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"challenges Faced By Hr Manager's As A Result Of Globalization"

Workers Compensation Law Discussion

"challenges Faced By Hr Manager's As A Result Of Globalization"

Postby gauthier92 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:48 pm


Your answer to my previous question mostly speaks of general impacts of globalization.

Can you be more specific on this topic: "Challenges faced by "HR Manager's" as a result of Globalization"

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Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:46 am

"challenges Faced By Hr Manager's As A Result Of Globalization"

Postby udale10 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:42 pm

"Challenges faced by "HR Manager's" as a result of Globalization" As the area of human resource management becomes more strategic and more global it is becoming more important and critical to the organization. While not all companies are recognizing this yet, those that are most effective and most admired, seem to be the ones that are. As a consequence they are doing many things that make their management of human resources as effective as possible. In doing so doing, several things are being observed: 1) the roles that the HR department and its HR professionals have traditionally played are changing substantially; 2) the competencies required of the HR professionals to play these new roles are also changing rapidly with dramatic implications for the current HR staff and leaders; 3) the HR professionals are working more closely, in partnership, with line managers, employees, suppliers and representatives of labour unions, strategic partners and members of community organizations in order to be more effective in managing the firm’s human resources; and finally, 4) the structure of the HR department and the HR function are being reshaped in order to better serve the various stakeholders of HR in order to make the management of people and the organization more effective. Because all these observed trends are important and rather complex in nature, they are described in this chapter in some detail. We begin by providing an example of what these all mean to one of those effective and admired companies who also manages people rather well. W. L. Gore & Associates, the company that manufactures GoreTexâ and other fabric-based materials, doesn’t have bosses and it doesn't have employees. Instead, consistent with their flat structure and culture of creativity, they employ sponsors and associates who have no specified job titles. When Bill Gore, a research chemist, left his job of 17 years at DuPont to found the company, he worked out of his home's basement. Now, more than 50 years later, some 200 Gore manufacturing plants operate in 45 countries. Regardless of their location, all Gore work sites reflect the company's core values:

Fairness to each other and everyone with whom we come in contact. Freedom to encourage, help and allow other associates to grow knowledge, skill, and scope of responsibility. The ability to make one's own commitments and keep them. Consultation with other associates before undertaking actions that could impact the reputation of the company by hitting it "below the water line."

HR professionals serve as caretakers of these values. Day in and day out, they champion the culture, guaranteeing that consideration for people plays into business decisions.

The structure of HR activities facilitates their success. Each plant is essentially self-sufficient, with at least one dedicated HR generalist located on-site. In addition to serving as a member of the leadership team, the HR generalist, development, staff allocation, and conflict resolution. They're the ones who create an environment people want to work in, which is critical to getting business results.

Supporting the HR generalists out in the plants are HR specialists, located in the corporate headquarters. Regardless of where they're located, however, HR generalists and specialists often work together on special project teams. Gore refers to this structure as a "Lattice." Just as a garden trellis might support the growth of a rambling rose, Gore's Lattice structure is designed to support the growth and development of HR practices and decisions that complement the needs of the business.

To understand how the Lattice structure works, consider what happens when a plant leadership position needs to be filled. Recruitment and hiring for the position is carried out by a team that includes other plant leaders, the HR generalist at the plant, and one or more specialists from headquarters. The business leaders define their needs and the HR professionals help them meet those needs through the use of effective recruitment and selection procedures. Those procedures recognize the importance of finding talent that is both technically competent and appropriate for the culture. HR knows that the needs of the business are changing rapidly, so new hires must be agile and willing to learn new skills. When people are hired, they make commitments to perform within a general functional area--they aren't hired to fill a specific job title. Compensation activities are carried out in a similar way. A team comprised of leaders within the company, one or more HR generalists, and compensation specialists make the compensation decisions. HR's role is to ensure the process is fair--that is, it must be based on performance and contribution to the business and it must be externally competitive. Stock ownership and profit sharing plans further support this philosophy.

This democratic, high-involvement approach to HR has costs as well as benefits. Conducting HR through partnership takes time and costs money. But in the end, Gore believes that it results in an enhanced quality of life for employees(Anfuso, 1999). 1 GROWING IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

As the example of W. L. Gore highlights, the HR profession can contribute to--even determine--the success(or failure) of an organization. Members of a company’s HR staff, working with external HR consultants and vendors, can help ensure that the needs of the business and the needs of employees are reflected in HR policies, mission statements, and practices. These are central to the coordination and operation of an organization. At W. L. Gore, HR professionals help the firm satisfy its key stakeholders. An example of key stakeholders for the HR profession as a whole is provided in Exhibit 1.

The human resource department is the group formally established by an organization to help manage the organization’s people as effectively as possible for the good of the employees, the company, and society. HR professionals include external consultants and service providers with HR expertise. At the end of the day, however, the managing of human resources gets done through a working partnership of HR professionals, line managers, and employees. At times, this partnership extends outside the organization--for example, as the firm strives to forge better working relationships with its suppliers(Schuler and MacMillian, 1984). It may also venture into local education facilities as the HR staff works with schools to prepare students for internships in the firm. And, increasingly, companies use HR consultants to help with activities such as compensation, benefits, training, recruiting and selection, and implementing large-scale organizational change(Cook, 1999).


Addressing stakeholders' concerns requires HR professionals to play a variety of roles. The effectiveness with which HR professionals play these roles depends on leadership effectiveness, the staffing of the department, and the department’s organization.

Linking Role

Traditionally, HR departments often had limited involvement in the total organization's business affairs and goals(Poole, 1999; Procter and Currie, 1999). HR managers were often only concerned with making staffing plans, providing specific job training programs, or running annual performance appraisal programs(the results of which were sometimes put in the files, never to be used). They focused on the short-term--perhaps day-to-day--needs of human resources.

With the growing importance of human resources to the success of the business, HR managers and their departments have become more involved in the business. They know the needs of the business and are helping address those needs(Ulrich, 1998). Linking HR to the business is a newer role played by the HR department.

One consequence of this role is an increased involvement in the longer-term, strategic directions of the organization. A second consequence is a new emphasis on long-term activities in addition to the more typical medium- and short-term activities.

Strategic Role

At the strategic(long-term) level, HR departments and their professionals get involved in broader decisions--those that provide overall direction and vision for the organization. Being a strategic partner means understanding the business direction of the company, including what the product is, what it's capable of doing, who the typical customers are and how the company is positioned competitively in the marketplace. This process of linking HR to the broader, longer-term needs of firms is the essence of strategic human resource management(Storey, 2000; Schuler and Jackson, 1999; 2000).

Typically, strategic business needs arise from decisions such as what products and services to offer and on what basis to compete--quality, cost, or innovation, or for purposes of survival, growth, adaptability, and profitability. These decisions are associated with the formulation and implementation of the organization’s strategy, so they reflect characteristics of the external and internal environments. While a great many models of human resource management have focused on some part of strategy implementation or execution, the actual impact of managing human resources is to be found in both formulation and implementation of strategy(Thompson and Strickland, 1998).

Strategy formulation includes

deciding what business the company will be in, forming a vision, committing to a set of values and a general strategy; identifying strategic business issues and setting strategic business objectives; and crafting corporate and business level plans of action.

Strategy implementation includes developing functional and operational plans of action; and measuring, evaluating, revising and refocusing for the future.

The activities involved in strategy formulation identify "the needs of the firm." At a given time, these in turn reduce to specific strategic business issues and objectives that serve as the basis for the strategic management implementation activities that are specifically associated with human resource management(Pfeffer, 1998). An illustration of these activities is shown in Exhibit 2(Schuler and Jackson, 2000).

Setting the Direction. The activities of effective organizations are guided by the firm’s vision, mission(the type of business), values, and their general strategy. A vision is management’s view of the kind of company it is trying to create, and their intent to stake out a particular business position. A mission statement defines a company’s business and provides a clear view of what the company is trying to accomplish for its customers. The mission of Merck is to provide society with superior products and services – innovations and solutions that improve the quality of life and satisfy customer needs – to provide employees with meaningful work and advancement opportunities and investors with a superior rate of return. Values are the strong enduring beliefs and tenets that the company holds dear, that defines it and distinguish it as a company, and that differentiates it from other companies. While similar to culture, values have a broader coverage, and are more enduring. Statements of general strategy portray how the company plans to pursue its vision and mission. Thus, in this first strategic management task, there are many implications for managing human resources, both in terms of the impact on and the impact of human resource management. Further implications are reflected in the second strategic management task.

Identifying Strategic Business Issues and Setting Objectives. Identifying strategic business issues and setting objectives involves deciding upon what is most important for the company to focus on consistent with the corporate vision, mission and general strategy. Strategic business issues(SBIs) are those issues, which if not resolved through effective strategic plans, will have significant negative consequences on the firm. These can include dealing with global competitors, developing new products, increasing productivity levels or creating a customer focus and solutions orientation among all employees. While these have implications for managing human resources, some strategic business issues are human resource issues, e.g., hiring and retaining qualified workers. Setting objectives around these strategic business issues is likely to help in their attainment. Set with specific objectives, the focus is on the attainment of strategic business objectives(SBOs).

The process of identifying strategic business issues and setting strategic business objectives is likely to highlight numerous implications for human resource management. At this stage, however, they remain rather unspecified, waiting to be developed based on the context of the strategic plans.

Crafting Corporate- and Business-Level Plans. Crafting strategic plans involves deciding how the vision, mission, strategic objectives and general strategy are going to be obtained. Combining a vision, mission and statement of general strategy with strategic business issues and objectives and a specific strategy constitutes the essentials of a strategic plan. Typically, a good strategic plan needs

analysis of economy and industry in which it competes; sources of competitive advantage and the critical success factors; analysis of existing and potential competition; assessment of company strengths, weakness, and core competencies; and plans of actions and strategic objectives.

Making the strategic plan a bit more complex is the reality that there are two levels of strategy formulation: corporate and business. Corporate strategy concerns how a diversified company intends to establish business positions in different industries and the actions and approaches employed to improve the performance of the group of businesses the company has diversified into. Business strategy concerns the actions and the approaches crafted by management to produce successful performance in one specific line of business: the central business strategy issue is how to build a stronger long-term competitive position.

Developing Functional and Operational Plans. The relevant activities associated with strategy implementation are found at the functional and operating levels of the organization. At these two levels HR plans, as well as those from other functional areas, need to be created and then specific HR policies and practices need to be crafted and implemented.

Each function has to identify the organizational and functional meaning for itself. By way of example, take the strategic business objective of enhancing customer focus and a solutions orientation. Here, the human resource function states its understanding of what this objective means and its possible implications to the company and to itself. Enhancing customer focus and solutions orientation may imply a

need for a new vision, values, objectives, and culture for the company, or need for the human resource department to customerize itself.

Operating level plans concern the actions and approaches to support the functional action plans. The primary tasks include

crafting still narrower and more specific approaches/moves aimed at supporting functional action plans and the needs of the firm and at achieving operating-unit objectives; and discussing dependencies and needs with other units, e.g., information systems, finance or marketing.

Monitoring Role

The final task of strategic management task is reviewing what has been done against the strategic plans, deciding upon corrective actions, and establishing new courses of action should the situation warrant. Reviewing and evaluating are based upon having criteria against which to compare results. Using comparisons indicating shortcomings in the attainment of the strategic plan needs to trigger a problem diagnosis to determine the reasons for the deficiencies. Revised action plans are then formulated. Although HR professionals may delegate much of the implementation of HR activities to line managers, they remain responsible for seeing that HR programs are implemented fairly and consistently. HR Professionals need to champion the causes and concerns of the employee, with or without union involvement. Meeting this obligation requires monitoring the outcomes and effectiveness of all HR activities. Innovator Role

Today, organizations are asking their HR departments for innovative approaches and solutions to improve productivity and the quality of work life while complying with the law in an environment of high uncertainty, energy conservation, and intense international competition. They are also demanding approaches and solutions that can be justified in dollars and cents. Past approaches do not always make the cut in this environment; innovation is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.

As part of the innovator role, HR can serve as a role model(Lawler and Galbraith, 1995). HR departments face the same demands as their organizations. They must continually streamline their operations and redesign the way work gets done. Not waiting for mandated cutbacks, they review and evaluate expenses and implement incremental changes to become, and stay, lean. Flexible HR departments aggressively seek to be perceived as "bureaucracy busters," setting an example for other staff functions and line organizations.

Change and Knowledge Facilitator Role

In the implementation phase, as in the initial strategy implementation phase, management of change is crucial. Managing human resources through strategy implementation is often about change. Not surprisingly, this role of managing the change process, both at the individual and the organizational level is seen by human resource management professionals as one of the most significant ones today.

It's increasingly necessary for organizations to adapt new technologies, structures, processes, cultures, and procedures to meet the demands of stiffer competition. Organizations look to the human resource department for the skills to facilitate organizational change and to maintain organizational flexibility and adaptability. One consequence of this change facilitator role is the need to be more focused on the future. For example, as the external environment and business strategies change, new skills and competencies are needed. To ensure that the right skills and competencies are available at the appropriate time, HR departments must anticipate change. Thus, the HR department can play a significant role in organizational change. In addition, they must guide the discussion and flow of knowledge, information and learning throughout the organization(Johnson, 1998).

Enabler Role

Human resource policies and practices succeed because line managers make them succeed. The HR professional's bread-and-butter job, therefore, is to enable line managers to make things happen. Thus, in traditional activities such as selecting, interviewing, training, evaluating, rewarding, counseling, promoting, and firing, the HR department is basically providing a service to line managers. In addition, the department administers direct and indirect compensation programs. It also assists line managers by providing information about, and interpretation of, equal employment opportunity legislation and safety and health standards.

To fulfill these responsibilities, the HR department must be accessible, or it will lose touch with the line managers' needs. Being accessible and providing services and products to others(customers) is a practice called customerization. Customerization means the state of viewing everybody, whether inside or outside the organization, as a customer and then putting that customer first(Schuler and Jackson, 1988).

3 THE HR PARTNERSHIP TRIAD Responsibility for effectively managing human resources does not rest only with those in the human resources department. All company managers are responsible for leading people. No department alone can effectively manage a company's human resources. So, regardless of whether a line manager ever holds a formal position in human resource management, she or he will be accountable for the task of managing people(Schuler and Walker, 1990).

Line Managers In small businesses, the owner must have HR expertise because he or she will be building the company from the ground up. Eventually, as a company grows, the owner may contract out some of the administrative aspects related to managing people(e.g., payroll), or delegate some of the responsibilities to a specialist, or both. As the company grows larger, more specialists may be hired—either as permanent staff or on a contract basis to work on special projects, such as designing a new pay system. As with other business activities, these specialists won’t bear all responsibility for the project. For example, many companies have a marketing department; nevertheless, they employ people outside that department to conduct marketing activities. Similarly, most companies have a few people with special expertise in accounting; nevertheless, employees throughout the company perform accounting activities. The same is true for managing human resources.

HR Professionals HR professionals refer to people with substantial specialized and technical knowledge of HR issues, laws, policies, and practices. The leaders of HR units and the specialists and generalists staff who work within the function usually are HR professionals, although this isn’t always the case. Sometimes organizations fill the top-level HR position with a person who has a history of line experience but no special expertise in the area of HR. According to one survey of 1,200 organizations, this is a growing trend, reflecting increasing recognition of the importance of people to business success. Line managers who are doing a "tour of duty" in the HR department would be appropriately referred to as HR managers, but they would not be considered HR professionals—at least not until they gained substantial experience and perhaps took a few executive development courses devoted to HR. External experts who serve as consultants or vendors for the organization may be HR professionals, also. But don’t assume that a consultant or vendor is an HR professional on the basis of the products or services he or she offers. In addition to a record of substantial HR experience, other things that might indicate that a consultant or vendor has special expertise would include a college level degree in the field and/or accreditation from a professional association. Employees The responsibilities of line managers and HR professionals are especially great, but partnership involves even more sharing of responsibility. Employees in an organization, regardless of their particular jobs, share some of the responsibility for effective human resource management. For example, employees commonly write their own job descriptions. Some even design their own jobs. Employees may also be asked to provide input for the appraisal of their own performance or the performance of their colleagues and supervisors, or both. Perhaps most significant, employees assess their own needs and values and must manage their own career in accordance with these. Doing so effectively involves understanding many aspects of their employer's human resource management practices. As we move forward, we all need to position ourselves for the future. For all of us, learning about how effective organizations are managing human resources is an essential step for getting into position. Exhibit 3 titled "The HR Triad: Partnership Roles and Responsibilities for Managing Human Resources," summarizes several major roles and responsibilities for the HR partners.


Effective management of an organization's human resources depends in large part on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the people in the human resource department, particularly the HR leader, HR generalists, and HR specialists--collectively referred to as HR professionals. The top human resource leaders and staff members are often expected to be capable administrators, functional experts, business consultants, and problem solvers with global awareness. Management expects the HR staff "to have it all." Administrative skills are essential for efficiency. Specialized expertise also is important, particularly in combination with business knowledge and perspective. In flexible organizations, problem-solving and consulting skills are vital in guiding and supporting new management practices. The Human Resource Leader For the HR department to perform all its roles effectively, it needs to have a very special leader. The leader not only must be knowledgeable in HR activities but also must be well-versed in topics such as mergers and acquisitions, productivity, and total quality efforts. He or she must be familiar with the needs of the business and able to work side by side with line management as a partner. Being part of the management team means assuming some new key roles, which are illustrated in Exhibit 4(Ulrich, Losey and Lake, 1997). The most effective person who can head the HR department is an outstanding performer in the organization, with both HR management expertise and line management experience. To be a true professional in many areas of HR management, individuals virtually have to have an advanced degree in the subject and spend full time in that field. Areas like compensation have become incredibly complicated because of their close connection to strategic, legal, financial, and tax matters. However, with the exception of technical specialists, HR managers need to spend a significant amount of time in line management positions. It is not enough for senior HR managers to have worked in different areas of the HR function; they must have had some line business experience so that they have a first-hand familiarity with the business operations(Huselid, Jackson and Schuler, 1997). Short of actually serving as a line manager, such individuals could serve as special assistants to line managers or head up a special task force for a companywide project(Scullion, 1992).

The Human Resource Staff

As the HR leader begins to play many of the roles listed in Exhibit 4, staff members must recognize this and adapt accordingly. Just as the department and its leader must change, so must the staff members. Although they may not play the same roles to the same depth as their leader, the staff members still need to know the business, facilitate change, be conscious of costs and benefits, and work with line managers(although this is probably more true for the generalist than for the specialist). The HR staff is active at the operational level and the managerial level, whereas most of the leader's time is spent at the strategic level and some at the managerial level.

In effective organizations, managers like the HR staff to work closely with them in solving people-related business challenges. Although line managers may best understand their own people, many desire the more distant perspective of HR staff in handling problems. As the HR staff actively builds working relationships with line management, managers find it easier to work with them as partners. HR specialists and HR generalists are types of staff positions typically found in larger organizations. Human resource specialists can pursue their fields of specialization within a company and/or sell their expertise to external organizations as consultants. Generalists can remain in human resources and also occasionally serve on companywide task forces for special issues such as downsizing or capital improvement projects. Finally, as U.S. organizations become more global, opportunities for careers in international HR management will increase(Henson, 1994). Most U.S. firms see growth coming from abroad, thereby, having overseas assignments may be a typical part of any manager’s career.

Human Resource Generalists. Line management positions are one source for human resource generalists. HR generalists come from a variety of backgrounds: some are career HR professionals with degrees in business or psychology, some are former line managers who have switched fields, and some are line managers who are on a required tour of duty. As human resources becomes more heavily valued by organizations, required tours of duty by line managers will become more frequent. A brief tour by a line manager in an HR staff position conveys the knowledge, language, needs, and requirements of the line in a particularly relevant way. As a result, the HR department can more effectively fill its roles.

Human Resource Specialists. Human resource specialists should have skills related to a particular specialty, an awareness of the relationship of that specialty to other HR activities, and knowledge of where the specialized activity fits in the organization. Since specialists may work at almost any human resource activity, qualified applicants can come from specialized programs in law, organizational and industrial psychology, labor and industrial relations, HR management, counseling, organizational development, and medical and health science. In addition, specialists are needed in the newer areas of total quality management, service technologies, and information systems. With such rapid changes occurring in hardware and software technologies, the HR information systems manager is a particularly important HR specialist.

Typically, when organizations create an HRIS, they need to have a specialist manage the area. Over the years, the role of this leader has changed from that of a project manager to that of a systems manager and now to that of a strategic change partner. An emerging trend is to see the specialist who manages the HRIS as playing a strategic rather than technical role. This new role asks the HRIS manager to be concerned not with how efficiently the department can store and retrieve information but with how the HRIS manager can be a strategic partner and manage organizational change(Fasqualetto, 1993).

HR Competencies

To effectively play the roles described in Exhibit 4, the HR leader in a highly competitive environment needs the competencies shown in Exhibit 5(Ulrich, 1998b; Jackson and Schuler, 2000).

The globalization of business is putting HR professionals from around the world in almost daily contact with each other and with line managers representing many different countries and cultures(Worldlink, 1998). Coinciding with this globalization of business is the globalization of the HR profession. The World Federation of Personnel Management Associations(WFPMA) links together country- and region-specific professional associations around the world. As a service to its members, the WFPMA investigated the question of how the work of HR professionals is similar and different around the world. Their research revealed how little is known at the global level. Although few countries have developed national standards for HR professionals, there are no such standards in most countries. To address this information vacuum, the WFPMA decided to conduct a study of its own. Among the questions their study addresses are these:

How do different countries define the standards that constitute an HR professional? What are the competencies they will need to be able to perform HR activities, from the operational to the most strategic? How do national associations certify the attainment of national standards? What are the learning and development routes they might pursue in order to keep those competencies up to date? Are there generic standards of professionalism in HR common to all or many countries? What standards might be appropriate to certify the attainment of generic competencies? Could standards be expressed in such a way that they would be helpful to emerging professional associations wishing to develop HR professionalism in their country?

Plans call for the initial results from this study to be released in the year 2000, with the possible development of global HR competency standards following in the next year. PROFESSIONALISM IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Like any profession, HR management follows a code of ethics that provides standards for behavior and serve as useful guides to professionals.

The code of ethics for human resource management states that:

Practitioners must regard the obligation to implement public objectives and protect the public interest as more important than blind loyalty to an employer’s preferences.

More specifically, in daily practice, HR professionals are expected to

thoroughly understand the problems assigned and must undertake whatever study and research are required to ensure continuing competence and the best of professional attention; maintain a high standard of personal honesty and integrity in every phase of daily practice; give thoughtful consideration to the personal interest, welfare, and dignity of all employees who are affected by their prescriptions, recommendations, and actions; and make sure that the organizations that represent them maintain a high regard and respect for the public interest and that they never overlook the importance of the personal interests and dignity of employees(Applebaum, 1991).

Some of the most serious ethnical issues HR professionals face center around differences in the way people are treated because of favoritism or a relationship to top management. In a survey conducted in the U.S. by the Society for Human Resource Management(SHRM) and the Commerce Case Clearing House(CCCH), HR professionals agreed that workplace ethics require people to be judged solely on job performance. Ethics requires managers to eliminate such things as favoritism, friendship, sex bias, race bias, or age bias from promotion and pay decisions(Grensing-Pophal, 1998).

By acting in an ethical manner, companies will hire, reward and retain the best people. This will, in turn, help assure that the company has the best work force possible to achieve its business goals(Bulletin to Management, 1998b) By adopting a definition of workplace ethics that centers on job performance, HR professionals may be in a better position to persuade others in the organization that making ethical behavior a priority will produce beneficial results. A good starting point for managing ethical issues is for top management to critically examine practices as such reward systems, managerial style, and decision-making processes. In some organizations, the reward system promotes unethical behavior by encouraging the achievement of organizational goals at almost any cost. Because of HR’s traditional involvement in reward systems, HR has a natural role in encouraging ethical behavior(Grensing-Pophal, 1998). But in the spirit of partnership, encouraging ethical behavior is a responsibility of all parties--the employees, line managers, and HR professionals. A result of this partnership might be the creation of an easy-to-use hot line and dissemination of standards that offer guidance on issues of ethical behavior.

Professional Certification

The society for Human Resource Management(SHRM) in the U.S. has established the Human Resource Certification Institute to certify human resource professionals. The institute's purposes are to recognize individuals who have demonstrated expertise in particular fields; raise and maintain professional standards; identify a body of knowledge as a guide to practitioners, consultants, educators, and researchers; help employers identify qualified applicants; and provide an overview of the field as a guide to self-development.

The certification institute has two levels of accreditation: basic and senior. The basic accreditation level is appropriate for all HR professionals. This designation requires an examination covering the general body of knowledge and four years of professional experience. A bachelor's degree in HR management or in the social sciences counts for two years of professional experience. A senior level accreditation requires a minimum of eight years of experience, with the three most recent years including policy development responsibilities. All professionals receiving accreditation are listed in the Register of Accredited Personnel and Human Resource Professionals.

The accreditation process in the U.K. and Canada appears to be rather similar to that in the U.S., particularly concerning the major stakeholders and certification criteria. Conversely, there are major differences with respect to the basic assumptions underlying the programmes' complexity and their integration with the government, industry and academia(Wiley, 1999).


In traditional, bureaucratic organizations, HR professionals resided almost exclusively within a centralized functional department. As organizations have restructured into a variety of newer forms, however, they have often re-evaluated this approach. As is true for many support functions, there is currently much experimenting going on to find the most effective way to organize the HR function. When considering new organizational forms, two major questions need to be addressed are

Where are the HR decisions made? What level of investment will the company make?

The first question has to do with the advantages and disadvantages of centralized and decentralized organizations. The second question has to do with costs and deciding who will do what HR activities.

Centralization versus Decentralization

Centralization means structuring the organization so that essential decision making and policy formulation are conducted at one location(at headquarters); decentralization means structuring the organization so that essential decision making and policy formulation are conducted at several locations(in various divisions or departments of the organization).

Organization of HR departments differs widely from one company to another not only because of the differing requirements of various industries but also because of differing philosophies, cultures, and strategic plans of individual organizations. With a centralized structure, large specialized corporate staffs formulate and design human resource strategies and activities, which are then communicated to the small HR staffs of operating units for implementation. High levels of consistency and congruence with corporate goals are thus attained. In a decentralized structure, small corporate staffs manage HR systems for executives but they act as advisers to operating units. This allows organizations to operate with a wider divergence in practices and a greater flexibility in addressing local concerns(Bulletin to Management, 1997).

Because of today's rapidly changing and highly competitive business environment, the trend seems to be toward greater decentralization. This entails a greater delegation of responsibilities to lower HR levels and to the operating units and line managers themselves. Along with this is a trend toward less formalization of policies--that is, fewer rules that are seen as bureaucratic hurdles(Johnson, 1999). Human resource departments and their organizations thus have greater flexibility to cope with the continually changing environment. Diminished bureaucratization can also lead to a greater openness in approaches to problems. On the other hand, it tends to reduce the consistency of HR practices found throughout an organization. When HR practices vary dramatically across different units within an organization, it may become more difficult to maintain a common corporate culture. To address this concern, decentralized organizations generally strive to develop broad policy statements state basic principles to be followed by everyone, and then allowing local units to develop practices that fit their specific contexts(Gedvilas, 1997). Cost Control

Larger organizations generally have been able to spend less per employee because they have taken advantage of the efficiencies associated with standardized policies and practices(Bulletin to Management, 1998a). As organizations attempt to decentralize their HR function, many find that their administrative costs begin to increase. In order to keep administrative costs under control, some organizations have adopted a structure that includes shared services(Ulrich, 1995). Like a traditional functional department, a shared services unit provides service to units throughout the entire organization. But a major difference is that costs associated with shared services usually are allocated to the specific units that use the services. One approach to shared services is to create service centers that handle transaction-based activities such as processing medical claims, answering questions related to retirement planning, and handling tuition reimbursement programs. Such transactions can be efficiently carried out by one unit for the entire firm, often over the telephone or online. Among the many activities handled by a service center are payroll transactions, benefits management and problem solving, the design and management of a self-service HR website, establishment of affirmative action plans, compliance reviews, processing of job applications, and the dissemination and analysis of employee surveys. Another way to reduce costs within a decentralized structure is through the use of centers of excellence(Ulrich, 1995) A center of excellence typically houses a variety of HR specialists who have in-depth expertise in activities that are of significant value to the firm. Such activities include recruitment and selection, compensation, job redesign, reengineering, organizational change, and measuring organizational effectiveness. These specialists essentially work as internal consultants, providing service only to the units that request(and are willing to pay for) them. Like shared services, the objective behind organizing HR activities into centers of excellence is to improve efficiency while also allowing for flexibility and decentralization of HR practices. Reengineering and Outsourcing

Reengineering the HR department basically means reconsidering what the department is doing to see whether it can do it better and more effectively(Davidson, 1998). Customerization is consistent with this process because it asks, "What are we doing for our customers, what do they want, and how can we fill in the gaps between what they get and what they want?" But reengineering goes much further. It seeks to examine all the parts of the department, asking, "What is the purpose of this group, what does it do and how does it do it, and can it improve the way it does things." The reengineering process should identify what counts; what adds value; and what can best be done by someone else--particularly a consulting firm that specializes in supplying HR activities, such as pension plan administration. Reengineering may lead to a decision to outsource some HR activities(Rogier, 1998). During the 1990s, many firms began outsourcing a variety of staff functions, including HR. The logic underlying this trend is that outside vendors, who might serve dozens of organizations, should be more efficient. Consequently, the cost per employee for their services should be lower. But after a few years of experience, many companies have discovered that outsourcing often results in higher costs(Workforce, 1998). At the same time, service levels from outside vendors often don’t match the level formerly provided by the company’s own staff. Like all other decisions regarding how to manage human resources, organizations can avoid some of the disappointments associated with outsourcing by treating outsourcing as a key strategic move(Wallace, 1998).


The 1990s have seen dramatic changes in international trade and business. Once-safe markets are now fierce battlegrounds where firms aggressively fight for their share against both foreign and domestic competitors. It is, therefore, not surprising to find that in an increasing number of firms, a large proportion of the workforce is located in other countries. As a consequence, HR departments and their professionals have to be familiar with concerns and aspects of operating across countries and cultures. When it comes to operating in a global context, most organizations and most HR professionals are at an early stage of learning. Globalization is forcing managers to grapple with complex issues as they seek to gain or sustain a competitive advantage. Faced with unprecedented levels of foreign competition at home and abroad, operating an international business high on the list of priorities for top management. So are finding and nurturing the human resources required to implement an international or global strategy. HR professionals play a critical role in the globalization process by helping companies evaluate the human resource prospects and possibilities involved in moving to different regions of the world(Luthans, Marsnik and Luthans, 1997). The complexities of operating in different countries and of employing people of different nationalities, are the main issues that differentiate domestic and international HR management. Many companies underestimate these complexities, and some evidence suggests that business failures in the international arena are often linked to poor management of human resources(Dowling, Welch and Schuler, 1999).

The primary causes of failure in multinational ventures stem from a lack of understanding of the essential differences in managing human resources, at all levels, in foreign environments(Scullion, 1995). Certain management philosophies and techniques have proved successful in the domestic environment, yet their application in a foreign environment too often leads to frustration, failure, and underachievement. These "human" considerations are as important as the financial and marketing criteria upon which so many decisions to undertake multinational ventures depend.

Increasingly, domestic HR is taking on an international flavor as the workforce becomes more and more diverse. Despite the merging of domestic and international concerns, several issues differentiate international HR from domestic HR. In the future, more and more HR professionals will find that being effective in an international HR work is required for success in their profession. A consideration of how international and domestic HR differ today provides a glimpse of the future(Schnell and Solomon, 1997).

More Functions and Activities. To operate in an international environment, the HR department must engage in a number of activities that would not be necessary in a domestic environment: international taxation, international relocation and orientation, administrative services for expatriates, host-government relations, and language translation services(Scullion and Starkey, 2000).

Broader Perspective. Domestic managers generally administer programs for a single national group of employees who are covered by a uniform compensation policy and who are taxed by one government. International managers face the problem of designing and administering programs for more than one national group of employees, and they must therefore take a more global view of issues.

More Involvement in Employees’ Lives. A greater degree of involvement in employees’ personal lives is necessary for the selection, training, and effective management of expatriate employees. The international HR department needs to ensure that the expatriate employee understands housing arrangements, healthcare, and all aspects of the compensation package provided for the assignment.

More Risk Exposure. Frequently, the human and financial consequences of failure are more severe in the international arena than in domestic business. For example, expatriate failure(the premature return of an expatriate from an international assignment) is a persistent, high-cost problem for international companies. Another aspect of risk exposure that is relevant to international HR is terrorism. Major multinational companies must now routinely consider this element when planning international meetings and assignments.

More External Influences. Other forces that influence the international arena are the type of host government, the state of its economy, and business practices that may differ substantially from those of the originating country. A host government can, for example, dictate hiring procedures or insist on a company providing training to local workers. Mergers and acquisitions that cross country borders are likely to accelerate the blending of domestic and international HR activities(Numerot and Abrams, 1998). SUMMARY

Because of the increasing complexity of human resource management, nearly all mid- to large- size companies employ human resource professionals—as full time employees, as vendors with long-term contracts, and/or as consultants who work on short-term projects. The ways organizations allocate responsibility for HR activities are many. They vary from firm to firm, and even over time within the same firm. Regardless of how HR activities are structured, however, companies that are most concerned with HR management seek professionals who effectively perform as the roles of business partner, enabler, monitor, innovator, and adapter. When this occurs, HR professionals can help organizations link their HR activities to the business. In doing so, they demonstrate their value to the organization and help in achieve enhanced productivity, quality of work life, competitive advantage, adaptability, and legal compliance--all goals associated with the organization's several stakeholders. Going forward, human resource professionals will increasingly be called upon to perform their roles in a global context. Globalization adds additional challenges for the HR profession and it may ultimately reshape the professional’s role. Regardless of how the roles of HR professionals shift, however, getting everyone involved in human resource management will continue to be essential. Employees, line managers, and HR professionals have to work together in order for organizations to manage human resources effectively.  
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"challenges Faced By Hr Manager's As A Result Of Globalization"

Postby Birkett » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:24 pm


Your answer to my previous question mostly speaks of general impacts of globalization.

Can you be more specific on this topic: "Challenges faced by "HR Manager's" as a result of Globalization"

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