Case study: IBM essay

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Introduction

The changing landscape in people’s management has called for the initiation and implementation of a number of strategies aimed at improving levels of organizational performance. The role of people as a key ingredient in the realization of organizational objectives forms the main reason behind the most influential attachment to their well-being. A dissection of literature on HRM indicates that a number of companies employ various perspectives to achieve higher levels of employee satisfaction. This paper takes a critical analysis of IBM case study and strives to answer adequately to the following questions: what are IBM’s strategic and business goals, and economic and labor conditions. In addition, the paper succinctly explains HR related situations facing the organization, and finally, it suggests appropriate practices for solving HR issues and for achieving organizational goals.

An examination of key successful constructs behind the IBM’s success illustrates a complex interplay between the structural design, coordination and control and corporate culture. IBM strategic goal is to cut the cost, while at the same time, train its employees adequately by using the e-learning as a training tool. According to Daniels, Radebaugh, and Sullivan (2011), succinct definition of structure that lays down a framework for work, and ensures smooth work coordination and control, in order to get responsibilities carried out and values shared among employees constitute key drivers in the organization.

The global Delivery Model articulated by IBM enhanced its capacity to maintain standards within the company and its clients, gained insights into its structures, achieved their goals within defined timeliness, and sustained commitments to its employees. By sending managers to the training, the organization sought to achieve its objectives by taking tasks and delegating tasks amongst its experts. The corporate idea was to develop the organization as a whole, as opposed to putting emphasis on achieving the competitive advantage in IT market.

Furthermore, the IBM focused on grooming its employees. The corporate culture believed in investing a large portion of company’s revenue towards grooming and sharpening skills and knowledge of its employees. The objective behind this strategy was to develop a company that focuses on core values that set it apart from its competitors.

A balance of centralization and decentralization is defined by the manner in which IBM has managed to maintain its functional structure over years, characterized by the exceptional growth and expansion. This is vertical differentiation in the decision-making, in which senior managers make vital decisions, while giving managers located in different cultural areas power to make decisions that suit their cultural and local contexts (Lundan & Dunning 2008). This demonstrates the unique ability to balance centralization and decentralization that empowers senior managers and executives to maintain control of the organization, while at the same time empowering managers in different locations to attend to local demands of clients.

Coordination is defined as the capacity to synchronize various functional activities within a value chain to achieve the ultimate goal of meeting the consumer’s demand (Sergi & Adekola 2007; Heinecke 2011). Capacities to monitor work efficiency, keep quality standards, meet its commitments and obligations to employees, and manage cultural shocks are demonstrations of the interplay between the structural design, coordination and control, and corporate culture in the achievement of organizational goals.

The key event in the organizational evolution of Infosys realization of that its growth depended on taking up jobs, where it made the best economic sense and posed the least amount of risk. This was marked by an eventual development of the Global Development Model.

Key HR challenges presented in the growth of IBM include the proactive approach for solving employees’ work life balance problems. This is because coordination challenges came up, as the sales team who were spread across the world could not be kept away from work for even a week. This is an immense HR issue which leads to the work life imbalance and may contribute to the high employee turnover. The challenge of over committing sales employees can be solved by the structuring training to cover different groups at different periods. This will ensure that no interruption occurs in the work progress, and at the same time, organizational goal of training employee is achieved.

The image of IBM in the future will be determined by its capacity to manage HR challenges and remain competitive. However, an analysis of the case study material indicates that IBM is poised to record increased growth in years ahead because of the increasing demand for IT services. Demonstration of the capacity while not only operating in a global environment, but also achieving complete advantage through an effective interplay of structural design, coordination and control, and corporate culture, the company is likely to record the growth and expansion in the next decade.

In conclusion, a universal approach to HRM, thus, forms an extremely critical part that defines whether an organization will improve on individual performance and overall achievement of organizational aims and objectives or not. The role of Human resource management in influencing the general strategic direction adopted by companies is critical to an organization’s growth. This revolves around the significant role the HRM plays in employees’ attraction and recruitment, key determinants of organizational foundation. Furthermore, HRM is critical in the management of an organization, because it affects the strategy of an organization and determines priorities of an organization. Furthermore, this is pegged on the understanding that it is the department responsible for the development of needs of employees, takes the lead on how people foster the acceptance of the change process and change management, and affects key performance outcomes that generate the business success. 

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