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Hr Roles and Responsibilities

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Essay title: Hr Roles and Responsibilities

HR Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of human resource management have changed significantly in the past decade. Many of these changes have been in response to trends in globalization, technology, diversity, e-business and ethics. The impact of technology and ethics are not new to organizations or human resource managers. Globalization, diversity and e-business are terms that were not even considered until this past decade.

The impact of globalization

Globalization is creating significant challenges for the human resources professional. Significantly, human resources departments need to develop new procedures and processes to adapt to the rapid shift of organizations towards globalization. This topic was addressed directly by Rioux, Bernthal and Wellins (n.d., p.3) as follows:

Functions such as operations, sales, and marketing have generally made great progress in adapting to the global reality. However, the HR function has typically lagged behind in developing policies and structures that support globalization. The top challenges HR faces in the globalization process include:

• Coordination of activities in many different locations.

• Understanding the continual change of the globally competitive environment.

• Building a global awareness in all HR departments/divisions.

• Creating a multicultural HR team.

The impact of technology

Technology impacts every aspect of how we as human beings perform our work. Technology is a tool that allows us to leverage our abilities to perform at a higher level of output. Certainly technology has replaced the need for workers in some instances. However, economics suggests that if one worker is displaced by a more efficient process, that same worker can be redistributed for greater usefulness elsewhere in the economy. Technology does create a series of challenges for the human resources professional. One of these challenges is presented by Maureen Minehan of HR Magazine (1997. para. 1-2) as follows:

Technological change will continue to affect the employment environment in coming years, with issues ranging from ergonomics to liability, privacy and discrimination. Human resource professionals will have to deal with those issues in a number of areas:

Portability. Because technology enables an "anytime, anyplace" work philosophy, companies must grapple with the blurring line between personal and professional time, and between personal and professional use of technology. Stories of employees responding to e-mail while on vacation or making their commute home an extension of office time by using their cellular phones raise concerns about employee burnout. In addition, organizations are struggling to shift from the traditional concept of "management by sight" to the new model of "management by objective" since employees do not always report to an office.

The impact of diversity

No single issue has impacted the growth of organizations along with the need for support of the human resources department than diversity. Noe et al. (2004. p. 34.) describe the need for considering the diverse workforce as follows:

The greater diversity of the U.S. labor force challenges employers to create HRM practices that ensure they fully utilize the talents, skills, and values of all employees. The growth in the labor market of female and minority populations will exceed the growth of white non-Hispanic persons. As a result, organizations cannot afford to ignore or discount the potential contributions of women and minorities.

Organizations that do not adapt to the rapidly changing composure of the labor force and find ways to best improve the working relationships between diverse work groups will certainly perform more poorly than diversely integrated competitors.

The impact of e-business

E-business is an acronym for a “new economy” business that operates without the necessity of traditional brick and mortar office space. The term has been used widely to represent organizations that function effectively in an electronic marketplace. Jobaccess.com has addressed the e-business industry as well as the need to modify the manner with which human resources professionals work in this electronic high paced world. Jobaccess.com (n.d. para. 1-2) addresses this topic as follows:

The Internet. E-Commerce. E-Business. Start-up. 24/7. Virtual Organisation. Over the last few years the digital economy has mushroomed, enveloping almost every aspect of the business world.

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