The challenge of human resource management

Name CHAPTER 1–THE CHALLENGE OF HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
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Question 1

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Question In general, many companies are realizing diminished demand for “touch labor” and an increasing demand for “knowledge workers.”
Answer
True
False
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Question 2

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Question Knowledge workers are employees whose responsibilities focus on problem solving. Answer
True
False
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Question 3

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Question A Human Resource Information System (HRIS) provides current and accurate data for control and decision-making by managers.
Answer
True
False
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Question 4

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Question To proactively manage change, organizations should wait to see how external forces impact an organization’s performance, then develop a plan to
address those changes.
Answer
True
False
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Question 5

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Question One of the main reasons change efforts fail is that organizations do not create a sense of urgency. Answer
True
False
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Question 6

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Question A firm’s ability to compete through people depends upon its ability to manage human capital. Answer
True

False
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Question 7

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Question Human capital is owned by the organization and is part of the company’s core competencies. Answer
True
False
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Question 8

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Question To build human capital in organizations, managers should focus on training programs in areas that cannot be transferred to competitors.
Answer
True
False
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Question 9

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Question Development programs, especially those involving teams, facilitate learning and knowledge exchange. Answer
True
False
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Question 10

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Question Teamwork is often a valuable way of facilitating knowledge exchange and mutual learning. Answer
True
False
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Question 11

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Question Development of human capital is the responsibility of the HR group. Answer
True
False

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Question 12

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Question Total-quality management is a set of principles and practices whose core ideas include doing things right the first time and striving for continuous improvement.
Answer
True
False
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Question 13

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Question To be successful, organizations should constantly seek to align their processes with customer needs. Answer
True
False
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Question 14

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Question ‘Six Sigma’ refers to the six criteria for Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Answer
True
False
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Question 15

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Question Six Sigma is a set of principles and practices whose core ideas include doing things right the first time and striving for continuous improvement.
Answer
True
False
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Question 16

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Question Employee motivation, teamwork, corporate culture, employee education, performance management, and rewards are the six aspects in the quality improvement program known as ‘Six Sigma.’ Answer

True
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Question 17

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Question Reengineering is a statistical method of translating customer needs into separate tasks and defining the best way to perform each task.
Answer
True
False
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Question 18

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Question To launch a successful reengineering effort, it is important that managers build on existing processes. Answer
True
False
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Question 19

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Question Labor costs are one of the largest expenditures of any organization. Answer
True
False
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Question 20

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Question Technology reduces labor costs in service and knowledge intensive companies. Answer
True
False
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Question 21

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Question Methods of reducing labor costs include downsizing, outsourcing, and employee leasing. Answer
True
False
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Question 22

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Question Downsizing is often used by organizations for the planned elimination of jobs. Answer
True
False
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Question 23

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Question The large majority of major corporations have undergone some cycle of downsizing.

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Answer

True
False
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Question 24

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Question Historically, layoffs affected line workers in manufacturing firms, but since the 1990’s white collar and managerial jobs are the hardest hit.
Answer
True
False
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Question 25

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Question “No Layoff” policies help preserve institutional memory and worker
productivity. Answer
True
False
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Question 26

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Question Outsourcing refers to employing workers in their homes rather than within the traditional office environment. Answer
True
False
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Question 27

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Question Offshoring greatly improves key competencies of a firm. Answer
True
False
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Question 28

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Question An increased reliance on outsourcing is likely to increase the morale and productivity of the employees that remain on the job.
Answer
True
False
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Question 29

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Question Older workers have significantly higher training costs than younger workers. Answer
True
False
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Question 30

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Question Educational level is positively related to annual earnings. Answer
True
False
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Question 31

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Question As many as half of all high school graduates are unable to handle basic math involving fractions, decimals, and simple algebra.
Answer
True
False
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Question 32

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Question Basic proficiencies such as reading and writing are of concern due to the prevalence of deteriorating skill levels among Americans.
Answer
True
False
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Question 33

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Question Managing diversity means engaging in actions to increase the representativeness of minority groups within organizations. Answer
True
False
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Question 34

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Question Managing diversity means taking efforts to encourage minority recruitment, selection, and training. Answer
True
False
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Question 35

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Question Employees today are less likely to define success in terms of financial gain. Answer
True
False
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Question 36

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Question Family-friendly practices include offering 32 hour work weeks, telecommuting, and job sharing. Answer
True
False
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Question 37

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Question One of the responsibilities of HR managers is to provide advice and counsel to line managers. Answer
True
False
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Question 38

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Question An HR manager is typically expected to function as an in-house consultant to supervisors, managers, and executives. Answer

True
False
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Question 39

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Question Because HR managers function in an advisory role, they are responsible for issuing policy revisions and implementing them. Answer
True
False
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Question 40

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Question One of the roles of HR managers is to act as employee advocates despite their positions as managers. Answer
True
False
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Question 41

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Question HR managers establish credibility by supporting the policies and values of the firm. Answer
True
False
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Question 42

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Question Employee leasing shifts administrative costs from the company to a professional employer organization. Answer
True
False
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Question 43

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Question Much of the U.S. trade deficit is with:
Answer
Canada.
India.
Japan.
China.
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Question 44

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Question The World Trade Organization (WTO) utilizes ____ to establish rules and guidelines for global commerce. Answer
NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade)
FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas)
APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation)
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Question 45

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Question Knowledge workers require skills in all of the following areas except: Answer
computer programming.
planning.
decision-making.
problem solving.
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Question 46

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Question Which of the following is the largest employment agency in the United States? Answer
Snelling Personnel Services
Kelly Services
Manpower Inc.
Labor Ready
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Question 47

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Question An HRIS extends information technology beyond storing and retrieving information to: Answer
overseeing production planning.
providing current and accurate data for purposes of control and decision making. providing managers easy access to personnel records.
serving as an intranet communication system.
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Question 48

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Question Which of the following is not a primary impact that technology has had on HRM? Answer
It has altered the methods of collecting employment information. It has speeded up the processing of employment data.
It has diminished the role of supervisors in managing employees. It has improved the processes of internal and external communications. Add Question Here

Question 49

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Question The operational impact of information technology on HRM includes all of the following except: Answer
administering benefits programs.
improving productivity internal to the HR function.
providing a direct connection to recruitment sources such as Monster.com. automating routine tasks.
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Question 50

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Question The first step in choosing an HRIS is for the HR personnel to: Answer
evaluate the most time-consuming tasks.
examine the user-friendliness of the software.
calculate the cost savings in using an HRIS.
calculate the time required to train the HR staff.
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Question 51

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Question A needs assessment for IT investments should include all of the following except: Answer
Initial costs and annual maintenance.
Who will have access to private records.
Ability to upgrade.
User friendly capability.
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Question 52

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Question In highly competitive environments, managing organizational change has become: Answer
a proactive method of downsizing.
the preferred method of reacting to a decrease in organizational performance. a core competency of the organization.
a product of globalization.

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Question 53

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Question Organizational changes are said to be ____ when external forces have already affected an organization’s performance. Answer
proactive
intentional
reactive
negative
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Question 54

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Question What change is initiated by management to take advantage of targeted opportunities? Answer
proactive
intentional
reactive

negative
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Question 55

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Question Which of the following is not a primary reason why change efforts fail? Answer
The company does not establish a sense of urgency.

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The company relies upon a powerful coalition to guide the change effort. The company lacks a vision.
The company does not remove obstacles to the new vision.
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Question 56

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Question According to Dr. Marilyn Buckner, the most frequent problem in failed change projects is: Answer
non-technical unattended human factors.

failure to get the ‘buy-in’ of senior management.
union opposition.
declaring victory too soon.
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Question 57

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Question Which of the following is not a key element of an organization’s successful change management planning? Answer
change is linked to business strategy.
they lead clearly and consistently.
they sell communication about the change.
they engage key employees early.
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Question 58

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Question The value, skills, and capabilities that have a tremendous impact on an organization’s performance but does not show up on its balance sheet are
known as:
Answer
intellectual capital.
human capital.
core competencies.
employee capital.
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Question 59

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Question To manage employees in a manner that allows human capital to develop as a source of competitive advantage, managers need to be sure to do all of the following except:
Answer
provide training programs that provide skill enhancement.
identify, recruit, and hire the best talent available.
attach pay to productivity.
provide opportunities for development on the job.
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Question 60

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Question To build human capital in organizations, managers should rely upon staffing programs that focus on: Answer
identifying cheap sources of qualified labor.
identifying and hiring the best and brightest talent available. identifying college graduates with the requisite skills.
identifying individuals with highly specialized skills.
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Question 61

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Question To build human capital in organizations, training programs should focus on those skills that: Answer
cannot be transferred to another company if an employee should leave. require minimal levels of training effort.
are widely applicable to many different firms within the organization’s industry. can be taught in classroom settings.
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Question 62

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Question Managers have to find ways to empower employees and encourage their participation and involvement to more fully utilize human capital because:
Answer
They are figured as part of training costs.
Firms are moving away from team-based structures.
Employee skills often go unused.
Knowledge exchange is the best method of human capital development. Add Question Here

Question 63

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Question A survey conducted by the Human Resource Planning Society revealed that ____ percent of the responding companies believe that their HR group plays an important role in developing human capital. Answer

less than 30
nearly 50
between 30 and 40
nearly 65
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Question 64

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Question Methods that firms use to align their processes with their essential need to meet customer expectations include all of the

following except:
Answer

Total quality management.
Six Sigma.
Cost containment through outsourcing.
Process reengineering.
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Question 65

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Question TQM:
Answer
Focuses on understanding customer needs, doing things right the first time, and striving for continuous improvement. Uses statistical methods to translate customer needs into separate tasks and defining the best way to
perform them. Fundamentally redesigns business processes to achieve improvements in cost, quality, service, and speed. Changes the purpose and function of the HR group.

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Question 66

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Question The ____ has provided the impetus for both large and small companies to rethink their approach to HRM. Answer
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
Peter F. Drucker Quality Initiative Award
Deming Award for Quality
Presidential Quality Initiative Award
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Question 67

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Question Six Sigma is a systematic approach to quality that: Answer

Focuses on understanding customer needs, doing things right the first time, and striving for continuous improvement. Uses statistical methods to translate customer needs into separate tasks and defining the best way to perform them. Fundamentally redesigns business processes to achieve improvements in cost, quality, service, and speed. Focuses on improving the HR function through six principles. Add Question Here

Question 68

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Question The importance of Six Sigma to HR extends to all of the following except: Answer
employee benefits
performance management
communication
training
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Question 69

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Question Reengineering:
Answer
Focuses on understanding customer needs, doing things right the first time, and striving for continuous improvement. Uses statistical methods to translate customer needs into separate tasks and defining the best way to perform them. Fundamentally redesigns business processes to achieve improvements in cost, quality, service, and speed. Changes the purpose and function of the HR group.

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Question 70

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Question Reengineering often requires that managers start from scratch in rethinking all of the following except: Answer
how work should be done.
how technology and people should interact.
how the entire organization should be structured.
how organizations should compete.
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Question 71

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Question Which of the following is one of the largest expenditures of service companies? Answer
production costs.
marketing costs.
labor costs.
distribution costs.
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Question 72

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Question Which of the following is not an approach used by organizations to try to lower labor costs? Answer
productivity enhancements
outsourcing
employee leasing
employee development
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Question 73

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Question Which strategy is the planned elimination of jobs?
Answer
downsizing.

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outsourcing
TQM
reengineering
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Question 74

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Question Historically, which of the following workers have been hit the hardest by layoffs? Answer
line workers
secretarial and clerical workers
white-collar and managerial workers
service workers
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Question 75

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Question Which of the following workers have been hit the hardest by layoffs since the 1990’s? Answer
line workers
secretarial and clerical workers
white-collar and managerial workers
service workers
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Question 76

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Question Layoffs can incur all of the following hidden costs except: Answer
pension and benefit payoffs
increased training expenses
loss of institutional memory and human capital
a paranoid, political workforce
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Question 77

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Question Which one of the following is not an HR cost that is typically incurred as a result of downsizing? Answer
severance pay
vacation and sick-day payouts
outplacement expenditures
developmental expenses
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Question 78

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Question A fiercely loyal workforce, a recruiting edge, and workers who aren’t afraid to innovate are all benefits of: Answer
downsizing
outsourcing
companies that establish “no layoff” policies
productivity enhancements
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Question 79

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Question Hiring someone outside the company to perform tasks that could be done internally is known as: Answer
outplacement.
contracting.
outsourcing.
employee leasing.
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Question 80

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Question The practice of moving jobs overseas is known as:
Answer
outplacement.
offshoring.
outsourcing.
employee leasing.
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Question 81

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Question A method of containing costs that allows firms to maintain working relationships while shifting administrative costs to another firm is known as ____.
Answer
Outsourcing
Employee Leasing
Gainsourcing
Professional employer organization
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Question 82

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Question Employee productivity be summarized as a function of all of the following except: Answer
Ability
Motivation

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Environment

Compensation
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Question 83

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Question It is anticipated that in the future, the American workforce will exhibit: Answer
about the same demographic mix as it does today.
an increase in ethnic diversity.
a decrease in ethnic diversity.
a decrease in the number of older workers.
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Question 84

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Question Changes in demographics are important because they affect the employer and include all of the following except: Answer
Age
Comparable Worth

Employee Background
Educational Level
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Question 85

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Question Managers are concerned that the expertise of employees will be rapidly drained from their companies because: Answer
recruitment of minorities is increasing
large portions of some workforces are nearing retirement
older workers’ skills and performance decline
older workers have higher absentee and accident rates
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Question 86

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Question Labor force demographics are expected to change in which of the following ways? Answer
Minorities will make up a smaller share of the U.S. labor force than they did
in the past. Women will make up a smaller share of the U.S. labor force than they did in the past. Shrinking pool of entry-level workers.

Increased use of temporary workers.
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Question 87

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Question Older workers:
Answer
have lower performance than younger workers
have higher performance than younger workers
have lower training costs than younger workers
learn new behaviors more quickly because of their experience Add Question Here

Question 88

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Question Over the last few decades, the educational attainment of the U.S. labor force has: Answer

risen dramatically.
fallen dramatically.
remained at about the same level.
had little influence on HRM.
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Question 89

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Question According to the Department of Labor, the average payoff in annual earnings from education has: Answer
declined.
remained the same
increased
resulted in a higher literacy rate
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Question 90

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Question All of the following are business-related reasons for managing
diversity except: Answer
better utilization of talent.
enhanced creativity.
increased quality of team problem solving.
lower turnover and absenteeism.
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Question 91

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Question Managing diversity means:
Answer
Recruiting and hiring more minorities.
Being aware of characteristics common to employees and managing them as individuals. Tolerating differences.
Accommodating differences.

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Question 92

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Question Which of the following does not represent a cultural change emerging in organizations? Answer
an increased concern for privacy
changing attitudes toward work
balancing work and family demands
accommodating unemployed workers
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Question 93

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Question Employee rights include all of the following except: Answer
company funded pension plan.
equal employment opportunity.
union representation.
equal pay for equal work.
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Question 94

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Question In an attitude survey of 3000 workers, 86 percent of workers said that ____ were their top priorities. Answer
work-life balance and being successful at work
work fulfillment and work-life balance
work fulfillment and being successful at work
being successful at work and high pay
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Question 95

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Question Family friendly work options include all of the following except: Answer
day care.
spousal benefits
parental leave.
job sharing.
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Question 96

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Question Which of the following is False?
Answer
A majority of employees have no children under 18
Family friendly policies have no positive outcomes for firms. Flextime options are on the rise for employees.
Family friendly policies may include day care, part-time work, and job sharing. Add Question Here

Question 97

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Question In order to play a more active role in influencing change within organizations, HR departments must do all of the following except:
Answer
serve as an employee advocate.
become business partners with the entire organization.
view themselves as primarily performing a service function.
develop leadership capabilities.
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Question 98

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Question A firm’s top ____ manager is in a good position to be the “chief ethics officer” of an organization. Answer
HR
Finance
Production
Marketing
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Question 99

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Question Consultation provided by the HR staff should not:
Answer
be based on managerial expertise.
be based on technical expertise.
help managers or supervisors make firm decisions.
conflict with the goals of the managers or supervisors seeking assistance. Add Question Here

Question 100

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Question As an employee advocate, HR managers:
Answer
formulate and issue policy revisions
listen to employees and represent their needs to management. provide individual orientation and training to every employee. assist employees with labor negotiations.
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Question 101

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Question ____ is a competency of the HR manager that entails knowing the business of their organization thoroughly. One must understand its economic and financial capabilities as well as develop external relations skills focused on their customers. Answer

Change Mastery
HR Mastery
Business Mastery
Personal Credibility
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Question 102

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Question ____ is a competency of the HR manager that involves innovativeness, creativity, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills. These skills enable the HR professionals to manage the change process within the organization. Answer

Change Mastery
HR Mastery
Business Mastery
Personal Credibility
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Question 103

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Question ____ is a competency of the HR manager earned by developing personal relationships with internal customers, by demonstrating the values of the firm, by standing up for one’s own beliefs, and by being fair-minded in dealing with others. Answer

Change Mastery
HR Mastery
Business Mastery
Personal Credibility
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Question 104

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Question Globalization is really of interest to_________ companies. Answer
service
consumer product
large
all
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Question 105

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Question Free trade agreements stir fierce debate, especially when it comes to____________. Answer

equal employment opportunities for women
jobs
proprietary technology
information exchange
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Question 106

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Question Globalization has led to a new focus on________________. Answer
corporate social responsibility
media
recruiting
employee performance evaluation
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Question 107

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Question The most obvious impact of technology on HRM has been_____________. Answer

in the area of HR research
operational
applying the latest government regulations
in outsourcing jobs
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Question 108

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Question The importance of HR to Six Sigma begins with:
Answer
stockholders
regulators
the formation of teams
recruiters
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Question 109

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Question What makes Six Sigma different from other quality efforts? Answer

So few people understand it
Its relatively high cost
It catches mistakes before they happen
very small organizations benefit the most from it
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Question 110

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Question L. L. Bean softened the impact of downsizing on its employees through_____. Answer
early retirement and “sweetened” voluntary separation programs outplacement
hefty benefits
aggressive career counseling
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Question 111

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Question In absolute terms, which country in the world is most productive? Answer

Japan
United States
Germany
Sweden
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Question 112

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Question Today about _____ % of women in the U.S. 16 years of age and older participate in the work force. Answer
40
80
30
60
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Question 113

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Question What are the six competitive challenges facing human resources
management departments? Answer The six competitive challenges facing human resources departments are (1) globalization, (2) embracing technology, (3) managing change, (4) managing human capital, (5) responding to the market, and (6) containing costs. 1.

First, in order to grow and prosper, many companies are seeking business opportunities in global markets. HR issues underlie concerns related to managing diverse cultures, geographies, laws, and business practices. 2.

Second, the introduction of advanced technology has created a shift from touch labor to knowledge workers, impacting the way in which workers are managed. In addition, technology has altered the methods of collecting employment information, speeding up the processing of that data, and improving the process of internal and external communication. 3.

Third, to become faster and more adaptable, many organizations are seeking ways to manage change. Programs such as TQM, downsizing, reengineering, outsourcing, and the like are examples of changes that organizations are making to modify the way they operate to be more successful. Each of these change efforts depends heavily on the adjustment of HR practices to facilitate and manage evolving issues related to an organization’s workforce. 4.

Fourth, organizational success is increasingly recognized as resting upon a firm’s ability to manage human capital. HR practices are the fundamental tools by which organizations build, enhance, and maintain their stock of human capital. 5.

Fifth, meeting the demands of the market is an important criterion for organizational success. Management innovations such as TQM and reengineering represent two prominent approaches to responding to customer demands. 6.

Finally, containing costs, especially labor costs, is an important component of organizational success. As a result, many firms have engaged in initiatives such as downsizing, outsourcing, and employee leasing as a means
to realize greater cost controls. Each of these practices has significant implications for HR practices. For example, during a downsizing initiative, HR has an obligation to help maintain a healthy relationship between a company and its employees through services such as outplacement.

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Question 114

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Question Why do change efforts fail in organizations?
Answer Research suggests that most of the major reasons for failure of change efforts are HR related. Some of the top reasons are: a. Not establishing a sense of urgency.
b. Not creating a powerful coalition to guide the effort.
c. Lacking leaders who have a vision.
d. Lacking leaders who communicate the vision.
e. Not removing obstacles to the new vision.
f. Not systematically planning for and creating short-term “wins.” g. Declaring victory too soon
h. Not anchoring changes in the corporate culture.
Organizations that have been successful in engineering change typically build in the following key elements into their change process:
a. They link the change to the business strategy.
b. They create quantifiable benefits.
c. They engage key employees, customers, and their suppliers early.
d. They integrate required behavior changes.
e. They lead clearly, unequivocally, and consistently.

f. They invest to implement and sustain change.
g. They communicate continuously and personally.
h. They sell commitment to change, not communication about
change.
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Question Describe the HR impact of cost containment techniques on the firm. Answer Because labor costs are often the largest expense of a firm, cost containment options often focus on labor cost reduction. Firms can try downsizing, outsourcing, employee leasing, and productivity enhancements. 1.

Downsizing eliminates jobs entirely. Occasionally, downsized firms add new workers afterward. This can result from poor planning in cyclical hiring, or effective management by hiring new workers with skills the company now needs to compete.

2.
Outsourcing occurs when the company hires someone outside the firm to perform tasks that could be done, or had been done internally. Outsourcing allows the firm to focus on what it does best and improving its core competencies, while lowering costs, increasing flexibility, and gaining access to expertise of others. 3.

Employee leasing involves hiring workers through a professional employer organization (PEO) to perform specific tasks within its organization. It is
similar to outsourcing, except workers stay in the same place, the firm purchasing the services, doing the same jobs, rather than at another location. In this way, firms can shift administrative costs to the PEO, while maintaining its own effective working relationships.

4.

Productivity enhancements reduce costs by increasing the amount of the outputs produced by the current workforce. Raising labor costs by increasing pay may result in increased productivity and correspondingly lower unit costs. Add Question Here

Question 116

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Question What implications do the anticipated changes in age of the workforce have for the management of human resources? Answer Demographically, the labor force is expected to age (with the aging of the baby boomers), creating a larger number of older workers and a shrinking pool of young workers. HRM implications for aging workers include increases in (1)

the competition for entry level workers;
(2)
the costs of compensation, health care, and retirement benefits; (3)
career plateauing and related motivational concerns; and
(4)
training techniques that help senior workers “unlearn” old behaviors while acquiring new ones. Diversity in the workplace will continue, with a higher
proportion of women and minorities in the workforce. HRM efforts that will be required to accommodate the needs of these workers include (1)

flexible schedules, parental leave, and day-care options for dual-career families; and (2)
training for supervisors in the management of a diverse workforce. Educational levels are expected to rise, but functional and technological illiteracy will continue to be a problem for employers. HR managers will need to plan training programs to assist employees in attaining basic and developmental skills and overcoming these deficiencies.

Managing diversity involves managing employees as individuals while maintaining awareness of characteristics common to all employees.
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Question What are some of the key competencies needed by Human Resource Managers to become full business partners? Answer As top executives expect HR managers to assume a broader role in overall organizational strategy, many of these managers will have to acquire a complementary set of competencies. These competencies are business mastery, HR mastery, change mastery, and personal credibility.

1.
Business mastery. HR professionals need to know the business of their organization thoroughly. This required HR professionals to develop skills at
customer focused external relations and an understanding of their organization’s economic and financial capabilities. These skills will enable them to join a team of “business managers” to develop the firm’s strategic direction.

2.
HR mastery. HR professionals are a firm’s behavioral science experts. It is important that they are current with developments and changes in their professional field.
3.
Change mastery. This is a competency of the HR manager that involves innovativeness, creativity, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills. These skills enable the HR professionals to manage the change process effectively within the organization and ensure that HR activities support the business needs of the organization. 4.

Personal credibility. This competency is earned by developing personal relationships with internal customers, by demonstrating the values of the firm, by standing up for one’s own beliefs, and by being fair-minded in dealing with others.

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Question Describe the role of the line manager.
Answer Managing people ultimately depends on the effective supervisor and
line manager. This text tries to help all managers manage effectively. Close cooperation between HRM and line management is always needed. More people become line managers than HR specialists. Each group needs to understand and be able to work together with the other. They each play significant roles in contributing to organizational effectiveness.

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