This characteristic is pivotal in today's business environment, in which more and more companies offer services, rather than material products. Within the United States for instance, 79.6 per cent of all national income is generated by the services sector, which also employs 76.8 per cent of the overall labor force (Official Website of the Central Intelligence Agency, 2009). Given this context, it becomes more impending to stimulate the employees in order for them to be able to satisfy the customers and as such sustain organizational revenues.
More and more modern day business leaders implement training programs with the stated intent of increasing the professional skills of their staff members. Training was historically offered on the job, to the novice employee, by a more specialized staff member. Today however, as the needs of the society evolve, training programs are offered by specialized organizations and the practice is gaining the status of advanced on the job education (Shah, Sterret, Chesser and Wilmore, 2001). The benefits are obvious at two distinct levels -- the employees are better motivated and feel that the company supports their professional formation, and secondly, the employees are better skilled and prepared to do their jobs, element which materializes in increasing levels of productivity.
Finally, there are the telecommuting processes, which are the direct outcome of the technological revolution; as more and more people work on computers and dependent on the World Wide Web, employers reveal a reduced necessity to ask staff members to come to the office every day. Telecommuting materializes in a wide number of advantages, such as increased employee satisfaction, enhanced levels of productivity, lower employee turnover rates and the adjacent reduced costs with the staff members (Solomon, 2000). The main challenge however is that of ensuring the leadership of a decentralized workforce (Gibson, Blackwell, Dominics and Demerath, 2002).
5. Marketing and HRM as Generators of Competitive Advantage
The previous two sections reveal findings according to which both marketing and human resource endeavors are pivotal in generating competitive advantages. Yet, in order to settle the dispute and reveal which of the two is better in creating competitive advantages, it is necessary to clearly present which type of advantage is revealed by each model. The data will be organized within a table, which will also contain a column on score. The scores are established from 1 to 5, 1 being the least important and 5 being the most important competitive advantage necessary for business success within the contemporaneous business community (the assigned points also consider the limitations of each model). The model which will be assigned the most total points will be considered the winner of the dispute.
Competitive Advantage Generated
1. Market research
Identifies customers' needs and wants; identifies the strategies implemented by the competition and offers the firm an ability to top the respective actions
Becomes highly technological and creates customer frustrations
2. Media campaigns
Tell the customers that the company understands and has the ability to satisfy their particular needs; sends this message on multiple channels
They are extremely costly and an increased efficiency achieved through simultaneous airings onto various media channels is only accessible to financially strong companies
3. Interactive marketing
Raises the interest of the consumers not by pushing the product, but by pulling the customers towards it; can also promote other marketing efforts aside the principally indented one
It is still new and does not attract as many visitors to the website
4. Online Marketing
Enhanced customer communications
It only appeals to the customer market of individuals who can operate and have access to computers and the internet
1. The organizational culture
It creates pleasant working environments in which employees are motivated to increase their performances; it can foster an environment in which change is accepted, meaning that the firm will easily be able to adapt to new market requirements in order to satisfy the customers and overcome the competition
It requires company wide efforts and it may be difficult to implement and change
2. Employee incentives
Create a satisfied personnel, which is then willing to overcome its limitations, increase its performances and support the company in reaching its overall objectives
Offering both financial and non-financial incentives translates into increased costs for the organization; this is even more so negative when the investment in increasing employee morale does not generate a satisfactory return
3. Training programs
They generate employee motivation and satisfaction, leading consequently to incremental levels of productivity
Training programs generate additional expenditures
Leads to increased employee on-the-job satisfaction, materialized in higher levels of performance; also reduces facility costs
Loss of control and poorer levels of organization, generally pegged to the decentralization of the workforce
The analysis previously conducted points out to the superiority of marketing efforts over human resource strategy in terms of ability to generate competitive advantages. The result inclines the balance in favor of marketing due to the direct impact marketing has on customer satisfaction. Nevertheless, it has to be noted that the difference in terms of score is minimal, meaning then that both HRM as well as marketing are almost equally important. What must also be remembered is that this report is not exhaustive and has only revealed some models of HRM and marketing implementation. Was a researcher to focus on other elements, he could come to a different finding. Based as well on this argument, the final conclusion is that both human resource management and marketing are important in creating competitive advantages. And despite the reduced difference in the superiority of one over the other, the debate between the supporters of marketing and those of HRM could continue for years to come.
6. Concluding Remarks
The growing forces of globalization materialized in a multitude of impacts on all features of life, the economic sector being one to feel intense effects. Two of the most important outcomes have been those of incremental fights to hire and retain the best skilled staff members and to attract as many customers as possible. In order to respond to these challenges, the organizational leaders are striving to implement several strategic courses of action that lead to the ultimate creation of competitive advantages. In this order of ideas, managers use both marketing as well as human resource management strategies to create competitive advantages. A question is being posed relative to the superiority of one of these two techniques in the creation of competitive advantages.
A competitive advantage is generically understood as any organizational feature that can be used within a competitive battle, such as a lower retail price or an increased product quality. Marketing endeavors create competitive advantages by identifying customer needs or familiarizing the customer base with the products. HRM strategies create competitive advantages by delivering a high quality of the products and/or services and as such sustaining organizational revenues. This assessment has concluded with the slight superiority of marketing endeavors over human resource efforts, but the different results of other studies are entirely understandable.
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