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Determine the human resource management function of human resource planning and its importance to business strategy.

You made it!  You received your master’s degree in Human Resource Management, and now it’s time for you to start seeking career opportunities.  At this point, you may be a little confused as to what areas you should focus on in HR since your experience may be limited.  Imagine that a friend shares with you that he/she has a small but rapidly growing business which is in need of an HR department.  He has asked you to be the HR Manager.  Your friend mentioned that he / she previously worked with an HR consultant, but now has close to 100 employees with no definite, dedicated HR department, and really needs your assistance.  Although you are nervous, you realize that it’s now time for you to show your skills and put all your years of studying into action.

Select an existing small company in an industry you are familiar with to be the basis of the small business in this case.  Review the company’s structure, culture, business strategy, mission, and vision.

Write a five to six (5-6) APA 6th ed page paper in which you (Question then answer/Cite work):

  1. Provide a brief summary, in your own words, of your selected company’s overall business strategy.  Next, determine the direction you visualize the company growing within the next five (5) to ten (10) years.  Hint:  Review the common business strategies of Cost Leadership, Differentiation and Focus or Niche on p. 50 of your text (see pg. 5 below).
  2. Design a human resource management strategy to support your selected company’s business strategy.  Explain the competitive advantage of your HRM strategy.  Hint:  Review the following common human resource management strategies of Loyal Soldier, Bargain Laborer, Committed Expert and Free Agent from previous courses.
  3. Develop an HR Scorecard table for your selected company.  Include the four (4) dimensions (i.e., financial, customer service, internal process, and learning / growth / sustainability).  Next, assess the value of your proposal to the small business in each of these dimensions.  Hint:  Review the video titled “Building the Human Resources Performance Measurement Scorecard” (4 min 1 s) located at for additional guidance in creating an HR Scorecard.

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  1. Use at least six (6) quality scholarly/peer-reviewed academic resources in this assignment from within the past five (5) years.  Utilize sources to lend depth and validity to what is being shared.  (Just going to the Internet and selecting urls does not mean they are such and lend validity to your work).  Note:  Wikipedia and other Websites do not quality as academic resources.
  2. Format your assignment according to these formatting requirements:
  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page is not included in the required page length.
  • Include a reference page. Citations and references must follow APA format. The reference page is not included in the required page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Assess the strategic role of human resource management and the components that provide a competitive advantage to the organization.
  • Determine the human resource management function of human resource planning and its importance to business strategy.
  • Develop work designs that support the human resources strategy.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in human resource management.
  • Write clearly and concisely about human resource management using proper writing mechanics.

Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic / organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric.

Points: 200 Assignment 1: A Growing Small Business
Criteria Unacceptable

Below 70% F

Fair

70-79% C

Proficient

80-89% B

Exemplary

90-100% A

1. Provide a brief summary in your own words of your selected company’s overall business strategy. Next, determine the direction you visualize the company growing within the next five (5) to ten (10) years.

Weight: 20%

Did not submit or incompletely provided a brief summary in your own words of your selected company’s overall business strategy. Did not submit or incompletely determined the direction you visualize the company growing within the next five (5) to ten (10) years. Partially provided a brief summary in your own words of your selected company’s overall business strategy. Partially determined the direction you visualize the company growing within the next five (5) to ten (10) years. Satisfactorily provided a brief summary in your own words of your selected company’s overall business strategy. Satisfactorily determined the direction you visualize the company growing within the next five (5) to ten (10) years. Thoroughly provided a brief summary in your own words of your selected company’s overall business strategy. Thoroughly determined the direction you visualize the company growing within the next five (5) to ten (10) years.
2. Design a human resource management strategy to support your selected company’s business strategy. Explain the competitive advantage of your HRM strategy.

Weight: 25%

Did not submit or incompletely designed a human resource management strategy to support your selected company’s business strategy. Did not submit or incompletely explained the competitive advantage of your HRM strategy. Partially designed a human resource management strategy to support your selected company’s business strategy. Partially explained the competitive advantage of your HRM strategy. Satisfactorily designed a human resource management strategy to support your selected company’s business strategy. Satisfactorily explained the competitive advantage of your HRM strategy. Thoroughly designed a human resource management strategy to support your selected company’s business strategy. Thoroughly explained the competitive advantage of your HRM strategy.
3. Develop an HR Scorecard table for your selected company. Include the four (4) dimensions (i.e., financial, customer service, internal process, and learning / growth / sustainability). Next, assess the value of your proposal to the small business in each of these dimensions.

Weight: 25%

Did not submit or incompletely developed an HR Scorecard table for your selected company. Did not submit or incompletely included the four (4) dimensions. Did not submit or incompletely assessed the value of your proposal to the small business in each of these dimensions. Partially developed an HR Scorecard table for your selected company. Partially included the four (4) dimensions. Partially assessed the value of your proposal to the small business in each of these dimensions. Satisfactorily developed an HR Scorecard table for your selected company. Satisfactorily included the four (4) dimensions. Satisfactorily assessed the value of your proposal to the small business in each of these dimensions. Thoroughly developed an HR Scorecard table for your selected company. Thoroughly included the four (4) dimensions. Thoroughly assessed the value of your proposal to the small business in each of these dimensions.
4. 3  references

Weight: 10%

No references provided. Does not meet the required number of references; some or all references poor quality choices. Meets number of required references; all references high quality choices. Exceeds number of required references; all references high quality choices.
5. Writing Mechanics, Grammar, and Formatting

Weight: 5%

Serious and persistent errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, or formatting. Partially free of errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, or formatting. Mostly free of errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, or formatting. Error free or almost error free grammar, spelling, punctuation, or formatting.
6. Appropriate Use of APA In-Text Citations and Reference

Weight: 5%

Lack of in-text citations and / or lack of reference section. In-text citations and references are provided, but they are only partially formatted correctly in APA style. Most in-text citations and references are provided, and they are generally formatted correctly in APA style. In-text citations and references are error free or almost error free and consistently formatted correctly in APA style.
7. Information Literacy / Integration of Sources

Weight: 5%

Serious errors in the integration of sources, such as intentional or accidental plagiarism, or failure to use in-text citations. Sources are partially integrated using effective techniques of quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Sources are mostly integrated using effective techniques of quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Sources are consistently integrated using effective techniques of quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing.
8. Clarity and Coherence of Writing

Weight: 5%

Information is confusing to the reader and fails to include reasons and evidence that logically support ideas. Information is partially clear with minimal reasons and evidence that logically support ideas. Information is mostly clear and generally supported with reasons and evidence that logically support ideas. Information is provided in a clear, coherent, and consistent manner with reasons and evidence that logically support ideas.

Types of Strategies

There are several generic strategy types that we are able to categorize. Some researchers break these down into just two or three categories, while others list several more. We will try to keep this as simple as possible right now, since for our purposes, we only need to know the major categories. So we will break the types of strategies down into three categories: cost leadership, differentiation, and focus or niche strategies.38

COST LEADERSHIP.

Cost leaders do everything that they can to lower the organizational costs required to produce their products or services. However, cost leaders do not necessarily provide their products or services to the customer for a lower price. They can choose to keep their prices down and maintain the same margin as their higher-cost competitors, or they can choose to charge the same price as their competitors and thus increase their profit margin above that of their competitors on each of the goods or services they sell. Wal-Mart has had great success with this strategy, and during the recession and coming out of it, Wal-Mart reduced its prices even more aggressively to combat loss of business to “dollar” stores.39 However, low-cost strategies can have a downside as well. Tata Motors’ cheap Nano automobile at first failed because potential customers saw it as “too cheap” and therefore thought, “It must be unreliable.” So, Tata is now building more expensive Nanos, hoping that they will catch on with young buyers.40

DIFFERENTIATION.

This strategy attempts to create an impression of difference for the company’s product or service in the mind of the customer. The differentiator company stresses its advantage over its competitors.41 If the company is successful in creating this impression, it can charge a higher price for its product or service than can its competitors. Differentiation, it should be noted, is not necessarily based on real difference but on the perception of difference, which is often created through advertising.42 Nike, Harley Davidson, Margaritaville, and others place their corporate name prominently on their products to differentiate those products from those of the competition. According to Coca-Cola, the three keys to selling consumer products are differentiation, differentiation, and differentiation, which it achieves with its scripted name logo and contour bottle.

FOCUS OR NICHE.

With this strategy, the company focuses on a specific portion of a larger market. For instance, the company may focus on a regional market, a particular product line, or a buyer group. Within a particular target segment or market niche, the firm may use differentiation or a cost leadership strategy. Businesses can win big by thinking small.43 It is hard to compete head-on with the big companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, but the much smaller Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s two non-colas have a differentiated taste for a much smaller target market, but it is still very profitable.44


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