Why Is Human Resources Increasingly Important  Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

globalizing corporate world, companies have come to the realization that the role of Human resource management is extremely critical. These companies have been busy recreating and expanding the functions and roles of the department of Human Resource Management. One method that has been extremely effective for human resource professionals to have a greater influence in the growth of the company has been to enhance value by assisting the executives align Human Resource strategies, procedures, and performances in line with the requirements of the business.

The role of the Human Resource professionals is becoming increasingly complex and multi-faced and the forecasts for the future are not all that simple as well. Lately, a great deal of academic research has focused on the impact of Human Resource Management on the company's performance and the significance it possesses in the success of any firm. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of the role of the human resource management and the factors that have increased the importance of the role of Human Resource Management (Jill Conner and Dave Ulrich, 1996).

Review of Related Literature

James Walker and William Reif (1999) discuss the importance of Human Resource Management to a company and assert that companies have been redefining the role of human resource professionals in a way that puts them at the leadership position. They are doing this so that human resource leaders can have a direct influence in the success of the company and play a positive role in this dynamic marketplace. The role and function of the contemporary Human Resource leadership has been to concentrate on the alliance of a corporation's resources with its business strategy through making plans and execution of Human Resource procedures, being a worthwhile assistance of organizational transformation, functioning as an advisor to executives, and taking initiatives that tackle vital public-related business concerns.

Jill Conner and Dave Ulrich (1996) discuss the roles and responsibilities of human resource professionals in a company. The writers assert that the standards for classifying the role of human resource professionals has differed from a concentration on actions (what do human resource professionals actually do), to time (where do human resource professionals consume time), to descriptions (what characteristics do human resource professionals have) and to value generation (what added-value do human resource professionals generate).

The writers observe that there seems to be a variety of four different functions around what human resource professionals actually do -- namely encouragement, service, consultancy and leadership. The writers believe that majority of the human resource professionals use their time in carrying out tasks of encouragement and services in comparison to the tasks of consultancy and leadership. However, of late, due to the rising market complexities and the increasing competition, the writers assert that the corporations are making huge strides to stress the consultancy and leadership tasks for human resource professionals.

Jill and Dave further assert that connecting the human resource strategy with the corporate business strategy has turned out to be a fundamental function for human resource professionals in this dynamic environment. In order to achieve this, human resource professionals have been consuming a great deal of time in comprehensively understanding the corporate business strategy, the competitors, the technologies being used, and the potential and existing customers, so that they can assist their respective corporations in securing a competitive advantage utilizing human resource applications

Ulrich (1993) asserts that human resource professionals ought to be concentrating on adding value to the company by performing as collaborators with the executives. He writes, "HR professionals add value to a business when they use their expertise to link internal organization and management practices to external business requirements" (p. 2). Similarly, another study conducted by Towers Perrin (1992) also stressed upon this approach. "The companies that gain competitive advantage from existing or yet-to-be discovered initiatives will be those that successfully forge business partnerships between HR and line management to integrate HR capabilities with business needs" (p. 63). Schuler (1990) has the some opinion on this issue, he asserts, "The ideal organization has the HR manager jointly working with the line manager solving people-related business issues" (p. 51). It is ironic that these scholars pointed out these trends almost a decade ago and that the present direction and focus of human resource professionals has been more or less in the same direction.

Arthur Yeung and Wayne Brockbank (1994) discuss the reasons behind the rapid transformations of the role of human resource professionals. The writers assert that a number of important dynamics have made it necessary for corporations to comprehensively redefine and recreate their business strategies to gain and subsequently maintain a competitive advantage over their competitors in this globalized market. These important dynamics are increased international competition, economic depression, technological advancements and globalization. As a result, the fundamental priorities of corporate executives have also changed as they have been concentrating on cutting down costs, fulfilling customer needs, making efforts to be adaptable, swift and maintaining high-quality.

Therefore, without any shadow of doubt, for corporations to gain a competitive advantage and subsequently maintain that lead in this dynamic global marketplace, it has become essential for them to comprehensively understand the characteristics underlying the phenomena mentioned above. The writers further assert that these very factors have been responsible for enhancing the role of human resource professionals. These factors have paved way for the human resource professionals to an insistent directive, which is to successfully tackle these modern day business complications.

Sunil J. Ramlall (2003) agrees with Arthur Yeung and Wayne Brockbank. He writes, "In today's business environment, organizations constantly need to evaluate their internal and external environment for challenges and opportunities to remain competitive and to sustain growth. Political, economic, social, and even psychological changes within our societies have a significant impact on organizations."

He stresses the importance of the role of the human resource managers by asserting, "Many factors drive changes in organizations today, including the use of technology, globalization, changes in workforce demographics, the elimination of bureaucracies in organizational structures, and the need to find a balance between work and family issues. Understanding the potential of an organization's resources and optimizing the output of such resources, given the changes, provides an impetus for HR to become the key source of creating the competitive advantage for the organization."

Susan Quinn (1998) while discussing the significance of the role of human resource professionals asserts that they should be extremely proactive in their approach in all facets of their dealings. This is because; modern organizations cannot afford inward-looking human resource professionals. In this dynamic business world the most important asset has turned out to be the workforce and it is imperative for the organization's success that the workforce is managed and lead in appropriate way. Furthermore, if the human resource professionals are proactive in their approach and take the right initiatives, then the values and the ethic of the organization will automatically enhance, since they largely dependant on the attitude and approach of the employees.

Lastly, the writer asserts that if the human resource professionals are not given their due role, then during tough times, when the competition is intense and things are falling apart, the workforce may give the impression to be disordered and disorganized. Therefore, it is imperative that the human resource professionals are given their due role in the business operations of the organization.

Angel Cabrera and Elizabeth F. Cabrera (2003) follow the same line. They too, in their research emphasize the role human resource professionals as "strategic partners." They write that, "Every day more organizations recognize that their people are a source of competitive advantage. As a result, HR departments are evolving from playing a merely administrative role to becoming 'strategic partners' responsible for contributing to the achievement of business objectives. This evolution requires that new ways of defining and assessing HR success be developed. Traditional operational measures of internal efficiency are not sufficient. HR departments must now be able to demonstrate the value of their strategic contributions."

Thomas L. Legare (1998) discusses the role of human resource professionals during mergers and acquisitions. He stresses the need for human resource professionals to completely comprehend and apply the social science structures by renowned social scientists such as Segal, Freud and Argyris. He asserts that rapid technological transformations have been taking place and the augmented international competition has led the way for corporations to merge together to avert the possible threats emerging from globalization. Therefore in this environment it is imperative for corporations to posses highly skilled human resource professionals so that they can assist in bridging the differences amid the undefined characters of individuals and the requirements of the corporation that are striving to accomplish their corporate objectives.


Therefore, in light of the above mentioned facts one can safely conclude that the role of the human resource professional is being consistently redefined by the ever-changing global business environment. Their role in the success of the corporation is critical since the objective of human resource professionals has been to…

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