IB9EA0 Strategic HRM Assignment Sample : What are the implications of the HR architecture model for HR?

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Introduction

Theories on the strategic management at the recent times have shifted their concentration towards resource based and knowledge based objectives of the companies. Researchers check the inward sources for value creation and competitive advantage as it benefits the company. The firm’s most inimitable and distinctive resources are the human capital (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000). Human resources denote know-how, as staffs are the core foundation of the core capabilities and value development proposition process of a company. HRM process is inextricably associated with larger version of strategic management, which wasn’t done earlier (Whitener, 2001). As per Lepak and Snell’s view the HRM process establishes a framework that positions human capital in the central position of the value creation and asset evaluation. It also forms an integral part of the decision-making process for HR. This framework is referred as “HR architect” usually used to evaluate the HR practices, employment relationships, employment modes, and factors that will make human capital strategically unique and valuable.

The perspective of the architectural value clarifies that staffs don’t contribute to the company in the similar manner as done by the human capital. HR configuration is used within the company for various skill groups that is of the contribution nature, for different types of works done in various departments. Value creation is associated with the strategic positioning, which is derived by combining the human capital with the available cohorts. HR architect concentrates on improving the resource based capability of the company. In a challenging work condition, value creation of a company defines the ability to achieve new information and integrate the knowledge as innovation done through a continuous adaption process. A framework is created to balance the dynamics and complexity involved in the HR architect. With constant interaction and different experience, knowledge is developed and shared with the members to deal with socially complex issues. HR system has an in-built process to provide primary mechanism that enables the staffs to exchange, combine, and transfer knowledge amongst people of different skill-set. This essay examines the rational components that are used in the HR architect, and analyse it with the dimensional aspects (Tsai, 2001).

Extension of HR architect

Lepak and Snell examined the concept of extending the human resource architect in relation to the employee cohorts that were mainly based on three important aspects. Human capital characteristic (uniqueness and value) was the first aspect that also formed the central value of the HR framework. Cohorts were differentiated on the employment modes (like internal and external), as it directly affected the decision-making process. Employment relationships like the relational and transactional were also examined to understand the challenges faced while exchanging the knowledge (Yli-Renko et al., 2001).

Human capital – as the cognitive dimension

IB9EA0 Strategic HRM Assignment

This is the first factor of HR architect that differentiates the quadrants involved in the human capital. Staffs have knowledge, experience, and skills that add value and uniqueness to the project organisational objectives. These skills and knowledge is effectively managed by the managers to make it useful for the company. HR architect is viewed as the fundamental driver for creating firm-level competitive advantage and value creation. By extending the architect, it can be seen that the human capital characteristics posed by the staffs positively influences the nature of knowledge flow and relationships between the staffs and the managers. A shared context or knowledge process is required as individual staff can’t be identified, apprehended and used as a medium to share the unique competency level needed for the company. This affects the quality of the resource sharing process used by the company. A cognitive structure between the staffs or individuals is needed to create the relational value, between the managers and the staffs. Levesque et al., (2001) stated that in a knowledge based view, the integration and exchange of individual staff idiosyncratic information and knowledge is just not possible, without introducing a minimal redundant information or knowledge amongst the staffs.

In the shared cognition factor, the process followed to share and integrate the knowledge is highly supported by members with similar mental models. These models refer to the knowledge structure and sources used to share and upgrade information. The need to adopt a social unit ability to gather the external knowledge and resources are evaluated through the previous knowledge that is being collected and analysed by the members. Moreland & Myaskovsky (2000) presented an argumenta that stated that sharing knowledge and information is one of the key component factors related to cognitive dimensional aspect of HR relationships.

HR architect and employment relationship building

Managers use the architect dimension to build and retain employment relationship by increasing trust and obligations. Reciprocity is viewed while forming a psychological contract between the individual believers, formed and shaped by the company. The agreement terms are exchanged between the staffs and the company, in order to have a clear understanding about the useful or needful terms and conditions. In a transactional relationship mode, the managers work in building a loyal and trustworthy team, to increase individual commitment towards the work and improve the on-going involvement. In regards to the other dimensional factor, the HR architectural aspects moves from the general idea of developing employment relationship to focus more on various affective components that is related to the relationship development (Orlikowski, 2002).

As stated in the social exchange theory, the importance of relationship development cannot be overlooked by the company. The development is made through repetitive interaction between the members, motivating the staffs, and improving the attitudes towards the goals outlined by the management. In this course, the staff’s expectations are examined as it has an enduring impact on the exchange of the information made to improve the productivity. For instance, the value for developing the social connections cannot be implemented and/or exploited if staffs don’t want to share the resources and knowledge with each other (Reagans & Zuckerman, 2001). This also implies when the staffs have opportunities to access knowledge and other useful resources through the defined structural connections. Social exchanges are not like the economic exchange, as it is based on the diffused expectations of the reciprocity. To cultivate such exchanges a trust factor is needed amongst the parties involved in sharing the information.

Identifying relational archetypes

The HR architect dimensions like structural, cognitive, and affective focus on the knowledge and it is improved and reviewed by the leaders. A structural change is implemented to develop the relational exchange to explore the opportunities associated with the knowledge based resources, to analyse the willingness of the staffs to be the resources with the other members, and to apprehend the needs of the company. Structural dimensional factor actually refers to the social relation structure developed amongst the individuals, which is examined through the social connection aspects. Affective dimensional aspect evaluates the social motive of an individual like building trust, setting common team goals, building social relationships at the workplace, and creating a reliable and approachable social exchange method. The purpose to create a cognitive dimensional system is to provide a cognitive structure to generate and share knowledge, introduce a shared representation, and implement a meaningful system for the individuals (Lepak & Snell, 2002).  

Dyer & Nobeoka (2000) stated that the social aspects is a multidimensional aspect, where each dimension concentrates on building social relations. These relations complement the process to create relational ship value and play an important role in combining and integrating the work related knowledge and resources and distribute it over the concerned departments over the company. The role of the HR managers is impeccable as they form the patterns on the cognitive and structural form used as a challenge to exchange relationships. It is refereed as the archetype process to build trusts amounts the members. Dyadic trust refers to the method of building and maintaining trusts between two or more parties giving direct experiences. Generalised trusts are quite often the impersonal trust that doesn’t rest with a particular knowledge of the staffs. It is accorded to the other members working in the assigned unit (Hitt et al., 2001). Resilient dyadic trust on the other hand builds and manages valuable external partnership relationship with the members as it concentrates on sharing the useful reserves with the external members or partners.

Implications for the HRM

The archetype assists the HR managers in creating the job design and allocation of the works in an organisation. Managers concentrate on creating a flexible work structure as it is an effective way to engender the diversified social connection inside and outside the company. Job classifications, designing temporary works, job rotations, and allocating the tasks to the team members are created to generate opportunities between the colleagues to interact with each other. This process also stimulates the networking motivational factors to generate and share the useful information about the work conditions and others. Managers involved in the job designed broader knowledge including problem solving skills (Gargiulo & Benassi, 2000).

Cross functional teams are created under the divisional organisational structural formal. This structure provides staffs with opportunities to enter into new agreements with other members working for the company. Formal and informal structures are created by the managers to improve employee opportunities to access different partnership networking system. This is then associated with the external human resource needs through the contingent workers and allowances with the other partners. HR architect is developed to improve the competency level of the acquisition practices and improve the functional turnover that is used to minimise the relational inertia with the company. These aspects are associated with staff’s propensity to not only remain loyal with the present social ties, formed by the company. The employees are motivated to develop new ties and use it for the knowledge beneficial purpose. This assists in creating job relevant knowledge through designing dual career paths (Gupta & Govindarajan, 2000).

Internal relationships

The archetype model in the HRM architect encourages the knowledge exchange process includes internal traditional process that improves the work ability of the members. Core work force of the company needs the right information to gather and use knowledge to strategically value the objectives of the company. Unlike the other cores a high degree of unique skill and knowledge are improved to specifically increase the work ability of the staffs working in different departments. With this technique, the management can encourage the staffs to come out of the comfort zone that encourages the members to get involved in generic work performances. Accurate job based knowledge plays an important role in extending and refining the ideas used to increase the work ability of the staffs within the company (Adler & Kwon, 2002).

Cognitive architectural knowledge

The knowledge process handled by the human resource managers differs from the core knowledge possessed by the workers. Traditional employees effectively need to communicate with the major core groups to build on the common cognitive framework and/or architectural knowledge. Such information concentrates on setting the right vision and overarching concepts to achieve the targeted business objectives for a firm. Managers concentrate on implementing the architectural knowledge to integrate the information and skills possessed by the knowledge based and traditional workers. By combining such type of workers the management uses the resources to improve the quality of the production works. The resources are used to deal with the internal conflicts, handling the demands needed in performing the specialised jobs, and in organising the tasks (Cannon-Bowers & Salas, 2001). HRM architectural knowledge allows the management to understand the challenges and coordinate the gathered skills and redefines the behavioural under the overarching concept.

Incremental innovative strategies needs fine-tuning of business ideas developed by the traditional staffs, associated with the company for long. Such staffs have immense knowledge on improving the production works and in rendering the services to the clients. The knowledge can be easily transferred from the manufacturing and production workers to the managers and engineers working on the shop floor. Alvarez & Busenitz, 2001 however analysed the willingness of the traditional staffs to share the relevant and useful information with the knowledge based staffs. The quality, format, and time needed to communicate the skills and production details are the other determinant factors that can either impact the performances or affect it negatively. Toyota in one of its plant in California in 1991 had approached the staffs to recommend innovative methods to improve the quality of the car manufacturing works (Dyer & Nobeoka, 2000). The employees were suggested to recommend at last 5 different methods to improve the production process.

The purpose was to include the staff in the quality improvement process and to find the areas that had to be improved for the conduct of the production works. Baum et al., (2000) argued the fact that information sharing process and communication strategies occurring between the traditional staffs and core knowledge have to occur naturally and with an intention to improve the interval work process followed in the company. This needed the human resource managers to build a strong architectural knowledge sharing process to share the cognitive schemes.

Redundant networks- in a structured form

HR managers face issues in handling the works done by the traditional staffs, especially the works when they aren’t internally developed and posse a generalised skill to conduct the works. This situation arises, as the traditional workers prefer to get instructions about the works and don’t believe in putting in more efforts to adopt an innovative method to carry out the works. Gupta & Govindarajan (2000) also stated that employees in the traditional employment mode need less investment and work related autonomy. These staffs are the most important internal asset of the company and are co-located with the other core workers. There are less likelihood that such staffs could develop frequent interactions about the core knowledge as compared to the ones that is needed to interact with the external partners. Social networking system is used to encourage the social mechanism to motivate the cooperation amongst the staffs. Motivated employees work together to achieve the collective operational goals (Day, 2001).

A proper connection with the traditional staffs allows the core members to refine the quality services and other products provided to the clients. The potential benefits available with the string and proper social connections results into the development of the relational values that creates co-operation amongst the staffs. The architect needs the HR managers to encourage the staffs to constantly interact with the other members and identify the opportunities to effectively use the available resources for the betterment of the company. With a dense networking system, the managers can work on creating the relational values diffused through the fine grained knowledge amongst the staffs, including improving the co-operation amongst the members.

In the organisational innovative method, the managers increase the co-ordinated amongst the employees to increase the competency level of the staffs. Through the configured process, the competency and knowledge acquiring and sharing process can be effectively monitored by the management. The objective of synthesizing knowledge is to generate more knowledge amongst the staffs and the competency level through the process of brokering knowledge sharing process. This system is used to improve the social networking system, in a structured format. The archetype system is also referred by the managers to adopt an innovative method to increase the quality of the production within the company (Gargiulo & Benassi, 2001).

The reconfiguring knowledge sharing process is used to develop an effective method to examine the components of knowledge that can be used to improve the knowledge of the staffs working for the company. Through a co-ordinated method, the relational archetype process is used to build sophisticated co-ordinated mechanism that uses the social and cohesive method to collect and share the information. An effective method is used to integrate the individual knowledge and the needed competency level needed to indulge into the collective knowledge collection process. HR managers use this system to acquire process, develop, and create improved knowledge and the competency level required to make the firm more dynamic. Through this system, the management improves the capabilities to integrate and re-configure the internal and external skills and resources (Adler & Kwon, 2002).

Through such process the managers and the staffs can collectively use the availed resources to increase the competency level. It assists to match the needs of the changing production environment. The entrepreneurial relationship archetype assists the company and the managers to develop the needed competency to achieve the targeted goals.  With a strong and knowledge based staff, the managers create a competency level that enables the managers to make the needed changes. New practices are adopted and it is communicated with the staffs to deal with various challenges that could affect the targeted operational values and goals decided by the management. Staffs involvement is quite important as the managers could implement the changes at different levels, and increase the quality of the works (Gargiulo, M, & Benassi, 2000).  

HR contribution towards the improvement of the operational works, by sharing the useful and effective product and service related information. The social relationship is developed through a proper communication process, which also increases the staff involvement at different phases. In the strategic human relationship management process, the managers concentrate on introducing the right system to manage the knowledge flow relevant to increase the quality of the works. This needs the managers to develop and manage a proper and strong human resource relationship with the members. For value creational factor, the architect process is used to identify and outline the potential value of the human relationship management process. These are the important factor that is used to increase the competency level needed to achieve the goals decided by the management (Baum et al., 2000).

Conclusion

The HR architect process is used to define the structure that is followed to improvise competency level of the staffs. With a defined process, the managers along with the staffs can work on sharing the useful and needed product and service related information. It forms an important part of the strategic value formation that needs the managers and the staffs to work on improving the overall business goal achievement process. A defined process is used to examine the underlying issues that includes evaluating the phases of knowledge sharing, the challenges with the information sharing, and in adopting the right processes to ensure that the information are shared with the members. The structured format included in the architectural value enables the managers to examine the issues and develop and implement the suitable process that is used to deal with the operational challenges.

References

Adler, PS, & Kwon, SW 2002, ‘Social capital: Prospects for a new concept’, Academy of Management Review, vol. 27 pp. 17-40.

Alvarez, SA, & Busenitz, LW 2001, ‘The entrepreneurship of resource-based theory’ Journal of Management, vol. 17, no. 99, p755-775

Baum, JA C, Li, SX, & Usher, JM 2000, ‘Making the next move: How experiential and vicarious learning shape the locations of chains’ acquisition. Administrative Science Quarterly, vol, no.  45, pp- 766-801.

Cannon-Bowers, JA, & Salas, E 2001, ‘Reflections on shared cognition’ Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22: 195-202.

Day, DV 2001, ‘Leadership development: A review in context’ Leadership Quarterly, no 1, pp- 581- 613.

Dyer, JH, & Nobeoka, K 2000, ‘Creating and managing a high-performance knowledge sharing network: The Toyota case’ Strategic Management Journal, no-21, pp-345-367.

Gargiulo, M, & Benassi, M 2000, ‘Trapped in your own net? Network cohesion, structural holes, and the adaptation of social capital’ Organization Science, no- 11, pp- 183-196

Gupta, AK, & Govindarajan, V 2000, ‘Knowledge flows within multinational corporations’ Strategic Management Journal, no-21, pp 473-496.

Hitt, MA, Bierman, L, Shimizu, K, & Kochhar, R 2001, ‘Direct and moderating effects of human capital on strategy and performance in professional service firms: A resource-based perspective’ Academy of Management Journal, no-44(1), pp-13-16.

Lepak, DP, & Snell, SA 2002, ‘Examining the human resource architecture: The relationship among human capital, employment, and human resource configurations’, Journal of Management, no-28: pp-517-543.

Levesque, LL, Wilson, JM, & Wholey, DR 2001, ‘Cognitive divergence and shared mental models in software development project teams’ Journal of Organizational Behavior, no-22: pp-135- 144.

Moreland, RL, & Myaskovsky, L 2000, ‘Exploring the performance benefits of group training: Transactive memory or improved communication?’, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, no-82: pp-177-133.

Orlikowski, WJ 2002, ‘Knowing in practice: Enacting a collective capability in distributed organizing’. Organization Science, no-13: pp-249-273.

Reagans, R, & Zuckerman, EW 2001, ‘Networks, diversity, and productivity: The social capital of corporate R&D Teams’  Organization Science, no-12: pp-502-517.

Shane, S, & Venkataraman, S 2000, ‘The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research.’ Academy of Management Review, no-25: pp-217-226.

Tsai, W 2001, ‘Knowledge transfer in interorganizational networks: Effects of network position and absorptive capacity on business unit innovation and performance’, Academy of Management Journal, no-44: pp-996-1004.

Whitener, EM 2001, ‘Do “high commitment” human resource practices affect employee commitment?’, A cross-level analysis using hierarchical linear modeling. Journal of Management, no-27: pp-515-535

Yli-Renko, H, Autio, E, & Sapienza, HJ 2001, ‘Social capital, knowledge acquisition, and knowledge exploitation in young technology-based firms’ Strategic Management Journal, no-22: pp-587-613

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