Advanced Research Skills Assignment

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1. Introduction 

Human resource managers ensure effective management of personnel in a workplace, ensuring quality and quantity of work as well as bridge the gap between employees and board of directors. Responsibilities of creating opportunities to motivate employees, providing opportunities for career growth, and aligning activities towards achieving organisational goals can lead to creating challenges for the role of HRM. This study aims to provide a clear overview of challenges faced by an HRM in an organisation in the 21st century. This research proposal would include a brief over the background of the research, also, relevant research aims, questions and objectives. A suitable methodological approach for conducting the research, data collection, analysis method, sampling strategy along with potential problems from it would be represented in this study.

2. Background of the research 

HRM in an organisation can improve the bottom-line effect of human capital in enhancing the capability of an organisation. The process of recruitment, selection, and training, skill development, advancing career opportunities for employees, motivating and managing a complete workforce is the responsibility of HRM (Bos-Nehles et al. 2020). Human resource managers aim in creating a strategic management plan to provide the workforce with a purpose to follow in an organised manner. However, HRM faces many obstacles to motivate employees, developing strategic planning for mitigating issues in a workforce and keeping up with the changing nature of business.

In 21st century HRM of an organisation faces several challenges such as conflict in management, change in management style, technological advancement, diverse workforce, globalisation of business, succession planning and many more. Fulfilling needs, striking work and life balance of employees, working with multigenerational working individuals are the other challenges that an HRM faces on a regular basis (Bos-Nehles and Meijerink, 2018).  This issue has created a difficult situation for HRM to develop a strategic management plan to identify the issues to address while meeting the needs of employees in a workforce. There are other issues such as selective recruitment of skilled professionals, development of leadership skills as well as team working skills, providing training to ensure improving productivity of workforce. This issue may result in creating an unorganised, less productive workforce, that would disadvantage a workforce by reducing the flexible nature in a workforce with the changing nature of business environment.

In addition, lack of measurement of HR policies on effectiveness of employee’s performance, organisational effectiveness, potential compensation strategy and others has been creating issues in evaluating different HRM policies of personnel management. As stated by Caldwell and Anderson (2018), lack of personnel management by HRM can increase the adaptability issues in the workforce that would also increase operational expenses. On the other hand, it would require a lot of time to evaluate the effects of HRM policies on employees as the results are unpredictable. However, common metrics for assessing different HRM policies that would analyse management policies on a regular basis would advantage the companies (Van Mierlo et al. 2018). Assessing a high number of employees trained under company policies, competitive nature in salary, diverse and ethical demographics in a workforce indicates effectiveness of HRM policies. This would increase employee retention, increase organisation effectiveness and manage conflicts in a workforce while improving employee engagement, motivated workforce towards achieving organisational success.

3. Purpose of the research 

Research Aim 

The research study aims to identify challenges faced by human resource managers in the 21st century in enhancing employee’s performance, motivating them and achieving organisational success. This would also include possible recommendations for HRM to adapt to different assessing tools and gaining relevant information to develop an improved strategic management plan for a business to follow for long term success.

Research Questions 

  1. What are the challenges faced by human resource managers in 21st century?
  2. What is the role of HRM policies in increasing employee productivity by addressing 21st century HRM challenges?
  3. How can different assessing management tools help HRM to plan strategically to increase organisational sustainability in the long run?
  4. What recommendations can be offered to HR managers globally to address 21st century HRM challenges faced by them efficiently?

Research Objectives 

  • To determine the challenges faced by human resource managers in 21st century.
  • To ascertain the role of HRM policies in increasing employee productivity by addressing 21st century HRM challenges.
  • To evaluate different assessing management tools that can help HRM to plan strategically to increase organisational sustainability in the long run.
  • To offer practical recommendations to HR managers globally to address 21st century HRM challenges faced by them efficiently.

4. Methodological Approach 

Methodological approach of research is the method of exploring different aspects of a topic that are required to be discussed in the study. As poised by Snyder (2019), a research methodology refers to overreach the strategies and possible rationale of a research project. This research methodology part of a research topic clearly describes different research philosophy, research approaches, research design to be adopted to provide details and relevant information on the research topic. This would also include the justification of different methods to be used for improving the practical capability of the research along with describing advantages and disadvantages of each component included in this methodological approach of research.

Philosophy

Philosophy of research can be identified as a way in which relevant information and data associated with a research topic would be discussed in terms of gathering, analysing and utilising them. As proposed by Žukauskas et al. (2018), the philosophy of research provides importance to the subjectivity of research. A philosophical approach to research can be potentially differentiated in two aspects which are based on realism and idealism. For this study of identifying challenges faced by human resource managers, it can be stated that, on the perspective of realism. In order to conduct this study, realism philosophy has been chosen. Fletcher (2017) has explained that realistic philosophical approaches to research would help a topic that is existing in this world and studies them as they are. Realism philosophical approaches would help this research topic of identifying HRM challenges to be realistic as it is faced by the managers of a company while attributing to their job responsibility. Advantage of realistic philosophy in research would not only provide an approximate view over the reality of the topic but also provide an accurate understanding of how the situations would be improved (Hoddy, 2019). However, the realistic approach of a topic may significantly differ person to person that would create different “emergent mechanisms” for explaining different aspects of realism philosophy on a particular topic.

Design

Research design can be referred to as the chosen overall strategy to integrate different components of the data collection process, measurement as well as logically analysing them. As mentioned by Turner et al. (2017), there is mainly four types of design that help a research topic in a logical way that is “Descriptive, Correlational, Causal-Comparative or Quasi-Experimental, and Experimental Research”. In this study, the Quasi-Experimental nature of the design would be preferred as this would advantage in allowing descriptions of behaviour in this topic. This would also help the research topic to be supported on reliable prediction on different variables present on the research topic as well as helping them rely on each other. On the contrary, this design of research would not consider the cause-and-effect explanation of the research topic.

Approach 

A detailed plan and procedure for research for data collection, analysis and interpretation process would be considered as a research approach. A research approach can be divided into two categories of processes: an approach of data collection and the approach of data reasoning or analysis. As per the views of Tuffour (2017), common approaches of research are conducted in mainly three ways “quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods.” For this research topic, the qualitative method of conducting research would be preferred. Qualitative way of data collection advantages in capturing the changing nature of a target group and considered as a much flexible approach to data reasoning (Alase, 2017). Qualitative data collection in the form of secondary data collection will be chosen for this research topic. However, this type of research method relies on the experience of the researcher, can be easily lost, manipulated and hard to replicate outcomes from the research creating misleading conclusions.

5. Data Collection Plan 

Data Collection Plan helps in ensuring the authenticity, usefulness of collected data and its appropriateness in the process of collection. Moser and Korstjens (2018) have mentioned the data coalition plan as a detailed document of explaining steps and potential sequences that needed to be followed in the process of gathering data, reasoning them and getting results from it. An effective collection plan would benefit from collecting relevant data to the research topic as well as can provide clues to the root cause of the problem in the process. This research on challenges faced by HRM in 21st century would possibly understand the cause of issues and plan accordingly to mitigate them.

Secondary Data Research Method

This research topic possesses the data collection approach from secondary data resources. Secondary data research methods can be described as a research method that uses already existing data from relevant sources. Johnston (2017) has explained that summarised and collected nature in existing data increases the overall effectiveness of a research topic. Secondary data can be collected from published reports and articles or similar documents available at government and other organisational websites. This would provide an advantage to the research process in a short time without putting much effort to collect relevant data directly from human interaction. This type of data collection provides time to look into new insights of previous researches, gather huge amounts of data from different sources and analyse them. On the other hand, there are issues of biased data collection as well as difficulty in obtaining specific data from different sources according to the needs of the research perspective (Sun and Lipsitz, 2018). Thus, it can be stated that gathering data from reliable sources would possibly reduce the biased nature in collecting data for the research topic of 21st-century challenges faced by HRM.

Search Strategy

Search Strategy of research is the organised structure of different terms that can be used in searching relevant databases for compiling in the research topic. The search strategy would include different terms, keywords and phrases used to search for the research topic (Li et al. 2019). In this study, the keywords used for data collection are “HRM importance in an organisation”, “HRM challenges in an Organisation”, “Challenges faced by HRM in 21st century” and many more. Other search strategies include topic relevant data gathering from different sources such as peer-reviewed journals and books accessed through Google Scholar, business reports as well as newspaper articles.

6. Sampling Strategy 

Sampling Strategy of research can be described as a process of selecting a portion of observations that would represent the whole population. It is crucial to choose the sample that represents the whole population properly for gaining better conclusions from the research topic. As mentioned by Razali et al. (2020), this sampling strategy varies according to the nature of the research topic and its expected outcomes. However, especially in this study, the sampling strategy would not include any group of population for research as secondary data sources have been used in gathering relevant information.

Sample Size

In this research topic of challenges faced by HRM in 21st century, the research would compare information from mainly five different articles available on the topic. The five articles are “Emerging challenges of HRM in 21st century: A theoretical analysis” (Nasir, 2017), “All of work? All of life? Reconceptualising work‐life balance for the 21st century” (Kelliher, 2019), “Well-being and HRM in the changing workplace” (Kowalski and Loretto, 2017), “Global trends and crises, comparative capitalism and HRM” (Wilkinson and Wood, 2017), “Resilience and the (micro-) dynamics of organizational ambidexterity: implications for strategic HRM” (Stokes et al. 2019). Along with these articles, other sources of information have been used in gathering relevant data for this research.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

Category Inclusion Criteria Exclusion Criteria
Date of Publication Accomplishing more accurate and up-to-date problems faced by HRM in managing organisational activities, related articles published between 2017-2021 would be considered to be included in the report. Articles published before 2017 have been excluded from the research as a source of information to maintain the relevance of the topic.
Source Type Reviewed journals that are published from a recognised organisation and international journal have been included. Other sources of information such as e-articles, articles published by companies and other full-fledge documents have been excluded.
Primary focus The main focus would be “challenges faced by HRM in 21st century” in a professional context. Other factors such as physical and emotional needs of HRMs, personal attributes would be excluded in this research.

Table 1: Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

(Source: Created by author)

7. Analysis of Data 

Data analysis process is the process of systematic evaluation of the collected data in the process of identifying research outcomes. Statical as well as logical techniques to illustrate relevant data results while analysing them is the efficient process of data analysis for research. In the opinion of Elliott (2018), the integrity of data that has been collected and its accurateness is an essential component for data analysis. The proposed data analysis method for this report topic is to use the predictive nature of the quasi-experimental method.  This method would help to eliminate directionality issues from the research process as it involves the manipulation of independent variables for research. Additionally, this method does not include random variables that would also help in eliminating problems due to confounding variables in a research topic. This research method also helps researchers to rely on real-world opportunities and enhance the external validity of the topic. This method also has an advantage in research process financially as well as it requires fewer resources to be compared to gain results. However, not using randomization limits the ability of research to associate conclusions between intervention in context with an outcome.

8. Potential Problems 

Potential problems in research are the statements that describe areas of concerns and conditions that needed to be improved or possibly eliminated to better the outcomes from the research topic. In this research, there are some areas of concern that would need to be addressed for meaningful investigation of the topic. According to Rinaldi et al. (2018), identifying academic gaps helps a researcher to resolve any specific difficulty, issue or contradiction that can manipulate the outcome of the topic. Using realism philosophy would possibly reduce learning of new ideas affecting the topic, and promote in believing traditional thoughts regarding the same. The prediction nature in the research process along with using a quasi-experimental method in design of research has potentially created limitations to the outcome of this research. Elimination of randomising assignments can intervene in the measurement process of research outcome (Borusyak et al. 2018). On a contrary, lower dependence on internal validity would provide better results than the other recommended designs of research. Thus, a mixture of experimental and quasi-experimental process of research design would help the topic to have improved outcomes from the research. Use of secondary data as a reliable source of research data as well as comparing, analysing them for getting the outcomes of results would be not accurate in nature. Secondary sources have the issues of being biased in nature; also the researchers perspective towards specific data and data collection methods would manipulate the outcomes. However, strictly following authenticity of the data gathered and its source reliability would help in minimising the limitations. Therefore, it can be stated that secondary data would be a preferred way of data collection for this research topic as it would be less time consuming, demand in capital investment would be low as well as the results would be quick in nature to identify at the end of the research process.

9. Ethical Considerations 

Ethical considerations have been specified as one of the important elements in the process as it controls the following of ethical norms in a research process. Various ethical considerations such as authenticity, originality, avoidance of error, and knowledge would be considered as the fundamental ethical considerations that need to be followed in a research process (Roth and von Unger, 2018). Following ethical considerations in research would also require avoiding the fabrication of information, falsifying the same, as well as misinterpreting or misrepresenting data from reliable sources of information.  As stated by Dooly et al. (2017), research ethics supports the social and moral value of doing no harm to others that would create a collaborative work example for respecting mutually. This would also help in promoting a better purpose of research to expand knowledge on a topic. Furthermore, in accordance with the “Data Protection Act 2018 (c.12),” it has been made sure that strict rules will be followed with reference to the “data protection principles”. It would also ensure that all the details are used fairly, lawfully as well as transparently. Another ethical confirmation that needs to be followed while researching is that it provides respect for confidentiality and anonymity, privacy, as well as respecting beneficence during the process of research.

10. Expected Outcomes 

Following an efficient strategy while considering the five articles as a reference for the research topic which is “Challenges faced by HRM in 21st century” would help in generating significant outcomes. The study can potentially highlight the professional challenges that have been creating difficulties for HRM in resuming their responsibility of managing a workforce in an organisation. It would also provide a clear overview of developing HRM policies that would address the issues faced by an HRM in 21st century as well as which would help in increasing employees productivity. The research would also focus on identifying various assessing management tools that would help HRM to plan a strategic sustainability plan to increase organisational performance in future. Additionally, the research would also have recommendations for HRM to address the challenges efficiently in a global context. Moreover, it can be stated that this research would provide a better insight into the problems of HRM faced in the professional workplace. However, the research would potentially exclude other personal, physical and psychological factors that can possibly challenge HRM in their career.

References

Alase, A., (2017). The Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA): A Guide to a Good Qualitative Research Approach. International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies, 5(2), pp.9-19.

Borusyak, K., Hull, P. and Jaravel, X., (2018). Quasi-experimental shift-share research designs (No. w24997). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Bos-Nehles, A., Van der Heijden, B., Van Riemsdijk, M. and Looise, J.K., (2020). Line management attributions for effective HRM implementation. Employee Relations: The International Journal.

Bos-Nehles, A.C. and Meijerink, J.G., (2018). HRM implementation by multiple HRM actors: A social exchange perspective. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(22), pp.3068-3092.

Caldwell, C. and Anderson, V., (2018). Ethical Responsibilities of Human Resource Management: A Framework for Moral Conduct. Strategic Human Resource Management (C. Caldwell & V. Anderson, eds.), New York: Nova Publishing.

Dooly, M., Moore, E. and Vallejo, C., (2017). Research Ethics. Research-publishing. Net.

Elliott, V., (2018). Thinking about the coding process in qualitative data analysis. The Qualitative Report, 23(11), pp.2850-2861.

Fletcher, A.J., (2017). Applying critical realism in qualitative research: methodology meets method. International journal of social research methodology, 20(2), pp.181-194.

Hoddy, E.T., (2019). Critical realism in empirical research: employing techniques from grounded theory methodology. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 22(1), pp.111-124.

Johnston, M.P., (2017). Secondary data analysis: A method of which the time has come. Qualitative and quantitative methods in libraries, 3(3), pp.619-626.

Kelliher, C., Richardson, J. and Boiarintseva, G., 2019. All of work? All of life? Reconceptualising work‐life balance for the 21st century. Human Resource Management Journal, 29(2), pp.97-112.

Kowalski, T.H. and Loretto, W., 2017. Well-being and HRM in the changing workplace.

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Roth, W.M. and von Unger, H., (2018, September). Current perspectives on research ethics in qualitative research. In Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research (Vol. 19, No. 3).

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Stokes, P., Smith, S., Wall, T., Moore, N., Rowland, C., Ward, T. and Cronshaw, S., 2019. Resilience and the (micro-) dynamics of organizational ambidexterity: implications for strategic HRM. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 30(8), pp.1287-1322.

Sun, M. and Lipsitz, S.R., (2018, April). Comparative effectiveness research methodology using secondary data: A starting user’s guide. In Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations (Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 174-182). Elsevier.

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Van Mierlo, J., Bondarouk, T. and Sanders, K., (2018). The dynamic nature of HRM implementation: a structuration perspective. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(22), pp.3026-3045.

Wilkinson, A. and Wood, G., (2017). Global trends and crises, comparative capitalism and HRM.

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