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The_Strategy_of_Rewarding_Excellence

Human Resource Management (Available Titles Coursemate)

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The Strategy of Rewarding Excellence A renowned researcher and author, Edward E. Lawler III has been recognized by Business Week as one of the world’s leading management experts. He has also received the career achievement awards for his many contributions to human resource management from the American Compensation Association and the Society of Human Resource Management. On the topic of rewarding excellence and developing a motivated workforce, Lawler is always consulted and included in anthologies. These study notes will summarize some of Lawler’s key concepts from his book, Rewarding Excellence: Pay Strategies for the New Economy (Lawler, 2000) . Changes that have been occurring in the relationship between employers and employees are due to a much stronger focus on the demands for performance throughout the organization, the rapid technological changes in the nature of work, and a shift from the traditional permanent relationship of long-term employment to today’s more transitory relationship. Certainly, technological changes, and their affects on the manner in which jobs are performed, have been part of the scene for decades. The trend to reduce overhead and labor cost by reducing the workforce has been with us since the 1980s. Today, more than ever before, the demands make effective performance critical to gaining competitive advantage. One source of performance pressure has come from the shift towards global capitalism and global capital markets with the demise of the cold war with communism. Another is due to the lowering of trade barriers that facilitate many new competitors internationally. Today’s firms have more demanding investors and more demanding buyers or consumers. There is a tendency with so much pressure for financial performance for management to view the employee workforce as assets. Lawler is vocally against this perception since it seems to encourage management to view its human resources as chattel. Management over the last two decades has broken the bonds of loyalty with employees through layoffs, downsizing, and an overall loss of job security. Lawler prefers to think of the workforce as human capital investors in the same sense that capital is usually owned by investors who can choose to invest, if they wish, at their own option. The human resources of organizations may choose to invest by performing in the organization or they may leave. Today’s employees perceive that they have other choices; they are free agents. People cannot be bought and sold, but will choose to invest themselves into their jobs on the basis on what return is offered and how they are treated. When they invest, they contribute their time, energy, intelligence, skills, and emotional involvement in the product or service to be produced. When we consider how we must attract human capital we recognize that we not only compete with other organizations but also with the option of self-employment.
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