Human resource management

Grossman, R. J. (1999). “Ensuring a Fast Start” HR Magazine, Vol. 44 Issue 7, 32-38


Human resource management has become an important component in the daily management of organizations affairs. Traditional human resources managers’ roles were restricted to recruitment and training of staff. But most of companies today have made human resource managers an important aspect for their strategic plans in ensuring that the aims and objectives of the company are achieved. Grossman provides the fundamental roles that human resource managers play in recruitment, training and coaching of employees.  The article states that apart from recruiting of executive, human resources managers should coach and brief new executives on all business aspects of the organization (Grossman, 1999). They should also ensure that the new executives are acclimatized to the new business environment and become familiar with the company and its operations.  According to the article, a research study conducted showed that 40 percent of newly appointed executives fail within the first 18 months.  The study defined failure with respect to termination of the executive contracts, resignation by choice or being ineffective in work.

Grossman in the article identifies the appropriate steps that should be followed by human resources managers in selection and orientation of executives. The first step in the selection exercise should be involved with the analysis of the organizations needs. This requires human resources managers to identify needs of the organization. The selection of executives should therefore be based on the needs of the organization.  Another step is to involve various stakeholders of the organization in the interview process. The article recommends inclusions of subordinates, peers and bosses in the interview process. This provides an opportunity for executives to decide whether they can work with the stakeholders or not and helps build the relationship between the stakeholders and new executives. The next step after the selection of a candidate is the integration process.  During integration process various activities are undertaken such as briefing of the executives on the company, its culture, expectations, and goals. It can also include coaching and counseling new executives (Grossman, 1999).

Grossman recommends that organizations should consider human resources as the most important aspects for organizations. He recommends that human resources managers should be allowed to participate in all the selection process so as to ensure that new executives are able to perform and meet the objectives of the organization.

Topics of Interest/Agreement

The first aspect that I found to be of interest in the article is the interviewing process. The author argues that for an interview to be effective it should include various stakeholders of an organization such as peers, subordinate and managers. The interview process that is inclusive of various stakeholders gives an opportunity for both the new executives and the stakeholders a chance to familiarize themselves with each other. This helps new executives and the stakeholders to start enhancing their relationship during the interview process.

The second aspect that is interesting in the article is about the integration process for the new executives of a company. The integration process according to the author should be conducted equally to all new executives irrespective of their status in the company. Chief executives, subordinates and other employees should undergo an extensive integration process under the supervision of human resources managers.

Another aspect of interest in the article is the process of coaching for the new executives. The author advocates for an intensive coaching exercise that is composed of both the internal and external coaching team. Coaching should be provided to prepare the executives for new roles in the company and should be in accordance to the organizations culture and practices.

Topic of Dislike/Disagreement

The main aspect of dislike in the article is the suggestion by the author that the incoming executives should be able to maintain the existing culture of an organization. This according to me is not appropriate since its can hinder the performance, growth and productivity of companies. According to me new executives should be allowed to develop appropriate policies and culture that conforms to new technological changes instead of maintaining traditional cultural practices and policies in organizations.

Possible Essay Question:

Explain the selection and coaching processes that organizations should adopt to ensure effective performance of new executives.


Karen R., Ellen E.K., Cynthia, O. (1998). Managing the global workforce: Challenges and strategies, The Academy of Management Executive; Issue 12, Vol.4, 93-106


The article addresses challenges that are faced in the management of workforce in international organizations. It identifies various challenges that the global workforce faces, strategies that can be used to address the challenges and how these strategies are implemented by various multinational organizations. According to the authors of the article, human resources managers for global companies face multiple of problems in the management of international workforce (Karen, Ellen & Cynthia, 1998). The article identifies three major challenges that are common to human resources managers of global organizations in managing their global workforce. The main challenges identified include deployment of workforce, dissemination of knowledge and innovation transfer and the identification and development of appropriate talents on global basis. These three challenges were found to be common and frequent in most of global organizations according to a study conducted in eight multinational firms.

Deployment of workforces offer a challenge in that human resources managers find it difficult to globally recruit human resources and stop relying on the use of physical transfers. In traditional settings of organizations, recruitment of employees was conducted by the central office or headquarters. This trend has since changed as companies are involved in coming up with appropriate deployment practices that considers diversity of cultures across countries.

The dissemination of knowledge and innovation transfer is also another major challenge facing human resources managers in global companies. This process offers challenge to the management of global workforce due to difference in languages and cultures in various countries. Difference in languages can lead to distortion of messages hence hindering effective communications in international companies. Different cultural practices can also affect innovation transfer in companies who might still be dependent on traditional practices.

Talent identification and development is also another challenge that is identified by the authors of the article. Multinational companies often find it difficult to identify appropriate skills required for operations in the international environment (Karen, Ellen & Cynthia, 1998). They noted that not all skilled executives have the capability of thriving in global business environment hence identification of the appropriate workforce that will allow for the transitional changes is important and often offer challenges to human resources managers.

To address the three challenges the article identifies four major strategies that can be used by multinational organizations.  The four strategies for managing the global workforce identified by the authors of the article include aspatial career initiative, awareness building assignments, the use of SWAT Teams and virtual solutions (Karen, Ellen & Cynthia, 1998). These four strategies can be employed to address different and specific challenges that are faced by organization. Each of the four strategies can be used to accomplish a specific need identified by the organization. Companies are required to diagnose the challenges faced before choosing the appropriate strategy to address the challenges.

The article also provides insight information on how companies can be able to diagnose the challenges and come up with appropriate strategies to address the challenges. It also provides various ways through which the four strategies can be implemented in multinational organizations and gives specific examples of how some of the companies have been able to implement the four strategies to help solve the global workforce challenges.


Topics of Interest/Agreement

One of the aspects that interest me in the article is the use of aspatial careers as strategy of solving global workforce challenges. This topic is of interest as it gives information on the aspatial careerist which is a new concept to most of organizations. It shows the ability of multinational organization to come up with new innovative ways of solving the global workforce challenges through introduction of aspatial careerists in the labor market.

The role of SWAT Teams in solving the global challenges is also interesting in the article. This is due to their specific and unique characteristics of accomplishing a defined objective of the company. The SWAT team is also interesting since they are not on permanent basis but are temporarily deployed only when required. The composition of the team is also interesting since it includes highly qualified team of mobile experts. They are able to take assignments in different parts of the world as may be required by the company.

I am also in agreement with the authors’ opinion of diagnosing a global workforce challenge before implementing a specific strategy. This opinion is useful as it will help organizations to identify appropriate strategy that can help address a specific challenge that the global workforce faces. This ensures that the strategy is effective and accurate in addressing the global workforce challenge identified.



Topic of Dislike/Disagreement

I disagree with the use of virtual strategies as a means of solving the global challenge. This is because some organizations might find it expensive to implement virtual strategies such as the use of video conference techniques. Again virtual solution strategy is also prone to abuse by different parties. For example emails and other virtual communication channels can be disrupted or hijacked by attackers hence compromise the productivity of organizations.

Possible Essay Question:

Describe various challenges that multinational companies face in the management of their workforce and recommend appropriate strategies that can be used to address the challenges.



Mintzberg, H. (1994). “The Fall and Rise of Strategic Planning” Harvard Business Review, pp 107-114.

Mintzberg in his article about the fall and rise of strategic planning gives various factors that contributed to the fall of strategic planning after its inception in 1960 (Mintzberg, 1994). It also gives a new dimension that strategic planning should take in modern organizations to ensure that the roles of planning and planners in organizations are maintained. This requires organizations to avoid conventional strategic planning and adopt new dimension and objectives of planning in modern organizations.  The author recommends that planners should make their contribution to assist in strategic thinking but should not regard their plans as a strategic making process for organizations.

Mintzberg identifies various challenges of planning in organizations that makes them fail in meeting their intended objectives. One of the challenges that planners agreed as the major reason for failure of strategic planning is lack of support from the top management of companies.  The other challenge that planners identified as contributing to failure of planning in organization is the resistance to change (Mintzberg, 1994).  These challenges are however disputed by the author, arguing that planning has received more support from top management than any other strategic technique. The author indicates that planning discourages commitment of managers hence subjecting it to failure. He argues that planning only encourages calculated style of management rather than the effective commitment styles of management.

The author also identifies three main fallacies of planning that includes the fallacy of prediction, the fallacy of detachment and the fallacy of formalization. The fallacy of prediction is illustrated by the fact that planning is based on the fact that all other factors remain constant over a given period of time. This is not always the case as different economic factors are subject to change hence makes planning to be unrealistic in predictions of the real outcome. The fallacy of detachment in planning is necessitated by the separation of the planning process from the operations of the organization. This can give unreliable data since some of the operations, ideas and opinions cannot be reflected in planning. Last the fallacy of formalization is occasioned by the failure of organizations systems to perform better than human beings.

The article also gives various roles and significance that planning, plans and planners play in organizations. He argues that planners can be viewed as being strategy finders, analysts and catalysts. According to Mintzberg, planners lack managers’ authority to make commitments and access soft information required for strategic thinking in organizations. The author also refers to planning as a strategic programming while he termed plans as the tools for communications and control.

Topics of Interest/Agreement

In the article I am in agreement with the author’s argument that strategic planning has failed in meeting its objectives. This is true since strategic planning is based on analysis and does not considers the changes that take place regularly in the business environment. This makes strategic thinking to be more important in meeting of organizations objectives than strategic planning.

Fallacy of strategic planning is also another topic of interest in the articles. In this topic the author highlight various issues that make planning to be unreliable and inaccurate. This topic is the main support behind the author’s idea for a fall in strategic planning. The three main fallacies of strategic planning are also interesting aspects as they are regularly encountered by organizations.

Another topic of interest is the part describing the role of planners, panning and plans. This topic is interesting since it focuses on strategic planning by evaluating it using three different aspects.  Planers, plans and planning constitute of strategic planning hence the evaluation of their different roles helps in a clear understanding of the concept of strategic planning.

Topic of Dislike/Disagreement

The pitfall of planning is the main topic of dislike in this article. This is because the topic is mainly concerned with the accusations that planners levies against top management for the fall of strategic planning. The accusations mentioned by the planners as the main contributing factors to failure in planning are not necessarily true. For example, planners’ suggestion that failure by the top management to support strategic planning is the main cause of failure is false since most of top management of companies have supported strategic planning since its inception. This topic therefore does not provide the best cause for the fall of strategic planning in organizations.

Possible Essay Question:

Identify and explain the three main fallacies of strategic planning in organizations




Hallowell, E.M. (1999). “The Human Moment at Work” Harvard Business Review; Vol. 77 Issue 1, 58-66


Hallowell discusses the consequences that advent of new communication technologies has to human beings and organizations. The article indicates that the use of communications channels such as email and mobile phones has reduced chances of face to face communication. The reduction in face to face communication has resulted to various consequences in organizations and among individuals. The author stresses that face to face communication is important means of communication as it allow for proper understanding of messages and information passed (Hallowell, 1999).  He indicates that many individuals have undergone some psychological suffering due to lack of face to face communication.

The author describes the process of face to face communication as human moment. Human moments are important for effective communication. The disappearing of human moments is changing the business world and making modern work appears worse.  According to the author the disappearing of human moment in work places have lead to various miscommunications among business executives.  The author being a practicing psychiatrist has been confronted with a number of clients who have indicated that they have been negatively affected by lack of human moments in their businesses. In most cases lack of human moments in business world leads to distortion of information between the sender and receiver. The use of electronic facilities as a means of communication is always susceptible to errors that can impact negatively on effective delivery of messages.

One of the consequences of lack of human moments is that it can lead to toxic worry (Hallowell, 1999). Individuals who are not in constant human moment can develop worry in their businesses. This can be due to misunderstanding from messages passed through emails and mobile phones. Toxic worry is a trend that can be destructive to organizations and individuals.  Another consequence is the misunderstanding of individuals as a result of distortion and perception of messages passed through the use of emails and phones.

The author also indicates in the article that high tech requires high touch. This according to the author implies that reliance on technological advancement as a means of passing of messages can have some negative impacts to businesses. This is illustrated by using an example of an ATM where banks customers are no longer in touch with their managers hence chances of human moments are reduced. This makes bank managers to lose some of the important transactions that can be initiated through face to face communication such as discussion regarding loan and mortgage services.

Topics of Interest/Agreement

The interesting topic of the articles is an illustration where an employee of a company resigned as a result of misunderstanding occasioned by email messages from his boss.  The employee referred to as Charles in the article, found it difficult to deal with his COO due to lack of human moments to address their differences. The COO often sends messages that according to Charles were causing a lot of toxic worry. He ended up resigning from the company although it was later discovered that the messages did not target for his dismissal.

Another interesting part of the article is indicated in the topic with a title high tech, high touch. The main interesting part of the topic is concerned with how the author goes about explaining the meaning of the topic high tech, high touch. According to the article high tech, high touch means that the use of modern information technology in businesses can be counter productive to organizations. This author illustrates this by giving an example of a company which encountered difficulty when it tries to become virtual by sending its sales people to the filed. Virtualizations in this case lead to lack of human moments in the company hence there was an emergent of organization’s problems.

I also agree with the author’s opinion that face to face communication is essential for true communication whereas email and voice mail are efficient means of communications. This opinion is true since face to face communication ensures that individuals are able to observe the real actions of others during conversations. This can help them understand the perception of individual’s better than when they use email and voice mails.

Topic of Dislike/Disagreement

My major dislike in this article is the author’s emphasis on the importance of human moments. The author supports that human moments are important and often contribute to the success of organizations. This according to me is not always true as some form of human moments can be destructive due to misunderstandings occasioned by poor communications process. Language barriers and some other communication barrier can also render human moments ineffective.

Possible Essay Question:

What are the consequences that individuals and businesses can face due to lack of human moments?



Grossman, R. J. (1999). “Ensuring a Fast Start” HR Magazine, Vol. 44 Issue 7, 32-38

Hallowell, E.M. (1999). “The Human Moment at Work” Harvard Business Review; Vol. 77 Issue

1, 58-66

Karen R., Ellen E.K., Cynthia, O. (1998). Managing the global workforce: Challenges and

strategies, The Academy of Management Executive; Issue 12, Vol.4, 93-106

Mintzberg, H. (1994). “The Fall and Rise of Strategic Planning” Harvard Business Review, pp


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