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Strategic Human Resources Research

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Essay title: Strategic Human Resources Research


Strategic Human Resources Research

Terri Butler

Todd Goldsworthy

Robert E. Goss

Benjamin Johnson

Carol Stampley

University of Phoenix


This document provides an analysis of key course concepts as they apply to organizations that have faced situations similar to those currently facing InterClean. The paper examines various situations within these organizations that required specific changes in human resource practices. The paper also presents specific human resource management concepts and the processes the various organizations used to attempt to implement these practices. The effects of these efforts are represented. Appropriate references are detailed following the synopses.

Strategic Human Resources Research

In the ideal merger or acquisition, the newly created entity synthesizes the best qualities of the two merging organizations. A well planned and executed process built on a foundation of open, honest and effective communication can foster success. The human resources perspective, which focuses on the integration of the workforce and key operational processes involved with a merger or acquisition, is often neglected with the focus being on financial outcomes. Studies have shown that mergers and acquisitions often fail to achieve desired outcomes due to people related issues. The uncertainty created by poorly managed human resource related strategies in these mergers and acquisitions have been found to be the catalyst for failure.

Research shows how, in different organizations, human resource departments have a substantial influence on organizational success or failure. Mergers, acquisitions, and organizational changes pose significant challenges for the human resource departments of both acquiring and acquired organizations. When human resource professionals work with the leadership team during the restructuring process, integrating staffing practices with the new business strategy, developing effective performance measurement and training systems, or leading the formulation of new strategies, a company is more likely to achieve its long-term goals.

Managing the Restructuring Process

The reality of business today is that increased competition is driving the need for companies to identify ways to reduce cost, increase productivity, and grow the business to meet the demands of customers and investors. Companies may try to increase productivity and profit margins by leaning out their organizational structure or through a series of mergers and acquisitions. Organizational scholars today, such as Jeffrey Pfefffer, would argue that a firm’s performance, regardless of the restructuring method a company may select, will hinge “not on technology, patents, or strategic position, but how they manage their workforce” (Dreher & Doughterty, 2001, p. 3). Different companies have taken different approaches to managing the restructuring process, but each approach contains a human resource focus.

At Shaw Supermarkets, the vice president of human resources decided that seven key human resource initiatives must be undertaken to ensure the successful merger between Shaw and the Star market chain. When HP merged with Compaq, a human-resources executive was hired and charged with managing the restructuring processes, to merge the work forces and cultures of the two companies. The inability of human resources personnel to institute both organizational change and cultural change effectively during the merger of Moore Corporation and Wallace Business Forms is believed to be a primary cause for Moore’s ultimate failure. In planning for a merger with CMG, Logica developed a restructuring approach containing six key elements, similar to the approach used at Shaw. Logica has continued its strategy of growing through merger and acquisition and has continued to refine its processes to support its goal. The success or failure of the human resource initiatives in managing the restructuring process had a direct and significant impact on the success or failure of these organizations.

Performance Measurement System Attributes

The Hanke Group, a local accounting firm in Texas, needed to respond to the critical issue of talent retention. “The issue was addressed

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