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Four practice areas of human resources

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Study Guide
MGMT 6125: Human Resources Management
Q1. Four practice areas of human resources management—managing the human resource environment, acquiring and preparing human resources, assessment and development of human resources and compensating human resources were discussed in class. Which area do you believe contributes most to helping a company gain a competitive advantage? Which area do you believe contributes the least? Why?
I believe the area of human resources that can help a company gain competitive advantage most is management of the human resources environment. Without a plan for managing human resources, it will be a challenge to align human resource functions with the organization's goals. Success of the organization may depend on competent financial management and the appropriate use of technology. However, it also depends greatly on employees' attitudes, skills, knowledge, and commitment to the organization (Habeeb, 2009). When human resources are managed in such as way as to involve employees in improvement processes and development of optimal performance, human resources can become a source of gaining a competitive advantage within an industry.
The area I believe contributes least to competitive advantage is compensating human resources. While pay and benefits may be important, employees who are not satisfied with the work environment or their roles are not likely to be committed to helping the organization achieve its goals. Where pay and compensation among competitors is similar or equal, employees will seek out opportunities for growth and greater contribution, even if that means considering employment with competitors.
Habeeb, F. (2009). Human resource management (Competitive Advantage). Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/fathima_sy/human-resource-management-competitive-advantage-1928241.
Q2. Explain the implications of each of the following labor force trends for HRM: (i) aging workforce (ii) diverse workforce (iii) skill deficiencies.
Due to an increase in the number of people reaching retirement age and a declining birth rate, reliance on an aging workers brings about many considerations. Disadvantages may include increased costs for health insurance and reduced productivity. Productivity may be reduced due to increased health problems. Older workers possess more knowledge and more highly developed skills than younger workers (Ranjani, 2012). Another concern related to an aging workforce is the lack of skilled and suitable labor, as mass retirements may cause a labor shortage in some industries.
The diverse workforce can offer an organization many benefits. However, the organization must know how to effectively manage diversity of its workforce. People have a tendency to want to be near others like themselves. So, creating a cooperative work environment with a diverse group of employees can present a challenge, without a diversity strategy in place (Business Week, 2013). Encouragement of self evaluation from a human resource perspective leads to consideration for other views, cultures, and values that are present in a diverse work place.
Skills deficiencies are present in the workplace, in a ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses four practice areas of human resources.