Human Resources Management – Questions and Answers

Chapter 1

1.      Explain what HR management is and how it relates to the management process.?

HRM is the process of acquiring, training, appraising, and compensating employees, and of attending to their labor relations, health and safety, and fairness concerns.

In management process five basic functions are planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling so for the HRM main function is STAFFING which is for determining what type of people should be hired, recruiting prospective employees, evaluating performance.

 2.      Give examples of how HR management concepts and techniques can be use of use to all managers

The HR management carries out three main functions. The HR manger exerts line authority in his or her unit and implied authority elsewhere in the organization. He or she ensures that the organizations HR objectives and policies are coordinated and implemented. And he or she provides various stuff services to line management, such as partnering with the CEO in designing the company’s strategy, and assisting in the hiring, training, evaluating, rewarding, promoting, and disciplining of employees at all levels.

 3.      Illustrate the HR management responsibilities of line and stuff managers?

In recruiting and hiring, the line manager describes the qualifications employees need to fill specific positions. Then the human resource team takes over. They develop sources of qualified applicants, and conduct initial screening interviews. They administer the appropriate tests. Then they refer the best applicants to the line manager, who interviews and selects the ones he or she wants. In training, the line manager again describes what he or she expects the employee to be able to do. Then the Human Resource Team devises a training program, which the line manager then administers.

4.      Why is it important for companies today to make their human resources into a competitive advantage? Explain how HR can contribute to doing this.

Human resource managers today are involved in partnering with their top managers in both designing and executing their companies strategies. Todays focus on competitiveness and operational improvements also means that human resource managers must express their departmental plans and accomplishments in measurable terms. Top management wants to see, precisely, how the human resource managers plans will make the company more valuable, for instance by boosting factory skill levels, and, thereby, improving performance.


 Chapter 3 

1.      What is the difference between a strategy, a vision, and a mission? Please give one example of each.

(strategy) The companys long-term plan for how it will balance its internal strengths and weaknesses with its external opportunities and threats to maintain a competitive advantage.

Ex: Ford motor company, facing huge losses and hemorrhaging market share to Toyota and Nissan, knew it needed a new strategic plan. Competition was fierce, Fords costs were higher than competitors and Fords unused plant capacity was draining profits. New strategic plan entailed closing a dozen plants and terminating 20.000 employees.

 (vision) A general statement of its intended direction that evokes emotional feelings in organization members.

Ex: Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation (owner of has a vision of an integrated, global satellite-based news-gathering, entertainment, and multimedia firm.

(mission) Spells out who the company is, what it does, and where its headed.

 Ex: In the movie several years ago “Saving Private Ryan” the teams mission was, of course, to save private Ryan.


2.      Define and give at least two examples of the cost leadership competitive strategy and the differentiation competitive strategy.

Cost leadership means the enterprise aims to become the low-cost leader in an industry. Dell is a classic example. It maintains its competitive advantage through its Internet-based sales-processing and distribution system, and by selling direct.

Differentiation is a second example of a competitive strategy. In a differentiation strategy, a firm seeks to be unique in its industry along dimensions that are widely valued by buyers.

Ex: Volvo stresses the safety of its cars, Mercedes emphasizes reliability and quality.

3.      Explain how human resource management can be instrumental in helping a company create a competitive advantage.

To have an effective competitive strategy, the company must have one or more competitive advantages, “factors that allow an organization to differentiate its product or service.” The competitive advantage can take many forms. For a pharmaceuticals company, it may be the quality of its research team, and its patents.

4.      What is high-performance work system? Provide several specific examples of the elements in a high-performance work system.

What company tends to create a human resource system that is uniquely appropriate to its needs, for instance with recruitment and selection practices that make sense for it is called high-performance work system.

The high-performance work system is designed to maximize the overall quality of human capital throughout the organization, and provides a set of benchmarks against which today’s HR manager can compare the structure, content, and efficiency and effectiveness of his or her human resource system.

Ex: In 1990s companies needed a way to better utilize their human resources as they strove to improve quality, productivity, and responsiveness, to complete with the Toyotas of the world. US department of labor identified several characteristics of high-performance work organizations including multi-skilled work teams, empowered front-line workers, extensive training.

5.      Define what an HR scorecard is, and briefly explain each of the seven steps in the HR scorecard approach to creating a strategy-oriented HR system.

The HR Scorecard is a concise measurement system that shows the quantitative standards the firm uses to measure human resources activities, to measure the employee behaviors resulting from these activities, and to measure the strategically relevant organizational outcomes of those employee behaviors.

Steps : 1.Define business strategy, 2.outline the companys value chain, 3.outline strategy map, 4.identify the strategically required organizational outcomes, 5.Identify the required workforce competencies and behaviors, 6.Identify the required HR system policies and activities, 7.Create HR scorecard, 8. Choose HR scorecard measures.

 Chapter 4

1.      What items are typically included in the job description? What items are typically not shown?

A list of a jobs duties, responsibilities, reporting, relationships, working conditions, and supervisory responsibilities

2.      What is job analysis? How can you make use of the information it provides?

The procedure for determining the duties and skill requirements of a job and the kind of person who should be hired for it.

Uses: Recruitment and Selection, Compensation, Training, Performance Appraisal, Discovering Unassigned Duties, EEO compliance

 3.      We discussed several methods for collecting job analysis data- questionnaires, the position analysis questionnaire, and so on. Compare and contrast these methods, explaining what each is useful for and listing the pros and cons of each.

(questionnaires)Having employees fill out questionnaires to describe their job-related duties and responsibilities is another popular way to obtain job analysis information.

Questionnaires have both pros and cons. A questionnaire is a quick and efficient way to obtain information from a large number of employees; its less costly than interviewing hundreds of workers, for instance. However, developing the questionnaire and testing it (perhaps by making sure the workers understand the questions) can be expensive and time-consuming.

(observation) Direct observations is especially useful when jobs consist mainly of observable physical activities- assembly line worker and accounting clerk are examples. On the other hand, observation is usually not appropriate when the job entails a lot of mental activity (lawyer, design engineer). Managers often use direct observation and interviewing together.

(diary/log) Daily listings made by workers of every activity in which they engage along with the time each activity takes. This can produce a very complete picture of a job, especially when supplemented with subsequent interviews with the worker and the supervisor. The employee can try to underplay others but chronological nature of log tends to mediate against this

4.      Describe the types of information typically found in a job specification.

The job specification takes the job description and uses it to answer the question, “what human traits and experience are necessary to do this job well”. It tells what kind of person to recruit and for what qualities that person should be tested. Job specification are usually based on the educated guesses of managers; a more accurate statistical approach to developing job specifications can also be used.

 5.      Explain how you would conduct a job analysis.

-          Step 1: Decide how you’ll use the

-          Step 2: Review relevant background

-          Step 3: Select representative positions.

-          Step 4: Actually analyze the job.

-          Step 5: Verify the job analysis information.

-          Step 6: Develop a job description and job

 6.      Do you think companies can really do without detailed job descriptions? Why or why not?

In one firm – British petroleum’s exploration division- the need for more efficient, flexible, flatter organizations and empowered employees prompted management to replace job descriptions with matrices listing skills and skill levels. Senior managers wanted to shift employees attention from a job description “that’s not my job” mentality to one that would motivate them to obtain the new skills and competencies they needed to accomplish their broader responsibilities.

They created skills matrix which listed basic skills needed for that job, minimum level of each skill required for that job or job family.

Emphasis is no longer on specific job duties, but on specifying and developing new skills and gave employees constant reminder of what skills they must improve.

  1. Zainab Mansur

    very useful information. it makes my work so much easier. thank you.

  2. zahra abbas

    Very useful answers thank you


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