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TABLES OF CONTENTS 1.0 Introduction 2.0 Literature Review 2.1 HRM Perspectives and definition 2.2 The importance of SHRM 3.0 Case Studies on Sears and Herman Miller 3.1 Analysis of HRM at Sears 3.2 Analysis of HRM at Herman Miller 3.3 Finding on the Case Study 4.0 Corporate Appraisal 4.1 Company history and background 4.2 HRM in SSCS 4.3 Recommendations for improvement 5.0 Conclusions APPENDIX REFERENCES

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TABLES OF CONTENTS 1.0 2.0 Introduction Literature Review 2.1 HRM Perspectives and definition 2.2 The importance of SHRM 3.0 Case Studies on Sears and Herman Miller 3.1 Analysis of HRM at Sears 3.2 Analysis of HRM at Herman Miller 3.3 Finding on the Case Study 4.0 Corporate Appraisal 4.1 4.2 4.3 5.0 Company history and background HRM in SSCS Recommendations for improvement




Human Resource Management Individual Coursework 1.0 Introduction

The human resources functions constantly face problem for demonstrating its value to the organization. Especially during economy crisis, the basic strategic of HRM component (Figure 1) shall be the earliest cutbacks from expenditures list (Patrick et. Al., 2001). Recently, there is a growing awareness that human capital is perhaps a most critical asset for an organization, but it is a frustrating to measure the ROI for their considerable expenditure on people. Mercer Human Resource Consulting and CFO Research Services (2002) have conducted a survey to acknowledge the importance and responsibility of managing human capital. The survey (Figure 2) showed 92% think that human capital as a key driver for customer satisfaction, while 82% think it has great effect on profitability and 72% for innovation and new product development. Many research literature and among practicing manager are coming to see human capital as a source of value and competitive advantage.

Nowadays, most HR department implementing strategic human resource management (SHRM) by integrating HRM into planning process, emphasizing HR activities that support goal and building strong relationship with employees to accomplish organizations goal. This paper identifies the key challenges facing SHRM going forward and new directions in scholarship and practice of SHRM. Secondly, it will attempt to discuss, analyze and contrast the SHRM deployed by Sears and Herman Miller. It also highlights the significant of a differentiated SHRM practice across the firm but also within firms. Finally, we will assess the state of SHRM practice in SSCS, both remarkable progress and the challenges facing.

2.0 Literature Review 05March2010

Human Resource Management Individual Coursework


SHRM Perspective and Definition

Strategic human resource management (SHRM) cannot be discussed comprehensively without understanding the concept of HRM. HRM mainly emphasis on planning, monitoring, and control human resources to be provided and deployed at the management needs (Torrington et. Al, 2002). Whereas, SHRM is about having a department on top of the planning that deciding the human resource needed by the company rather than react to the need of the company (McMahan et. Al., 1998). It also an extension of HRM with depth insight of the environmental analysis and organization direction for organizational strategy implementation and evaluation (Bratton et. Al., 1999). Therefore, SHRM pursue an earlier involvement of HR department in planning stages which allows to be adjusted to fit new or change of company strategy (Van Donk, 2001)

Contemporary SHRM is the confluences between diverse streams of academic work which systematically coordinate human resource policies and practices based upon the context of the organization as well as the relevant external environment. The need of this transformation was based upon the challenge in complexity of managing human resource and Brain Drain phenomenon in global environment. Despite there are a lots of SHRM literature, there still some struggling to identify the meaning of SHRM. SHRM is more than just planning, monitoring and controlling human; it is also a relationship management. Relationships which is well take care and nurturing may be translated into loyalty, engagement and trust, thus create higher level of productivity for the organization (Theresa, 2003). For example, the company listed in Fortune Magazines 100 Best Companies to Work For Adobe Systems offers frequent job


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework rotations and Friday night beer bashes to improve employee relationship. Good relationship exhibit greater motivation to excel in work activities. Therefore, it must be built among individuals and within groups of an organization.


SHRM Model

Many researchers have identified their best SHRM model that can support business strategy and as sources of competitive advantages for the organization. MacDuffie (1995) asserts that a successful organization should employ these six HR practices. Firstly, there shall be a comprehensive employee selection system in deployment; enhancement on training and development; follow by encouragement of employee participation; information sharing throughout the organization; considerable job rotation to adapt uncertainty and finally rewards and compensation system.

Ericksen et al. (2004) developed a behavioral model of SHRM by taking a closer look at High reliability organization (HROs). The SHRM model inclusive of eight

principles of reliability-oriented employee behaviors (ROEBs) to foster organization reliability and six principles of reliability-enhancing HR strategy (REHRS) to

facilitate the manifestation of reliability-oriented behaviors (Figure 3). Ericksen et al. suggesting that ROEBs and REHRS is likely more beneficial for firm pursing reliability under trying condition.

There are other similarly SHRM model been introduce which has summarized in Figure 4. Apparently, the models are vary from study to study. However, best


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework SHRM model may be differs between companies depending on factors such as type of industry, country of ownership, company size and unionization (The Equality Authority, 2008).

3.0 Case Studies on Sears and Herman Miller 3.1 Analysis of SHRM at Sear


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework Sear, Roebuck, and Company is a leading retailer offers wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services throughout the United States and Canada. In early of 1996, Arthur Martinez, CEO of Sears recognizes that the company needs to re-organize and his people need to be re-educate in order to remain competitive advantage in market share. Thus Sears developed three Cs (inclusive of Compelling place to work, Compelling place to shop and Compelling place to invest) - a conceptual model of firm performance linking employees, customers and shareholders.

The first and most important step in HR function to facilitate the implementation of 3Cs is to create awareness of corporate mission, vision and goals to all level of employees by using variety of communication tools. Assessment on 3Cs model will be carry out on quarterly and annual basic. Measurement indicator for compelling place to work is on employee associates satisfaction on the company and job; while Compelling place to shop is on customer satisfaction and customer retention; lastly Compelling place to invest measure on revenue growth, operating margin and ROI.

Secondly, HR has initiated a series of 12 leadership competencies throughout the firm to all level of employee. This development significantly has motivated the employees potential or capability and to perform competently in the workplace. By the way, other training, multiple perspective performance appraisal and even individual attention also will be provided to ensure employee accountable for their behavior in order to achieve 3Cs. Beside that, Learning Maps used to reinforce the economy literacy on Sears strategy, mission and performance which helps to promoting selfresponsibility within employees and also workforce become engaged.


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework

Sears is introducing educational programs in Sear University to foster and develop the abilities of individuals who play a prominent role in the companys future. Sear University offered extensive list of courses which integrated 3Cs and 12 leadership dimensions to transmit its culture and strategy to the new and continuing workforce.

Sears also like many other organizations recognized the importance of performance management and incentive compensation systems to facilitate 3Cs and 12 leadership competencies. In order to increase corporate value and to retain good performers in the company, Sears has reviewed and increased the percentage of incentive compensation. Furthermore, HR also competently using advance computerized system and extensive of structured interview for development and deployment. There is no doubt that the HR has competently delivers a world-class manner of HR basic to gains legitimacy with employees and others throughout the firm.


Analysis of SHRM at Herman Miller


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework Herman Miller, Inc.(HMI) is one of the worlds largest manufacturer of office furniture and equipment, as well as modern furniture for home. HMI has been recognized as the "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" in the year of 2010, 2009, 2008, 1999, and 1998 in Fortune magazine (

HMI has adopted Open Book Management which creates employee ownership by encouraging employee participation in decision making then share the financial gains when goals are met. Therefore, HMI implemented Economic Value Added (EVA) to update ongoing financial condition of the business throughout the organization. The primary goals of HR comprise building employee capabilities, secondly is to built employee commitment and finally to improve HR function itself; this move is intended to facilitate corporate goals and strategy.

Firstly, HR has developed a competency model to identify workforce competencies, and provide development and training required which helps to built employee capabilities. HR also promotes Lean thinking throughout the organization in order to create economic and customer value at HMI. Moreover, business literacy training on EVA and meeting such as Monthly Business Exchange (MBX) will be held frequently to update on corporate business condition which encourage participation in decision making. Thus, participation has becomes an obligation and opportunities for everyone in HMI.

Secondly, HR incorporates Blueprint for Corporate Community in to the organization to become a good corporate citizen in the communities and as a service to employee-owners and other stakeholder. The activities included contribution to


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework student scholarship, partnering with local schools and participate in environmental protection activities. To further facilitate employees commitment to the organization, HR has adopted ESOP and instituted the Scanlon Plan by giving company stock or bonuses as a reward to employees. In additional, HMI also enacted Silver Parachute Plan by paying generous severance allowances for employees in the event of a hostile takeover.

Without a doubt, HR has done a good job to improve the fundamentals of HR infrastructure. They have developed a competency based selection process, New Employee Orientation Program and set a series of nested objective for each employee to create awareness of corporate strategy and goals which to help all employees working towards the same goal and to have greatest impact on firms EVA. Furthermore, HR has improving Electronic Data System (EDS) by using EVA system to enhance the performance measurement and compensation system. Other improvement such as diverse workforce to exercise in good corporate responsibility, initiate welfare to work and comply with Equal-employment Opportunities (EEO) will helps HMI to attract and retain key talented employees.


Finding on the Case Studies


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework Sears has been the venue of innovation in knowledge management; it is indeed a knowledge based organization. HR creating an ownership culture at Sears which involves each employees staying informed the progress of 3Cs and related information. In additional, HR also develop Sears University to educate employees and transmit its culture and strategy into the workforce.

HMI is strongly believes that relationship management is needed for their business to succeed and remain competitive as the business landscape continues to evolve and change. Therefore, HR is putting effort continuously increase the sense of ownership among employees.

Figure 5 is a detailed comparison of SHRM between Sear and HMI using SHRM Model by Cornell University.

4.0 Corporate Appraisal


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework (This part of report is solely used for academic purposes only and it should not be disclosed to any third party.)


Company history and background

SSCS in Malaysia is a member of S Group which serve as logistic solutions provider to S Group manufacturing plants locally and aboard. The services included a complete range of logistics solution from receiving cargoes, storage, delivering to customer at optimum load and cost efficient. SSCS are committed to their mission for timely delivery, value added and quality services while sharing expertise and resources with global network partnership.



S Group has announced and engaged immediate restructuring and other cost cutting initiatives during global economic crisis on 2009. HR in SSCS has playing an

important role for the restructuring to streamlining the workforce through work assignments and outplacement as well as reducing headcount while still maintaining good relationship with employee and other stakeholders.

a) Employment and Employee Management Relations SSCS values communication between employee and management which is essential in conveying corporate policies and encouraging employees to voice their opinion. S group communicating corporate goals and strategy base on workplace, customer and shareholder outcomes throughout the organization by emails, intranet and even through meetings. To further facilitate the communication process, they conducted town hall meetings which enable senior management to communicate strategies as


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework well as exchange opinion with employees on technology and management practices. HR in SSCS also sought employee understanding of its actions and as well as conducting interview individually to hear employees opinion during restructuring to enacted voluntary separation scheme (VSS) reducing headcount.

b) Employee Training Programs and Participation SSCS encourage personal growth through on on-job training (OJT) and various approaches of training such as e-learning which aimed at enhancing abilities and skill of employees. The company promotes e-learning technology and technological solutions to deliver information and skill training to employees at anytime and anywhere. Management also pursues multitasking skill to further streamlining the workforce, whereby OJT is designed and being delivered at the optimum time so that the employees have opportunities to learn, practice and feedback immediately.

Ethical business conduct and compliance with laws and regulations are fundamental of corporate culture. The code of conduct (COC) sets out the policies concerning on respect for human rights, safety of products and services, environmental conservation and information disclosure. Periodically education and training sessions provided and ongoing dissemination through e-learning, emails, booklets, company intranet to create awareness the importance of the policies and value set.

HR also has successfully drive lean thinking through the organization. For SSCS, the employee participant and involvement in Kaizen activities has become a norm. This move is crucial to facilitating ownership among employees and also provides a potential of competitive advantages for the company.


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework

c) Creation of better workplace As many other organization, SSCS has consistently emphasis on evaluation and compensation system which linked closely with corporate goals. HR has established periodic employee performance or KPI review by mangers, that ensuring individual contribution is evaluated fairly and promotes professional development.

SSCS also undertakes a variety of activities concerning employees health and safety, social contribution, and ethical business practices to create a workplace that inspires employees.

SHRM initiative of SSCS presented using SHRM Model by Cornell University as shown in Figure 6.


Recommendations for Improvement

Based on the review of situational analysis, SSCS has a well-established HR strategies and framework. Recommendations as below made for further improvement in long-run.

a) Formulating and communicating company mission, vision and goals


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework The company goals and financial performance is lagging indicator, informative about S group throughout the firm, but providing little information about the contribution of SSCS to the group. It is important for SSCS to develop a conceptual model of firm performance linking employees, customers and contribution to the S group performance. SSCS is recommended to describe the magnitude of the

interrelationship of employee attitudes affected customer attitudes, and both affected SSCS financial performance which will subsequently be reflected in S groups ROI. Sears was able to establish this inter-relationship and has successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of this concept.

b) Comprehensive training and development Surely, the adoption of OJT approaches and e-learning system to train a new employee is a best choice for the organization. However, the desired outcome is simply to enhance skill and ensure the employee knows how to do their job, with no personal development. Furthermore, the trainer may pass on sloppy work habits or unintentionally teach irrelevant or inefficient work methods to other employees. Improper OJT may cause the employee feel heavy workload due to incompetent to perform in multitasking job. This may be the root cause of 7% employee turnover in 2009 which create also additional cost during the administration of the resignation, as well as administration of recruitment and selection process.

Therefore, a comprehensive, ongoing and consistent training framework is required for the employee to enhance teamwork, commitment towards company,

accountability, communication and discipline. SSCS is recommended to conduct a training needs assessment and ask the employee themselves what skill they would like


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework to develop. Another approach is to build the training opportunity into the employees performance development plan. The positive outcome of the training shall allow the employee to develop solid management skills with better understanding of their position and function and blending of both technical and personal enhancement.

c) Work-life balance Based on the review, high performance work system (HPWS) in SSCSM generally gives positive impacts on employees by increasing their commitments in workplace. However, the job intensity, stressors and excessively long working hours arising from HPWS could affect some form of employee commitments (Kaushik, 2009).

Considerable supports from SSCS to assist employees maintaining a healthy work-life balance will offer employers the competitive business edge in attracting and retaining employees. The work-life balance initiatives recommended inclusive of parental or family leave, flexible work arrangement and supportive child care program. In todays labour market, flexible work arrangements is crucial for every employee to allow for young people to study; parents to have time with children; and everyone to maintain their healthy work-life balance and be active in the community.

d) Human Capital Relationship Management (HCRM) In a workforce that highly diverse today, SSCS may require greater customization of employment relationship to gain power in job market. HCRM approach can help the organization to cater the change of employee preferences and to tailor employment relationships. The foundation of HCRM strategy based on CRMs best practices identified by Berry et al (2004) noticing, remember and learn what its employee


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework doing and act on what it has learned can make value added. Firstly, the management team required to be trained to observe and listen to employees unfulfilled need; and employees need to share information about them in order to improve their employment experience. Then, all employee information such as work histories, skill assessments, career aspiration, reward preference and so forth shall be stored in one HR data warehouse whereby can be easily retrieve by HR or employee themselves. Thus HR can make decision and take necessary based on scientific workforce analyses with information collected. Finally, SSCS can use HCRM to transform all information from employee into action plan such as retirement and health care program, compensation program, employee development program as well as performance management. The examples of customized employee relationship activities initiated through HCRM compare with conventional one-size fit all employment relationship as shown in Figure 7 (Elissa, 2007).

It is the cumulative result of efforts by each and every employee for SSCS to continue growing and evolving as a company that is esteemed by society. The company shall recognize the need to enhance employee awareness, skill and capabilities. Going forward, each employee shall take initiative to accountable for his or her own action towards company strategy and goals.


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework 5.0 ConclusionTake away my people, but leave my factories, and soon grass will grow on the factory floors. Take away my factories, but leave my people, and soon we will have a new and better factory.

Andrew Carnegie

Recognizing human resources as a valuable asset of the organization has produced competitive results for the organization. This study has analyzed various SHRM practices by different authors, apparently they are working towards the same goals to produce the employee competencies and behaviors that the company needs to achieve its strategy goals. In conclusion, there is absent of unifying framework for SHRM process in terms of practices ability across different situations or locations. As long as, flexibility of SHRM in an organization enables it to achieve fit in a dynamic competitive environment (Patrick et. Al., 1997). The desired outcome of SHRM practice should be able to create an environment of respect, acceptance, understanding, and communication; thus maximize the potential of workforce and creating a place where new ideal and new perspectives are encouraged.


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework APPENDIX Figure 1

Figure 2


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework Figure 6


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework Figure 7


Human Resource Management Individual Coursework REFERENCE Berry, Michael J.A., and Gordon S. Linoff (2004), Data Mining Techniques, 2 nd ed., Wiley Publishing Kaushik Chaudhuri (2009), An Empirical Quest for Linkages between HPWS and Employee Behaviors a Perspective from the Non Managerial Employees in Japanese Organization, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 53 Elissa Tucker, Hewitt Associates (2007), Human Capital Relationship Management, Using CRM to Customize Employee Relationships and Beat the Talent Challenges of Today and Tommorow Mercer Management Consulting (2002), Human Capital Management: The CFOs Perspective Patric M. Wright & Scott A. Shell (1997), Toward a Unifying Framework for Exploring Fit and Flexibility in SHRM, CARHR Working Paper Serie, WP 97-13. Patric M. Wright, Benjamin B. Dunford & Scott A. Shell (2001), Human Resources and the Resources Based View of the Firm, Jounal of Management, 27:701. Theresa Welbourne (2003), Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM): What is it REALLY??? Torrington D.,Hall L., and Taylor S. (2005), Human Resource Management, 6 th Edition, New York: FT Prentice Hall.