Matalan had for instance expanded its number of stores to 50 in 1995 – only 10 years after it’s inception in the UK. They are able to combine purchasing direct from manufacturer and having convenient out of town stores with low overheads. The director of HR had previous experience of working at kingfisher, downsizing was of 20% of staff – volunteers and paid and HRM practices that were typical of successful for-profit organizations. http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/downloads/reports/report_accounts10_11.pdf
Prior to the regeneration of the retail brand, Oxfam’s approach to HR was largely built around a hard Human resources managerial approach. http://www.51lunwen.org/uploadfile/org201012271202266666/20101227120226713.pdf http://resource.udallas.edu/132/humansideofenterprise.pdf http://www.cipd.co.uk/search/results/bookrow.asp?ID=166516
With the previous slide in mind then we can then look to seeing how Oxfam have gradually altered their HRM approach in order to achieve and surpass their goals.
Apple & OxfamA critical assessment of Culture, HumanResources and Symbols
Apple:• Went from the point of bankruptcy to the most valuable technology company in the world.• $100bn cash balance is more than that of the entire US government.• Apple is the most admired company for innovation in the world.Oxfam:• One of the world’s most respected charities aiming to tackle poverty in over 70 countries.• Like Apple, have experienced a massive turn around in terms of the retail aspect of the organization.• They are renowned for their commitment to CSR.
Beliefs:• All human lives are of equal value.• People’s vulnerability to poverty and suffering is increased by unequal power relations, based on, forexample, gender, race, class, caste and disability, and should be overcome in such a rich world.• With the right resources, support and training, people living in poverty can solve their own problems• Emergency response, long term development work and campaigning are key ways to help.• Collaborating with others.This increasingly means the staff play more of a brokering role and demands Oxfam to be clear intheir strategic intent and theories of change, but agile enough to respond to opportunities forchange as they appear and develop.The way they work:Empowerment: Everyone involved with Oxfam – whether contributing to the work or benefiting from it –should feel empowered to help end poverty.Inclusiveness: They listen to and are open to everyone’s view.Accountability: Through the results focused approach, they hold ourselves accountable in everythingthey do – and expect the same high standards from others. They recognize that their own empowermentonly comes with accountability.
• They have a single management structure within subcultures.• Campaigns have been largely OI (Oxfam International), but structures for managing have become increasingly integrated.• Now defined as a global integrated network of organizations.• Main culture could be Oxfam as a whole, and the sub cultures could be the individual organizations which make up the umbrella, i.e. Oxfam GB.They have a strategic document which staff across the organization should read and understand their key priorities.The main aim is a greater integration in Oxfam itself (meaning the Confederation of all the affiliates). Staff are accountable to Oxfam GB but also accountable within Oxfam as a whole. Good judgment in balancing the different needs and requirements is needed. All of us need to keep our focus on the passion that binds us: making the greatest impact we can in overcoming poverty and suffering.’
How they work with others – present themselves. Not inside the organization but their inside values and beliefsmust show through to partnership with others. This is Oxfam GB working with others, i.e. Oxfam InternationalFive principles of partnership“Oxfam GB works with and through others to take action to achieve common goals for overcoming poverty andinjustice. These five principles underpin our programme and partnership decisions in development, humanitarian, andcampaigns work at every level of activity.”Complementary purpose and added value‘Shared objectives to benefit the suffering. Added value of working together is clear and recognized by bothpartners. Brings different capacities and resources. Be open about limitations.’ Shows they are willing to team upbecause they can see the benefits.Mutual respect for values and beliefs‘Recognize/respect differences but must have common ground, so share same goals in order to work together.’Shows they want to work with similar groups, although they might have some differences.Clarity about roles, responsibilities, and decision-making‘Want good communication, competence, reliability and delivery. Expect contribution from each party. Process formaking decisions is also agreed. Aim is to work towards shared decision making but may not always be possible. Takeresponsibility of agreed roles, so they can share celebrations in success and learning from failure.’ Shows they expectgood communication and contribution from all, in order to work together for success or learning.Transparency and accountability‘Recognize need to be accountable to people affected by poverty or disaster, and to other stakeholders (i.e.donors/governments). Explicitly discuss how Oxfam is accountable to partners and partners are accountable topeople/communities they work with.‘ Shows they are willing to take responsibility for their actions.Commitment and flexibility‘Have short term projects, but prefer to work on more sustainable partnerships. Open about plans for fundraising andreasons for it, so they try to build their partners capacity for fundraising, linking them to alternative sources offunding where possible.’ shows that they are looking into the future, for more long term so they are more secure.
1999: Retail contribution to Oxfam’s fund fell from £12 million to £6 million.Factors leading to this decline: • The number of charity shops actually doubled in the 1990s (NGO Finance, 2000). In addition to this, increased competition also came from low cost, for-profit retail stores e.g. Primark and Matalan. • No institutionalization of “retail is business” (Girod, 2005) e.g. encouraging efficiency, implementing strategy and offering a quality service to customers. • From a marketing and HR perspective, senior management was unable to capitalize on Oxfam’s brand through utilizing store managers entrepreneurial zeal nor was it able to successful empower its volunteers.2000-2001: Rejuvenation of the retail brand through the introduction of newmanagement, delayering and downscaling and instigating best practice HRM.The results of this change: • In 2002 the net income from retail trade grew to £15 million. For the financial year of April 2010 to April 2011 the figure rose to £24.1 million. (Oxfam Annual Report 2010/11) • Following more than 2000 volunteer resignations up to the Millennium, volunteer numbers have stabilized at around 22,000. • The retail outlets now embody the charity’s core values and beliefs and epitomize what is meant by corporate social responsibility thus restoring a level of trust in what was once a declining brand.
The hard model of HR centres around "tight strategic control” (truss et al. 1997) inwhich workers are often viewed as merely a business resource: a notion in keepingwith Theory X (McGregor, 1960). In comparison, Soft HR looks to obtaining highperformance from workers (Storey, 1998) and is ultimately focused on skilldevelopment.HRM approaches such as these areintended to then be utilized to fulfill acompanies (or charity’s) vision. Burt andSparks (2002) portray this idea in theirsimple retail branding model. Culture isseen as the means of achieving acompanies vision and at the forefront ofthis culture is the way in whichemployees interact with both seniormanagement and the consumer.
Prior to the regeneration of the brand, senior management had little vision as to howto take forward the charity forward. This issue lends itself to their hard HRM approach:•Minimum communication between the levels of hierarchy (of which there were many).Senior management was unable to convey a sense of vision to shop management level.When shop manager suggestions were voiced, it would take a long period of time beforesenior management were made aware of these and even when they were aware, wouldoften treat such improvements with contempt.•Extensive layers of hierarchy have ended up in an approach to management which isfocused around meetings. Whilst in theory this typical of the majority of businesses, forOxfam it has led to a state where few issues are resolved and even fewer goals achieved. Ineffect, Oxfam has become a bureaucratic-like organisation as opposed to a dynamic,innovative charity working to benefit all stakeholders.•Little empowerment has been given to store mangers as a result of a lack of responsibilitydelegated to them from senior management. As a result, the shopping experience forcustomers is often dull and monotonous regardless of which Oxfam store they go to, andthe work environment for volunteers is less than desirable for building upon their own selfdevelopment.•Lack of incentive for new and existing volunteers. New volunteers receive little, if any,training related to the products sold. Whilst products are often of a bric-a-brac nature,staff have little understanding of the products they are selling and therefore the shoppingexperience for consumers is often dull and unfulfilling. For existing volunteers, an inabilityto learn new skills has resulted in extensive number of resignations contributing to a fallingstandard of service at shop level.
Following the decline in Oxfam’s retail contribution, extensive changes in thecompanies human resources management structure led to a rejuvenation of thecompanies image. This gave rise to a largely soft approach to HRM.•Oxfam now embodies features characteristic of for-profit organisation with regardsto striving for efficiency and continual development of the brand. For paid employeessalaries are now partly performance related placing them under necessary pressure tolook to meeting targets and sales figures. Profitability has effectively been“legitimized”. (Girod, 2005)•The charity now operates under a flatter management structure. By delayeringOxfam has now rid itself of unnecessary paperwork and is therefore more direct informulating strategies needed to retain a competitive edge in an ever stronger non-profit retail sector.•Communication between all levels of the hierarchy as improved significantly. Regardlessof whether staff are volunteers or paid, everyone is encouraged to share their thoughts forimprovements and opinions of the business – this includes writing to the CEO. Improvedcommunication is also the result on monthly bulletins and other newsletters distributedthroughout the year.•Store employees and volunteers now receive an education into the products that they areselling. Not only has this led to more accurately priced products, customers are nowreceiving a level of service associated with reputable for-profit high street brands. Oxfamis now able to compete with the firms that were part of their pre-millennium downfall.
"Byte into an Apple" (Late 1970s) simple play on words – introduced the basic image of the company and why they may havechosen this image."Soon there will be 2 kinds of people. Those who use computers, and those who use Apples." (Early 1980s): - showsApple is more than just a computer – possibly showing the origin of it’s differentiation and growing popularity."Think different." (1997–2002) shows how Apple is not like any other computer company and wants their market to thinkdifferent like them and choose a new product which in this case is an Apple computer. The most influential slogan to date."Switch" (2002–2003) encouraging others to use the Apple. Simple but powerful word which conveys the obvious purpose ofthe slogan. Seems as if the market need little encouragement because Apple has become so popular anyway."Get a Mac" (2006-2010) Advertises their new computer conveying how widespread and popular this computer has become –it is almost a trend and this slogan encourages the market to get into the trend with the majority.An external symbolic change for an internal growth?
Internal culture: employees are an integral part!Chad (former employee)• Fully committed workers – feel empowered in every little thing they do, but if so why are they given minimal benefits?• Steve, offers and explanation. Whatever he says, goes and that applies to everything:5.employee benefits – made expensive so that employee work to afford them.6. major projects – passed off as being run by Steve in order to get it going ASAPWhere do these employees and the future Apple team come from: ACOThttp://ali.apple.com/acot2/innovation/10 ways to think differently:11.Market – aiming to bring out something new which the market didn’t even realize they wanted – making life easier equipped with technology.12. Empower employees – even the smallest thing can make a big difference. How they go about making that difference is up to them.13. Embrace the slogan – ‘think different’ – encourages the inner self in every employee to rule their thoughts and become inventive using their own structures.14.Control communication – you’ll hear it when Apple wants to tell you – for this you might need trustworthy employees.15. Don’t make people do things, make them better at doing things – identify and encourage each individuals strengths.16.When you find something that works, keep doing it – the key to a successful change, is the ability to adapt.17.Do everything important internally – fewer products – internal operating system – control.18.Little things make a big difference – able to use this in impressing Apple customers – E.g. iphone launch.19.Love and cherish innovators – in this case, Apple’s creative employees – they are the key to successful designs.20.Value whats important – in Apple’s case, it’s not hours at work, its how much you get done.
Apple in the US goes beyond meeting the basic needs of employees but often place less emphasis on their wants. – they help develop employees. But in manufacturing plants based in China, are they ignoring these basic needs let alone the wants?Apple’s culture goes beyond their departments based in the US.‘Miss Chen stares curiously at the iPad. Even though she works overtime in a factory in southwestern China that manufactures them, shes never seen the finished product."Wow, I want it," said Chen, brushing her finger across the glossy screen with curiosity and amazement.’• Doesn’t everyone get the benefits?• Hazardous work environment – basic need denied.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2i8Mh1OWYk
Autocratic Entrepreneurial • 100 employees reporting directly to him – • Sensible risk taker – introducing likes control. something different – will the marl • Low participative leadership - Aggressive • Takes advantage of any opportunities – leadership – reflecting soft HRM? saved Apple on his return. • Likes to maintain control – everything runs • Impatient – may explain why Apple has past him launched so many version of the iPad and iPhone in such a limited period of time.Symbol:•Enthusiastic – reflected in the way he conducted meetings and gave speeches –he is passionate about what he does – reflected upon employees?•Assertiveness – motivates with aggression – not a reflection of soft HRM but notnecessarily a negative approach.•Little humility – hunger for success and fear of failure. – reflected in his cultureof driving others to always succeed?•One signifier, many signified’s? He tries to make the message as clear as possible
There are several different types of Human Resource Management techniques used inmodern organizations. These include models such as the Human Capital Model and theResource Dependent Theory.“Apple is a group of empowered individuals doing great things with great technology.Decisions are made at very low levels” (Fortune Magazine, 1993)The above quote was said by Joe Guglielmi, who is a executive at IBM, after workingclosely with Apple during an IBM-Apple joint venture. This statement says a lot aboutthe human resource management system that Apple Inc. choses to incorporate withinits organisation; and a lot can be inferred from it. It suggests from the outside thatApple employs a Human Capital HR method. Human Capital refers to the quality of theworkforce within Apple. It is a measure of the education and skill sets of theemployees, and most commonly is used as by economists to describe the workforce onboth a micro and macro level. It is important to consider Human Capital as Apples HRpolicy because it shows a reliance on the quality of its people to make the necessarytechnological and design advancements for them to stay effectively ahead of thecompetition. In many ways this suggests a Soft HR approach which supports the workersand the further development of the technology within Apple Inc.
Despite the previous slides analysis of Apple’s HR approach, Steve Jobs was said to be highlyinfluential within Apple, and many of the senior management personnel depended on remaining in his‘good graces’ in order to be successful in the company. This can be seen especially in the caseconcerning the recent Vice President Mark Papermaster. Papermaster is said to have left because hedid not fit with Steve jobs and therefore had a loss in faith in his ability to affectively lead the mobiledivision.These are the key principles published in an article on eweek.com:•1. Focus on design•2. Believe in Steve Jobs•3.Forget everything that came before•4. Believe Apple is better than all others•5. Take flaws to heart•6. Never admit defeat•7. Remember attention to detail•8. Only Steve Jobs is indispensable•9. Secrecy reigns supreme•10. Domination is everything(Reisinger, 2010)
Since Steve Jobs died, details on the way Apple has adapted and changed its HR policies remainparticularly unclear. The management of the organisation was very centred around Steve Jobs, andit is unlikely that a new leader will be able to emerge that can effectively take the place of Jobswithin the organisation. It is clear that Steve Jobs left a very valuable technical legacy within Apple,however, as an autocratic leader, it is unlikely that a pure legacy in this respect has been leftbehind.However, Tim Cook the new chief executive would appear to be a very different leader from SteveJobs. As an extension of this, the HR policy is adapting to focus on the new goals that Cook wants toachieve. For example, since he has be in control, he has begun to address some of the issues thatwere arising in workforce. This statement demonstrates his stance on the issue and how Apple aredeveloping as an organisation since Steve Jobs departed.“We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern.” (Cook, 2012)In this respect, it can be argued that an entire re-evaluation is required, so that Apple have thenecessary leadership in order to take their organisation forward.
Apple Oxfam• Soft HR – Human capital • Also have a soft HR approach approach, focuses on the quality incorporating flat management of employees in making structures with extensive advancements. education and training – aiming• Aim to be flexible with to continually improve on the employees focusing on achieving quality of their staff. 110% - commitment is not shown • Are flexible with short term through hours at work projects with sustainable• Empower employees to make a partners – level of commitment change in anything they do. to projects isn’t demonstrated However, Tim Cook and the by the length of projects. board of directors are still the most influential when making • Help employees feel major decisions. empowered in ending poverty – open to all views.
* Apple employees under a “Militant” * Group of independent organizations with the main aims to reduce poverty and create a movement like culture (CNN, 2012) http capable of responding to global issues. ://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/06/world/asia/china-apple-foxconn-worker/ index.html * Made up so they can maximize their collective power.* However this might not be considered to be negative as cultures * Oxfam’s culture is reflective of what they do. differ across borders e.g. it is typical of Western firms to setup manufacturing plants in China to take advantage of economies of * Attracting volunteers as a result of their culture which scale, low labour costs. is out to benefit and help others.* Legal yes. Morally and ethically – perhaps not acceptable? Here * Soft HRM practices – really trying to empower people. that we differentiate between political and cultural aspects. At the core of their business.* Empower employees. Support them – Soft HRM. * Decisions are made when all the board of directors* Why do employees like their job: Is it an honor to work for Apple agree as opposed to if the majority agree. or is it because it is really a great job. * Has apple really empowered employees or are they working * Oxfam attempt to minimalist in their symbols inc. in the image of apple. sticking to the same colours, slanted title.* Minimalist symbols makes it more recognizable. * Respect the culture that they came from in that UK activities are often the most important. * Trust OXFAM to tell you the truth – the image of charities? * Rebranding as charity shops become more acceptable * Distinctive branding
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