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COMMGMT7006 People And Organisations

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COMMGMT7006 People And Organisations

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COMMGMT7006 People And Organisations

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Course Code: COMMGMT7006
University: The University Of Adelaide is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


Critically analyse the following three (3) questions.  You will select relevant theories and workplace examples (note: students are encouraged to use their own workplace experiences and examples) to provide a set of well supported recommendations:

As a HR manager, you will often will often be required to resolve conflicts. What training would you provide to newly formed teams to promote functional rather than dysfunctional conflict?
It is becoming more and more evident that ethical organisational behaviour is key to organisational performance. As a HR manager, how would you promote and sustain an ethical organisational culture?
Negotiations are a key business activity. As a HR manager, what negotiation preparation strategy would you put in place to achieve optimal outcomes? 


The role of human resource management (HRM) in multinational companies is much complex than in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The complexity is broadly due to the effect of globalization that created a scenario in which the HRM is not just confined to one nation but rather to multiple countries. The HRM of the contemporary world needs to deal with people from different cultures and languages. The workplace diversity, which is due to the globalization, has produced both positive and negative aspects for the HRM (Al Ariss, Cascio and Paauwe 2014). The main purpose of this assignment is to answer three different questions related to the HRM. 
Conflict Management 
Conflicts can be both good or bad and functional or dysfunctional depending on the types of conflict. An ideal human resource manager in context to the conflicts would be the person that bears capabilities to understand whether the conflict is functional or dysfunctional. Additionally, the person must also be aware with strategies to be used to deal with either kind of a conflict. Hence, the international HRM must be able to identify the conflict and be also able to deal with it to minimize possible risks of loss to the operational output and use it for producing innovating ideas (Bélanger et al. 2015).
Positive or Functional Conflicts:-
Positive conflicts as stated earlier is good for the operation. Positive conflicts can be of various kinds such as “debating the pros and cons of ideas”, “employee feedback” and others. When team members have good bonding with each other, they feel free to share their opinions on a matter. It is the situation that promotes brainstorming meetings, which are good resources to generate valuable ideas. In the context of the debate, HR managers must need to learn ideas and implementation strategies to create and promote a debating environment. It is required to encourage everybody participating in the debating sessions. Some employees may be very expressive with their different ideas of a topic in concern whereas the few others may not, due to many reasons such as ‘feeling shy to share’. In such a situation, the HR manager needs to give equal chances to all participant with set time limits. This will help those who shy away from exchanging their views to speak. ‘Employee feedback’ is another good way to engage employees in active dialogues. This is also a kind of positive conflict, which is beneficial in knowledge generation in employees and in operational outcomes (Kim and Krishna 2017). 
Negative or Dysfunctional Conflicts:-
Petty arguments and verbally disagreeing with HR leadership are a few types of negative conflicts. Petty arguments can take place for many reasons such as disagreement between two groups or people over political and religious topics etc. Such situations are never fruitful for the productivity of team’s and organizational performance. HR managers need to have an adequate understanding of such issues and ways to mitigate and control those circumstances. HR managers those who are equipped with leadership skills inspire a culture in which employees hold the vision, mission and goals of organizations. However, it is not that easy to encourage such cultures. Some employees may disagree on a decision or a set of decisions. This is safer until employees do not get hostile towards the company’s decision. A hostile attitude towards a decision is a kind of negative conflict (Salas et al. 2015).    
Training to Promote Functional Conflicts
Promoting functional conflicts is a good way to reduce the occurrence of negative conflicts in organizations. There is indeed no better way than the training to promote positive conflicts at the organizational level. Now, the role of HR manager will be tested here for the learning theory that the manager uses to design the training. There are commonly many types of learning theories such as constructivist learning theory, transformational learning theory and cognitivist learning theory.
In the context of the conflict, the ‘Cognitivist theory of learning’ can be helpful. The theory focusses on improving mental processes in employees such as memory, thinking, knowing and problem-solving. Cognitivism helps to explore the inner capabilities, which is the one-way employees can be prepared for understanding the importance of possessing signs of positive conflicts (Richard 2015). 
The theory will not alone help the HR managers in a training design for promoting positive conflicts at the organizational level. Referring to a case study with a successful implementation of the theory is an additional requirement for the training design. For example, the US-based company “Aventr” manages conflicts by encouraging its staffs to work on their capabilities to reflect on situations to reduce generalized assumptions. There are high chances for generalized assumptions to be negative. In such situations, generalized assumptions against colleagues and members of other teams can seriously affect the operational productivity (Aventr 2018).
Hence, the training to promote functional conflicts in newly formed batches in organizations should focus on making employees realize the situation understanding capabilities in them and avoid being a part of generalized assumptions. The training will additionally talk about a few important factors. These are (Lê and Jarzabkowski 2015):

Talking about “empathy” in the training as it guides individuals to be careful with their words and recognizing others’ point of views also
Highlighting the importance of sticking with self-respect
Encouraging employees to maintain an open communication with someone they had conflicts in past. This will ensure that similar things are not repeated.

Ways to promote and sustain an ethical organizational culture  
According to the “Triple Bottom Line” approach, a business is considered to have reached the sustainability stage when it is capable in fulfilling the requirements of the planet, the people and the profit (Sarkis and Dhavale 2015). However, examples of firms successfully attaining the different levels of the TBL are very few. There are many reasons why many organizations find this challenging such as an incapable HRM. Instead, the HRM equipped with needful resources and skills can influence the operation at three different levels of the TBL such as financial, people and the environment the business operates in. There are some reasons why these HR managers are so successful in helping their firms to achieve their sustainability goals. Such rare HR managers use the “Power of Reframing” to identify the best talent pool and managers for the company. Additionally, they also contribute to the making of an ethical organizational culture by designing policies for different organizational functions like recruitment and appraisal (Huhtala et al. 2015).
Power of Reframing
The “power of reframing” can be considered a process to acquire the people and the system to mitigate pressures for change and to promote and sustain an ethical organizational culture. The contemporary HRM is under continuous pressures for change due to the economic shift, globalization, workplace diversity and emergence of technologies (Bolman and Deal 2017). Sticking with the existing policies in these circumstances is not a reliable move to continue with. There are rather needs for a change in policies and procedures along with the entire functioning domains of the HRM. The power of reframing is a way to address these changes. It means to view situations from a number of perspectives. The power of reframing can be introduced to different domains in organizations such as the human resource frame, political frame, structural frame etc. Since the question is related to the role of HRM in promoting and sustaining an ethical organizational culture, the study will stick just with the ‘human resource frame’. 
Henkel AG is one of the few companies to constantly rank in a list of best companies to maintain an ethical culture. The company promotes an adherence to ethics through various programs like the culture of ethics, programs based on ethics and compliance issues, CSR works, ethical governance and innovation. The company addresses a number of environmental and social challenges that occur along its value chain. Henkel clarifies one thing that businesses existing in this world need to make sustainability practices as one of their crucial agendas ( 2018).
In the light of what the ‘power of reframing’ says and the information gathered from a brief discussion on how Henkel manages to be in the list of companies being recognized as ethical leaders, an ethical organizational culture can be developed following a few stages. These are (Ruiz-Palomino and Martínez-Cañas 2014):
HRM practices related to Ability-Enhancing:-
Professionals applying for jobs must be made aware of materials containing an ethical code of conducts, legal compliance, ethical hazards and others specific to the organization. This will communicate the ethical standards, which fresh professionals will need to adhere to.
To train professionals on organizational values to let them exposed to the mission, vision, and goals. One of the focus areas of the training will be to teach employees the art of communicating and engaging with stakeholders. Moreover, they will be encouraged to avoid their tendency to go for generalized assumptions as these are one of the resources to dysfunctional conflicts in organizations.
Encouraging managers and employees to take part in ethical leadership programs and pieces of training aimed at delivering organizational ethical values. 
HRM practices related to Motivation-Enhancing:-
Performance evaluations should not just be aimed at assessing employees on outcome-based goals but also on behavior-based. In this regard, one thing can be done, which is to link variable pay and bonuses with the ethical behavior. The ethical behavior should be judged on the basis of objectives set for social performance. Promoting awards for embracing good moral behaviors will also act as the motivating factor towards the fulfillment of organizational ethical values. On the other hand, strict actions against the breaching of ethical standards will also do the needful.
HRM practices related to Opportunity-Enhancing:-
Efforts need to be given to job-design to promote an adherence to ethical policies. Encouraging employees to participate in decision-making when the organization comes across ethical problems. Taking suggestions from employees while redesigning the job can also be a handful approach towards ensuring an ethical organizational culture. “Employee surveys” is also a good approach to monitor adherence to ethics on the practical ground. Employees need to be encouraged on activities such as reporting cases of unethical behaviors to the concerned person.
Negotiation preparation strategy for HRM
Negotiation is a very important part of the business. It is needed at the time of recruitment for negotiating the salaries. It plays an important role in attempting to manage conflicts in the company. It helps to reduce the restraining forces of implementation. There are many types of negotiation preparation strategies, which are commonly being used in organizations across the globe. These are as follows (Farndale et al. 2014):

Win-Lose Approach also called a Distributive Negotiation
Lose-Lose Approach
Compromise Approach
Win-Win Approach that is also called as Integrative Negotiation

However, all those strategies cannot be implemented in the one single company. Instead, the HR manager in a company needs to identify the best negotiation preparation strategy to put into place to yield maximum satisfaction for both the company and its employees. 
An integrative negotiation is the most superior of all approaches for negotiation preparation. This approach can also be termed as a collaborative approach where both parties feel like they have achieved, what they wanted. Few of its characteristics include such as maximizing the application of joint outcomes, exchange of information and a co-operative approach towards problem-solving.
In summary, this can be said that contemporary HR managers are not just about taking care of designing jobs and the training. Instead, they are required to take care of a much wider responsibilities ranging from conflict management to developing an ethical organizational culture and to the negotiation preparation strategy. All these responsibilities are very challenging and require a masterpiece work influenced by relevant and feasible theories and successful case examples for an effective handling. Therefore, the HR manager must focus on learning from theories and practices with regard to three of critical HRM tasks such as managing conflicts, promoting ethics in organizations and adapting to the best and feasible preparation strategy for negotiation. 
Al Ariss, A., Cascio, W.F. and Paauwe, J., 2014. Talent management: Current theories and future research directions. Journal of World Business, 49(2), pp.173-179.
Aventr 2018. Happster: Employee Engagement Software. [online] Aventr. Available at: [Accessed 21 Oct. 2018].
Bélanger, J.J., Pierro, A., Barbieri, B., De Carlo, N.A., Falco, A. and Kruglanski, A.W., 2015. Handling conflict at work: The role of fit between subordinates’ need for closure and supervisors’ power tactics. International Journal of Conflict Management, 26(1), pp.25-43.
Bolman, L.G. and Deal, T.E., 2017. Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.
Farndale, E., Pai, A., Sparrow, P. and Scullion, H., 2014. Balancing individual and organizational goals in global talent management: A mutual-benefits perspective. Journal of World Business, 49(2), pp.204-214. 2018. Henkel is honored among “World’s Most Ethical Companies” 2016. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Oct. 2018].
Huhtala, M., Tolvanen, A., Mauno, S. and Feldt, T., 2015. The associations between ethical organizational culture, burnout, and engagement: A multilevel study. Journal of Business and Psychology, 30(2), pp.399-414.
Kim, S. and Krishna, A., 2017. Bridging strategy versus buffering strategy: enhancing crisis management capability in public management for relational and reputational improvement, and conflict avoidance. Asian Journal of Communication, 27(5), pp.517-535.
Lê, J.K. and Jarzabkowski, P.A., 2015. The role of task and process conflict in strategizing. British Journal of Management, 26(3), pp.439-462.
Richard, J.A., 2015. Understanding Theories of Learning. Int J Multidiscip Res Mod Educ, 1, pp.343-347.
Ruiz-Palomino, P. and Martínez-Cañas, R., 2014. Ethical culture, ethical intent, and organizational citizenship behavior: The moderating and mediating role of person–organization fit. Journal of business ethics, 120(1), pp.95-108.
Salas, E., Shuffler, M.L., Thayer, A.L., Bedwell, W.L. and Lazzara, E.H., 2015. Understanding and improving teamwork in organizations: A scientifically based practical guide. Human Resource Management, 54(4), pp.599-622.
Sarkis, J. and Dhavale, D.G., 2015. Supplier selection for sustainable operations: A triple-bottom-line approach using a Bayesian framework. International Journal of Production Economics, 166, pp.177-191.

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