Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stimulating Innovation and Change

All the giants like Montgomery Ward Woolworth, Smith Corona, TWA, Bethlehem Steel, and WorldCom went out of action in business. Other giants, such as Sears, Boeing, and lucent Technologies implemented huge cost cutting programs and eliminated thousands of jobs to avoid going broke. Today’s successful organizations must foster innovation and master the art of change or they’ll become candidates for extinction. Victory will go to the organizations that maintain their flexibility, continually improve their quality, and beat their competition to the market place with a constant stream of innovative products and services. Domino’s single-handedly brought on the demise of thousands of small pizza parlors whose managers thought they could continue dong what they been doing for years. is putting a lot of independent bookstores out of business as it proves you can successfully sell books from an Internet Web site. Dell has become the world’s largest seller of computers by continually reinventing itself and outsmarting its competition.

An organization’s employees can be the impetus for innovation and change or they can be major stumbling block. The challenge for managers is to stimulate their employees’ creativity and tolerance for change. The field of OB provides a wealth of ideas and techniques to aid in realizing these goals.

Coping with “Temporariness”:

With change comes temporariness. Globalization, expanded capacity, and advances in technology have combined in recent years to make it imperative that organizations be fast and flexible if they are to survive. The result is that most managers and employees today work in a climate best characterized as “temporary”.

Evidence of temporariness is everywhere in organizations. Jobs are continually being redesigned; tasks are increasingly being done by flexible teams rather than individuals; companies are relying more on temporary workers; jobs are being subcontracted out to other firms; and pensions are being redesigned to move with people as they change jobs.

Workers need to continually update their knowledge and skills to perform new job requirements. For example, production employees at companies such as caterpillar, Ford, and Alcoa now need to know how to operate computerized production equipment. That was not part of their job descriptions 20 years ago. Work groups are also increasingly in a state of flux. In the past, employees were assigned to a specific work group, and that assignment was relatively permanent. There was a considerable amount of security in working with the same people day in and day out. That predictability has been replaced by temporary work groups, teams that include members from different departments and whose members change all the time, and the increased use of employee rotation to fill constantly changing work assignments. Finally organizations themselves are in a state of flux. They continually reorganize their various divisions, sell off poor-performing businesses, downsize operations, subcontract non-critical services and operations to other organizations, and replace permanent employees with temporary workers.

Today’s managers and employees must learn to cope with temporariness they have to learn to live with flexibility spontaneity and unpredictability. The study of OB can provide important insights into helping in better understanding a work world of continual change, how to overcome resistance to change, and how best to create an organizational culture that thrives on change.Computerization, the Internet, and the ability to link computers within organizations and between organizations have created a different workplace for many employees – a networked. It allows people to communicate and work together though they may be thousands of miles apart. It also allows people to become independent contractors, who can telecommute via computer to workplaces around the globe and change employers as the demand for tier services changes. Software programs, graphic designers, system analysts, technical writers, photo researchers, book editors, and medical transcribes are a few examples of jobs that people can now perform from home or other non-office locations.

Ref: CiteHR

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