1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
All over the world, every organization usually have resources at their disposal which they deploy to realizing their goals and objectives. These resources are: Capital, Land, Labor (Human) and Technology. Humans are an organization’s greatest assets; humans and the potential they possess drive an organization change (Jahn, 2007). Today’s organizations are continuously changing. Organizational change impacts not only the business but also its employees. In order to maximize organizational effectiveness occasioned by the change, human resources—individuals’ capabilities, time, and talents—must be managed. To ensure that change is efficiently driven by the human resources of an organization has necessitated the creation of a special section, the human resource department. Hence, human resource management is the responsibility of human resource department.
Human resource management therefore can be said to be the strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization’s most valued assets – the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the business. The terms “human resource management” and “human resources” (HR) have largely replaced the term “personnel management” as a description of the processes involved in managing people in organizations. In simple words, human resource management means employing people, developing their capacities, utilizing, maintaining and compensating their services in tune with the job and organizational requirement.
Human resource departments and units in organizations typically undertake a number of activities, including employee benefits design, employee recruitment, “training and development”, performance appraisal, and rewarding (e.g., managing pay and benefit systems) (Pauuwe & Boon, 2009). Human resource department also concerns itself with organizational change and industrial relations, that is, the balancing of organizational practices with requirements arising from collective bargaining and from governmental laws (Klerck, 2009). According to Buettner (2015), activities of the human resource department includes job design and analysis, workforce planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management, compensation (remuneration), and legal issues. Human resource department started as a result of the human relations movement of the early 20th century, when researchers began documenting ways of creating business value through the strategic management of the workforce. The function was initially dominated by transactional work, such as payroll and benefits administration, but due to globalization, company consolidation, technological advances, and further research, Human resource department as of 2015 focuses on strategic initiatives like mergers and acquisitions, talent management, succession planning, industrial and labor relations, and diversity and inclusion.
Human Resources department of any organization always focuses on maximizing employee productivity. Human Resources department manage the human capital of an organization and focus on implementing policies and processes. They also focus in on recruiting, training, employee relations or benefits. Recruiting specialists are in charge of finding and hiring top talent. Human resource department also ensure that employees are trained and have continuous development. This is done through training programs, performance evaluations and reward programs. Employee relations deals with concerns of employees when policies are broken, such as harassment or discrimination. Someone in benefits develops compensation structures, family leave programs, discounts and other benefits that employees can get. However, this study is examining the capacity of human resource department to drive organizational change in ASDA, one of the biggest retail stores in UK.
Asda Stores Limited is an American-owned, British-founded supermarket retailer, headquartered in Leeds, West Yorkshire. The company became a subsidiary of the American retail corporate giant Walmart after a £6.7 billion takeover in July 1999, and was the second-largest supermarket chain in Britain between 2003 and 2014, by market share.
Besides its core supermarket retail format, the company also offers a number of other products, including financial services and a mobile phone company using the existing network of EE. Asda’s marketing promotions are usually based solely on price, and like its parent company, Walmart, Asda promotes itself under the slogan “Save Money. Live Better”.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Businesses are moving globally and forming more diverse teams. It is the role of human resources department to make sure that organizations can function and people are able to communicate cross culturally and across borders. Human resource departments strive to offer benefits that will appeal to workers, thus reducing the risk of losing corporate knowledge. Hence, if these duties of human resource is done effectively, the needed change will be well driven in the organization.
However, the researcher is curious of determining the capacity of human resource department to drive organizational change considering how difficult it is to manage the human and its talents, which the most important asset of an organization that can guarantee the sustainability of the organizational change in Asda retail store.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1. To examine the capacity of the human resource department to drive organizational change in Asda retail store.
2. To examine the contribution of human resource department on organizational performance in Asda retail store.
3. To examine the contribution of human resource department on employee commitment in Asda retail store.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the capacity of the human resource department to drive organizational change in Asda retail store?
2. What are the contributions of human resource department on organizational performance in Asda retail store?
3. What are the contributions of human resource department on employee commitment in Asda retail store?
HO: Human resource department does not have the capability of driving organizational change in Asda retail store
HA: Human resource department does have the capability of driving organizational change in Asda retail store
HO: There is no significant relationship between human resource department and organizational performance in Asda retail store.
HA: There is significant relationship between human resource department and organizational performance in Asda retail store
HO: There is no significant relationship between human resource department and employee commitment in Asda retail store.
HA: There is significant relationship between human resource department and employee commitment in Asda retail store
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1. The results from this study will be a useful guide for management of business organizations including retail stores all over the world on basic facts about how the human resource department can be used as a tool for driving and sustaining organizational change.
2. This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the examination of the capacity of human resource department to drive organizational change, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will be limited to Asda retail stores, UK. It will also cover the scope of practice of the company’s human resource department its capacity to effect organizational change.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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