Improving economic efficiency and effectiveness is one of the priority goals of the leadership of any organization the implementation of which almost always affects the human resource management system. The main functions of management (planning, organization, implementation, motivation, coordination, control) are actually aimed at streamlining and regulating personnel activities, at increasing the efficiency of using human potential through certain methods and models.
Many analyses of literary sources show that the views of specialists on affective and efficient models of human resource management are very different (Bhatnagar & Sharma, 2004). Some researchers believe that there is a close integration of personnel management policies with business strategy, that employees of an organization are a mean, that needs to be properly managed and which should be used without special regrets, to achieve goals and obtain material benefits. Others believe that it should not be such a top-down approach. The majority of specialists, however, emphasizes that the methods of human resource management should vary depending on the solutions chosen for implementation, the state of the labor market, established social norms, postulates of the national culture and many other factors. Because of the importance of the context of the company and people, HRM models are rapidly developing and getting widely spread to fulfill the needs of organizations around the world (Wright & McMahan, 1992). In this essay I will discuss, compare and contrast some of HRM models.
First model is Kaizen method of continuous incremental improvements, which was originally developed in Japanese management. The Kaizen system in human resource management is an additional form of staff motivation, in the event of achievement of certain results of the organization as a whole or its specific division, and also taking into account the individual contribution of the employee to the final results. The Kaizen system focuses on the quality of personnel, because the quality of products and services depends on the personnel. This system involves in the process of improving every employee – from the leader of the highest level, to the ordinary employee. Every employee of the organization suggests small improvements on a regular basis. Proposals are made not sporadically for a month or a year, but constantly. Most of them are not global in nature, but are some minor improvements. This is the essence of the Kaizen system – a large number of small, insignificant improvements leads to a significant improvement in quality (Stone et al., 2010).
Kaizen system is based on five key elements. In order for it to work normally and be an effective tool for improving quality, the organization needs to create conditions for their implementation. These key elements are:
- Teamwork – all employees must work as a team to achieve a common goal and the desired improvement in performance;
- Self-Discipline – Kaizen requires each employee to increase their self-discipline in all aspects of labor;
- Improved Morale – regardless of whether the company succeeds in implementing the changes or not, staff should strive to maintain high morale;
- Quality Circles – information sharing and interaction within the quality circles allows employees to evaluate the effectiveness of their work based on comparison with the work of others, and thus try to improve their work;
- Improvement Suggestions – give employees the opportunity to freely offer improvements regardless of the rank held in the management system.
A key factor in a company using Kaizen is attention to the management process. Companies that use Kaizen, like any other, are equally eager to get financial results, but they are guided by the following consideration: if the processes in the company are normal, if they are designed to stimulate employee involvement, then the desired results will come inevitably.
Second model is ‘Overcoming Resistance to Change’ by Kotter and Schlesinger. Strategic changes promise much to some people in the organization in terms of career and professional growth prospects and threaten others who may fear losing their position in the organizational hierarchy or lose their position altogether. Therefore, people in organizations respond to the prospects for strategic change in different ways: some of them become active supporters, others – opponents. Groups facing the need for change face the prospect of changing informal connections, communication channels, behavioral stereotypes and norms. Therefore, they respond easily to calls for resistance to change. Resistance to change by individuals and groups can often be the only and yet powerful force holding back the development of an organization (Coetsee, 1999).
Kotter and Schlesinger offer six approaches to deal with personnel’s resistance to organizational change:
- Education and Communication. Getting an idea of the upcoming strategic changes helps to realize the need for these changes and their logic. The information process may include one-on-one discussions, group workshops or reports.
- Participation and Involvement. If strategists involve potential opponents of the strategy at the planning stage, then they can often avoid resistance. In an effort to get involved in the implementation of strategic changes, their initiators listen to the opinions of the staff involved in this strategy, and subsequently use their advice.
- Facilitation and Support. Support can be provided as an opportunity to learn new skills, free time for employees to learn, just to be heard and get emotional support.
- Negotiation and Agreement. Providing incentives to active or potential opponents of change.
- Manipulation and Co-optation. Manipulations in this case involve the selective use of information and the conscious presentation of events in a certain order advantageous to the initiator of the changes.
- Explicit and Implicit Coercion. Forcing people to reconcile with strategic changes through a hidden or overt threat, or through a real dismissal or transferring to lower-tier jobs.
Third model is the theory of team roles by Raymond Belbin. It is based on the fact that any organization should take advantage of teamwork, where everyone plays only their own role. An important condition for the successful functioning of the team is its clear structure. Then each team member performs his own duties, does not interfere with the other, and at the same time all areas of activity are occupied (Driskell, 2017).
Belbin believed, that nine roles have to be present in the team:
- Chairman – a confident person who uses all his experience in business and clarifies goals, encourages decision making and distributes tasks;
- Teamworker – a cooperative person, who acts softly and diplomatically and is perceptive in nature, listens carefully, builds relationships and eliminates tensions;
- Resource investigator – enthusiastic, sociable extrovert, exploring opportunities and building contacts, which he believes can be useful at some stage;
- Plant – is a creative person with a rich imagination, sometimes too much, and able to offer new ideas;
- Monitor Evaluator – thinks clearly and knows how to track the dynamics of progress towards the goal, studies all options and gives reasonable judgments;
- Specialist – a focused person who knows how to get to work, has rare knowledge and skills that he can share with others;
- Shaper – brings the dynamics to the work and due to the pressure provided contributes to success;
- Implementer – a disciplined, reliable, conservatively thinking and skillfully working person who implements ideas in practice;
- Completer/Finisher – a person who carefully, thoughtfully and responsibly does his job to achieve the best results in time.
By receiving profiles of each team member and understanding which roles (one or more) he or she can play, we can see how all positions in the team are closed, whether there are areas that are closed several times, and those for which there are not enough people.
Even though all three of these models serve different purposes and deal with different problems, they have a common goal. These three models are aimed to help achieve full realization of labor and creative potential which leads to overall economic success and meeting the personal needs of employees. In this case it is done through management by motivation, objectives, delegation and ensuring the implementation through solving the resistance. In other words, they complement each other and help solve several shared and individual problems.
Kaizen cannot succeed in an organization with bureaucratic thinking, filled with rules and procedures, and people who will resist any changes. Kaizen’s strategy will also not work where change is punishable and blocked, formally or unofficially, eradicating any improvement initiatives. Thus, for the introduction of Kaizen technology in the enterprise, there may be a reluctance of employees to change something. They would be much more satisfied with the performance of their duties and nothing more. In this case, model for overcoming resistance to change of Kotter and Schlesinger ensures the implementation of the Kaizen model.
The model ‘Overcoming Resistance to Change’ by Kotter and Schlesinger itself is not perfect and every approach has its own drawback. So, the most common mistake of managers is to use only one or a limited number of approaches regardless of the situation. Successful implementation of the strategy in an organization is always characterized by the skillful application of a number of the listed approaches, often in various combinations. However, successful implementation is characterized by two features: managers use these approaches based on their strengths and weaknesses and realistically assess the situation – this is where Belbin’s delegation of roles can be very important and helpful.
Belbin’s ‘Team Roles’ does not address the important issue of interpersonal relationships that exist within a team. Many teams that look exemplary only on paper cannot function normally in real life, since in practice there is no proper coordination in the actions of their members. In this case, Kaizen can be helpful by ensuring that teamwork, self-discipline, improved morale, quality circles and improvement suggestions are present. This is where the cycle of these three models closes.
Overall, although three models discussed in this paper serve different purposes, Belbin’s model, Kotter and Schlesinger’s approaches and Japanese ideology of Kaizen complement each other and have an overall similar goal, which is to help achieve full realization of labor and creative potential and consequently improve company’s performance and results.
- Bhatnagar, J., & Sharma, A. (2004). The Four Pillars of the Proposed Strategic HRM
- Dimensions Model. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 40(1), 95-113. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.ranepa.ru:3561/stable/27767940
- Coetsee, L. (1999). From Resistance to Commitment. Public Administration
- Quarterly, 23(2), 204-222. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.ranepa.ru:3561/stable/40861780
- Driskell, T., Driskell, J. E., Shawn Burke, C., & Salas, E. (2017). Team Roles: A Review and Integration. Small Group Research, 48(4), 482-511. https://doi.org/10.1177/1046496417711529
- Stone, K. B. (2010). Kaizen Teams: Integrated HRD Practices for Successful Team Building. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 12(1), 61–77. https://doi.org/10.1177/1523422310365333
- Wright, P. M., & McMahan, G. C. (1992). Theoretical Perspectives for Strategic Human Resource Management. Journal of Management, 18(2), 295–320. https://doi.org/10.1177/014920639201800205