Case Analysis of Apple’s Strategic Human Resource Management

Introduction
There is a lot of modernization which is occurring on the human resource management. In addition to this, there is a lot a lot of reorientation which pertains how human resource management runs the activities of an organization (Bratton, 2011). Strategic human resource management has come up to cater for the modern aspects affecting human resource management. SHRM has been the best in achieving organizational objectives by aligning the HRM to function in line to the objectives. In other words it helps to link the functions and main activities of HRM to the main aims and objectives of an organization which in turn helps in helps in improving the performance of that particular organization (Hammonds, 2005). Especially for companies which operate globally, it is important that they come up with strategies in which the HRM works by to improve performance (Bratton, 2011). In SHRM we have the senior manager at the top who tries to strategically manage the organization/business environment and resources which can be applied to meet the set objectives.
SHRM involves strategic management which involves the decisions which are made by the management and actions taken determining the long term performance of the particular organization. Strategic management is supposed to be a continuous activity which needs to be changed from time to time depending on the values of the senior management, the business environment and the resources available. Application of strategy helps an organization to achieve a big performance (Hammonds, 2005). Strategic management has five models including mission and goals, environmental analysis, strategic formulation, strategy implementation and strategy evaluation (Bratton, 2011). All these models should be done step by step as they are all crucial. Strategic management is not done just any how but it has some hierarchy which is known as hierarchy of strategy. The hierarchy follows as corporate, business, and functional.
SHRM aims at making sure that an organization has an effective management of people as they give competitive advantage to the organization. It comes up with the strategic role of the functions of the HR. it is the one used to show some respect on HRM and consider it as one field of study like any other field (Bratton, 2011). The model for SHRM has mission and strategy at the centre;
Source (Bratton, 2011)
Sophistication of HRM Systems at Apple
Apple discovered that their HRM systems were failing in some way and indented to come up with systems which can be more effective and improve performance of the company. There was the issue of how to manage talent in order to come up with better performance. As stated earlier, SHRM aims at maximizing the skills and talents of employees to gain competitive advantage. The HRM systems at Apple are more sophisticated tan the ones they applied before (Lliev et al, 2004). They have succeeded in their strategy since they have been able to match business strategy and the capabilities which are available in the company. The sophistication of the company HRM systems can be clearly is seen from its SHRM frame work;

The sophistication shows that the company looks at the environmental factors which can affect the performance of the business. This is done through environmental scanning. Labor is put in to consideration as it leads to the production of the final product which will determine how the company will perform after the sales are made. Educational levels are considered since the functions of the HRM are incorporated in the aims and objectives of the company (Lliev et al, 2004). After that, there are demographic, legislative and economic factors. After the environmental analysis, it goes to internal analysis to find out the capabilities which are in the company which can be utilized to improve the performance. It comes up with a strategic plan which includes all the aspects including rewarding of employees who work under the HRM so that they can be motivated to work hard. The HR strategy is then developed and evaluation is done later to find out if there has been improvements on the performance of the company. The aspect o sophistication comes out in that it avoided the traditional way of HRM where no particular procedures were followed.
SHRM in the company helps to structure both formal and informal activities in the company (Lliev et al, 2004). This means that the two need not be separated any more. It is through the use of SHRM that the company has been able to get knowledge, identify new markets and identify potential competitors who may ne a threat. The sophistication is also clear from the strategic implications which can be seen. The organizational structure is in line with the objectives of the organization which are associated with international strategies. Its systems are not only valid to one nation but are set in a way that they can be applied internationally. It has a very high importance on hardware, software and applications engineering which are used in meeting the company’s objectives. Its systems are also integrated and controlled to maximize functionality. All the managers work hand in hand which improves their level of problem solution.
They have a strategic management plan in which they have the main objective to be innovative and use technology effectively to meet the needs of their customers. The company culture supports the innovation and technology (Lliev et al, 2004). In its human resource strategies, it puts emphasis on the organizational structure and building people. It involves issues related to creativity, competence and the constrains which may affect individuals in work situations. There are those activities which are considered as value addition. Value addition activities regard to quality, efficiency, responsiveness and innovation. It can be clearly demonstrated from the objectives which are set aside by the human resource department. The objectives are to ensure that the company has highly qualified personnel which facilitate high performance; employees always aim at achieving high quality and ensuring proactive internal career progression (Lliev et al, 2004). The policies set aside by the HR department tell so much about the mission, values, and culture of the company. They give the company a good image by the positive attitude they show towards their employees.
How they evaluate effectiveness
The effectiveness of SHRM is evaluated based on the specific variables. Its effectiveness is evaluated based on the level of productivity, quality, service, absenteeism and turnover based on the fact that all these aspects are measurable. Although there has been a believe that, it is not easy to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of human resource management, at Apple company, there are methods which have been set aside do evaluate the effectiveness of human resource management. Especially with the use of strategic human resource management, this can be done very easily. Though they do it, they can confess that it not a very straight forward issue to do (Wright et al, 2005). It is evaluated on the value it has added on the company and how much it has led to the achievement of goals. The company has set aside mechanisms which improve the productivity of the company and increase effectiveness.
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of human resource, it is crucial to have set the right objectives and issues which it is supposed to accomplish as this is what is used to evaluate the effectiveness. For Apple its uses like employees satisfaction with their job, meeting of consumer needs, quality of the products made and discovery of new markets.
Key Issues of SHRM
Strategic human resource management (SHRM) involves a form of decision making which is analytical on how effective employees are, their behavior and the cognitive qualifications they display. At Apple the key issues of SHRM is to connect the functions of the human resource to the strategic objectives of the company in order to improve performance of the whole organization. Apple Company uses SHRM to set the appropriate standards for employment, develop policies and come up with the corporate culture which is in line with the environment which the company is operating in. the corporate culture is also in accordance to the major objectives of the company (Hartel, 2010). To manager relationships between employers and employees, the company uses SHRM to identify and implement actions necessary for the specific strategy. In order to make sure that the SRHM is effective, there is a comprehensive understanding of internal, external, social and behavioral issues related to the company. People/employees are very crucial when it comes to the success of the company since they create the competitive advantage of the company (Boselie, 2009).
There main activities which are involved in SHRM and are very important for its success. These activities include; maximizing on the employees’ effectiveness, behavior and cognitive skills, identify the quality and quantity of employees which will make achievement of organizational goals possible, find the best ways to select employees, know how to utilize the skills in the employees for the betterment of the organization, find out ways to motivate employees as the main catalyst of performance, manage pays and other issues, find ways to facilitate accountability and make sure that all the legal requirements are met (Hartel, 2010).
These activities have been put in place successfully at Apple Company. The strengths of the employees together with their behaviors are mostly developed during recruitment but they are also developed by training and mentorship in the company to ensure that they can effectively produce positive impacts. As discussed earlier, employees are the most important for Apple. The company has taken the opportunity to ensure that all issues pertaining quality and quantity are addresses to ensure that employees are comfortable enough to meet the goals of the company (Hartel, 2010). Apple has come with the ways by which it can recruit the right people by using the SHRM to find talent when recruiting employees. In each company, there are different employees who have different and unique qualities and talents. Apple has deployed ways of identifying individuals with these qualities and then using them positively to achieve the goals of the company. They do this by training and designing jobs in such a way that they are in line with these talents. The working environment at Apple is conducive and they have developed ways which they use to motivate their employees in relation to wages, reward and recognition for work well done. All legal requirements are met as pertaining taxes, licensing and other government policies (Hartel, 2010).
Models of SHRM
Apple has found out the importance of planning for the future. It does not look for the right people only the strategy needs to be implemented. It makes sure the necessary personnel are always on the ground to ensure that, incase a strategy needs to be implemented. It does not hire new employees every time they need to implement a new strategy (Hartel, 2010). This is due to the fact it takes a lot of time to train and give orientation to the new employees. This is what the company tries to void. There are many models of SHRM which Apple has to choose from (Jeffrey, 2011). The first model is that by Jackson and Schuler which explains that there are macro level environmental characteristics which affect how HRM of a particular company is carried out. When using this model, the company is supposed to put in to consideration laws regulations, culture, politics, labor and the potential competitors (Hartel, 2010). It guides on the procedures to be followed in the communication of various issues (Boselie, 2009). The second model is by Klatt, Murdick and Schuster which discusses the importance of taking all necessary actions at the planning and development stage. This will ensure that any problem is identified at early stages before it proceeds to further stages where correction will be difficult to make or when a lot of harm has already occurred. The third model is SHRM framework which is proposed by Lundy and Cowling where they argued that SHRM is a decision making process (Hartel, 2010). It helps in analyzing, plan, implementation and evaluation of decisions being made in the company. Tsui’s multiple constituency models which discuss the important of involving all stakeholders in decision making. This is because it is from the stakeholders where information necessary for making decisions can be generated (Francis & Keegan, 2006).
There are three perspectives associated with SHRM. These include; classical perspective which involves profit-maximizing, deliberate. The second perspective is evolutionary which pertains profit-maximizing, emergent and the third perspectives are systemic involving pluralistic and deliberate (Karen, 2005).

SHRM Theories
Some of the strategic management theories include strategic contingency approaches, stakeholder theory and research based view (Boselie, 2009). These theories have been researched for a very long time. According to the research which has been conducted, these three theories do not put in to consideration, the employees perspective. Due to this inadequacy, other theories like the psychological theories and social theories have been given a lot of attention. Despite the fact that these theories have a lot of attention, psychological theories and strategic management theories have been found to have some conflicting information (Boselie, 2009). Psychological theories mostly deal with organizational behavior which is considered as a very important aspect of human resource management. The inclusion of the employees’ perspective in SHRM is very crucial since it is them who do the actual work (Boselie, 2009). What managers do is only give directions and supervise work. When employees are consulted and their perspective is put in to consideration, they will be committed to do the work and hence improve performance (Alcazar, 2005).
Recommendation
The recommendations which can be given to Apple will mostly be based on achieving a better competitive advantage and identifying new markets. Despite the fact that there products have successfully penetrated the market, they need to pull up their socks since there are other companies which are coming up with better models which can pose competition to its products. The recommendations include; utilizing the skills which are possessed by their employees to improve the quality of their products, device ways in which their human resource manager can be able to come up with the best employees, make sure that the functions human resource management is in line with the aims and achievements of the company and find market opportunities where they can sell their products.
How the Recommendations will be implemented
The recommendations can be implemented by setting up training sessions in which all employees are trained and their unique skills identified and developed. The quality is improved by researching according to the new technology and coming up with the newest technology. The trainings of human resource managers can be done to ensure that they have the correct knowledge required to recruit talented employees. Research can be done by qualifies members of the company to find the areas in the world where the products have not reached in order to come up with new market opportunities and maximize on them.
Evaluation on the recommendations should be based on the outcomes. It is based on whether there are any improvements on the achievement of goals, utilization of skills, and recruitment of skilled employees and discoveries of new markets.
References

Alcazar, F et al. (2005). Strategic Human Resource Management: Integrating The Universalistic, Contingent Configurational And Contextual Perspectives. Introduction Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol 16, no5, pages 633-659

Armstrong, M. (2000). Strategic Human Resource Management: A Guide to Action. U.S, Kogan Page
Boselie, P. (2009). In Search of Balance – Managing the Dualities of HRM: An Overview of the Issues, Personnel Review, Vol. 38 Iss: 5, pp.461 – 471
Bratton, J. (2011). Strategic Resource Management. Retrieved on May 20, 2011 from http://www.palgrave.com/business/brattonandgold/docs/bgcha02.pdf
Fombrum, C. (1984). Strategic Human Resource Management. Canada, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Francis, H & Keegan, A. (2006). The Changing Face of HRM: In Search of Balance. Human Resource Management Journal, Vol 16, no 3, 2006, pages 231–249
Hammonds, K. (2005). Why We Hate HR. Fast Company, ABI/INFORM Global, Pg. 40
Hartel. (2010). Human Resource Management. NSW, Pearson
Hiltrop, M. (2006). A Diagnostic Framework for Building HR Capability in Organizations. Vol.15 No.7/8 pp.341-351
Jeffrey, M. (2011). Strategic Human Resource Management. Mason, South-Western
Karen, L. (2005). Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities. New York, PalgraveLliev, Vet al. (2004). Apple Computer Inc. Strategic audit. Strategic management. Dublin Institute of Technology.
Robert, M. (2007). Configurations of Human Resource Management: A Model and Test of internal fit. Introduction Journal of Human Resource Management vol 18:2
Schuler, R. (2007). Strategic Human Resource Management. Malden, Blackwell Publishing.
Wright, P et al. (2005). New Models of Strategic HRM in a Global Context. International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol 16, no 6, pages 875-881

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