Human Resource Management

A Concise Introduction

by Ronan Carbery and Christine Cross

Learning outcomes

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Chapter 1

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Define the term Human Resource Management
  • Describe the main activities of the Human Resource Management function
  • Outline the historical development of Human Resource Management
  • Be able to engage with the ‘Personnel’ or ‘Human Resource Management’ debate
  • Recognize what the term Strategic Human Resource Management means
  • Describe the key models and theoretical underpinning in the study of Human Resource Management
  • Contextualise Human Resource Management within the macro and micro environment

Chapter 2

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Outline the nature of human resource planning (HRP) and how HRP links with both the organisation’s overall business strategy and with its specific recruitment strategy
  • Describe the stages in the human resource planning process and recognise the importance of on-going HR planning in organisations
  • Differentiate recruitment from selection activities within an organisation’s resourcing strategy
  • Distinguish between terms used in recruitment such as job analysis, job design, person specification and competency frameworks
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of different recruitment methods
  • Describe ways of generating an ‘applicant pool’ and attracting candidates
  • Identify what a flexible workforce is and how organisations use it
  • Explain key legislation in relation to recruitment and the flexible workforce

Chapter 3

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Identify how the shortlisting process forms a fundamental part of the employee selection decision
  • Explain how a shortlisting matrix operates
  • Outline the issues involved in choosing a selection method/s for each hiring decision
  • Discuss the range of employee selection methods available and outline how they operate
  • Describe the limitations associated with using the interview as a selection tool
  • Outline how employment legislation affects the employee selection process
  • Identify the key stages involved after the final selection decision is made

Chapter 4

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Explain the links between employee induction, turnover and retention and how a strategic approach to their management can increase the potential overall competitiveness and success of the organisation
  • Explain what employee induction is and why organisations invest in these programmes from a strategic perspective
  • Identify the term ‘on-boarding’
  • Discuss the impact of employee turnover on an organisation
  • Identify specific practices to analyse employee turnover
  • Identify what employee retention is and why it is important from a strategic perspective

Chapter 5

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Explain the reasons why inequality exists in the labour market and in workplaces
  • Understand what we mean by the ‘social justice’ and the ‘business case’ for promoting equality
  • Identify the key broad elements of equality promotion and regulation in various countries
  • Discuss the controversy relating to positive discrimination and the difference between this and positive action
  • Identify key differences between equality regulation in different countries
  • Explain the role of HRM in promoting equality, ensuring that the workplace is free from discrimination, and in dealing with complaints
  • Identify and explain the key processes and procedures utilised by organizations, namely equality policies and dignity at work policies

Chapter 6

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Explain what diversity and diversity management mean in an organisational context
  • Discuss the factors that motivate the management of diversity in organisations
  • Outline how diversity management can benefit both employer and employee
  • Know what challenges and limitations are associated with diversity management in organisations
  • Explain how diversity management initiatives can be implemented

Chapter 7

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Describe the role and value of performance management
  • Identify why performance management fails to deliver and what the common pitfalls are
  • Explain how performance management review meetings should be conducted
  • Appreciate the importance of training all staff on the theory and practice of performance management
  • Critically evaluate the most common appraisal or performance management scheme types
  • Appreciate the importance of evaluating performance management systems
  • Identify how ‘underperformance’ should be dealt with
  • Understand what coaching is and its relevance to the management of performance

Chapter 8

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Outline the key aims and objectives of an organisation’s reward package
  • Distinguish between the different elements of the reward package, i.e. pay, incentives and benefits
  • Explain the factors which influence an organisation’s pay and reward decisions, and understand the advantages and disadvantages of different types of pay and reward
  • List and explain the factors that affect how an organisation determines the relative value of jobs
  • Outline the different approaches to job evaluation
  • Describe the options available to employers who implement performance-based incentive schemes
  • Discuss the idea of pay as a motivator for employees

Chapter 9

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Explain the differences between L&D and other terms that are used to describe these activities in organisations
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the benefits of L&D for individuals and teams, organisations and society, and assess different approaches to the development of L&D strategies
  • Explain how individuals can learn in organisations and how individual styles and references vary
  • Evaluate the issues involved in identifying and responding to L&D needs
  • Understand the key issues to be considered when designing L&D interventions
  • Outline the key steps to be considered when evaluating L&D and measuring return on investment

Chapter 10

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Identify the changing contexts of work and career
  • Explain how the traditional notion of a career differs from contemporary career models
  • Understand the context of graduate careers
  • Identify who is responsible for career development
  • Outline the role of the HRM function in facilitating career management
  • Discuss the implications of current career models for individuals and organisations

Chapter 11

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Identify how relevant human factors affect health and safety behaviour
  • Understand the concept of safety culture
  • Know why accidents occur and differentiate between theories of accident causation
  • Differentiate between the behaviour-based approach and attitude-based approach to health and safety
  • Demonstrate the effect of ergonomics on workplace health and safety
  • Examine the relationship between job characteristics and safety
  • Understand the implications of stress and bullying in the workplace
  • Establish the role of the HRM function in promoting health, safety and wellbeing at work

Chapter 12

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Explain the nature of the employment relationship
  • Describe the key theoretical perspectives on employment relations
  • Outline the role and functions of employee representatives and employer organisations as actors in the employment relationship
  • Explain some of the key changes in employment relations since the late twentieth century
  • Explain the nature of conflict, trends in relation to collective industrial action and conflict resolution procedures
  • Outline the rationale for employee participation in the workplace and the types of employee voice mechanisms
  • Describe the role and function of state dispute resolution bodies

Chapter 13

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Outline the differences between domestic and international human resource management
  • Discuss the impact of globalisation on international human resource management
  • Examine the influences on the transfer of human resource management practices within multinational companies
  • Identify the key issues in the recruitment, selection and preparation of employees undertaking international assignments
  • Describe the complexities in compensating and managing the performance of employees on international assignments
  • Explain the importance of the repatriation stage in the management of employees on international assignments

Chapter 14

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Explain the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its connection to Human Resource Management
  • Outline some of the arguments for business adopting a CSR philosophy, including the ‘business case’
  • Discuss some of the arguments made by critics of CSR
  • Contrast a CSR approach to a regulatory approach to addressing issues at work
  • Demonstrate an understanding of some contemporary CSR labour issues