Human Resource Strategies Key Terms

Key terms and definitions for the HR Strategies section

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Human Resource Strategies Key Terms

Human resource management: the management of people within a workplace in order to assist the organisation in achieving its strategic objectives.

Hard HR strategy: A strategy which treats employees as a resource. which can be monitored and used in an efficient manner in order to achieve the strategic objectives of the organisation.

Soft HR strategy: A strategy which views employees as valuable assets, a major source of competitive advantage and of vital importance in achieving strategic objectives.

Workforce planning: A method by which a business forecasts how many and what types of employees it needs now and in the future, and matches up the workforce skills to the needs of the business.

Workforce plans: action that result from the process of workforce planning.

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Human Resource Strategies Key Terms

Organisational structure: the management and relationship between different people and functions in an organisation, both vertically and horizontally.

Organisation chart: a diagram showing the lines of authority and layers of hierarchy in an organisation.

Accountability: the extent to which a named individual is held responsible for the success or failure of a particular project, policy or piece of work.

Centralised structure: A structure which has a greater degree of central control which involves retaining decision making at the top of the hierarchy.

Decentralised structure: A structure which involves the power and authority to make decisions delegated from head office to management in the local branches lower down the hierarchy. 

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Human Resource Strategies Key Terms

Functional organisational structure: A traditional organisation structure consisting of a different department for each of the main functions of the business.

Matrix organisational structure: A flexible organisational structure  in which tasks are managed in a way that cuts across traditional departmental boundaries. Used alongside a functional organisational structure. This encourages synergy.

Synergy: the provision of more advantages as a result of experts from different departments working together rather than working separately.

Delayering: the removal of one or more layers of hierarchy from the organisational structure.

Outsourcing: using sources outside a business to undertake functions that used to be done internally of the business.

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Human Resource Strategies Key Terms

Teleworking: People working from home and other locations away from the central workplace, through the use of ICT.

Intermediaries: Too many layers in the hierarchy through which messages have to be passed to in order to reach the receivers.

Communication overload: When an individual receives to much information at once causing decision making to be affected.

Jargon: A phrase which has a derived technical or specialised meaning.

Industrial democracy: when employees have the opportunity to be involved in ad to influence decision making.

Trade union: A pressure group that represents the interests of people at work.

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Human Resource Strategies Key Terms

Collective bargaining (negotiation): process whereby workers' representatives from trade unions meet with employers to discuss and negotiate employment-related issues. 

Union density: the proportion of all employees who are union members

Industrial dispute: a disagreement between management and the trade union representing the employees, causing industrial action to take place.

Industrial action: measures taken by employees to slow down production and put pressure on management during an industrial dispute. 

Strike: industrial action involving the complete withdrawal of labour by employees.

Work-to-rule: industrial action in which employees refuse to undertake any work that is outside the terms of their contract.

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Human Resource Strategies Key Terms

Go-slow: industrial action in which employees continue working however at the least productive pace and efficiency.

Overtime ban: industrial action in which employees refuse to work overtime in order to disrupt the employer.

ACAS: The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

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