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Principles of Human Resource Management

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Essay title: Principles of Human Resource Management





Q1 My chosen organisation is a Liverpool Technology College (TC). TC has well established procedures for the management of the organization. These have arisen as a result of staff requiring guidance in fulfilling their roles, students requiring effective supervision, the need to meet statutory requirements, the demands of collective agreements with the Local Authority and the rights and responsibilities outlined in staff conditions of service. To a great extent the procedures fit well with the ACAS model and the TC benefits from this. However, the procedures have been developed in an ad hoc fashion; the TC fails to benefit from a completely coherent approach to people management. It is very interesting to review the TC against the model to see what further benefit could be achieved.

While there are clear Equal Opportunities policies there is a sense in which minority ethnic staff are invisible in the decision making process. This is an under use of a valuable resource. Similarly, while the systems of communication are extensive there is a tendency for them to create conformity rather than initiative and innovation. There is certainly innovation within teams but these successes may not be shared across the TC. A more open, celebratory culture would help as would vertically organised brainstorming sessions, involving staff from all levels in the organisation, on the development of the TC as a whole.

The staff development arrangements allow for staff pastoral support but this clashes with the overall target driven approach to the workplace and the inability for staff to take time out during term time. A more flexible and resourced approach may cut down on absenteeism. Again in terms of staff processes staff are only really encouraged to develop new skills in post or to avoid severance. The ACAS model would suggest a longer range view whereby PE teachers, for example, were effectively under continuous retraining and development in anticipation of their inevitable mid life career change. Similarly, staff at all levels would benefit from training in supervision and management in order to develop a common understanding and aid succession planning.

While there is an innate camaraderie in the TC, doing a difficult job in a tough area, the climate of trust encouraged in the ACAS model, does not cut across all levels in the organisation. There is a fundamental problem in that most of the staff are professionals working in relative isolation with little time for team meetings. Nevertheless, more could be done to create communal working time during the working day and to meet on a regular basis. This would contribute to the climate of trust in the TC.

The procedures in place in relation to Performance and Capability, Discipline and Grievance are sound but more attention needs to be paid to informal levels of intervention. Importantly, all staff need to be more aware of the procedures and more aware that expressions of management concern, at the earliest stage are a matter for real seriousness. This would help diffuse problems when procedures are applied formally.

In terms of communication the systems in place broadly meet management needs but may be seen as one way. Clampitt & Downs 1993 identified that effective communication is critical for both managerial and organisational success.

While consultation is formally welcomed the reality is that the responses are limited. An example is around managementЎ¦s approach to Health and Safety in relation to the staff. Undoubtedly the organisational and curriculum needs of the TC take precedence and this has led to dissatisfaction. There is no clear organisational interest in work/life balance issues nor in work related stress.

In summary, the procedures in the TC may well be more effective, the relationships better and conflict more limited than in many organisations but the failure to use the ACAS model as a starting point has produced inconsistency, gaps in the system and lost opportunities. Relationships within the TC would be enhanced by a concern for child care, the employment of additional staff to cover training, more genuine consultation and a new partnership over appraisal and performance management.


There are a number of barriers TC may have to overcome when moving towards the ACAS model of HRM.

In terms of communication the systems that

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