organizational strategy expresses the manner in which an organization needs to evolve with time in order to achieve its objectives and provide a detailed appraisal of what needs to be done. organizational culture implies the way people behave in an organization and the meaning they attach to a particular behaviour. It is a collective representation of values, principles and beliefs of the members of an organization, which is determined by history, market, technology, management and many other factors. Human resource management, on the other hand, is the function designed for maximisation of the employees’ performance in their service to the employer (Dwivedi 2009, p. 32). These three components must be related for an organization to thrive. The relationship between the three components is rather a need than a choice.
The organizational strategy of Apple Inc under the current chief executive Tim Cook is to strengthen the products that they have already made. It is evident in the release of iPhone 5 which was basically an improvement of the smartphone features of iPhone 4. The strategy was to increase the size of the phone and to make it favourably compete in the market. Due to this strategy Apple Inc has cut the contract with Google for mapping services thereby reducing their reliance on the latter company (Hiriyappa 2013, p. 25-35).
The corporate culture at Apple Inc is the result of passion for the production of new products to deal with new difficulties and challenges. Apple Inc became a pioneer in this industry not just due to a relaxed work environment but the commitment of workers to set deadlines. The company adopted a style that is neither too formal nor too hierarchical. Decisions can be made even at the lowest level possible. While the top level management make the decisions regarding policy, the day-to-day running of the company is employees’ responsibility. It has worked to the advantage of the company since its result driven. Therefore, the company received an opportunity for faster growth compared to its competitors (Hiriyappa 2013, p. 35).
The Human resource management at Apple Inc begins at the hiring process. Every job category has the job description clearly spelt out so that people can apply for the jobs for which they are best suited. The company hires well qualified individuals with at least a few years of experience in software development. Human resource specialists in the company have the duty of redesigning tasks in order to get rid of redundancy in so far as the performance of duties is concerned (Hiriyappa 2013, p. 43). It has enabled the human resource management to create a compliant team in the company. The focus on talent in placing employees in particular jobs is considered a norm. Assurance that the right job is given to the right person helps the company to motivate its employees. The company uses referrals and targets for the most innovative individuals. In addition, there is a policy of secrecy in the process of executing its core projects to maintain an advantage over the competitors. The use of private recruiting agencies helps the company hire diverse workers.
The three components in this company are aligned to achieve the same objectives. They have been developed in such a way that no conflicts arise. Human resource in this company is the driver for innovation. By finding out ways of rewarding innovative employees the human resource strategy is promoting the organizational strategy of innovativeness. The corporate culture borne out of their strategy and vision promotes the well-being of the company.
There exist a number of linkages between culture, strategy and human resource management. Human resource strategies are influenced by various forces among which are the strategy and the culture of the organization. The human resource management framework does not exist in isolation.
There should be a robust relationship between organizational strategy, organizational culture and human resource management. Even if the goals of an organization were properly codified, there is still the need to think whether its organizational culture supports its codified objectives. Coordination of the human resource management with the organizational strategy arises at the decision-making level. The work and task strategies should be geared towards the implementation of the commercial strategy of the organization. For example the strategy of a company to come up with a new product in two years eventually trickles to human resource at the operational level (Deb 2009, p. 225).
If there is a dominant agreement concerning the values and norms of an organization, there is a robust culture. The personal identities of individual members are hidden within the organizational context. Since organizational strategy is meant to give the company a competitive edge, the culture should be in line with the strategy. Culture becomes a very important asset if it encourages behaviour that supports the strategy. When a proper organizational culture is identified, human resource should devise methods to maintain and promote such kind of culture. In fact, it is the role of the human resource management to develop norms in the organization and ensure it is orientated with the commercial strategy. The functions of the human resource are normally planned in accordance with the organizational strategy and following the appropriate behavioural norms. When the human resource makes good choices, the culture of the organization is reinforced.
Organizational culture is a tool for goal realization. Therefore, it has to be managed to develop values that create commitment to the organization’s strategy (Dwivedi 2009). Culture management strategies determine the appropriate kinds of behaviour and suggest necessary human resource processes that extend those behaviours. The three components are interlinked in the area of motivating the employees. The importance of motivation to human resource, organizational culture and strategy should not be ignored.
Another way in which human resource is interlinked with the organization strategy is in the area of remuneration. For example, an organization’s strategy may be to reduce the salaries and wages expense in order to increase the profit margin. Therefore, human resource managers have to apply certain strategies to ensure it is done in the most harmonious way to avoid conflict with the workers. During tough economic times, the human resource managers have to carry out retrenchments or reduce some of the allowances that the workers have been receiving. Moreover, the organizational culture comes into play since the workers are called to understand and remain patient with the situation. On the other hand, when the organizational performance is considered to be successful, the human resource management responds by increasing the packages of the workers in order to motivate them.
The pervasive nature of organizational culture makes it a requirement for the management to understand its impact on variables related to employees. These include satisfaction, cohesion, commitment and implementation of strategies. A powerful culture influences strategy implementation. Therefore, the organizational culture has to be put into consideration during the process of strategies implementation (Salamzadeh 2012, p. 5).
Policy formulation is another area that links the organizational strategy, culture and human resource management. Policy making is the duty of top level management. However, the effects of the policies made are felt among the lowest level of employees. Whenever policies are being made, it must be ensured that they are in line with the organizational strategy. The values and beliefs of the members must support these policies if they are to be fully implemented. If it is not the case, it requires a change in outlook in so far as the culture is concerned. Since it is not easy to change the culture, it is the process of policy formulation that has to give in to the demands of culture. Human resource management comes in allocating various tasks and responsibilities to workers and ensures that the policies formulated can be implemented with the available manpower (Salamzadeh 2012, p. 29).
There are a number of key initiatives that the human resource management can take in the above areas to ensure that the objectives of the organization are achieved. They can improve the way they manage their employees and develop better ways of utilizing their human resource management to gain competitive advantage (Deb 2006, p. 70). The personnel managers should realise the benefits of effective employees management. For example, they can shift their focus from a collectionist view of employees to an individual approach to improve the productivity of every worker. The effect of this will not only be seen in proper strategy implementation but also development values and norms that are favourable to the success of an organization.
In addition, the objectives achievement can be promoted by the integration of human resource management into strategic management. The benefit of this will be elimination of the two processes having different directions and ensuring the unitary perspective. Aligning corporate culture to this allows team building on the part of employees, management of core employees and keeps the peripheral ones at a distance.
The human resource management function should allow itself to be influenced by strategy decisions. Similarly the decisions they make should reflect corporate culture. Human resource management issues should be linked to the organization’s overall strategy. Their policies regarding various functions, such as recruitment and training, should be consistent with the objectives. The problem with this would arise in an organization that has diversified markets.
Building a strong culture is an effective way in the promotion of goals and objectives. The values that create this culture unite the employees into a force that serves the firm’s interest (Salamzadeh 2012, p. 5). A change in culture requires the personnel managers to come up with flexible decisions. Despite the challenges that occur in trying to change a strong culture, it is still considered that strong culture is better.
The personnel management should finally change its view of people from a variable cost into a resource. They should develop policies in order to educate and motivate their workers. Development of the human resource should be at the core of the organizational strategic plan. Policies and practices developed should focus on the workforce with the organization’s strategy (Salamzadeh 2012, p. 33).
In conclusion, it is quite clear that the organization strategy, its culture and human resource management must be aligned in the same direction for an organization to succeed. Successful companies, such as Apple Incorporation, understand this point. Therefore, there is a positive link between organizational culture, strategies and HRM.