scores were lower.
A significant decrease of the scores was noticeable in areas like learning and development and career advancement with small increases in clarity of direction, working conditions and resources, management, performance management, collaboration and empowerment. Pearson, Australia however also has an opportunity in a wide variety of areas like its emphasis on the assimilation of digital operations. A complete transformation to a fully digitized organization that meets the needs of the developing world is concurrent to its vision of impacting lives (Purcell et al., 2004). The human resource department can also assist the group in the opportunity to sustain its loyal employees through rewarding and recognizing hard work and ensuring they balance work and life through proactive salaries. In its services and solutions is a mixture of both opportunities and threats that needs to be balanced for effective people management. Pearson, Australia faces threats in its people management strategy to build success through culture and creativity. This is because of the unequal opportunities in employment, inadequate security and privacy as well as the inflexibility of work(Purcell et al., 2004). The group similarly needs a review of its responsibility of investing and developing talent due to the threats of ineffective leadership and talent management together with the issue of lacking opportunities in partnerships with external training agencies and organizations. It is therefore evident that there are several factors that affect the people management in the organization that need improvement for better internal and external management performance. With its strong position in the market for businesses that are reliant on creativity and technology, Pearson, Australia will be able to build a cohesive community of individuals with a common interest and goal of supporting the development of the world.
Baxter, L. F.,& MacLeod, A. M. (2008). Managing performance improvement, Routledge: New
Cascio, W.F.,& Boudreau, J.W. (2011). Investing in people: financial impact of human resource
initiatives, 2nd ed, Financial Time/Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River: NJ.
Fearon, C., McLaughline, H.,&Eng, T. Y. (2012), Using student group work in higher
education to emulate professional communities of practice', Education + Training, vol. 54, no. 2/3, pp. 114-125.
Guest, D.,&King., Z. (2004). Power, innovation and problem solving: the personnel managers'
three steps to heaven?', Journal of Management Studies, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 401-23.
Holland, B. (2001), A comprehensive model for assessing service-learning and community-
Leopold, J.,& Harris, L. (2009). The strategic managing of human resources, 2nd ed, Prentice
Hall/Financial Times, New York., Harlow, England, pp. 502-519.
Purcell, J., Rayton, B., Hutchinson, S., Swart, J., &Kinnie, N.(2009). People management and
performance, Routledge, London.
Purcell, J., Kinnie, N., Hutchinson, S., Swart, J.,& Rayton, B.(2004). Vision and values:
Organizational culture and values as a source of competitive advantage, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London.
Truss, K. (2001), 'Complexities and controversies in linking HRM with organizational
outcomes', Journal of Management Studies, vol. 38, no. 8, pp. 1121-49
Ulrich, D.,& Brockbank, W.(2005). The HR value proposition, Harvard Business School Press,