Critically Examining The HR Function And Its Role In Achieving Competitive Advantage – A Case Study Of Microsoft

Discussion related to analysis of HRM functions

The management of human resources in an organization is based on the recruitment and the development of the employees so that they are able to become the most priced assets. The various processes that are a part of the human resources in an organization are, conducting the analysis of the jobs, planning the needs of the personnel, recruiting the right people for the right positions in the organization. The training and orientation related activities of the organization are also a major part of the initial HRM processes. The various types of disputes that can occur among the employees can also be resolved with the help of the human resources department of the organizations (Al Ariss and Sidani 2016). The strategic management of people or the employees of the organization is a major part of the human resource management functions. Human resource management plays an important role in the management, recruitment and the training and development process of the employees.

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The essay will be based on the analysis of the functions of the human resource management department of the organizations. The strategies that are used by the organizations, the tools and the procedures used for the purpose of people management will be discussed and analysed in the essay. The organization which is considered for the analysis is Microsoft.

The nature of human resource management in the organizations is based on the procedures and the policies that can contribute to the achievement of the organizational objectives. The functions of the human resource management department are not specific to any particular department of the organization. It is a broader type of function which is spreads all through the organization and helps in the management of different types of people at various levels of the organization (Albrecht et al. 2015). The HRM functions of the organization are based on the core activities that are performed by the employees and the management. The functions of the human resource management team help the managers and the employees to work with each other so that the goals can be achieved. The HRM activities of the organizations take place in a continuous manner and are further updated so that they are able to cope up with the increased competition and the changes that have occurred in the external environment (Bratton and Gold 2017).

The characteristics of human resource management are based on the history of the process that has been applied in the organizations for the successful management of the human resources or the employees. The human resource management based process is based on the philosophy and process of development, acquisition, maintenance and utilization of the human force so that the goals can be achieved in an effective manner. The first characteristic of HRM function is based that HRM is considered to be both an art and a science and is quite complex in nature. The complexity is regarding the huge number of employees and other issues that need to be managed by the department simultaneously (Brewster 2017). The HRM based functions are pervasive in nature and includes all the categories of people like, management, people and the operational staff of the organizations. The HRM related process is continuous in nature and many functions need to be completed by the department which are a part of the series of activities like planning of the human resources, the recruitment and the selection of new employees and the training and the performance appraisal related processes. The HRM functions include the participation of line managers. The HRM functions thereby act as facilitators of the line authority (Brewster, Chung and Sparrow 2016). The HRM related functions of an organization are dictated in such a manner so that the legal boundaries and regulations are not violated in the process of its operations. The functions and roles that are played by the HRM departments of the organization need to change according to the changes that take place in the external environment. In the modern business areas, the activities of the HRM departments change on a continuous basis with respect to the changes that take place in the external environment. The HRM functions are always focussed on the performance of the employees and the results that are obtained with the help of their activities (Conway et al. 2016). The training and development related processes are thereby changed based on the performance levels of the employees. The members of the organizations are the most important part of the HRM departments and the functions that are played by the department. The relationships between the organizations and the employees are an important part of the HRM departments. The HRM functions of the company include various other aspects which are, welfare aspects, the industrial relations, the personnel aspects and the welfare aspects (Future HR Trends. 2018).

Implications of HRM on the organizations

The implications of HRM on the organizations have changed a lot in the recent years and in the modern business environment. The HR related functions have changed a lot in the years of its implementation in the organizations. The HRM functions have started to play an important role in the development of people strategy and providing support to the business goals of the organizations. The shift in the process of HRM has occurred mainly due to two major reasons which are, the HR processes have reached the heights with the help of proper management of the employees and the workforce (Jackson, Schuler and Jiang 2014). The expenditure that is made by the organizations on the HRM processes have accounted for 70% of the total expenses that are incurred by the organizations. The growth of the knowledge economy has further increased the impact of the capabilities of the workforce on the performance of different organizations. The HR functions are thereby able to add value to the process that is related to the planning of the workforce. The evolving transition of the HR functions have shown room for improvement by the various researches that have been conducted by the organizations (Kramar 2014). However, the importance of HRM in the organizations have increased and this department now has high implications on the various organizational processes and departments. The approach that has been taken by the human resource department to solve the different issues in the organizations are changing with the changes that have occurred in the external environment. The changes that are occurring among the employees who are a part of the human resources department of the organizations are related to improvement of HRM functions and increasing impact of the functions on the other departments (Purce 2014). The role that has been played by the HRM functions within the organizations has been changing in the recent business environment. The implications of the HR department are thereby not limited to the management of employees; they now play a diverse role in modern organizations.

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The organization which will be analysed in the essay for understanding the evolving role and trends in the human resource functions is Microsoft. Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational organization which operates in the technology sector. The organization develops products like, consumer electronics, software, persona computers and many more. Microsoft is a giant organization in the field of its operations (Sheehan 2014). The alignment of the corporate strategy of the organization with the human resource management strategy is thereby important for the achievement of the organizational goals. Microsoft has been able to integrate its operations in such a manner so that the corporate objectives are totally supported by the human resources of the organization ( 2018). These external changes have been able to change the behaviour of various organizations towards the HRM functions. The structure of the organization may also need to be changed due to the effects that have been caused by the external environment (Shields et al. 2015). The culture of the organization can also go through huge changes due to the external environment pressure. The HRM function plays an important role in this case. In case of Microsoft and according to the view of the management, the knowledge that is possessed by the software developers are crucial for the success of the organization. According to the view of Microsoft, the intellectual property plays an important role in the success of a company in the modern business environment. The strategic human resource management based process thereby plays a major role in the development of the organizational capabilities (Swart and Kinnie 2014).

Case Study Analysis of Microsoft HRM Function

The view of the strategy that has been formulated by Microsoft that the development of competitive strategies helps in the application of the valuable resources in an effective manner. Microsoft has therefore recruited the best people who are available in the market. The mission of the organization has thereby been to help the people and businesses to realize their potential. The corporate strategy is thereby related to the successful development of the software of the company to achieve the objectives. The HRM function thereby plays a major role in the formation of the corporate strategies of the organization. The people related factor plays the most important in the strategy formulation related process of Microsoft ( 2018). The skills, knowledge and the abilities that are possessed by the employees help the organization in creating value and differentiating their services in the fast evolving technology industry. The HRM functions of the organization therefore play a major in supporting the corporate strategy that need to be followed by Microsoft. The organization always considers the value that it needs to provide to the customers before the human resources or the employees are selected. The company thereby invests a huge amount in the development and training based activities of the employees (Welch and Björkman 2015). The highest value is derived by the organization from the functions that are performed by the software developers. The HRM function will play a significant role in the development and control of the activities like, performance evaluation, training and development and communication in their international operations and from the cross-cultural based perspectives. The induction process is important when the organization employs people from diverse groups and regions.

The value that is provided by Microsoft to the employees are a major part of the HRM functions that are formulated by the management of the organization. The organization has provided huge attention to the staff who are major reason behind its success in the industry. The human resource department seeks towards recruiting, retaining and deploying an efficient employee base.

The major issue that has been reported related to the human resource management functions of Microsoft is the management of the female employees in an effective manner and providing the opportunity to grow. The analysis of the human resource policies of Microsoft has shown that the HR teams are not playing their roles in an effective manner. The complaints and issues of the employees are not addressed in a proper manner. The organization is thereby fighting a case in the court due to the issues that have been reported by some of the female employees of Microsoft (Fortune. 2018). The sexual harassment related complaint that has been faced by a female employee of the organization to the HR in the year 2008, was not addressed in a serious manner. This further led to her leaving the organization. Some of the other female employees had also lodged complaints with the HR regarding the wrong ways of behaviour of the male employees which were also ignored by the HR department of Microsoft ( 2018).


The essay can be concluded by stating that the HRM functions are an important part of the entire operations of the organizations. The changed role of the human resource management department has increased its scope in the organizations belonging to the different sectors or industries. Microsoft has aligned its corporate strategies with the HRM functions to take care of the employees in an effective manner. This has helped the company to retain its best staff. The organization has however faced issues in the operations of HRM and the management of the female employees of Microsoft.


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