HRM at Affluent Advertising (Pvt.) Ltd

HRM at Affluent Advertising (Pvt.) Ltd

  • Case
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Affluent Advertising establishes a Human Resource (HR) department in response to increasing external competition and internal turnover. The department's prerogative, however, is primarily limited to the espousal of administrative discipline and communication of top managements' decisions to employees, after anchoring them in rhetoric of management knowledge and organizational efficiency. An early and unexpected failure of this department raises several questions regarding its need and significance as well as its future in the organization. At a more broad level, the case highlights the use or abuse of HR department as a tool for reinforcing systems of dominance and legitimizing the self-interested decisions of top management and firm owners. In doing so, it not only challenges the unitarist theories of management that treat workplace as an integrated and harmonious entity, wherein employees and employers share common interests, but also contests the self-alleged neutrality, objectivity and impartiality of mainstream management practices by bringing to light its dark, biased and (value and) power-laden aspects. It thus sheds light on the real agenda behind the HRM development, and elucidates how the recommendations (structural, strategic, cultural and procedural) forwarded by so-called impartial HR departments are actually embedded with patterns of organizational power distribution. Lastly, the case also elaborates how various structural arrangements, traditionally known for their effectiveness (that is, Matrix and Product Team configurations), can adversely impact work environment, if employed without need, for bureaucratic purposes solely.

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