Test 1 Discussion - 132 How do human resources influence a...

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132) How do human resources influence a firm's performance? How does strategic HR planning benefit a firm? Answer: Companies compete for human resources, and those that are capable of attracting, retaining, and motivating good employees are more likely to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage. Strategic HR planning helps a company be proactive. It permits explicit communication of company goals. It stimulates critical thinking and examination of corporate assumptions. It identifies "gaps" between the current situation and the future vision of the company, it encourages line management participation in HR functions. It enhances the identification of HR constraints and opportunities, and it helps create common bonds across the organization. 139) Compare bureaucratic, flat, and boundaryless organizational designs. What business strategies and job design methods are appropriate for each type of structure? Answer: Summary of suggested answer - • Bureaucratic - defender strategy, works well in stable, predictable environments . Noted for top-down management, job specialization, defined boundaries , and minimal employee involvement in decision making. Work simplification is an effective way to use labor efficiently. • Flat- prospector strategy, works well in rapidly changing environments , facilitates entrepreneurship. Noted for decentralized decision making, few management layers , organized by product/service/customer, independent business units, often uses work teams, reduces boundaries between workers, work units, etc. Team-based job designs effective. • Boundaryless- prospector strategy, works well in volatile industries . Noted for forming relationships with other organizations , customers, and suppliers to pool resources for mutual benefit. Shares characteristics of a flat organization. Job enrichment can be effective if it involves more interactions with customers. Team-based job designs effective. 140) Teams and flexible work schedules are both being implemented more frequently in modern corporations. Discuss two types of teams and two types of flexible work schedules that firms use to increase employee productivity and satisfaction. Answer: Summary of suggested answer - Teams: • Self-managed–assume self-direction, assume management duties , etc. Part of TQM programs . Often affects organizational structure in order to implement. Employees need training in three types of skills: technical, administrative, and interpersonal. • Problem-solving team–quality circles , etc. Consist of volunteers, doesn't affect organizational structure. • Special project team–complex projects , cross-functional lines. May be part of QWL projects, etc. • Virtual teams–often have the same characteristics as problem-solving teams , but their means of communication and interaction is done by Internet or other technology , especially when the members are spread out in various areas.
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