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Solution to the Problems of ABC Media: Clues Lie in Theories and Concepts of Motivation, Team Communication, Leadership and SHRM Essays

1.0. Introduction
Much in the mould of living beings, every organization has a life that needs to be maintained and nourished for its sustainable development. Thus these macro-humans too need care apropos their size and nature, as they too face problems, become hungry for future development, or turn spirited to achieve their desired outcomes. Here lies the significance of the theories on management of organizations, which help the management to underpin specific problems and recommend specific solution. For example, there are three types of common problems that can affect the sustenance and growth of the organizations, like (1) Individual Perception, (2) Group power and politics and (3) Organization culture. These problems can weaken the organization from within and thus organizations need to be alert to nip them in the bud. For that matter they can take a leaf or two from the prescribed antidotes by management theories, because it is the management theories that deal comprehensively with the management of the newfound capital of business, i.e., human capital.
Books like Competitive Strategy (Michael Porter, 1980) and Search of Excellence (Peters & Waterman, 1982), which are considered as instrumental in the development of the “resource-based view” can always come handy in tackling such situations. The theories too evolved with time, as the concept of resource-based view was further developed by the researchers like Wernerfelt (1984), before Barney and Wright (1998, pp. 31-46) gave it a comprehensive shape. Consequently, modern HRM views human capital as the prime component of competitive advantage (Boxall and Purcell, 2003; Pfeffer, 1998; Gratton, Hailey and Truss, 2000) and floated Strategic HRM, which is a “pattern of planned human resource deployments and activities intended to enable the firm to achieve its goals” (Wright and McMahan, 1992, p.295).
On the other hand, companies too have started believing the fact that “the key to a firm’s economic success can be attributed to the effective management of its human resources” (Huselid, 1995, pp. 635-672). Therefore, this paper applies “High-Performance Work System” (HPWS), a new avatar of HRM, along with theories of human behaviour to ABC MEDIA Company’s Print Division (PD) to search for a desired change.
Therefore, this essay explores the nuances of such problems under the light of management theories. In the process, it presents a real-time situation of a company that suffered from crises arising out of the above three issues, which in turn affected its effectiveness. In the end, a recommendation takes place, which takes HPWS (High-Performance Work System, a working module of Strategic HRM) as the suitable saviour, after discussion and analyses of the problem undertaken.
2.0. Background: The Company and Its Problem
ABC Media is a five-year old upcoming regional publication company of UK that ranks fourth in its local market. It is owned by a British national and it has five products in its market. Altogether it has three divisions in its fold, viz., Publication Division (PD), Creative Division (CD) and Administrative Division (AD). The names of the divisions are suggestive of their nature of functioning, though PD is attached with Marketing Division (MD) too.
ABC Media has its written vision and mission that promises to “Inform, Educate and Entertain, besides revealing the truth.” The company has altogether 80 Staff, of which PD contains 45 heads, CD contains 30 heads and AD contains the remaining 15 heads. While PD is responsible for publishing the entire content of the ABC Media besides looking after the marketing, CD creates the entire content of the products. AD, understandably, looks after the entire administration.
Due to the multicultural base of UK, the employees too belong to various origins, and so far no complaint was found regarding any culture-conflict among employees. However, the company off late is failing to make any headway, contrary to the expectation of its management, which has a target of achieving at least the second spot in the local print market. It does not have a separate HR department and therefore, to identify the problem, and therefore, the best way to underpin the problems of this company is to go through SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) and PEST (Political/Legal, Economic, Social and Technological factors) analysis, where SWOT would reveal its internal problem and PEST would indicate its external problem.
2.1. SWOT Analysis of ABC Media

The brand ABC MEDIA is well-known in its market.
It already has five years’ experience in the Print Media.
It has a steady sales growth record.
Salary is good.
Company is eager to improve the overall benefit of the employees.


There is severe communication gap between PD and CD, which often results in delayed or erroneous productions.
Slow Recruitment process and irregular training system, poor employee retention rate.
Poor interpersonal communication and poor recreational facility.
Managers are burdened with workload.
No performance appraisal and reward system.
Poor state of motivation and team-meetings.
No system of inter-departmental information and idea exchange.
No systematic upgrade of technology.
Its multicultural base can be advantageous for further expansion.
Readers’ feedback is good.
There is no dearth of funds, etc.
New competitors are emerging with newer technologies and fresh enthusiasm.
Price is becoming competitive.
There are two unions, one in PD and another CD, who are at loggerheads all the time.
Publication technology is changing rapidly.

Summary : SWOT shows that ABC Media is internally plagued by the problems in the following areas:
1.      Communication
2.      Regular training/Knowledge development
3.      Idea or information exchange
4.      Motivation
5.      Technological advancement.
To know about the external situation of the company, the essay goes for PEST analysis now:
2.2. PEST Analysis for ABC Media
It enjoys a stable political situation.
There is no history of company violating the labour law.
It has two registered unions who fight between themselves besides differing with management policies on many grounds.
It has experienced libel and damage suits for quite a few occasions.
Local and regional economy is affected due to global financial crisis.
Lack of coordination between PD and CD getting translated into financial loss.
Margin between profit and expenditure is getting narrowed.
Company is not in a position to exploit the opportunities offered by globalisation, as it lacks in manpower and skill, and it faces hurdles to implement newer skill-sets.
Sleazy magazines challenging its Women’s magazine.
Open differences between creative department and publication division is now known in the trade circles.
It is still sticking to old process of publishing that would definitely result in further loss.
Its competitors using more sophisticated equipments.
Employees are not interested to adopt new technology.

Summary: PEST too shows that the external problems of the company are stemming out of the areas like
1.      Communication
2.      Regular training/Knowledge development
3.      Idea or information exchange
4.      Motivation
5.      Technological advancement.
Therefore, ABC Media needs following solutions:
1.      It should change the Publication Division’s employees’ perception regarding unfair treatment, besides convincing them about the difference in the nature of jobs between CD and PD, where personnel of CD need to be consistently motivated to deliver constantly. This is specialized job, must be handled by HR department with specific module of SHRM that would introduce fair reward system and alongside would convince the employees of PD that CD employees need different kind of encouragement.
2.       To eliminate the group power and politics within CD, the company needs to stress on team communication, besides convincing the section of employees in CD about the necessity of special rewards to boost the creativity of an individual. This too is specialized job and must be handled by HR Department, which would train the employees to enhance team communication with active cooperation from leadership.
3.      The organization should abstain from considering one set of jobs as superior over the rest of the whole, and for that matter it should change its culture towards creating egalitarian environment in the workplace should take place. This would help in raising the motivation among the employees. This a leadership job, though it should work in tandem with HR department.
It can be seen that the problems mentioned above are stemming out of the following areas:
(1)   Individual Perception
(2)   Group power and politics
(3)   Organization culture.
Therefore, a detailed review of the above is necessary to find/create a package of solutions, and thus this essay resorts to that.
3.0. Individual perception
Employees belonging to PD are perceptive of unfair treatment to them in comparison with Creative Division, and that is greatly hampering their morale, because the unfair treatment is reflective in the asymmetry of company reward structure.
Perception is formed by belief and this is a part of motivation, which is guided by the intensity of human needs. Therefore, one needs to review the theories of motivation and mechanism of human mind to gather clear understanding about human perception. A brief take on motivation and the mechanism of human mind may be appropriate here.
3.1. Concepts of Motivation
Motivation is the real driving force of an individual as well as of an organization, where it requires a combined force of motivation. It is that inner string of any organization that culminates the human ability into a cohesive and cogent workforce. Therefore, this study tries to understand the mechanism of motivation on both the layers like individual and collective.
The core of motivation contains three elements like Consciousness, Inverted and Absent Qualia. These three together refer to the package of various mental states, where the consciousness has six major identifiable states like
1.      State of awareness: It is when someone is conscious of something (Rosenthal, 1986, pp. 329-359).
2.      Qualitative states: When someone senses something out of something like enjoying a meal or experiencing a pain. Such experiences are called “qualia”, and are regarded as “intrinsic, private, ineffable and nomadic features of experience, ” (Dennet, 1990, pp. 519-548).
3.      Phenomenal states: This is a state that involves more than sensory qualia, covering spatial, temporal and conceptual organization of experiences about the world and the person’s inference about it.
4.      What-it-is-like states: Associating a sense of experience with another.
5.      Access consciousness: It’s like seeing a thing and ideating something and then deciding on something, where there may or may not be any relationship among the above-said three stages.
6.      Narrative consciousness: This “stream of consciousness” contains a series of thoughts from the “perspective of an actual or merely virtual self” (Dennett, 1991).
Thus qualia is a personal set of intrinsic and intricate experiences, with which humans decipher various external signals and respond to them, where the nature of experience governs the nature of response. As for example, someone might prefer coffee to tea for no apparent reason. This trait is strongly related with intrinsic motivation. On the other hand, motivation is associated with rewards, which too has its routes in their perception,  and which pushes them to fulfil such desires. Therefore it can be said that both inverted qualia and absent qualia are coloured with those desires. Put into an imaginary diagram, the mechanism of human mind can look somewhat like below:
Figure – 1: Mechanism of Human Mind

To understand the desire structure of the humans, this study resorts to acclaimed theories on human needs.
3.1.1. Theory 1: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) provides an outline of human needs, which eventually serves as the guiding engine to human motivation.  Maslow’s model divides the human needs into five broad based categories and they are:
1. Physiological Needs: It enlists basic needs like Air, Water, Nourishment and Sleep.
2. Safety Needs: This involves the issue of sustenance.
3. Social Needs: Group activities, socialization, etc. creates a sense of belonging to the society.
4. Esteem Needs: It is like feeling big from within, as it involves individual accomplishments.
6.      Self-actualization: This is the ultimate plane of human desire where the quest of self-knowledge rules over everything. (Maslow, 1943, pp. 370-396).
In short, Maslow’s model of human need/desire looks like below:

Self Actualization
This is the most developed stage of human where they realize their potential and engage in temporal quest.
It deals with self and social recognition.
This involves desires related to human interaction, friendship or relationship, love, etc.
The desire to remain protected from dangers of all kinds
Basic needs like hunger, thirst, shelter.
Maslow’s Model
3.1.2. Theory 2: ERG
ERG theory is an improvised version of Maslow’s model, where its originator Clayton Alderfer emphasizes on the flexibility of the theory to accommodate unique conditions arriving out of different situations. The three pillars of this theory are:
Existence (E) – It deals with physiological and safety needs.
Relatedness (R) – It deals with social and external esteem needs.
Growth (G) – It deals with self-actualization and internal esteem needs (ERG, 2007).
3.1.3. Theory 3: Acquire Needs Theory
“Motivation of an individual can result from three dominant needs” and they are, “The Needs for Achievement, Power and Affiliation” observes David McClelland[1] (2007), the propagator of this theory. It has three segments like below:
1. The Need for Achievement: This refers to the hunger for extraordinary achievements.
2. The Need for Affiliation: This speaks of networking through effective interpersonal communication, besides the human craving for appreciation and recognition.
3. The Need for Power: This need has two categories like individual and institutional need for power, where humans want to direct and influence others in the first category and want to organize other’s efforts to win the goals for the company.
3.1.4. Theory 4: The Two- Factor Theory
Frederick Herzberg wanted to simplify the need structure of humans by framing them within “two factors” – Hygiene and Motivation, where satisfaction and psychological growth are result factors of motivation factors and dissatisfaction is a result of hygiene factors” (Two Factor, 2008).
1. Hygiene Factors: Herzberg lists quite a few components under this factor and suggests the organizations to consider them seriously to keep dissatisfaction away from the employees. These include factors like
Interpersonal relations # Working conditions #Good Company policies and administration # Quality of supervision

2. Motivation factors: Herzberg identifies the following elements as influential to employee motivation and thus, higher performance.

Responsibility for task

Job Interest

Advancement to higher-level tasks

This model lets one to judge the state of all these influential factors at a glance and calculate the possible cumulative effect of them on the employees.
3.1.5. Motivating Tools
The ways and means to motivate the employees can be many. However, the common ones among them are,
1. Rewards 2. Retention 3. Morale 5. Job-enrichment 6. Reinforcement
1. Rewards System: Rewards or recognition system has a great bearing on the emotional plane of humans. “Every behaviour comes out of ‘pain and gain’ principle”, says Shiv Khera (p110). Basically there are two types of rewards, extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards generate perceptions of external causation (Deci, 1975) by being mostly tangible in nature – money or object of desire.
Deci (1975) says that intrinsic rewards evoke a sense of personal causation – i.e., an inward mechanism serving as the guiding engine for the action, where its elements are usually intangible and working on the plane of one’s perception.
However, researchers like Guzzo, (1979, pp. 75-86) considers reward as a single instrument to derive desired response from the employees.
2. Retention: It highly motivates the employees, as “Retention is critical to the long term health and success of the company” (Heathfield, 2008).
3. Morale: The elements like praise, love and faith can charge up anyone under any circumstance.
4. Job Enrichment: It relates to the in-house grooming of the employees to become an expert in the related field.
5. Reinforcement. It’s actually a tool to control the employee behaviour (Positive, 2000), which binds the company activities together.
Altogether there are three factors that can keep employees motivated, and they are: Job Satisfaction, Goal-setting and Performance appraisals. These three elements boosts self-belief, and belief is a thought that causes the power of subconscious to be distributed into all phases of life (Murphy, 2001). These three factors carry this essay to the issue of reward system.
The reward structure of a company can be instrumental to fuel the employee cooperation, effort and overall satisfaction of all members of the company (Cacioppe 1999, pp. 322-331). This view is echoed by the researchers like Hackman (1997), Shea and Guzzo (1987], pp. 25-31), who prescribed to rewards with group activities. However, such a structure should keep in view the issue of optimizing the ability of the workforce as a whole, though it would operate on individual plane.
An ideal reward structure might look like below:

Figure – 2: Ideal Reward Structure
(Recreation of the version presented by Porter & Lawler 1968, and Hackman, 1973)
Discussion and debates on Impact of Extrinsic Reward
Out of the two types of rewards, extrinsic reward system might become a tool to control the will of the employees, though researchers like Hull (1943) and Skinner (1953) refute such allegations by explaining extrinsic reward as a direct link between stimulus and response. This view includes punishment as a stimulus too, besides subscribing to the power of stimulus.
However, Deci and Ryan (1985) used attribution theory and suggested that humans constantly reassess the reasons for their behaviours besides others. Before that, Lepper et al. (1973, pp. 129-137) had observed that reinforcement (extrinsic reward) generates two effects for the management, like gaining control over activity or fastening the process; two, the backlash effect in absence of reinforcement. The example below would explain it better:
A group or an individual gets a reward of x amount of money for a period y, where x+y=m, m being the increased rate of production. Before that, the situation was y=z where production was z. Now in the absence of reinforcement and with the influence of attribution theory, the situation would stand like y-x = n, where n < z.
From this perspective, the prevailing extrinsic reward system in ABC Media looks like a veiled threat to the organizations in more than one way. It has already created divisions among employees of PD and CD and even within CD, where this reward is being rampantly practiced and thus fostering group power and politics instead of developing team communication.
4.0. Group power and politics
The tendency of the management to award anyone at their whims and fancy has created group issues even within the Creative Division, as the privileged ones among them are forced to form a group.  This situation commands understanding about team communication.
4.1. Communication Theories
“Effective communication” is one ancient humane factor that still works as the life force of any organization. Thus theories on communication is nonetheless important for the companies to achieve their desired outcome. One such important theory is “Expectancy Value Theory”, founded by Martin Fishbein in the 1970-s, in which he suggested that people “mould themselves to the world in accordance with their expectations/beliefs and evaluations” (Expectancy, 2004)
Once the company acquires this vision, the following areas of communication at workplace would surely take a new course.
Intra-personal communication: Here the employees would operate from the perspective like “I’m an important organ of the society and thus I have more responsibility to meet its expectations.”
Communication with clients: There will be more patience and interest in communication with the clients.
Team Communication: There would be less conflict of ego or other minor areas of personal interests (like conflicts between PD and CD), because the sense of greater cause will influence all employees to align their approach towards the company-goal.
5.0. Organisation culture
There cannot be any doubt that the organization’s culture of holding the Creative Division in high esteem boils down to the above-mentioned package of problems. This issue indicates about the lack of quality leadership in ABC Media, who would be able to establish an egalitarian environment by practicing fair treatment to all of his/her followers. There is a plethora of leadership theories too, and in this case, the situation needs someone who would be able to transform the employees from their core; and thus, transformational leadership would be ideal in this situation. However, transformational leadership is considered slow in application by many, ad thus its new avatar, servant leadership can be most appropriate in this situation. Alongside, there should be a regular HRM, which would constantly work on this issue, by applying strategic human resource management module. However, before that the review of prevailing concepts/theories of organization and leadership/management is absolutely necessary.
5.1. General Concepts of Organization and Leadership/Management styles
The primary discussion on any organization cannot do without mentioning the nature of organization – i.e., whether it is mono-cultural or multicultural. While the nature of multicultural organization is easily understood that it contains people from various cultures, mono-cultural organizations can be of various natures, where they can both be moderate and extremist in their activities like religious organizations to provide medical relief to all or the terrorists who aim to destroy people of other religions. In general, mono-cultural organizations have room only for those who are totally aligned to their aims and objectives (d’Errico, 1990).
Apart from these, there can be undercover mono-cultural organizations in the veil of the multicultural organizations, or, there can be dominance of monoculture in a multicultural organization due to dominance of the members belonging to a particular culture. Regional branches of many multinational companies hold examples for that.
5.1.2. Resistance Issue
Conflicts are part of organisational life (Allen 1979; Handy, 1998), as people act in their own perceived self-interests (Palfrey et al. 1992). This is a common phenomenon in both “mechanistic” and “organic” organizations (Burns and Stalker, 1962), as there are various forms of power within organizations (French and Raven, 1968; Mullins 1999) that are deeply embedded within organisational systems (Hardy, 1995) and people use the term ‘power’ to mean various things (Lukes 1974, Hardy 1995). However, such resistances can be effectively diffused through certain measures as prescribed by the researchers (Paton and McCalman, 2000):
1.      Developing employee perception about change.
2.      Addressing their safety needs (Maslow 1943).
3.      Involving them in decision-making (Wright 1996; Senge 1990).
The political frame “views organisations as alive and dynamic political arenas that host a complex web of individual and group interests” (Bolman and Deal (1997 p. 163), and thus it attracts “Strategies of Influence” within organisations. Here comes the significance of the quality leadership to keep the organization from such vices. This aspect of modern leadership makes it a very special subject, as the organizations now function like complex, constantly changing, and organic pinball machines, where decisions, actors, plans, and issues continuously carom through an elastic and ever changing labyrinth of cushions, barriers, and traps. (Bolman and Deal,2003).
5.2. Basic Elements of Leadership
1. Effective Communication: Leadership should be able to influence and direct people towards the chosen direction (Leadership, 2008).
2. Vision: The leaders should be able to explore both inside the box and out-of-the box, or, so to say, should be able to identify both the tree and the forest and to exploit the treasure of both. For example, each employee may be seen as trees where the whole organization comprising employees turn as forest.
3. Application: The leaders should apply themselves to find the shortest possible ways to success and be able to convince their followers about the efficacy of their plan. According to Stephen Covey, who stressed on the “direction and goal” in his book, Principle-centered Leadership, regarded ‘what’ and ‘where’ of the organization journey as the topmost agenda for the leaders (Covey, 1992). John Maxwell went one step further by making the issue more tangible in his book 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, clearly suggesting that leadership is a set of learnable and applicable principles (Das, 2006).  Paul D. Houston and Stephen L. Sokolow too chose the same path, in their book The Spiritual Dimension of Leadership: 8 Key Principles to Leading More Effectively, where they presented a roadmap for effective leadership with eight milestones like below:
1.  Intention: The leaders’ have to convince their followers about their intentions.
2. Attention: They must be attentive to all that might have a bearing in the development of their team members and the organization.
3. Unique Gifts and Talent: Leaders must be able to cultivate and their natural talents and skills, which they should cultivate and execute towards the benefit of the their followers.
4. Gratitude: Respect should be their way to enter the hearts of their followers, besides boosting their spirit.
5. Exploiting real-life examples: Leaders should be adept to use interesting life-lessons towards enriching their followers with knowledge and wisdom.
6. Holistic Perspective: leaders should be able provide holistic perspective to develop the spirit of the followers.
7. Openness: Leaders should be free and frank with their followers in a way that they would be able to collect their ideas about the development of the organization.
8. Trust: Leaders must be able to build this most essential platform between them and the followers (Houston & Sokolow, 2006).
            There are other models too, like the one in Kouzes and Posner’s ((2002) book, The Leadership Challenge, where they narrowed down the issue into five points by integrating the leadership making process with communication and motivational process:
1. Becoming a Role Model: The leaders should stand tall among the rest, and inspire the followers.
2. Vision-sharing: Leaders should be able to generate quality vision that would inspire their followers and unify them to achieve the single aim.
3. Developing Critical Eyes: Leaders should possess sharp analysing power and the attitude to extend their efforts beyond the beaten track.
4. Grooming the Followers: Leaders should possess the ability to bring out the best out of each follower by encouraging them to apply their own creativity and skill to the best possible limit.
5. Heart-warming Presence: Leaders should be emotionally involved with the tasks in their hand, i.e., development of their followers and their organizations. Not only that, they should be able to imbibe that state of involvement among their followers.
Understandably, all of the qualities mentioned above speak about the desired traits in leaders. However, in practice, leaders can be broadly classified into two categories – transactional leadership and transformational leadership. Transactional leadership is guided by a ‘give-and-take’ principle, where it “seeks to maintain stability rather than promoting change within an organization through regular economic and social exchanges that achieve specific goals for both the leaders and their followers” (Lussier & Achua, 2004).  Here the “leaders use rewards and punishments to promote performance, thereby making the leader-follower relationship an economic exchange transaction” (Barnett, 2003; Gellis, 2001; Jung & Avolio, 1999).
On the other hand, transformational leadership involves ethics and sets long term goals (Northouse, 1997), where the leaders seek to ‘transform’ people and organizations in a literal sense – to change them in mind and heart; enlarge vision, insight, and understanding; clarify purposes; make behaviour congruent with beliefs, principles, or values; and bring about changes that are permanent, self-perpetuating, and momentum building” (Covey, 1992).
From the perspective of ABC Media, where the leadership has been found to be in the mould of transactional leadership (some of the CD employees getting rewards at the discretion of the management), and which has been found to be a failure (the resentment among employees belonging to PD and even in the rank of CD proves that), there is no point in dragging transactional leadership style into discussion. Instead, it would be pertinent to mention about servant leadership, which is the improvised version of transformational leadership, and contains enough promise to cover the issues discussed earlier.
5.2.1.Servant Leadership
Servant leadership, considered as the brainchild of Robert Greenleaf (1977), asks the leaders to serve selflessly and groom each follower to the rank of servant leader at some point of time. It asks the leaders to become an inspirational power for their followers (Yukl, 1989), by attaining the following qualities:

Figure – 3: Qualities of Servant Leadership
Considering the crises in ABC Media, servant leadership style seems to be fittest towards resolving them, as their crises involves the tasks like transforming the follower’s perception of receiving unfair treatment, transforming the workplace environment from group power/politics to egalitarian state, and transforming the organizational culture of holding superficial views regarding division of labour. However, the set of tasks command strategic human resource management, with which the leadership would work in tandem to reform ABC Media. For that matter this essay reviews HPWS (High-Performance Work System), which is a specific combination of HR practices, work structures, and processes that maximizes employee knowledge, skill, commitment, and flexibility (Bohlander & Snell, 2004).
5.3. HPWS in Brief
It is understood that systems composed of many interrelated parts that complement one another to reach the goals of an organization, large or small. As for example, System design looks like below:
Work Flow
HRM Practices
Support Technology

5.3.1. Underlying Principles of HPWS
HPWS deals with involvement, training, incentives¸ and technology:
Figure – 4: Skeleton of HPWS
“Involvement” exploits the idea of providing the employees an “increased opportunity to participate in decisions” (Barnes, 2001). For that matter HPWS stresses on creating a culture of information sharing at workplace.
“Training”, aims to develop the knowledge and skill relevant to the jobs handled by the employees. Thus HPWS aims to implement ‘on-site’ or ‘real-time’ training for the employees.
“Incentives” from the perspective of HPWS is a tool to align the goals of the employees with the goal of the organization. Thus it connects rewards to performance to make both the company and the employee mutually benefited.
HPWS aims to combine these the above three to create an egalitarian work environment, which is vital to enhance collaboration and teamwork.
“Technology” is another tool of HPWS with which it aims to exploit the advantage of modern technology to make the system further effective.
The Diagram below explains the basic structure of HPWS
Figure – 5: Basic Structure
HPWS works on two levels, viz., internal and external – where it ensures ‘Internal fit’ and ‘External fit’:
Figure – 6: Internal and External Fit
Figure – 7: Guiding Philosophy
It can be seen that it works with three basic elements like Competitive Challenges, Company Values and Employee Concerns, which gathers inputs from the internal fit, that comprise of the elements like Leadership, Technologies, Work-flow Design and HR Practices, which work in tandem to produce inputs to external fit and to work on the feedbacks received from it, just like the external fit does. Alongside it goes for systematic analyses with the help of established methods like SWOT, PEST, etc., before formulating its own plan sheet.
5.3.2. HPWS Plan Sheet:
ABC Media
Parameters of HPWS
Shared Information
Knowledge Development
Performance-Reward Linkage
Work Flow
Self-managed teams
Supervised Teams

Selective recruiting
Team decision making

Broad skills
Problem Solving
Team training

Profit Sharing
Skill-based Pay

Few layers


In the above sheet HPWS emphasizes on Sharing Information, Knowledge Development, Performance-Reward Linkage and Egalitarianism, through which it wants to influence the following:
1.      Work Flow: It helps all categories to reach the egalitarian stage through unbroken flow of information sharing.
2.      Staffing: It aims to incorporate knowledge development by recruiting experts in modern technology and management.
3.      Training: Here HPWS identifies four areas of training with special emphases on knowledge development and team training.
4.      Compensation: It aims to incorporate clear and fair reward system.
5.      Leadership: It aims to align itself with the leadership style, though its mechanism matches more with servant leadership style, which too wants to create an egalitarian work environment.
6.      Technologies: It aims to utilize both human skill and creativity to enhance the knowledge base and fasten the production process.
Next HPWS prepares a demand forecast plan that might look like below:

Present Staff





With this chart HPWS starts working with steps like
i)                    Making a compelling case for change linked to the company’s business strategy.
ii)                  Distributing the responsibility of change among all managers.
iii)                Allocating sufficient fund and support for the change process.
iv)                Ensuring prompt and detailed communication among members of the organization.
                  With the above, it prepares its own evaluation system with its process chart:
5.3.3. Process chart for the Plan

Information Sharing
Knowledge Development
Internal Recruitment Plan
Evaluation of ability
Evaluation of attitude
Responsiveness to reward
External Recruitment Plan
Employee background; Viable
Past Evidence
Present Performance
Responsiveness to reward
Attitude /behaviour

HPWS then ensures a reflection of its idea in the advertisement, while proceeding towards formulating an implementation schedule.
5.3.4. Implementation Schedule

Duration (Weeks)
Initial research by HRD

Requires meetings with Company’s policy makers besides study and research.

Web/Print/Electronic media
Screening, Short listing and Interview by HRD

Screening, Short listing, Final Process
Process of employment

Accommodating prospective applicants
Employee Orientation by HRD

Imbibing company philosophy in the newly recruited employee.

5.3.5. Selection Methods and Rationale
HPWS prepares its questionnaire on various important issues that can affect HR. Process Audit
1.      Are employees truly working together?
2.      Are employees getting the information they need to make empowered decisions?
3.      Are training programs developing the knowledge and skills employees’ need?
4.      Are employees being rewarded for good performance and useful suggestions?
5.      Are employees treated fairly so that power differences are minimal? HPWS Evaluation
1.      Are desired behaviours being exhibited on the job?
2.      Are quality, productivity, flexibility, and customer service objectives being met?
3.      Are quality-of-life goals being achieved for employees?
4.      Is the organization more competitive than in the past? Human Resource from HPWS Perspective
1)      He is Valuable
2)      He is Rare
3)      He is Organized
4)      He is unparallel.
6.0. Conclusion and Recommendation
The discussion and analysis above clearly shows that the task of restoring the state of ABC Media lies in three areas like human perception, group politics and organization culture. Accordingly the company needs such a package, which would be able to cover all of the areas to solve the problems stemming out of them. The review of the theories on human motivation/perception, team communication, leadership and strategic management clearly suggests a package that should contain appropriate leadership style and strategic human resource management, which would be able to cover both tangible and intangible problems that are plaguing ABC Media. At this stage servant leadership style and HPWS qualifies as the best possible combination to solve the ABC Media’s problems and help it to achieve its desired outcome.



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[1] American Behavioral Psychologist who improvised and popularized the work of Henry Murray, another doyen of this field.

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