Human Resource Management "An Organization's Tool For Competitive Advantage"

Sample of Issues and Choices for HRM Practices

Organizational Design

  • The extent to which the organization should formalize how work is to be accomplished through a set of standardized operating procedures, formal chains of command, extensive rules and regulations, and detailed job descriptions.
  • The extent to which different organizational units maintain their independence and responsiveness to their unique market niches while integrating their work with other organizational units through liaison teams, matrix organizations, etc.
  • The design of jobs so that individuals within the organization work o tasks which are rewarding and self-reinforcing.
  • The processes used to shape the organizational structure (e.g. how decisions are made, how widely accountability is distributed, how clearly roles and responsibilities are defined).


  • The type of criteria to set for bringing in new employees (e.g. short-term vs. long-term, full-time vs. part-time, contract vs. leased employees, job-focused vs. career-focused, customer perspective).
  • Procedures for recruiting and socializing new employees into the organization (e.g. orientation, socialization, and mentoring programs).
  • Design of career paths and ladders in the organization (e.g. within one function vs. across different functions).
  • Processes for succession planning (e.g. formalized systems, involvement of senior managers, integration with strategic planning, link to developmental programs, emphasis on internal vs. external candidates).
  • Types of programs for terminated employees (e.g. during layoffs, downsizing, early retirements).

Employee and Organizational Development

  • Desired outcomes of development (e.g. conceptual understanding, skill building, attitude change, team building, problem solving).
  • Types of participants in developmental programs (e.g. new employees, first-line supervisors, middle-level managers, top executives).
  • The nature of the content built into developmental programs, and how programs are integrated with the strategic direction of firms.
  • Delivery of training programs (e.g. internal vs. external faculty and facilities, use of line managers).
  • Evaluation of programs to assess changes in employee or organizational performance.
  • Alternatives to development used to create organizational competencies (e.g. cross-functional career moves, special assignments).

Performance Management

  • Types of standards set for employees or units (e.g. behavior-focused vs. outcome-focused, short-term vs. long-term, explicit vs. implicit, linked to individual vs. strategic performance and plans).
  • Types of performance review feedback sessions offered (e.g. frequency, nature of feedback, monitoring of feedback sessions, forms used, formal reporting systems in existence, managerial accountability).
  • Processes used to ensure that feedback occurs continually (e.g. quarterly reviews).
  • Sources of data for measurement and criterion development (e.g. clients, customers, peers, subordinates).

Reward Systems, Benefits & Compliance

  • Types of financial incentives existing (e.g. short-term vs. long-term, base vs. incentive pay, pay for performance vs. seniority).
  • The extents to which reward systems are linked to strategic plans and encourage employees to work toward accomplishing business needs and meeting customer requirements.
  • The extent to which rewards are based on individual vs. group or corporate performance.
  • Structure of non-financial rewards (e.g. recognition programs, titles, informal status symbols).

Communications and Public Relations

  • Types of information presented to employees, manner of presentation (e.g. confidential vs. public)
  • Types of communication channels; dissemination of information inside and outside the organization; opinion of surveys; open door policies.
  • Design of communication programs (e.g. public meetings, management forums for discussion, videos, written communications, bulletins).

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