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Human resource development is critical in operation of an organization or a company. The ever changing competitive today’s world has precipitated the need to adopt an efficient and effective Human resource management which not only help in the efficient running of an organization but also create a good working atmosphere in a company or organization. Towards this, it is advisable for an organization to invest more on Human resource management to improve its efficiency. According to Naila (2009), employee plays an important role in development and success of organization and companies. Every manager in a company is faced with challenges of; increasing the shareholders wealth and profitability of the company. To attain these daunting tasks, Naila (2009) illustrates that, “a firm has to develop a clear management of the effects of the fixed assets and current assets have on the returns and risks”. This paper takes a critical analysis of business partner model, servitization and their challenges and impact to human resources management companies and organization.
BUSINESS PARTNERING AMONG COMPANIES
The concept of business partnering came up in last decade. Ulrich who is an expert in human resource management, helped in developing business partnering model. business partnering model highlight four main key roles that HR professionals need to ensure success of business partnering model in a company (2006).These roles include; strategic partner, administrative, expertise, employee empowerment and change agent.
These human resource role highlighted by Ulrich have over the years been embraced by companies and organization in Strategic Partner. In reality, the concept of business partnering involves working together with business leaders on strategy execution. In addition, the concept is in handy in organizing human resource operations and processes that clearly embrace strategic business issues. In this modern and competitive world, human resources roles and responsibilities should be much more business-focused. This means, the whole business system and operation should be geared towards customer-focused; cost efficient; innovative so as to address the emerging challenges in the market.
In a real business life, HR roles and responsibility overlaps. For instance, Strategic Partners may take up the role of Change Agent in a company. Equally in the same manner, HR staff performing other responsibilities other than Strategic Partner may adopt a strategic focus in a company (Cooke, 2006). HR professionals operating as Administrative Experts can successfully perform a strategic role in a company. Despite the fact that the concept of business partner is of great significance to business enterprises, when it is not implemented well it can course employee dissatisfaction (Cooke, 2006). Strategic Partner roles and responsibilities are significant influence on the design of strategic business partner in an organization.
HRM IMPLICATIONS OF SERVITIZATION
According to Seel, (2000), “servitization a situation where a manufacturer of products improve their transactions with clients by giving product-related services”. Servitisation concept is quite important in expanding the scope manufacturers-clients engagement in business. This goes along way in development of a good relationship among the stakeholders. Product when accompanied with services brings out an excellent customer satisfaction which necessary for company development in a market. The success of the concept of servitization is strongly pegged on the implementation on the part of HR department.HRM should prepare the entire organization for such change in the industry. HRM will therefore carry out orientation to the employees to prepare them towards servitization concept.
Case Study HP Company
HP Company is collaborating with a global energy company in a comprehensive a joint innovation agenda which is geared towards enhancing the parties operation and profitability. The two companies use their complementary knowledge; expertise and experience to come up with a cutting edge innovation which not only enhance geographical data storage on the part of global oil company but also improve HP profits. HP Company lays down its wide technological expertise in the field of networking in a move towards solving problems in oil sensing technology. It is therefore prudent to note that when the two companies collaborate in partnership program they will not only enhance their mutual benefit but also set a high standard of coloration in the market.
HR support for servitization in a company
Many engineering companies and manufacturer have adopted the concept of servitization model in a bit to increase their market share as well as satisfy customer adequately. The integration of services by these companies into product is a major paradigm shift geared towards lifting business management to the next level (Munck, 2002). Business enterprises need continuous change management to ensure that they grow and develop. This aspect of change is precipitated by the dynamic nature of business world as well as uncertainty of economic situation. Technological development comes up with new ways and strategies of operation which companies and organization need to adopt to ensure that they effectively compete in the business. In this regard, servitization concept is in handy and it is inevitable for engineering and manufacturing company to ignore it since it has a great number benefits for the success of products in the market.
Role of business partner
The business partner concept is not new to the human resource management. In a company, the management’s roles and responsibilities are bases on the company’s mission and vision which are surrounded by success. The requirement and quest for greater company performance and development continues to haunt management and other employees at large (Munck, 2002). In case where there is no delivery of performance in a company, sustainable value, management has no alternate but to adopt change even it means outsourcing such required change. In this regard, the improvement in technological innovations has necessitated the automation of production and services which go with product sale t customers in the market. Therefore, it is the role of HRM to initiate and implement change towards servitization in companies so as to solve most emerging challenges.
The aim of business partner model
The aim of the business partner model in any business enterprise is to enable HR professionals integrate business operation to cope with the growth of the company. Business partnering model is result oriented much more than any other thing. In this regard, human resources department should gear and align their operation to embrace results and profitability.
Four main HR Roles highlighted by business partner model
Business partner model may be realized in many HR roles. HR professionals fit in four categories of HRM roles: corporate human resources management; embedded human resources management; human resources management specialists; and service centres.
Talent and organizational skills
Quinn, Doorley & Paquette,(1990) states that, business success is influenced by talent and organizational skills and HR professionals are bestowed with the duty to recruit right people with the right skills in to form a team in a company. The fight for talent search is likely to continue in this competitive global knowledge economy. These less tangible business activities continue to have an effect on shareholder value and are top priority among CEOs and general managers.
Effective HR practitioners are not only business leaders but are also strategists; they plan, organize, focus and collaborate on the best ways to efficiently run the company. In this case, talent and organizational issues are integral part of delivering a well drafted strategy (Quinn, Doorley & Paquette, 1990). Business leaders are value talent and organizational skills as a way to turn ambition into actions into business results.
“Change management is a critical aspect of business growth and development” Hayes, (2007p.27). Towards this, change is inevitable for an organization which needs success in business. “Change management in many occasions takes different forms and may include a number of change environments” Kotter (2005). According to Hayes, (2007p.31), “Organizational change management is the process of developing a planned approach to change in an organization.” Hayes, (2007p.33) further illustrates, that “typically the objective is to maximize the collective benefits for all people involved in the change and minimize the risk of failure of implementing the change.”
The discipline of change management deals primarily with the human aspect of change Hayes, (2007p.34). In this regard, it is prudent to note that, change management process is multi-disciplinary and should encompass all aspects of organization or company (Hayes, 2007p.35). “It is also important to estimate what impact a change will likely have on employee behavior patterns, work processes, technological requirements, and motivation Hayes” (2007p.36). In this line, the leadership in an organization should be vigilant to ensure that there is no resistance to change by ensuring that everyone in the organization is made part of the adopted change. Nilakant, and Ramnarayan, (2006 p.58) highlights that, “the change programs should be implemented, disseminated throughout the organization, monitored for effectiveness, and adjusted where necessary.”According to Nilakant, and Ramnarayan, (2006 p.73) “describes the change process to all people involved and explains the reasons why the changes are occurring
Challenges in implementing business partner model
The inevitable failures and challenges in the implementation of the business partner model is caused by several factors which include lack of good will on the part of HR staff to embrace chang (Quinn, Doorley & Paquette, 1990). Fear of challenges which come with change may not make some HR professionals not to shift to business partners because of their personal engagements. Their personal interests and capabilities may limit them to concentrate other roles rather than taking up a larger and more complicated perspective of the business partners.
Another challenge in the implementation of business partner model is lack knowledge on how to initiate the move. There are cases where human resource personnel may require business partners but lack the knowledge of how to start. Such people need to train on the frameworks, logic, knowledge, and skills that will give them opportunity to turn into the business partner responsibility and role (Pfeffer, 2005). Available evidence reveals that when lack of information is eradicated and human resource practitioners trained of the values and roles of business partners, they became significant change agents in a company
Monopolistic nature of a business is great challenge to business partner model. Snowden, (2002) illustrates that, “there are cases where a company’s growth does not depend on an individual capability or the company’s capabilities but depend on the monopolistic nature of the company. Internal process in a monopolistic company has less to do with business partner concept but to maintain the monopolistic nature of the company to continue enjoying supernormal profits and economies of scale. Towards this, HR practitioners who fight for integration and innovation are faced by challenge of convincing other members to accept change and embrace business partnering model (Snowden, 2002).
It is noted that some line managers have problem in embracing the significance of talent as contributing factor to company growth and success (Ulrich, 1997). It is advisable for HR practitioners and staff to accept change and new technologic advances so as to be competitive in the market of business. The perspective of doing business is drastically changing with time, technology and new emerging concepts (Ulrich, 1997). These changes include aspect of technology, globalization and communications. In addition, the aspect of business regulations, market competitiveness, demographics figures, shareholder expectation and stringent labour market key factors in partnering business model. In this dramatic turn of events in business management, human resources management comes out prominently as the determining factor in the whole concept (Ulrich, 1997).Employee empowerment is a key in the success of business partners. Initiating a reward program in most organizations has been easy but managing and developing the rewards comes along with many challenges. This is because reward systems must be well developed and enhanced to reduce employee conflict. This involves assessing how the situation will be once the reward has been initiated and looking for possible weaknesses within the reward scheme
There are a number of emerging issues in Human resource management and company operations which not only call adoption of new approaches in handling of human resource management but also require a lot of leadership and research skills to successfully and effective manage it. It in this line that HRM practitioners should come out and embrace change so as cope up with ever dynamic and changing discipline of Human resource management. Credit crunch and Economic recession has impacted negatively on most companies across the globe. In this regard, companies and organizations have adopted several change process and strategies such as business partner model to ensure that they come out of economic quagmire. Business enterprises need continuous change management to ensure that they grow and develop. This aspect of change is precipitated by the dynamic nature of business world as well as uncertainty of economic situation. Technological development comes up with new ways and strategies of operation which companies and organization need to adopt to ensure that they effectively compete in the business.