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
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.
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