Analysis of the Apparent Disconnect between Human Resources and Management
In this case, Sue has taken it upon herself that specific human resource practices are the right course for her new organization despite explicit indications from management that those particular practices do not fit the organizations strategic vision, organizational values, or available resources. In her inexperience, Sue has employed a myopic view of the concept of best practices, largely oblivious to the significance of best fit (George & Jones, 2008).
Sue has assumed that all best practices in her previous professional environment necessarily correspond to best practices in her current environment. In fact, the distinguishing features between the two entities whose relevance and significance Sue fails to appreciate make the approach that works in the public sector inappropriate for a private-sector organizations such as that of her current firm. Generally, employment opportunities in the public sector offer different comparative benefits and limitations from those available in the private sector.
For example, even highly skilled public-sector professionals typically earn substantially less than their colleagues with comparable qualifications working in private organizations. However, they generally enjoy shorter and more regular hours, more generous non-monetary perks (such as government tuition assistance). By contrast, private organizations may provide an entirely different corporate culture that includes regular overtime commitments; and they may compensate for sacrifices expected of employees through higher salaries or bonuses. Unlike public-sector employers, private organizations (particularly smaller ones) cannot necessarily afford to invest as heavily in every employee, especially without specific merit.
Had Sue been more sensitive to the needs of her organization, she might have approached management on the topic of employee development through educational assistance before broaching that subject with employees. Creating the expectation on their part without first inquiring into the feasibility of the concept from managements perspective was irresponsible. She should not have assumed that what constituted an element of best practice in one organization necessarily was a best fit for another (George & Jones, 2008).
As to the value of the suggestion itself, it would probably have been a much better fit if it were introduced as a merit-based perk rather than a right automatically enjoyed or expected by all employees of the firm. In that format, Sues idea could have been used as a performance incentive while providing some of the (undisputed) potential benefits with respect to employee development. But instead of creating an unrealistic expectation in relation to organizational resources, the benefit could have been targeted to those employees who demonstrated the best potential to benefit the organization through their career development. To the extent such a program was achievable given the organizations resources, that might very well have developed into a best practice within that particular organization.
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