IRHR2270 Introduction To Human Resource Management

IRHR2270 Introduction To Human Resource Management

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IRHR2270 Introduction To Human Resource Management

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IRHR2270 Introduction To Human Resource Management

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Course Code: IRHR2270
University: The University Of Newcastle is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


Thinking about the complexities of the real-life situation presented in the case study address the following four questions:
Issue 1. Identification of HR sustainability initiatives
Consider what human resource sustainability initiatives have been implemented by the case organisation. What makes you class them as human resource sustainability initiatives? For this first issue, you need to identify two or three initiatives to focus upon. Do not discuss the benefits of the initiatives but rather focus your attention on expressing to your reader why each of the initiatives you have identified can be regarded as a human resource sustainability initiative (use literature to support your argument). You will be able to explain the actual initiatives and their benefits when addressing issue three.
Issue 2. Authenticity of the identified HR sustainability initiatives
Are the human resource sustainability initiatives identified in issue one ‘authentic’? Consider the extent to which the case organisation is being authentic or genuine in their efforts. Does an initiative create value and benefits for the organisation’s human resources as well as improving the business? When analysing the authenticity of each initiative you must support your argument using the literature. Sources should be used to enhance and support your idea or reason, meaning the sources need to be integrated into the paper. Every time source material is used, it must be analysed to form your own critical argument.
Issue 3. Contribution of initiatives to enhancing positive social & human outcomes for the case organisation’s human resourcesFrom having considered issues 1 and 2 you should already be aware of what the sustainability initiatives are and how authentic the organisation is when it comes to the inclusion of the initiatives. Now for issue 3 you need to consider if any of the human resource sustainability initiatives already identified in issue 1 actually contribute to enhancing positive social and human outcomes for the case organisation’s human resources. You should not identify any new sustainability initiatives but rather analyse how those initiatives identified in issue 1 do or do not contribute to enhancing positive social and human outcomes for the case organisation’s human resources.
Issue 4. How outcomes might differ for the similar initiatives in a different business context
Issue 4 requires you to consider how the same sustainability initiatives you identified in issue 1 might differ if they were implemented in a different business context (SME, NFP, Public, Private). For example, ifyou identified a large private, for profit organisation as having a corporate volunteering policy as one of their initiatives whereby they provide their employees with time away from work to help support local community activities, you could than consider if such an initiative would be feasible in a small or medium sized organisation or in a not for profit. Hence you are considering the transferability of your identified initiatives and their feasibility in a different business context, not between different companies.


Nike is one of the world’s largest sports and apparel brands that have dominated the world market for a very long time. However, being a company of such a large stature also gives Nike the corporate responsibility of maintaining a social and sustainable outlook for the benefit of the society (Kramar 2014). Sustainability can be achieved from different perspectives such as environmental, social and economic stability. Tackling these aspects requires different approaches and different theories. This discussion will focus on the social part of the sustainable responsibility that Nike has undertaken over the years to improve the lives of its employees. These includes the maintenance of a friendly work-culture and the implementation of an infrastructure, which supports the development, and nourishment of the employees. The discussion thus focuses on four aspects that has been identified on a case study of Nike and elaborates the practices and their subsequent analysis that highlights the development of social sustainability through proper human resource management.
Issue 1:
Nike has been trying to develop better human resource sustainability. In the process, Nike developed two sustainable policies in 2009. The first initiative involved giving its Corporate Responsibility (CR) team additional responsibilities in the corporate decision-making process. The second initiative saw the company develop multiple index system to rate its sustainability policies and the practices that involved its partner manufacturers.
The additional responsibilities of the CR team was a good move as unlike the earlier process which involved the CR team to just monitor the sustainability issues they were given a more pro-active role. This role included them to play a major role in influencing the decision-making processes which included the identification of the manufacturing and labour problems. The aim of the initiative is to put the problems of the labour in the prime focus of the sustainable development process.
The second responsibility, which involves the development of indexes for the measurement of the sustainability processes, focuses on the better development of innovative ideas, which can enhance the sustainability of the organization. The indexes focus on several factors such as the waste products, water consumption, labour and energy. However, if human resource sustainability is to be considered, this initiative measures the amount of benefits that are given to the labours in the manufacturing process. This can help in the further determination of advanced labour laws which will to improve their work-culture in the future. This can also determine the value of the labour in the company’s regulations and determine the factors on which development is required. Furthermore, its essentiality is measured by its potential of scaling the social impact and determining the negative and positive impacts of the policy (Jackson, Schuler & Jiang 2014). Lastly, the indexes can also help in determining the relationship with the partner manufacturers, and how their activities can influence the company’s human resource policies.
Issue 2:
As has been discussed in the case study, the promotion of the CR department reflects Nike’s goodwill cause to ensure the beneficial factors of the sustainability quotient. Before the initiative, the different departments developed their policies according to their requirements, but the emergence of the importance of the CR department puts an over watcher over the other departments. According to Briscoe, Tarique and Schuler (2012), it is essential for a governing body to understand the human resource practices and their requirements and advise the departments to alter their policies accordingly. This not only benefits the sustainable development of the human resources but also keeps in consideration the benefits of the company. On the contrary, it can be argued that too much power to a certain body might make the other departments insignificant, but in the true sense of the initiative, the CR department can play a more significant role. According to Buller and McEvoy (2012), if the labour practices are taken up as a challenge, then the CR department can usually do an analysis of the human rights and put the right elements in consideration so that the perpetual problems stop to continue in the future.
Similarly, multiple indexing too has its authenticity towards the sustainable development of the human resource policies in Nike. Several labour practices, which generalize into the development of advantageous labour policies for the benefits of the work force, have often been found out to be disastrous for the company in the long run. Thus it is essential for the company to have broader outlook which can help to achieve a balanced development. Sustainable development means an all-round development. As has been suggested by Jiang, Lepak, Hu and Baer (2012), rising of wages for the labours might be a temporary solution for the company, but if the problem is viewed in a broader outlook, it can be seen that in the future it can lead the company to outsource jobs in the future. This can bring an economic slowdown for both the local workers and the local economy at the same time.
Issue 3:
Over the years since it development Nike’s CR team has been performing well to enhance the working conditions of the labours in the Nike manufacturing units. Besides these, the Nike CR team has taken several steps in developing advanced policies, which has checked the overuse of harmful chemicals in the Nike factories. This aspect has ensured the safety of the labourers and has ensured sustainability of the environmental development (Jabbour & de Sousa Jabbour 2016). Moreover, with the recommendations of the CR team Nike has further developed teams for environmental management which has particularly looked after the matters of environmental sustainability.
According to Renwick, Redman and Maguire (2013), as the sustainability factors are related to each other, environmental sustainability has also indirectly affected the human resource sustainability issues. Removing the harmful chemicals from the factory has led to a better working environment for the labours. This aspect has improved the working conditions in the Nike manufacturing units and has led to the retention of more numbers of labours.
There have always been arguments from different non-profit organizations that Nike does not maintain the minimum wages for the labours. However, Nike and its partner manufacturing units have always stressed that they provide the minimum wages to its labours according to the country they live in. Nevertheless, despite the statements by Nike, it was never clear whether the labours actually received the minimum wage for supporting their basic lifestyle (Paillé, Chen, Boiral & Jin 2014). However, with the development of the CR team and the measurement index, it was possible for the teams to deeply understand the requirements of the labours. These developments of the sustainable growths have led the CR team to develop new policies which has enhanced the relationship between the company and the labours and has ensured that they receive wages according to their basic requirements and are not deprived of any privileges.
The CR team has also developed several training programs in the manufacturing units for the labours to develop their talents and in the process increase the productivity of the company. Moreover, training and development also increases the potentials of the labour which can open new job roles for the. This training and development can also lead to the increase in their wages and provide a better life for them (Brewster, Chung & Sparrow 2016). Hence, it can be seen that the initiatives by Nike has affected the human resource sustainability in a positive manner and has changed the lives of the labours in the manufacturing units of Nike.
Issue 4:
The aspects of the human resource sustainability that has been identified in the Issues 1 and 2 highlight how the CR team of Nike has worked to develop the life of the labours by implementing different policies and development ideas. There have been policies such as developing the environmental factors which has enhanced the working conditions of the labours. Similarly, here have been several other policies such as wage determination and training and development which have ensured that the labours contribute according to their talent and be paid accordingly so that they can lead a sustainable life. If these similar policies are applied in a small scale private industry then it can have a similar effect. For example, if the chosen company is a small scale manufacturing unit, then the similar issues such as environmental or the training and development of the labours can throw a similar challenge. If the chosen company identifies the environmental factors and reduces them, then the company can provide a better working environment for the human resources (Ehnert & Harry 2012). Similarly, though the number of workers is less in a small scale industry than that of Nike, the company can organise training and development for its workers who can develop their skills. Better skills can promote the work experience and lead to higher wages, which can provide a better life for the labours.
The above discussion highlights the key factors of the human resource policies and the sustainable development that has been adopted by Nike. Being one of the largest sport and apparel brands in the world, it was their corporate responsibility to develop sustainable human resource practices. Hence they developed an advanced CR team to monitor and analyse the different factors affecting the lives of the labours in the manufacturing units and develop sustainable policies in order to provide a better work experience for them. The different aspects and the development in all these years have proved that Nike has been successful in developing sustainable policies for the employees.
Brewster, C., Chung, C. & Sparrow, P., 2016. Globalizing human resource management. Routledge.
Briscoe, D., Tarique, I. & Schuler, R., 2012. International human resource management: Policies and practices for multinational enterprises. Routledge.
Buller, P.F. & McEvoy, G.M., 2012. Strategy, human resource management and performance: Sharpening line of sight. Human resource management review, 22(1), pp.43-56.
Ehnert, I. & Harry, W., 2012. Recent developments and future prospects on sustainable human resource management: Introduction to the special issue. Management revue, pp.221-238.
Jabbour, C.J.C. & de Sousa Jabbour, A.B.L., 2016. Green human resource management and green supply chain management: Linking two emerging agendas. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, pp.1824-1833.
Jackson, S.E., Schuler, R.S. & Jiang, K., 2014. An aspirational framework for strategic human resource management. The Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), pp.1-56.
Jiang, K., Lepak, D.P., Hu, J. & Baer, J.C., 2012. How does human resource management influence organizational outcomes? A meta-analytic investigation of mediating mechanisms. Academy of management Journal, 55(6), pp.1264-1294.
Kramar, R., 2014. Beyond strategic human resource management: is sustainable human resource management the next approach?. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(8), pp.1069-1089.
Paillé, P., Chen, Y., Boiral, O. & Jin, J., 2014. The impact of human resource management on environmental performance: An employee-level study. Journal of Business Ethics, 121(3), pp.451-466.
Renwick, D.W., Redman, T. & Maguire, S., 2013. Green human resource management: A review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 15(1), pp.1-14.

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