The role of human capital in globally competitive people management practices
Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.
In 1999, a study was conducted by Christo Nel within the People Management and Leadership domain. His research was based on responses to a questionnaire regarding the application of people management practices as a means of competitive advantage. The study was implemented to investigate and elicit opinions and reasons vis-a-vis the importance of specific people management practices to globally competitive organisations. In early 2001, building on Nel's research, Bekker and de Villiers embarked on a comprehensive study of literature regarding the nine people management practices within organisations. This was done by exploring each of the specific people management practices with a view to gleaning information about programmes that best-in-class organisations have implemented to ensure that employees are aligned with the following factors: Knowledge development (or knowledge management) - How to best "partner technology with a corporate culture and business processes, and using this as a vehicle to manage and deliver the business information and expertise of fellow workers to the most fundamental driver of business growth: the knowledge worker." Service excellence - Ensuring that organisations are fully accountable to their customers and providing a strong level of service. Focus on goals - Ensuring that organisations are emphasising the conversion of overall organisational objectives into specific objectives for organisational units or individual members (i.e. a process whereby objectives are "cascaded" down the organisation). Participation Encouraging employees to "take ownership and responsibility for business results," through programmes such as ESOP plans, representative participation and employee empowerment. From the vast amount of information that has been synthesised pertaining to the topic, a clear thread runs through the dissertation: Agility! An agile firm manages change as a matter of routine. By combining a competitive vision with internal and external initiatives, and the application of technology, an enterprise can deliver on the four key competitive priorities - cost, quality, dependability, and flexibility. The proposed model suggests that being focused on organisational goals is central to effectively utilising an organisation's biggest asset, namely its people. By linking goals to all the other people management practices, an organisation becomes increasingly agile and more adept at outperforming its competition.