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HR4005 Managing People | Human Resource Management

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Please write an essay which critically examines the HR function and, draws from the key principles of HRM and assesses how the HR function can help organizations to be more effective in achieving competitive advantage. You should draw on the frameworks and concepts introduced in the lecture series, and focus on:

  • The natureand characteristics of HRM;
  • People management strategies, proceduresand tools;
  • Wider organizational implications and contributions of HRM in practice;
  • Current patterns and trends in the approach to HRM in the organisation and sector of your choice;
  • Relevant survey data, case studiesor any recent discussion which highlights approaches to HRM will be useful here. What seem to be the key HRM issues and problems which face management in organisations at the moment?

You are free to select an organisation of your choice to use as a case study to illustrate your points. Always remember the constraints of access to relevant recent research.


Human Resource Management (HRM) is the process within the organisation through which the dignity of the employees are maintained (Hendry 2012). Human resource management acquires multiple assets such as employee’s ability. Talent, potential, skills, knowledge and the attitude, values and approaches used by individuals of the organization. The HRM possesses multidimensional prospect as nationally, it is the creative skills, ability, talent and aptitude acquired by the population, whereas for the organization, it is the cumulative talent, knowledge and skills of the employee working for the organization (Cascio 2018). The primary objective of the human resource management is to develop better human relations within an organization and for this purpose, different policies, and procedures and approaches so that the contribution of the employees for the attainment of organizations success can be optimized (Armstrong and Taylor 2014). Therefore, the primary act of HRM within an organization is to maintain the human relations within an organization and optimizing better results from the collaboration of those human resources (Bratton and Gold 2017). In this assignment, the nature and characteristics of HRM will be discussed with the process, tools and strategies of managing people within the organization will be discusses. Further, with the help of a chosen organization that is Alde UK, the current patterns and trends in human resources will be discussed. Further, a literature review will be conducted to understand the effect of current human resource management approach used by Alde to manage its human resources.

Nature and characteristics

Human Resource Management is generally misunderstood as the ultimate management process, however, it should be understood that human resources are not the only one that is important and responsible for an organization’s success (Bratton and Gold 2017). Human resource management is process, that helps to manage and control the human as well as non-human assets of a company so that the cumulative inherent process of the organization can be optimized (Brewster 2017). While analysing the nature and characteristics of the HRM, all these features should be mentioned such as its inherent presence in the management system, pervasive function, People cantered nature, continuous process. Further, its human relations basis, functional areas and personal activity related functions should also be mentioned (Jiang et al. 2012).

HRM is an integral part of the management process and all the managers perform this process so that they can extract best work from their employees (Briscoe, Tarique and Schuler 2012). Further, it is the pervasive function for all the managers and leaders as this responsibility is very crucial for organizational performance. Further, this management can be applied in each department such as production, financial and marketing management and each depart heads should implement these practices depending on their level (Berman et al. 2012). Further, from blue collar workers, to professionals, it is implemented on each type of workplace and employees for resource management. Here it should be mentioned that the primary characteristics of HRM is providing motivation and influence people within the organization (Chelladurai and Kerwin 2017). This is important as in organization, employees differ by their level of perception, emotional content, needs and expectations. Hereby, through HRM, managers provide proper and equal attention to these important factors so that they can deal with emergence of issues related to these aspects of employees. Therefore, through these human relation skills, managers and leaders build a relationship among employees for production, training, appraisal and promotional purposes (Alfes et al. 2013).

People management strategies, procedures and tools

While managing an organization, there are several tools, procedures and strategies that are implemented by the leaders or managers so that a harmonious environment can be created within the organization (Cascio 2014). The HRM strategies should be inclusive of four factors such as organization, people, processes and systems. These are the HR related dimensions depending on which tools and strategies to manage the human resources should be implemented (Deery and Jago 2015).

According to Certo (2018), there are five main people management strategies and processes that could be implemented within any organization. The first strategy is related to recruitment and selection. The primary aspect of successful human resource management is recruiting perfect and positive person in the process. It is important for the managers to predict the positions that will be crucial for attaining success in future and then recruiting important professionals in the position so that organizational growth can be planned and implemented (Maital and Seshadri 2012). In this aspect, the knowledge, ability, skills and core competencies of the personnel to be hired on the position is assessed. For example, conduction of interviews should be done for proper and appropriate selection of personnel (Deery and Jago 2015). Secondly, training and development should be strategy to manage employees within any organization. As the employees are the primary asset of the organization, managers and leaders should focus on continuous development for organizational development (Goetsch and Davis 2014). Further, as per the strategy, annual assessment should also be implemented to assess the employee’s compatibility and capability within the process. Employee engagement is another important aspect for understanding the level of satisfaction within the organization. The managers generally conduct surveys and interviews to understand the satisfaction level of employees however, bias is the prime hurdle in this process. Therefore, the leaders should be supportive and influence the employees to reveal truth instead of biased responses for the growth of the organization. Further the fourth strategy for employee management is the performance management skills (Maital and Seshadri 2012). It is the duty and responsibility of leaders and managers to assess the performance of each employee so that employees who are weak or lagging behind can be provided with enough opportunity for performance improvement and achieve professional satisfaction for their personal and organizational growth (Deery and Jago 2015). Finally, the last step will be rewards and recognition. This is the most important strategy for managing employee dissatisfaction and conflicts due to the lack of appreciation. Providing rewards and recognising their achievements will help to boost their morale and they will push their limits to achieve success for their and the organizational development (Goetsch and Davis 2014). Besides these procedures and strategies, there are several tools for employee management such as employee training tools, employee performance assessing software, and employee health and wellness programs and employee access tool so that the above-mentioned strategies can be achieved without any hurdles in the employee management process (Certo 2018).

Organizational implications and contributions of HRM in practice

In this era of excessive competition and development, HRM has moved beyond from personnel management, now much more focused on practices, and policies implementation of which can increase employee retention and provide them with benefits so that they can become satisfied with the working environment of the organization (Maital and Seshadri 2012). Therefore, the above-mentioned strategies of HRM help to achieve sustainable competitive advantage using strategic development. Further, these practices contribute in the organizational practices and help to develop it for the growth of organization (Goetsch and Davis 2014).

There are two primary reasons for this shift in the HRM practice, first due to the high level of competency of human resources due to advanced training and processing, thus providing the employees with the opportunity to polish their abilities and perform for the development of organization (Armstrong and Taylor 2014). Second reason is the increase in the remuneration is the reason the employees are being able to involve themselves in their work for the benefit of the organization. Therefore, using HR system, the managers and leadership are being able to add significant value to the process and can support the organization’s goal by achieving those (Alfes et al. 2013). Further the parts of HRM such as talent management, performance management, and knowledge management affects the organizational process positively and enhance their speed of achieving their targets. It provides a practical justification for the organizations HR related policies related to human capital management, learning and developmental approaches and provides the employees with ability to achieve their targets (Deery and Jago 2015).

Current patterns and trends

Alde is an international organization, having specialization in retailing, grocery products ranging from whole grain bread to ready meals. Specialised ranges include gluten free products and they even have recipes for healthy pretentious products. The company was founded back in 1913 by he mother of Karl and Theo Albrecht. The organization has a past history of losing its aim from its objectives and witnessed several years of failure, however, since then it has implemented a strategy which is retaining its employees as their strategic human resource management (Kaufman 2015). This approach has provided the leaders of Alde with a second opportunity to overcome the downfall and achieve success. To achieve this, the company has used different strategic human resource management related practices to appeal skilled employees in their process. Alde is destined to maximize the hard work of its employees by capitalising their skills. The company identifies human resource as a dynamic component for overall competitiveness as this resource is the driving force of the organization for their developmental strategy (Jinjin 2013). The HR Alde Inc. also focuses on the primary aspects of strategic human resource managementsuch as recruitment and selection, diversity and equal employment opportunity, employee benefit and compensation strategies, and training development, career opportunity, employee appreciation and recognition so that the workers within the organization can be satisfied and can contribute to the growth of the international brand (Hurd 2012).

Within this diversity, employee benefit program and the career opportunity are the special aspects of the Alde Inc.  Alde is the organization that provides working opportunity to people, regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, age and disability and it has been proved by several examples, when they have offered a job to 10 year old kid to 67 year old mown just based on their talents and ability (Donaghey et al. 2014). Further, their HRM strategies and the recruitment policy of Alde Inc. are centred on suitability of the person to fit the organizational culture rather than the level of skills and experience. Further, it gives the employees with the opportunity to bring improvement in their skills even though working for the organization. It provides a chance for training and development, much needed for employees who take time to absorb the process within them. Employees are reinvigorated to acquire the job. As well, the company provides on-the job training to allow employees to develop their skills on the job (Wright and Ulrich 2017).

Strengths and shortcomings of HRM strategies of Alde

Like other HRM strategies implemented by different organization, the multidimensional HRM of Alde also involves different strengths and shortcomings. The top three strengths of Alde’s HRM process are its training, development, and reward recognition and recruitment or selection procedure (Hurd 2012). For recruitment purpose, the company relies on pirates raiding of talents in the market and after that, the managers (Wright and Ulrich 2017) recruit only employees who possess the capability to fit the organization’s environment and process. The reward and recognition are biggest motivation for employees working in Alde Inc. as the workers are provided with biggest responsibilities such as leaders thereby provide them with tremendous promotion in their career. Thirdly, the organization do not withdraws employees who are unable to achieve their target rather they provide those employees with a second chance to share their knowledge and achieve personal as well as professional success. However, besides these strengths, there are few limitations of HRM process of Alde (Bondarouk and Brewster 2016). Despite of training and development opportunities, the higher authority do not provide moral support to the employees and hence, they tend to lose their self-esteemed and are only motivation that hampers their capability to reinforce improvement. Further, there are developmental program however, those developmental plans are incomplete and are confined to the process, the employee is associated to hence, the overall knowledge still lacked by the employee that affect the future performances (Donaghey et al. 2014).

While concluding, it should be mentioned that HRM is the process that helps the organization to determine a fair and good relationship with its employees so that they can effectively contribute to organization’s success. Managers and leaders generally focus on policies and systems so that the need of organization and its actual asset that is the employees can be optimized. In this process, the roles and responsibilities of HRM employees were discussed. Further, the nature and characteristics of HRJM was mentioned with the strategies and tools the manager uses to optimize employee demands. Furthermore, with the help of HRM of Alde Inc., the current trends of HRM policies and its strengths and weaknesses for Alde inc. were discussed. 


Alfes, K., Shantz, A.D., Truss, C. and Soane, E.C., 2013. The link between perceived human resource management practices, engagement and employee behaviour: a moderated mediation model. The international journal of human resource management, 24(2), pp.330-351.

Armstrong, M. and Taylor, S., 2014. Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.

Berman, E.M., Bowman, J.S., West, J.P. and Van Wart, M.R., 2012. Human resource management in public service: Paradoxes, processes, and problems. Sage.

Bondarouk, T. and Brewster, C., 2016. Conceptualising the future of HRM and technology research. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 27(21), pp.2652-2671.

Bratton, J. and Gold, J., 2017. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave.

Brewster, C., 2017. The integration of human resource management and corporate strategy. In Policy and practice in European human resource management (pp. 22-35). Routledge.

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Cascio, W.F., 2014. Leveraging employer branding, performance management and human resource development to enhance employee retention.

Certo, S.C., 2018. Supervision: Concepts and skill-building. McGraw-Hill Education.

Chelladurai, P. and Kerwin, S., 2017. Human resource management in sport and recreation. Human Kinetics.

Deery, M. and Jago, L., 2015. Revisiting talent management, work-life balance and retention strategies. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 27(3), pp.453-472.

Donaghey, J., Reinecke, J., Niforou, C. and Lawson, B., 2014. From employment relations to consumption relations: Balancing labor governance in global supply chains. Human Resource Management, 53(2), pp.229-252.

Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Hendry, C., 2012. Human resource management. Routledge.

Hurd, F., 2012. Work innovations: transformation, micro-emancipations, or discursive shift?. International Journal of Work Innovation 7, 1(1), pp.79-93.

Jiang, K., Lepak, D.P., Hu, J. and Baer, J.C., 2012. How does human resource management influence organizational outcomes? A meta-analytic investigation of mediating mechanisms. Academy of management Journal, 55(6), pp.1264-1294.

Jinjin, T.A.N., 2013. Strategic Analysis of Alde Computer Inc. & Recommendations for the Future Direction. Management Science and Engineering, 7(2), p.94.

Kaufman, B.E., 2015. Evolution of strategic HRM as seen through two founding books: A 30th anniversary perspective on development of the field. Human Resource Management, 54(3), pp.389-407.

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