Human Resource Management

HRM Guide Updates


Change Strategies

Based on Human Resource Management (4th Edition) by Alan Price - published by Cengage

The purpose of this section is to:
  • Introduce the concept of transformational human resource strategies.
  • Compare incremental and packaged change programmes.
  • Discuss the HR role in mergers and acquisitions.
  • Consider the issue of behavioural transformation and negative change.
Transformational HR strategies

Enthusiasts have seen a transformational power in HRM and transformation, or change, is an inevitable consequence of many human resource strategies (Bourne and Haddon, 2010). (...) (More on page 289 of Human Resource Management (Price, 2011)

Restructuring can affect the HR function directly. Pollitt (2005b) describes how pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca changed from site and functionally based human resources teams offering a full range of generalist support, to a ‘one team’ approach. Use of HR metrics helped to demonstrate the value of HR to the AstraZeneca businesses. The rationale was to create a more efficient and customer-oriented delivery of HR services and to ensure smooth implementation by communicating the new mindset to HR staff, combined with specific skills training to manage customer interactions both at strategic and transformational levels.

Change and organizational structures
  • Drastic and Incremental Change
  • Mergers and the HR function

    HR professionals should be involved in the earliest stage of any acquisition involving people. HR managers have the demanding task of integrating HR practices and performing two other roles simultaneously: a strategic role for company-wide integration and also a support role for business unit transactions (Antila, 2006). This means that human resource specialists must be familiar with the organization’s strategic objectives, and its business and marketing plans. HR professionals must contribute to ‘target screening’ to identify and evaluate the worth and ‘integrate-ability’ of the proposed merger partner’s human assets. This includes an evaluation of the two cultures and their potential compatibility.

  • Strategic Alliances and Behavioural Transformation
  • Summary

    In this section we investigate transformational or change management. Nowadays, change initiatives are common elements of human resource strategies as companies and public sector organizations struggle to achieve their objectives in a competitive environment. Frequently these involve some form of organizational restructuring using a change programme such as business process reengineering. Change programmes are fashion-driven and quickly become obsolete, to be replaced by the next heavily-touted set of magic solutions. Some of the most difficult aspects of change management for human resource practitioners come from mergers and acquisitions where their involvement is often late - if not too late to rescue a disastrous situation. Finally we looked at behavioural transformation, involving attempts to change corporate culture and recognised that negative attitudes to change are to be expected and are not necessarily unhealthy.

    People Strategies   >  Resourcing Strategies

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