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Leadership In Human Resources Managements

This paper discusses the issue of leadership human resources management. While providing a descriptive and comparative analysis of typology of leadership strategies, the paper also accounts for the best managerial strategies vis-a-vis human capital, underlying the case of IBM company as an example.

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Leadership In Human Resources Managements

  1. 1. Alfred University College of Business Human Resources Management Abdeslam Badre April 2007 1
  2. 2. Outline: I – General Introduction 1 - Overview 2 - Rational 3 - Objectives 4 - Questions 5 - Organization II – Review of the Literature 1 – A definition of Leadership 2 - The Relationship between Management & Leadership. 3 - Leadership and Followership III - A Framework of Leadership in Human Resources Management 1 - Factors of Leadership - Follower - Leader - Communication - Situation 2- Leadership styles - Autocratic leader - Democratic leader - Charismatic Leader - Participative Leader - Transformational Leader - Servant Leader - Laissez-Faire Leader 3 - Internal Criteria Affecting Leadership - Personality factor & Leadership - Knowledge & Leadership - Performance & leadership 4- External factor influencing leadership - Environment - Climate - Culture IV – IBM Corporation: a Leader in Human Resources Management 1 - IBM Profile 2 - IBM’s Workforce & Diversity 3 - IBM Human Capital Management 4 - IBM Recruiting 5 - Work/Life Balance 6- Flexibility/Telecommuting/Leave of Absence Programs 7- Women at IBM Conclusion Bibliography Webliography Appendix : Power-Point Slides 2
  3. 3. Table of Content I – General Introduction …………………………………………………… 4 1 – Overview ………………………………………………………………………………... 4 2 – Rational …………………………………………………………………………………. 4 3 - Objectives ……………………………………………………………………………….. 5 4 – Questions………………………………………………………………………………… 6 5 – Organization ……………………………………………………………………………. 7 II – Review of the Literature ……………………………………………… 8 1 – A definition of Leadership ……………………………………………………………. 8 2 - The Relationship between Management & Leadership ……………………………... 9 3 - Leadership and Followership………………………………………………………….. 11 III - A Framework of Leadership in Human Resources Management ... 12 1 - Factors of Leadership …………………………………………………………………. 12 2- Leadership styles ………………………………………………………………………. 13 3 - Internal Criteria Affecting Leadership ……………………………………………… 16 4- External factor influencing leadership ……………………………………………….. 18 IV – IBM Corporation: a Leader in Human Resources Management … 20 1 - IBM Profile …………………………………………………………………………….. 20 2 - IBM’s Workforce & Diversity ………………………………………………………... 20 3 - IBM Human Capital Management ………………………………………………….... 21 4 - IBM Recruiting ………………………………………………………………………… 21 5 - Work/Life Balance …………………………………………………………………….. 22 6- Flexibility/Telecommuting/Leave of Absence Programs …………………………...... 22 7- Women at IBM ………………………………………………………………………….. 22 Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………. 23 Bibliography ……………………………………………………………………………. 24 Webliography ……………………………………..……………………………………. 24 3
  4. 4. I – General Introduction 1. Overview A few years ago, the goal for which Human Resources Management was created was to make it possible for any organization to meet its strategic goals by selecting, developing, maintaining, and effectively managing the human capital, being the most invaluable entity of the organization’s three assets. It has been known for the human resources department to devise an interdisciplinary examination, understanding, and planning strategies of the human capital. However, the fierce international competition resulted from globalization, the worldwide emerging markets, and the technological advancement have created an urgent need for both private as well as public organizations to work out innovative and competitive management strategies consistent with the fast- pace changing marketplace where only the most adaptable, resilient, and customer- centered organizations can survive. In such an environment, the duties of the human resource leaders are no more just aligning the employees’ performance with the organization’s strategic objectives. Further, organizations have become in need of a Human Resources leader whose charismatic personality, well-rounded knowledge, and task-oriented performance would enable himher to grasp the dynamic environment within which today’s organizations operate: a know-how leader who can make the human capital takes part in the formulation and implementation of the Human Resource policies which stem from and influence the workplace environment. 2. Rationale The reasons behind selecting “Leadership in Human Resources Management” as the core subject of this paper have been motivated by both the value of the topic and academic motives. Leadership is a form of control which is not restricted to business world, for it has historically maintained unity and integrity within organizations and communities. Leadership is a rationale form of authority that any type of organization is in need of, be it political, social, or economic. Its value duels in its mission, which is serving through directive vision and concrete guidelines. In marketing, a number of practitioners have sensed the importance of leadership for the success of business. However, the fast and global socio-economic changes have obliged companies to revise 4
  5. 5. their management and leadership strategies in order to survive in the world economy. Hence, rethinking the concept and practices of leadership in areas of Human Resources Management or Strategic Marketing Management has become a necessarily. This is partially why the topic of Leadership in Human Resources Management is brought in this paper. Additionally, having been exposed to various aspects, controversial concepts, issues, theories, and taking a Course of Human Resources Management, I have developed a sort of reflective maturity toward this field, and become more aware of aspects that need more academic investigation in this area of study. In addition, my participation (as Chaperon of a group of Business school students at Alfred University) in the 2007 Society for Human Resource Management’s – SHRM- Regional Conference1, held at Rutgers University of New Jersey, in which a number of Human Resources well- qualified professors, international business analysts, Chief Executive Officers of international organizations, and over hundred of students from a number the States’ Universities meet to share their theoretical and professional expertise, was among the reasons that motivated the writing of this paper. One of the event’s panel discussion addressed the issue of “Professional Growth through Volunteer Leadership,” which highlighted the crucial role of leadership in the success of organizations in the era of globalization. Accordingly, it grew lucid in my mind the fruitfulness of writing a simple but up-dated framework of Human Resources leadership profile, hoping that it would be informative for any business student as well as any person has intent to learn about leadership in the area of Human Resources. 3. Objective of this Paper The subject of this paper revolves around the notion of ‘leadership’ in the area of Human Resources Management. The aim is to sketch out an integrative framework of the prerequisite features of an efficient leader in matter of Human Resources Management. The model of “leadership,” suggested in this paper, is not an unprecedented framework; rather, it is a modified and up-to-date approach to leadership, which takes into consideration some of the major changes as well as previous theories and approaches 1 - Northeast regional student conference & Human Resources Games organized by Society for Human Resource Management’s – SHRM- at Rutgers University of New Jersey. March 30th -31st, 2007. 5
  6. 6. of management, in general, and Human Resources Management, in specific. Hence, this model is not the outcome of any scientific study or field work assessment. It is a mere outcome of the accumulated knowledge, theoretical tools and approaches I have acquired from our Academic Course of Human Resource Management, along with my participation in the Human Resources Regional Conference, held at Rutgers University of New Jersey, in addition to a review of literature and the outcome of my humble life- experience. 4. Addressed Questions On the ground of the aforementioned rationale and objectives, the present paper seeks to answer three main questions: 1 – What are the major factors governing leadership in Human Resources Management? Answer to this question will provide a general frame of the mechanisms – internal and external – that both mould the leadership styles adopted by the Human Resources leader, and map out the directions followed in the leading process. 2 – What are the different styles of leadership, and how are they characterized? The aim behind raising this question is to highlight current leadership styles and underlying features of each approach to leadership. 3 – Considering the fast-pace changes taking place at the global level, what are the criteria required in today’s Human Resources leader serving international organization? The third question is meant to develop a tentative framework of an efficient would-be-leader in a global marketplace. The basis on which this updated model is going to be developed is derived from two main sources: first, previous theories and models of leadership suggested by professionals and psychologist leadership. The second source will be derived from a focus on IBM international corporate’s leadership strategy in the area of human resources. Notably, answers to these questions are not based on any scientific experiments or empirical data. Rather, they tentative answer based on analytical study, supported by an overall review of literature. That says that the paper does not claim any generalizable results or recommendations. 6
  7. 7. 5. Organization This paper is made up of four parts. Part one is a form of a general introduction, containing a general review, rationale, objectives, and the addressed questions alongside the organisation of the paper. Part two covers the review of the literature, related to the scope of topic: thus, a thorough definition of leadership, management, and followership is going to be catered for. Part three outlines a framework of Leadership in Human Resources Management; in this vain, both internal and external criteria constructing the profile of an efficient leader are to be mapped out. Besides, a review of major styles of leadership is to be discussed, followed by the four Factors governing Leadership within an organization, namely: 1) Leaders, 2) followers, 3) Communication, 4) the Context. In part four, discussed is a model of human resources leadership in today’s global organization: the case of IBM Organization will exemplify of adopting a model of a good leadership in the area of Human resources management. The paper will be concluded by a recapitalization of the main points discussed in this paper. 7
  8. 8. II – Review of the Literature The issue of leadership, in general, has long occupied the timely and spatial contexts of a number of theorists and thinkers in all fields of science and human interactions. Its importance resides in its intrinsic value and tremendous impact on both individuals as will as organizations, for it is an intellectually all-encompassing subject. Ironically enough, this area of study remains a puzzling topic, in most of its parts, because the topic has not yet been experimentally investigated; and there is not up till now any scientific study on leadership. This is why there is hardly a consensus on an exact definition of the concept. 1- What is “leadership?” I n “ T h e I m a g e : K n o w l e d g e i n L i f e a n d S o c i e t y , ” Kenneth Boulding defines “leadership” as “a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent.2 ” In this vain, leadership in human resources management reflects an individual’s abilities to efficiently direct a group of individuals or workers toward achieving pre-set goals of a given organization or company of which they are members. These abilities can be summarized in high personal attributes, diversified intellectual background, and professional performing skills, all of which make of an individual a charismatic leader who is considered as a model to be followed. Being as such, a leader is not only expected to have a clear vision on the future of the organization but also required to communicate this vision with the employees and make them active participants in its realization, by providing them with both directions and motivation. Leadership process, in this respect, appears to be synonymous with management practices in the sense that both managers and leaders hold the same responsibility towards their organization, and have a direct authority over the latter’s employees; thus, leadership style can be also applied to management style. However, a number of strategic management theorists underline a difference between the two processes. 2 - Kenneth Boulding, The Image: Knowledge in Life and Society. 8
  9. 9. 2 - The Difference between Leadership and Management One of the main factors distinguishing between management and leadership is highlighted by Hersey, P. and Blanchard who consider management styles as a part of the whole leadership process. According to both theorists, "Leadership occurs any time one attempts to influence the behavior of an individual or group, regardless of the reason. . . . Management is a kind of leadership in which the achievement of organizational goals is paramount.3” That says that the primary role of management within an organization is to align the employees’ performance with the organization’s strategic objectives, which is just one form of leadership. Another distinction has to do with the nature of power both a manager and a leader hold within the organization. While a manager has a legal power derived from his professional status, the leader derives his power from the influence s/he might have on his followers. Hence, a manager has the authority to boss people around because of the power s/he has over them; whereas, a leader’s power is represented in his capacity to make his/her followers want to achieve given goals. Further, leadership is perceived as inspiring in its overall vision regardless the reasons or goals behind it; contrastingly, management anchors on the realization of a concrete plan in a specific time frame. Warren Bennis4 drew a lucid dichotomy between the duties and roles of a leader and a manager in an organization. For him, Leaders’ interests revolve around establishing clear vision, direction, goals, efficacy, purpose, and the trust-inspiration of the followers. Managers, on the other side, are concerned with short-term achievement by controlling the workers’ performance. Further, Managers administer while leaders innovate. They have their eye on the bottom line with a focus on systems and structure of the organization; whereas leaders have a wider vision of the horizon with a focus on people. Indeed, contrasting both processes may prove to be informative in terms of the nature and roles of leadership and management. However, these distinctions tend to 3 - Hersey, P., Blanchard, K.H (1977), Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources, 3rd ed, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs. 4 - Bennis, Warren. (1989). On Becoming a Leader: “Thoughts on Leadership,” Addison Wesley, New York. 9
  10. 10. picture management in a traditional and inferior form of control in the sense that it is inflexible and rather bureaucratic process: it deploys the human, financial, technological, and natural resources in meeting the companies preset goals as opposed to the dynamic and strategic process of leadership, depicted as human-capital and creativity-inspiring dynamic. In this vain, John Kotter (1990) introduces a new dimension, perceiving both processes as different in function, but none is necessary favored over the other. He decrees that both are equally necessary for the effective running of an organization: “Leadership is different from management, but not for the reason most people think. Leadership isn't mystical and mysterious. It has nothing to do with having charisma or other exotic personality traits. It's not the province of a chosen few5." Buchanan and Huczynski (2004) align with the latter trend and design a frame work of various functions in the agenda of both leaders and managers. Figure .1 summarizes Buchanan and Huczynski’s model6. Other Human Resources analysts argue that a comprehensive definition of the concept of “leadership” is better achieved through understanding the intrinsic leader-follower and/or leadership-followership correlation. Leadership functions Management functions Creating an agenda Establishing direction: Vision of Plans and budgets: Decide the future, develop strategies for action plans and timetables, change to achieve goals allocate resources Aligning people: Communicate Organizing and staffing: Decide vision and strategy, influence structure and allocate staff, Developing people creation of teams which accept develop policies, procedures validity of goals and monitoring Motivating and inspiring: Controlling, problem solving: Execution Energize people to overcome Monitor results against plan obstacles, satisfy human needs and take corrective action Produces positive and Produces order, consistency Outcomes sometimes dramatic change and predictability 5 - Kotter, John .P. (1990). A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From Management. New York: Free Press. 6 - Buchanan, D. and Huczynski, A. (2004). Organizational Behavior: an introductory text (5th edition).Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. 10
  11. 11. Figure 1: Leadership and Management (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2004, p 718 - based on Kotter, 1990) 3 - Leadership and Followership Current analysts have shift their focus toward the followers/employees, and followership. Robert Greenleaf7 has lately introduced the concept of followership, being a crucial factor in shaping the form and function of leadership, alongside a profile of theleader. The concept “servant-leadership,” according to Robert, refers to the leader’s commitment to serve his employees, organization, and society. True enough, employees represent keystone in the life and function of the leaders. The latter, in fact, do not choose to be so, but they are made by the group which shapes their aspirations and values. For example, part of being an effective leader is having excellent ideas, or a clear sense of direction, a sense of mission. But such ideas or vision are useless unless the leader can communicate them and get them accepted by followers. Once this reciprocal communication is blocked, leaders become lost, out of touch, and unwanted by the group. Thus, the more the leader-follower interaction studied, the better the process of leadership is understood and can be theorized for the sake of designing training programs and academic curriculum aiming at making the process of leadership a systematically transferable core of skills in the field of human resources in particular. 7 - Greenleaf, R. (1970) Servant as Leader. Center for Applied Studies. 11
  12. 12. III - A Framework of Leadership in Human Resources Management 1 - Factors of Leadership Like in any other form of organization, leadership in a business organization is governed by four factors: 1) led, 2) leader, 3) communication, 4) situation. - The Led: Also known as follower, it refers to the staff members or employees under the leader’ responsibility. In order to establish mutually successful report with the led/employees, the human resources leader has to know every single employee’s experience level pertaining to the assigned job, confidence level, and how best they can perform under different working environment. On the ground of this knowledge of the led, the leader can evaluate the level of competence, motivation, and communication skills needed for his/her employees. These thee points are very essential for understanding the nature and qualification of employees, which, in return, would help adjusting the appropriate leadership style according to each individual worker’s needs. For example, an experienced worker might need less monitoring than an inexperienced one; an unmotivated employee may require different approach than a highly motivated one. In order to come to this level of understanding, the leader needs to devote much time in understanding the human capital under his/her responsibility, because it is the followers who may determine whether or not an individual is a successful leader. - The Leader: as a leader, one has to have a comprehensive grasp of who s/he is, as a person, a professional, and a leader. Besides, the leader has to delineate the repertory of his/her general and professional knowledge as Human Resources employer. Being aware of what one knows implies that one is able to decide what s/he can do as Human resources leader. In short, leaders have to have a good understanding of their personality, knowledge, and performance. - Communication: Part of the leader’s duties is to communicate ideas/messages on a regular basis with all the employees. The formulation of the communicated ideas can have either positive or negative outcomes on the employees’ understanding and translation of the messages into concrete actions. Therefore, the leader has to be clever in selecting the communication channel – oral, written, or physical- the context, and timing of message delivery: effective communication does not only strengthen the relationship 12
  13. 13. between the leader and the employees but it also influences the organization’s performance and image. - The Situation: this is a dynamic factor that requires the leader to be situation- oriented in his/her problem-solving skills. For so doing, the human resources leader has to perpetually consider four main variables in every situation, including: the task, the timing, the staff available for task, and the subordinate competence level. A leader may, for instance, need to decide on an employee’s inappropriate behavior in the workplace; the choice of the time, the context, and the nature of the punishment itself has to be consistent with the nature of the mistake; otherwise, the confrontation might be ineffective. Indeed, these four factors – the led, the leader, communication, and situation – are said to govern the roles of the human resources leader in the sense that help determining preferred leadership styles that would align with the culture and vision of a given organization. 2- Leadership Styles Leadership styles in Human Resources Management is mainly defined by the culture of the company as well as the leader’s values, skills, and the given situation that might favor a certain style over others. Based on marketing theories and assumptions, various leadership styles are derived and deployed according to the above mentioned factors. Recorded literature on Leadership in Organization8 suggests seven leadership styles: below is a precise feature of each of the leadership styles adoptable in the Human Resources Department. - The Autocratic Leader This approach to leadership is characterized by the leader’s complete control of the employees’ actions and task performances in the sense that the team has little, if not no, say in decision making. Leaders, in this case, usually give directions and expect outcomes rather than negotiating or taking roles in teamwork. Autocratic leadership may prove to be useful in some situations where the organization operates under pressure. 8 - Goodworth, C. (1988). The Secrets of Successful Leadership and People Management. ( Heinman Professional Publishing, 1988), pp.10-15. 13
  14. 14. However, this style of leadership might not be appropriate especially in modern and/or international corporate. - The Democratic Leader In companies where the human resources department is managed by a democratic leader, employees’ participation in decision making is highlighted. Workers, for instance, have a moderate space of freedom to determine the ways certain tasks are to be accomplished; they can even select the people who might perform those tasks, while the leader keeps his/her sights over his/her team performances and intervenes whenever need be. By directing themselves, workers gain more and more motivation and self- empowerment. A democratic leader, also, encourages group discussion, and draws a pool of plausible suggestions from his/her led for the sake of improving team collaboration. - The Charismatic Leader Charismatic Leaders are good listeners and speakers who pay great of their consideration to their surrounding environments. Their mastery of verbal and body language makes them persuasive. Besides, they are very attentive in listening to the person they converse with making that person charmed by them. Charismatic leaders also are vigilantly aware of the environment within which they operate, and are good at uplifting the self-esteem of the workers. They do so by using a wide range of communicative interactions and motivational tactics. They are also known for incarnating a trustworthy profile through visible self-commitment and assumed- responsibilities. The Charismatic leader gathers followers through dint of personality and charm, rather than any form of external power or authority. Charismatic leaders usually work on building up the concept of “group” within which they try to fuse themselves along with their employees, a fact which makes the followers less individualistic in their performance and strongly committed to the service of the group at large. In short, charismatic leadership encompasses sensitivity to the environment, sensitivity to member needs, personal risk taking, and performance of unconventional behavior. 14
  15. 15. - Participative Leadership The participative leadership is one of the most favored styles of leadership among organizations. It is also referred to as management by objectives, joint decision- making, and power-sharing. This technique is not much different from democratic leadership. The human resources department that adopts this style seeks to involve its workers in decision making process in order to foster their commitment and collaborative spirit, and it believes that there is no one way of doing business, which makes the workplace environment supportive as well as flexible. - Transformational Leadership Transformational leadership style is an inspiring technique that injects enthusiasm and passion toward work in the souls of workers. The latter usually appreciate transformational leadership style because it uplifts their professional experience and nurtures them with passion toward their job. The transformational leader usually starts with the development of a vision, a view of the future that would excite and convert followers into potential leaders. This vision may be developed by the leader or it is already set by the organization's strategy. Next, the leader has to commit him/herself to market the vision to the employees, a task which requires a great deal of energy, perseverance, and persuasive skills. For so doing, the leader has to set clear and step-by-step directions for the actualization of the vision. Furthermore, what makes employees enjoy this leadership style is its being people-oriented and its focus on the success and development of the human capital as well as the company's productivity. - Servant Leaders The servant leader style is a current approach to leadership that has been wildly talked about recently by many Human Resources analysts. As its name implies, a servant leader is meant to serve the needy led by helping them to improve their professional performance and achieve remarkable outcomes. Spears, L. C.9, for instance, 9 - Spears, L. C. (2002). "Tracing the Past, Present, and Future of Servant-Leadership." In Focus On Leadership: Servant-leadership for the Twenty-first Century, (pp. 1-10). New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons. 15
  16. 16. argues that "listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to growth of people, and building community" are the pivotal touchstones that make of a given person a servant leader. In short, the form of leadership is characterized by the leader's complete devotion to the led. - The Laissez-Faire Leader Laissez-Faire leadership stands on the other side of the autocratic approach. The laissez-faire leader usually exercises little control on his/led. S/he so does because he trusts his/her team’s high proficiency and expertise. That is, this method of control is most likely operative in organizations where workers have already reached a discernible level of professional experience along with awareness of the culture of the organization. Again, there are situations where the Laissez-Faire approach can be effective. Indeed, the Laissez-Faire technique can be successful with skilled workers, known for their excellent work history. To put it in a nutshell, there are different styles of leadership. Each style has its inherent strengths and drawback. The leader has to determine which leadership style is efficiently operational with which company and under what circumstances, because every company has its identical culture, structure and statement of mission; hence, a leader is expected to scrutinize all these variables before deciding on the leadership style to be adopted. Having said so, we now need to understand the factors, both internal and external, that shape up the profile of a good leader. 3 - Internal Criteria Affecting Leadership Lewis H. Lapham, once said, " leadership consists not in degree of technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than athletic or intellectual efforts, and it imposes on both leader and follower alike the burdens of self-restraint." This testimony reveals how important personality traits are in determining the profile of a good leader. However, a leader is neither born with these personality characters, nor is s/he born a leader. Leaders are made and not born: every one has the potential to be a good leader, through an ongoing process of self study, education, and professional experience. This 16
  17. 17. raises the question of what are the mechanisms that shape up the profile of a good leader of Human Resources Management. - Personality Mechanisms The "Trait Theory" of leadership, as explained by Bass (1990), holds that some personality traits are the main predictors of a would-leader. Some of these traits are self- esteem, self-efficacy, integrative-motivation, self-commitment, integrity, trust, courage, creativity, imagination, and straightforwardness. Hence, a Human Resources Department whose leader is a trustworthy, risk taker, creative, and respect for his/her employees, the latter's respect toward this leader would most likely grow. Understanding of the Leader's duty Besides having consistent character traits, a good Human Resources leader has to have a bulk of valid and reliable knowledge. In this vain, to be a hankered-for leader, one has to have an axiomatic grasp of: - Himself/herself as person and a leader: one has to know his/her strengths and weaknesses in terms of character, knowledge, skills, and professional performance. - His/her duties as a leader, along with the needs of the led. - The nature of the organization, including its culture, vision, mission, goals and objectives. - The communication tactics and tools to be used in every situation. Performance Indeed, though personality traits along with knowledge are crucial assets a good leader should incarnate, performance is what actually matters in the professional life of the leader. From the stand point of the employees, a good leader is judged according to his/her behaviors that have direct influence on both the human capital and the organization. Therefore, to be efficient in his/her performance, the leader has to be able to translate his/her character, values, vision, and knowledge into concrete actions, and operational guidance. The leader, for instance, is required to: - Set measurable goals, and negotiate the implementing strategies, decision-making and problem solving processes with the workers. - Maintain high team-work spirit and motivational incentives, through rewards and appraisals for excellent workers. 17
  18. 18. - Provide moral as well as material support to less qualified or novice employees. - Maintain a regular coordination, supervision, and evaluation of the team's productivity. The aforementioned mechanisms (personality factors, knowledge, and performance) are basically intrinsic factors that construct the persona of a good leader. There are other external variables influencing the performance and overall philosophy of the Human Resources leader. 4- External factors Influencing Leadership As mentioned earlier, every organization has its identical nature of doing business or services. Environment, climate, and culture are the underlying constituents that define the nature of a given organization, and influence the leadership style to be adopted. -The Environment of Organizations The concept of "environment" in the sphere of business is the sum up of the organization's goals, mission statement, philosophy, ethics and standards. The organization environment does not only affect the leader's performance but also every individual working for it. - Climate of Organizations Climate of a given organization is directly influenced by the board of managers and leaders' actions and behaviors within the workplace. Climate, in other terms, is the body of beliefs, values, and attitudes of the employers and employees towards themselves, their work, and their customers. Of course, every leader, no matter how his/her leadership style might be, contributes in and incarnates the climate of the organization to which s/he works for. - Culture of Organization The organization's culture displays the set of customs, vision, expectations, routines, rituals, and way of doing business that a company embraces. It is a long-term 18
  19. 19. process which combines the past with present and influences the future of the firm. As a leader, one can not easily change aspects of the company's culture, but might affect its climate as long as the newly introduced practice or behavior does not conflict with the vision or goals of the organization. Studying both internal and external mechanisms that shape the profile of a leader reveals the complexity characterizing the duty of a leader. This complexity does not stem from the nature of the duty, but emanate rather from the unpredictable dynamics surrounding the professional environment of the leader. 19
  20. 20. IV – IBM Corporation: a Leader in Human Resources Management 1 - IBM Profile With over 350,000 employees worldwide, International Business Machines Corporation, known as IBM or "Big Blue"; is the largest multinational computer technology corporation, headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company is one of the few information technology companies with a continuous history dating back to the 19th century. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, infrastructure services, hosting services and consulting services. 2006, IBM has fallen to second behind Hewlett-Packard in total revenue. It has engineers and consultants in over 170 countries, and IBM Research has eight laboratories worldwide. IBM employees have earned five Nobel Prizes, five Turing Awards, five National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of Science. As a chip maker, IBM is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders10. 2 - IBM’s Workforce & Diversity In the 1990s, two major pension program changes, including a conversion to cash balance plan, resulted in an employee class action lawsuit alleging age discrimination. IBM employees won the lawsuit and arrived at a partial settlement, although appeals are still underway. IBM also settled a major overtime class-action lawsuit in 2006. Although, there has been recently a number of sweeping cuts to the workplace, IBM has had a good reputation of long-term staff retention with few large scale layoffs. Its efforts to promote workforce diversity and equal opportunity date back to World War I, when the company hired disabled veterans. It provides employees' same-sex partners with benefits and provides an anti-discrimination clause. The Human Rights Campaign has consistently rated IBM at 100%, the highest score, on its index of gay-friendliness since 2003. IBM was the only technology company ranked in Working Mother magazine's Top 10 for 2004. In 2005, IBM became the first major company in the world to formally commit to not using genetic information in its employment decisions. This came just a few months after IBM announced its support of the National Geographic Society's Geographic Project. 10 - 20
  21. 21. 3 - IBM Human Capital Management As far as human capital management in IBM is concerned, the value placed on the employees was set long ago by the founder of the company Thomas J. Watson who said in1926: “They say a man is known for the company he keeps. We say in our business that a company is known by the men it keeps.” Indeed, respect of the employee’s rights and dignity has been one of IBM basic beliefs in managing its workers. This belief has been maintained by one of IBM most successful leader and Chairman, Thomas J. Watson, Jr., who always stressed on helping each employee to develop his potential and make the best use of his abilities. Hence, the human capital management has historically been of paramount importance: two-way communications between manager and employee is one of the main features characterizing the leader-led interaction, devoting more time to people than the company’s products, and respecting opportunity for a fair hearing and equitable settlement of disagreements. Over the years, IBM has implemented a number of innovative programs, policies and practices that demonstrate and sustain respect for its employees. Among them are: • The Open Door policy • “The Speak Up!” Program • Comprehensive Employee Opinion Surveys • Effective Internal Communications and Informational Media, such as Business Machines and Think magazines, 4 - IBM Recruiting IBM is committed to a diversified workforce and actively seeks qualified candidates who know the needs of markets the company serves, including women, minorities, people with disabilities, and gays and lesbians. Each year, IBM recruiters attend more than 40 diversity-focused conferences and career fairs to recruit from these constituencies. IBM.s innovative "Why work?" marketing campaign, which began in the spring of 1999, is designed to reach the best and brightest campus and professional talent through a compelling dialogue about IBM’s strengths: its people, the work, the rewards, and its global presence. The organization is also an active participant in Entry Point program, sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, IBM and NASA, dedicated to placing disabled young people in business and industry and preparing them for corporate and community leadership. For instance, the Project Able is an effort to significantly increase the representation of disabled employees at the 21
  22. 22. workplace. The program’s goals include establishing a network of champions for disabled employees throughout the company. 5 - Work/Life Balance In 1984, IBM became the first major employer in the nation to establish a dependent care network for its employees. In July 2000, the company announced the creation of a five year, $50 million global fund to develop and support work/life programs in communities where its employees live and work. Programs range from new child care centers and science/technology camps for school-age children to collaborations with other companies to expand existing child care centers. Between 1990 and 1994, IBM invested $25 million to develop new or expand existing child and elder care facilities and programs through its Funds for Dependent Care Initiatives. Between 1995 and 2000, the company has invested a total of approximately $150 million in dependent care services to help employees better manage their work and personal lives. 6 - Flexibility/Telecommuting/Leave of Absence Programs More than 80,000 IBMers participate in the company’s telecommuting programs, which offer employees the ability to work from a customer’s location, on the road, or at home. IBM’s industry leading workplace flexibility programs offer employees the option of varying their daily arrival time and work hours, subject to local management approval. The leave of absence programs provide up to three years leave for parenting, dependent care or for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, subject to management approval. 7 - Women at IBM IBM has a long history of commitment to the advancement of women in the workplace11 , hiring its first professional women in 1935 and its first woman vice president, Ruth Leach, in 1943. In 1995, the company formed its Global Women Leaders. Task Force, which later initiated employee work/life surveys in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific; a series of Global Women’s Leadership Conferences; the creation of 11 - 22
  23. 23. Women of Color and Women in Technology sub-committees, each of which has conducted global conferences; and the formation of local women’s networks around the world. In the United States, the number of women in executive positions totaled approximately 21 percent at the end of 1999, growing from a total of 351 women executives in 1998 to 445 at the end of 1999. Globally, women comprise almost 18 percent of the IBM worldwide executive population. The number of women executives around the world increased from a total of 399 in 1998 to 508 at the end of 1999. In 2000, in recognition of its long-standing commitment to the advancement of women, IBM was one of three companies honored by Catalyst, the New York City-based women’s advocacy organization. Conclusion Thanks to its commitment to maintain the well-being of its human assets, IBM has gained a respectful reputation in human resources leadership worldwide. This success has been brought about due to company's creative and ongoing research and innovative programs which improve the social and professional experiences of the employees. With the uncompromising belief that the human capital is the most invaluable asset of any organization, IBM has smartly and perpetually managed to formulate an authentic Human Resources leadership style that answers to the corporation’s goals, values, and culture as well as the changing environment of the global market. 23
  24. 24. Bibliography 1 - Bennis, Warren. (1989). On Becoming a Leader: “Thoughts on Leadership,” Addison Wesley, New York. 2 - Buchanan, D. and Huczynski, A. (2004). Organizational Behavior: an introductory text (5th edition).Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. 3 - Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row 4 - Goodworth, C. (1988). The Secrets of Successful Leadership and People Management. ( Heinman Professional Publishing, 1988). 5- Greenleaf, R. (1970) Servant as Leader. Center for Applied Studies 6 - Hersey, P., Blanchard, K.H (1977), Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources, 3rd ed, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs. 7 - Kotter, John .P. (1990). A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From Management. New York: Free Press. 8 - Musser, S.J. (1987). The determination of positive and negative charismatic leadership, Grantham: PA: Messiah College. 9 - Spears, L. C. (2002). "Tracing the Past, Present, and Future of Servant- Leadership." In Focus On Leadership: Servant-leadership for the Twenty-first Century. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons. 10 - Tannenbaum, A.S. and Schmitt, W.H. (1958). How to Choose a Leadership Pattern. Harvard Business Review. Webliography 1 - Kenneth Boulding, The Image: Knowledge in Life and Society. 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 24