Human Resource Management Assignment Questions For MBA / MSc Students

Human Resoruce Management SBS – MBA / MSc -Take Home Assignment

1.  The Situation:

The Relationship Management competency allows HR professionals to improve the quality and overall effectiveness of business transactions. Consider the following example.

An organization is preparing to negotiate a new contract with one of its major HR software vendors. In anticipation of the contract talks starting, the HR team is mobilized. It includes the director, a senior manager, and a staff specialist. Each contributes, using the Relationship Management competency, to make the process as smooth as possible.

The HR staff member provides an initial point of contact with the software vendor representative and works to establish a pleasant and professional relationship, honestly communicating the function’s needs and trying to learn more about the vendor’s interests in this negotiation. The staff member prepares the HR manager and director and takes steps to make meetings comfortable and productive.

The HR manager must negotiate a difficult conflict with the IT function. IT would prefer a different vendor, but this other solution would not meet HR and employee needs. HR resolves the conflict by creating a role for IT in all discussions, especially negotiation and post-contract implementation.

The HR director has played an important role in securing IT’s cooperation. She has met with and persuaded the IT function leader to direct the function to collaborate in the vendor selection process and support HR’s needs to the extent possible. The director has cultivated this relationship carefully over the years, offering support for HR issues before it was even asked and making sure that all of IT’s HR requests received prompt attention.

Question 1: Where do you see the Relationship Management competency being used?

Question 2: What is the rationale for laying the groundwork with the vendor?

Question 3: What type of conflict resolution strategy is used here? Why is it appropriate? Collaboration. Both HR and IT win: HR’s technical needs are met, and IT can represent its concerns throughout the process.

Question 4: What important role does the HR director play?

Question 5: What other Behavioral Competencies do you see being used?

2.  The Situation:

The Communication competency reflects a critical component of all HR activities. HR professionals must hear what is needed, deliver what will be helpful, and change their message and activities based on the feedback they receive. Communication is a feedback loop.

Consider an HR organization that must communicate a new policy on education reimbursement to a large, dispersed, and varied workforce.

The HR leader and an HR manager discuss the new policy, the changes that must be explained, the reasoning behind the changes, and how the policy is likely to affect different employee groups. They meet with a benefits specialist who will be responsible for implementing the communication. As a team, they outline the key points, analyze information needs and attitudes of different employee groups, and decide the best way to communicate this change. They decide that they will have a web conference with all managers before announcing the policy. This interactive medium will allow managers to ask HR questions and prepare answers to the questions their people may raise. A week later an e-mail will be sent to all employees.

Meanwhile, the specialist drafts an e-mail aimed at being understandable to the average employee and as brief and complete as possible. The tone of the message will be important. Before this critical document is reviewed by the senior members of the team, the specialist arranges for an internal review by several readers who know this audience.

Reactions at the web conference cause the team to change their strategy slightly. The managers would like to direct employees to the organization intranet for more detailed information and forms they will need. Another HR staff member is assigned this task.

After the policy is released, the team tracks reactions. The few questions coming into HR indicate that the team has done a good job in anticipating employees’ communication needs. The intranet page is being visited. The process described there appears to be understood and is being used properly. An e-mail survey of managers indicates that the policy announcement went smoothly in the field.

Question 1:

What is the advantage of using a team to tackle this communication? Apply different communication management principles and activities to this situation.

Question 2:

What is the advantage of breaking the communication into multiple segments? Clearly relate your answer to elements if communication explained.

Question 3:

What are the advantages of the communication technologies used in this case?

Question 4:

How is this communication improved through feedback? What impact does cross culture has on communication.     (30 Marks)

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