Analysis of WalMart's Approach To Employee Management Using SHRM Boxell/Purcell Model

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In the past it was noted by Snell, Youngy and Wright (1996:62) that organisations would purposely 'take human resource out of the strategic equation'. Today it is widely accepted that linking HR to strategy because of a shift in ideas concerning competition and firm advantage (Snell, Shauder and Wright (2001:3)). This shift was identified by Quin (1992:241) "with rare exceptions, the economic and producing power of the firm lies more in its intellectual and service capabilities than in its hard assets"

Wal-Mart are aware of this and so by examining Wal-Marts practices using the 'best fit' perceptive will give a better understanding as to why they have adopted their various practices by linking them to their key organisational strategy and
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They also ensure employees only work enough hours to count as 'part-time' employees so Wal-Mart does not have to contribute towards health care costs.

Wal-Mart's stance on not allowing unions can also be accredited to their cost leadership approach. When I outline Wal-Mart's business policy at the start of this essay, I suggest that they were a central-control based organisation that tried to ensure it controlled all aspects of the firm. This is linked to cost leadership, by having tight control they know exactly where money is going and where it is coming from which allows for better development of efficiency.

This notion of control is especially noticeable on their management of employees, for example through such action as cutting hours, understaffing, minimum wage levels and stopping overtime. If they were to allow a Union to be formed then employees would be able to group together to try and abolishes they tools. For example workers in Unions at other supermarkets earn approxiamtly 30% more then non-union workers as Wal-Mart,(Bureau of labour Statistics (2004) and 72% of union workers have guaranteed pension schemes whereas only 15% of non-union employees (such as those at Wal-Mart) have the same sort of deal. Wal-Mart can use these tools to control their staff because of the poor labour laws in America (Miller (2004)).

This 'external fit' notion has been criticised because

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