(Solved)HRM325 Strategic Human Resource Management




Introduction to Task:

You have been commissioned by the University of Sunderland to write a 3500 word academic paper on the topic of Strategic Management of Human Resources, (SHRM).

You will research ANY organisation operating at a National or Transnational level from the Private, Public or Not-for-Profit sector.

You will conduct a broad overarching critical assessment of that organisation’s Strategic Human Resource Management, (SHRM), analysing that organisation’s approach to managing it’s human resources strategically.

Whilst conducting your critical assessment, of your chosen organisation, you will identify and analyse any two HRM practices, from those practices experienced throughout the HRM 325 module, which you have judged to be in need of improvement.

You will describe and explain why you feel that these HRM practices need improvement before then offering your recommendations for improvement.


Consult with your tutor if you are uncertain about any aspect of the assignment.

Instructions on Assessment:

  • You will need to research appropriate authoritative and reliable academic literature and make use of both lecture and seminar input. Use examples and in particular any organisational comparisons that may be appropriate. Always reference your work using the correct conventions.
  • All of your work will be supported with authoritative and reliable academic sources throughout!

Presentation and Word limits for assignments

The presentation for this assignment will be:

  • Front Sheet. (Provided).
  • Contents page.
  • Executive Summary.
  • Main body.
  • Appendices, if needed.
  • Reference List.

 The word count is to be declared on the front page of your assignment.

The word count does not include:

·     Front Sheet, (provided).

·     Contents page

·     Executive Summary.

·     Reference List

·     Appendices

·     Appropriate tables, figures and illustrations

Please note, in text citations [e.g. (Smith, 2011)] and direct secondary quotations [e.g. “dib-dab nonsense analysis” (Smith, 2011 p.123)] are INCLUDED in the word count.

Summarising and compressing the information in your assignment into the word limit is one of the skills that students are expected to acquire, and demonstrate as part of the assignment process.

Submission of Assessment:

 A single electronic document containing all reports and other documentation (i.e. explanations, output reports and page images of graphic tools etc. pertaining to all tasks).

Font size should be at least 11, and 1 ½ line spacing should be used.

The word count is 3500 words [+/- 10%] not including any appendices.

The document should be properly structured with a table of contents, reference list (online and literature sources) and appendices (where necessary).

Produce clear and specific reasoning to justify answers.

Work containing viruses, or work that cannot be opened, will result in a fail grade being awarded for this assessment.

The document should be submitted via JIRA for Campus International Option A students and by e-mail for re-sit student(s).

It is advisable to retain a copy of your assignment for you own records.

Solution (82/100)

1.0 Introduction

Google LLC is a US multinational firm that specialises in technology products, internet-related services and products such as cloud computing, search engine, online advertising technologies and hardware (Google LLC, 2019). Google LLC is largely considered as one of the four largest technology firms in the globe alongside Apple, Amazon and Apple. As of Quarter 4 of 2018, Google LLC employs 98,771 employees across all its subsidiaries. Google’s commitment towards its employees is well documented and showcased by its topping of Great Place to Work list in the consecutive years of 2013 and 2014 (Taylor, 2015). In addition, Google LLC has managed to remain in the top 5 position in the preceding years further enhancing its reputation as an organisation that is committed to helping its employees succeed in its work environment. Although Google LLC has achieved significant HRM success such as diversity in hiring, improving employee retention and workplace collaboration due to its reliance on the scientific approach to HRM, it has experienced challenges based on its approach to manage human resources strategically. For instance, Lebowitz (2015) opines comparative to its peers, Google LLC has a high level of employee turnover that is associated with its scientific approach to HR management that involves objectives and key results. Similarly, other criticisms of its HRM approaches is the possibility of manager evaluation bias that is associated with increased dependency on the manager to evaluate performance of employees (Maier, 2017).

It is for this reason that the aim of this report is to critically assess Google’s strategic human resource management (SHRM) and analyse its organisational approach to the management of its human resources strategically. The outline of the report is as follows: critical evaluation and analysis of the strategic perspectives of SHRM models; critical evaluation of HR practices of Google in relation to SHRM models; recommendations on how to design/redesign and manage HR practices strategically to improve Google’s SHRM and conclusion.

2.0 Critical evaluation and analysis of the strategic perspectives of SHRM models

Torrington, Hall Taylor and Atkinson (2014) argue that employees are increasingly perceived as being critical in realising a competitive advantage for organisations. In this connection, much emphasis has been placed at a strategic level, to the nature of resource and management and how it is likely to impact on organisational performance. As opined by Marchington and Wilkinson (2012), organisations can create a competitive advantage through strategic management of human resources by leveraging on the best fit or best practice strategic perspectives.

2.1 Best fit

The best fit model, as captured by Armstrong and Taylor (2017) place emphasis on the view that HR and organisational strategies should be aligned. This is based on the premise that it is suitable to ensure that HR strategies set by an organisation are suitable and can be applied across a wider variety of circumstances whilst also focusing on the importance of culture and operational processes in the management of HR processes. Also referred to as the contingency approach, Boxall and Purcell (2008) argue the alignment premise of the best fit approach seeks to align with the internal and external contingencies of the organisation. In the context of the external fit, the HRM strategy fits with the demand of the business strategy. On the other hand, in the context of internal fit, all the HR policies and firm activities fit together thereby making a coherent whole that is mutually reinforcing and applying on a consistent basis (Beardwell and Thompson, 2014). This is influenced by the assumption that firms and industries ultimately customise their HRM to meet the specific internal and external contexts of their businesses. Bratton and Gold (2018) opine the best fit model perceives that the best HR outcomes are realisable when they are closely aligned to the culture of the organisation and its employees. The Michigan model substantiates the premise of the best fit approach by placing emphasis on the value of interrelatedness and achieving coherence of HRM activities by realising a close alignment between HR strategies and business strategy (Torrington et al., 2014).

However, Farnham (2015) criticise the best fit model for its perceived structural challenges when adapting towards change. Based on the view that the best fit model is subject to multiple alternating contingencies in order to reflect changes in the business environment, it follows that it is difficult to handle new challenges that require complete overhauls of the HR system. For instance, it is not feasible to change entire HR systems for large organisations on a regular basis thereby limiting the effectiveness of the best fit model. Marchington and Wilkinson (2012) add that the best fit model is limited to its search for contingency and its weaknesses in demonstrating interconnection amongst variables under study. the effectiveness of the best fit HR strategy is strongly linked to its ability to come up with a new contingency plan that accurately represents the changing perspectives of the organisation. The difficulty to always demonstrate an interconnection between HR and organisational strategies limits its effectiveness.

2.2 Best practice

Also referred to as the universalist approach, the best practice approach is based on the premise that particular bundles of HR practices that support organisations in realising a competitive advantage exist independently of the industry or organisational settings (Beardwell and Thompson, 2014).

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