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Harrison's Business Human Resource Function

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1. Role of the Human Resource Manager

, Brenda McCain the human resource manager of the Westpark store, assumed several important roles during the beginning of her employment with Harrison Brothers Corporation. The most important task that she undertook is actually developing a human resource unit separate from operations and sales. This is an important task because the delineation of tasks enables the managers to focus on their areas. Due to the establishment of the human resource unit, had to slowly influence corresponding changes in the existing human resource-related practices. The change in the organisation was also recognized by , the sales manager. First change is the development of working relationships with the operations and sales divisions to determine the human resource needs and issues they currently face as basis for staffing decisions. Pat Hartlake, the operations manager recognized the importance of the establishment of a separate and experienced human resource unit and developing good relations with the HR staff to achieve efficiency in addressing human resource problems.

Second change is the performance of human resource functions. One activity is staffing or obtaining qualified employees through advertisements and interviewing applicants and looking at application papers to determine work stability. has a background in sales so she is confident in her ability to select qualified employees. Another activity is investing in employee motivation. Previously, the store has a high turnover rate primarily attributed to the inconsistencies in discipline procedures. introduced a performance assessment procedure that considers the quality and quantity of work performed by employees as basis of disciplinary action, possibly dismissal after incurring three valid disciplinary actions, and annual salary increases. Still another activity is employee development through the discussion of career development expectations of employees as part of professional assessment. Unfortunately, the human resource unit found problems when the support staff disregarded this task in order to immediately complete the evaluation.

Third change is linking human resource activities with the other operations of the organisation such as through the actual observation of the floor-level performance of employees as the changes are introduced. As the organisation develops, human resource activities are expected to concurrently develop.

Through the introduction of human resource changes in the organisation, the , the human resource manager, recognized and assumed the role of a strategic partner of the organisation through its performance enhancement activities, employee advocate by introducing a uniform motivation system, and change mentor by developing partnerships with other organisational units to achieve change.

2. Harrison's Business Strategy

Harrison is an established department store, in existence for more than a century, but experiencing the challenges of new competing firms and the rapidly changing market in terms of customer taste and demands. As an established firm, Harrison has to take a defensive stand ( 1998) and reposition the company in the market with consideration of its competitors. To boost its competitive advantage, the company identified five business strategic goals covering cost minimization, resources optimization, aggressive revenue generation, and product and brand development.

1.convert non-selling space into revenue generating selling space;

2.Build up underdeveloped merchandise categories;

3.Invest aggressively in private brands such as Polo,Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger;

4.Reduce costs through the use of advanced computer systems to project sales and manage inventory.

5.Improve productivity of sales associates,buyers,and department heads."

These strategic goals all lead to the enhancement of the organisation's value chain as its competitive advantage ( 1998). One of the important support activities in developing an efficient value chain is human resource management because this area takes charge of the organisation, administration and monitoring of human resources allocation and optimization.

However, for the human resource management unit to sufficiently support the enhancement of the organisation's value chain, its activities should be bottom line or directed towards the company's needs and objectives so that the fulfilment of its various functions lead to optimum results (Renckly 2004) and the human resource issues raised by the operations managers should be addressed.

3. Human Resource Structure and Staffing

Harrison To encourage the efficient management of these stores, the company has a decentralised 分散 structure so that the company only has small corporate offices. Every Harrison store has a simple organisation structure headed by the executive vice president who is also the general manager that reports directly to the main corporate office. The general manager is assisted by the store manager of the branch in supervising the overall operations of the business. There are five working units: human resource management, operations management, and three sales units. The organisational structure is simple and highly task-based. This structure works well with the company's strategic goal of minimizing cost since the simple structure only requires the company to obtain the human resource it needs to function efficiently. This also prevents redundancy in the allocation of tasks since only needed people are hired. (2004)

The human resource management unit is headed by the human resource manager

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