Social Relations And Human Resource Management

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With specific regard to South Africa (acknowledging a limited information and experience base), overall context (cultural, socio-economic, political etc.) has a significant impact on labor relations and human resource management (HRM). “The human resource function matters more than its practitioners tend to think. Human resources is a crucial point of intersection between the broader society and business” (Capelli & Yang, 2010, p.1). The impact of societal issues such as unemployment, poverty, inequality and lack of human development on labor relations and HRM is significant. Context (cultural, socio-economic, political etc.) is important to an organization and the interaction is two-way, so the context influences the…show more content…
Kelly (2008) cites a 1996 study by Newman and Nollen which found that those international offices of US-based firms which adapted their management practices to the local culture were more financially productive than those which did not. Brewster et al. (2008a) believe that by heeding to the interests of stakeholders in a broader sense, an organization builds intangible assets such as good-will, reputation, loyalty and trust.
An example of the effect of context on organizations is shown in the study by Parker and Veldsman (2010) on the validity of world class business criteria across developed and developing countries, using South Africa as the example of a developing country. This study showed that there are differences in how leading companies develop themselves to be world class, and that some of these differences reside in whether they are based in South Africa or in developed countries.
HRM function and the context:
HRM function being a sub-set of the management of an organization is also affected by the context in the same ways as the whole organization, as described above. Harris, et al. (2003, p. 87) note that “the scope of HRM goes beyond the organization to reflect the role of many HR departments: for example, in lobbying about and adjusting to government actions, in dealing with issues such as equal employment opportunities legislation, or with
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