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1. Critique and debate key and contemporary arguments about the theory and practice of HRM and how ethical expectations are met in practice whilst assessing its contribution to the organisation.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Unit title & code

Human Resource Management  SHR018-2

Assignment number and title

2: Westonwich District Council

Assignment type

Case Study

Weighting of assignment

60%

Size or length of assessment

2,500 words

Unit learning outcomes

1. Critique and debate key and contemporary arguments about the theory and practice of HRM and how ethical expectations are met in practice whilst assessing its contribution to the organisation.

2. Evaluate and analyse workplace scenarios relating to relevant business strategies for professional, ethical, effective and efficient HRM within current organisational contexts.

 


                               

What am I required to do in this assignment?

Note: It is permissible to make assumptions by adding to the case study details given below provided the essence of the case study is neither changed nor undermined in any way by what is added.

Westonwich District Council (WDC) provides a range of local government services to a predominantly rural population of 75,000 people living in a market town and surrounding villages in the north of England. Chief responsibilities include council tax collection, refuse collection and recycling, the administration of housing benefit, planning matters and the promotion of tourism. The authority employs a total of 250 people, many of whom work on a part-time basis. There is a small HR team which consists of four people: a manager, two officers and an administrator.

Like all local government bodies, WDC has had to make very substantial savings in recent years. Pay rises have been restricted to 1% for some years now, while strict restrictions on recruitment have been in operation. When staff leave or retire, they are not replaced unless a very strong business case can be made. The few recruits are being employed on temporary contracts. The financial situation will remain very challenging for the foreseeable future. So far redundancies have been avoided, but this may not be the case in the future as further cost savings are sought.

You are the HR manager at WDC and you have been asked by the CEO to carry out a staff survey to establish levels of satisfaction and engagement among the staff. A confidential questionnaire was circulated with an administrator employed to collate the results. 81% of staff responded. Key metrics found included the following:

  • 64% look forward to going to work in the morning;
  • 61% find their work to be rewarding, 13% enjoying it ‘greatly’;
  • 44% are satisfied with the variety of work they are required to do;
  • 72% feel valued and supported by their work colleagues, 55% by their line manager, but only 20% by senior managers;
  • 71% are satisfied with their level of responsibility;
  • 59% are satisfied with their physical work environment;
  • 21% are satisfied with their pay and benefits, but no-one says they are ‘very satisfied’
  • 55% are happy with their work life balance;
  • 89% state their jobs have become increasingly stressful in recent years;
  • 32% are satisfied with their training and development opportunities;
  • 83% say their workload has increased in the past year;
  • 70% are satisfied with their promotion opportunities;
  • 15% say change is managed well by the council;
  • 90% say that they ‘sometimes feel stressed’ when they are at work;
  • 74% say they ‘feel safe’ at work;
  • 88% are happy with the council’s equality and diversity practices;
  • 28% are ‘listened to when they are at work’;
  • 37% are satisfied with the ‘amount of discretion’ they are allowed to exercise in their jobs;
  • 36% are happy with their job security;
  • 27% say they feel their efforts at work are properly recognised;
  • 54% are actively seeking alternative employment.

The CEO at Westonwich District Council has asked the HR manager (you) to prepare a report on the key issues identified within the findings and potential solutions for addressing those issues. You are expected to fulfill the following three tasks, in completing the report:

  1. Categorize the findings into themes with a brief discussion of why these are issues or areas for concern. It is important to consider that some findings may fall into more than one theme or category and that some findings may not easily fall into any. Your justification for why a finding falls into a theme or category is, therefore, a key part of this task.
  2. Identify two key issues and provide justification for why these are the key issues that must be addressed first. There is no single correct answer to this, therefore, you will be graded upon the strength of your justification.
  3. Provide recommendations as to how those two key issues can be addressed. The recommendations should be justified with evidence as to why they might work.

What do I need to do to pass? (Threshold Expectations from UIF)

In order to pass Assessment 2 you will need to:

  • Demonstrate a basic level of understanding with regards to the debates of current and future developments in HRM locally and internationally.
  • Show a basic level of ability to identify and review major contemporary research and debates in HRM locally and internationally.
  • Present adequate evidence of knowing how to implement HRM strategies. 

How do I produce high quality work that merits a good grade?

We will be filling this section in together in class on Click or tap to enter a date. make sure you have downloaded/printed out the Assignment Brief and bring it to the session with you.

How does this assignment relate to what we are doing in scheduled sessions?

The aim of this assessment is to increase your critical thinking around HRM in organisations and how it is impacted regularly by environmental changes as well as developing your skills in analysing the outcomes of a workplace survey.

This assignment is based on a case study exploring several aspects of HRM. This requires you to become more critical in your understanding of HRM, becoming ‘thinking performers’ as you attempt to find solutions to the issues presented in the case study whilst ensuring an efficient, effective, ethical and professional HRM function. Over the weeks of the semester we will debate and discuss how we can best achieve a high performance workforce, minimizing under-productivity and fostering a progressive work environment. Lectures will be supplemented with practical seminars exploring similar issues in a range of organisations.

Successful completion of the unit will give you a comprehensive and detailed overview of how you as a business management graduate with specialised knowledge of HR are able to make a greater impact in the organisation, increasing your contribution and effectiveness in working through and with your organisational colleagues to increase the well-being of the business for sustained competitive advantage.

 

How will my assignment be marked?

Your assignment will be marked according to the threshold expectations and the criteria on the following page.

You can use them to evaluate your own work and consider your grade before you submit.

 

3rd Class – 40-49%

Lower 2nd – 50-59%

Upper 2nd – 60-69%

1st Class – 70%+

Identification of themes/categories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The majority of findings have been categorized into appropriate themes and there is some evidence of understanding, within the discussion, of why those themes/categories are important considerations for HRM. There is limited evidence of wider reading from a limited range of sources.

The findings have been categorized into appropriate themes and there is reasonable evidence of understanding, within the discussion, of why those themes/categories are important considerations for HRM. There is evidence of wider reading with some literature derived from good-quality sources.

The findings have been categorized into appropriate themes using a theoretical framework/concept.

There is good evidence of understanding, within the discussion, of why those themes/categories are important considerations for HRM. There is also good evidence of wider reading with  all of the literature derived from good-quality sources.

The findings have been categorized into appropriate themes using a theoretical framework/concept.

There is very good evidence of understanding, within the discussion, of why those themes/categories are important considerations for HRM. There is also very good evidence of wider reading with the literature derived from high-quality sources.

Identification of key issues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The issues have been identified but there is little justification for why they are the key issues.

A limited range of literature and research sources on the issues has been consulted and is referenced throughout the report.

The issues have been identified and there is some justification for why they are the key issues.

Some essential literature and research sources on the issues has been consulted and are referenced throughout the report.

 

The issues have been identified and there is good justification for why they are the key issues.

The report exhibits a good understanding of the issues from both theoretical and applied perspectives. There is a good range of literature and sources referenced throughout the report.

 

The issues have been identified and there is particularly good   justification for why they are the key issues.

The report exhibits a clear understanding of the issues from both theoretical and applied perspectives. There is a very good range of literature and sources referenced throughout the report.

Recommendations

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendations are made but demonstrate little linkage with the analysis. There is limited/no justification for why the recommendations might work.

Recommendations are made and demonstrate some linkage with the analysis. There is some justification for why the recommendations might work, but the evidence is limited.

Recommendations are made and demonstrate a clear connection with the analysis. There is good justification for why the recommendations might work, with examples drawn from a range of sources.

Recommendations are made and demonstrate a very clear connection with the analysis. There is excellent justification for why the recommendations might work, with examples and academic evidence drawn from a range of high-quality sources.

Presentation

The report is reasonably professional in style, but improvements could be made. The spelling, grammar and punctuation are reasonable, but with some errors. References are, largely, in the correct Harvard format but with some minor errors.

The report is reasonably professional in style, but improvements could be made. The spelling, grammar and punctuation are good, but there are some minor errors. References are in the correct Harvard format.

The report is professional in style, and there are few   improvements that could be made. The spelling, grammar and punctuation are good, with no or very minor errors. References are in the correct Harvard format.

The report is professional in style, and very well presented that could be made. The spelling, grammar and punctuation are excellent, with no errors. References are in the correct Harvard format.


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