Strategic HR functions and firm performance Essay

By February 15, 2019Academic Papers




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Find out: Your assessment

Assessment brief

Assessment guidance

This section offers guidance on each area of the assessment brief.

Question 1

·       Analyse how the HR function varies between organisations. Include a comparison of HR delivery in different sectors and organisations of different sizes.

Assessment criteria 2.2 Analyse how the HR function varies between organisations in different sectors and of different sizes.


Here, you need to briefly introduce your chosen organisation then describe the HR function within it. You should underpin this with models and theories of HR and compare your chosen overview to organisations of different sizes and sectors. You can be general here or use examples of specific organisations.



Question 2

a.     Provide three examples of organisational objectives that the HR function is responsible for delivering and briefly explain how these have evolved over time.

b.     HR objectives can be delivered in many ways. Provide a brief summary of two significant methods.

Assessment criteria 1.1 Summarise the organisational objectives that the HR function is responsible for delivering and how these are evolving in contemporary organisations.

Assessment criteria 2.1 Explain the different ways in which HR objectives can be delivered in organisations.


The first part of this question requires you to describe three key objectives that your HR function has main responsibility for. For example, if an objective of the organisation is to improve absence rates, you would provide an overview of HR’s role in the success of this. You also need consider how these have evolved/are evolving in the organisation.

The second part of this question is more general and requires you to explain at least two different ways that HR objectives can be delivered. Consider the advantages/disadvantages of examples such as shared services, outsourcing or HRBP.



Question 3

·       Describe HR’s contribution to business ethics. Include reasons and ways that the HR function acts in a professional and fair manner.

Assessment criteria 1.3 Evaluate the business case for managing HR in a professional, ethical and just manner.


Here, you need to explain how HR is involved in/or responsible for ensuring ethical business practice. Also, consider how and why HR should be professional and fair at all times. You could support this with a workplace example.



Question 4

·       Provide a short description of at least two major theories of change management.

Briefly describe an example of change in the organisation and apply one of the theories – including some evaluation of the process, outcome and impact.

Assessment criteria 1.2 Explain the major theories of effective change management and how these are implemented and evaluated.


Select and describe two major theories of change management, e.g. Lewin or Kotter. Select one of the theories and illustrate it in practical sense – you can use a hypothetical scenario here or a workplace example. Include evaluation, an overview of the outcome and the overall impact.



Question 5

·       You are planning to produce an evidential report highlighting the HR function’s contribution to organisation success and development. Provide a brief summary of the criteria and organisational data that could be included and how it would be analysed.

Assessment criteria 3.1 Discuss the main criteria and methods used to evaluate the contribution of the HR function.


Here, you need to consider how you can evidence HR’s contribution to success. What criteria/data can you select within the organisation that can show this? Provide a summary of a range of different types of information and explain how they would be presented and analysed, within a hypothetical report, to clearly provide this information. You could include benchmarking data, balanced scorecard, SLAs, KPIs, metrics etc.



Question 6

a.     Read the article provided below: It identifies and evaluates research evidence linking HR practices with positive organisational outcomes. Briefly summarise the findings and evaluate its validity, reliability and persuasiveness.

b.     Explain how high-performance working and investment in human capital can impact on organisational success and performance. Does the article support this?

Assessment criteria 4.1 Identify and evaluate research evidence linking HR practices with positive organisational outcomes.

Assessment criteria 4.2 Explain how high-performance working and investment in human capital impact on organisational practice.


Here, you need to evaluate the research and state why it is valid, whether you agree with the findings, whether the article was sufficiently useful, and the quality, in your view, of the document.  You need to consider how the article has linked HR practice with positive organisational outcomes. Remember to summarise the main findings and comment on the persuasiveness of the findings. Examples might include the link between high-performance working, effective HR services, human capital, and/or building organisational capability.

We will be looking for a critical evaluation of the content and findings of the document, and then a clear explanation of the impact of high-performance working and human capital investment on organisations.



Evidence to be produced/required

Written answers for each of the six activities of 4000 words in total

You should relate academic concepts, theories and professional practice to the way organisations operate, in a critical and informed way, and with reference to key texts, articles and other publications and by using organisational examples for illustration.

All reference sources should be acknowledged correctly and a bibliography provided where appropriate (these should be excluded from the word count).

Article for selection

Below is the article that can be used for Question 6:

Strategic HR functions and firm performance: The moderating effects of high-involvement work practices


Originally posted 2018-05-15 11:13:46.



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