Impact of External Environment on Personnel Management
The working title of this research is initially drafted as Impact of External Environment on Personnel Management.
Given that businesses do not exist in vacuum, several factors are influencing the core conduct of the business as well as the objectives and strategies of the business. Known as the external environment, these are the social, legal, economic, political, technological and ethical factors. As such, the business has social environment and responsibilities. Personnel management, on the other hand, is the part of management that deals with people and their relationship at work. As the responsibility of those who manage people, personnel management concerns personnel relations and personnel policies. Human resource management (HRM) is the most recent and most celebrated outgrowth of personnel management.
There are several studies relating external environment and personnel management. However, these studies are either taken from broad settings such as the international firm or specific context like the public policy and technology. The study seeks to determine the interplay between the external environment and personnel management in a holistic manner, taking into consideration the elements of external environment aforementioned.
This paper proposes to explore how the external influences change the context and dynamics of personnel management. The aim of the study is to descriptively determine how how consumers, household and communities behave and their beliefs are (social); how legislation in society affects the business and the personnel managers (legal); how the economy affects the business and the role of personnel managers in terms of taxation, government spending, general demand, interest rates, exchange rates and the global economic factors (economic); how changes in government policy affects business (political); how the rapid pace of change in production processes and product innovation affects the business (technological); and how what is regarded as morally right or wrong for a business to do.
In lieu with this, the following research questions will be given answers to:
1) How the external environment impacts the personnel management?
2) How the external environment influences the personnel relationships and personnel policies?
3) How the external environment affects the roles, duties and responsibilities of personnel managers?
4) How the external environment influences the behaviour and practice of personnel managers?
5) How the external environment changes the perceptions about and understanding of their position in a specific company?
On the other hand, the objectives of the study are:
- To evaluate how the external environment impact personnel management in terms of its influence on personnel relationships, personnel policies and personnel managers
- To analyse how the external environment affects the behaviours, attitudes perceptions and practices of personnel managers
- To assess whether external environment contributes on how personnel manager perceive their fit in the company
3.0 Literature Review
From the initial review of literature, the researcher found the following journal articles which will provide insights to the study. First is by Henstridge (1975) which revolves on suggesting that the traditional descriptive approaches to personnel management do not provide the concrete definition for personnel management or explain the way in which it actually exists in work organizations. For Henstridge, the phenomenon of personnel management could be a meeting point of disciplines.
The second article is by Akinmayowa (1980) who investigates the relationship between personnel managers and other managers within an organisation. Personnel managers perceived themselves to be in the forefront with other professionals in contributing to corporate success, whereas managers in sales, finance and production departments have a less impressive view of personnel managers' influence in achieving corporate goals.
Oswick and Grant (1996) argued that different roles changes within an organisation such as generalist and specialist personnel roles; relationships between personnel professionals and line managers; and perceptions of personnel activities. Along with these changes, however, are power ramifications. For personnel managers, these changes in roles had a detrimental impact on the duties and activities of the personnel practitioner and have also led to a dilution of professional power.
4.0 Research Methodology
This study will use interpretivism as its main research philosophy. Descriptive research will be used in the study. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (Creswell, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and process that are on-going, effects that are being felt or trends that are developing. In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994).
Basically, a descriptive research utilizes observations and surveys. It is for this particular reason that this approach was chosen by the researcher, whose intention is to gather first hand data. Moreover, this will allow for a flexible approach that when important new issues and questions arise at the duration of the study, a further investigation can be conducted. Also, with this type of approach, the researcher will be allowed to drop unproductive areas of research from the original plan of the study. Another advantage is that with this approach, the research will be fast and somehow cost-effective.
Primary and secondary research will be conducted in the study. In primary research, the study will survey 50 personnel managers. A structured questionnaire will be developed and it will be used as the survey tool for the study. It is planned that the question will have probing and hypothetical questions. Interviews will be followed in order to clarify and gain more insights regarding the issue.
Aside from survey, a secondary research will also be conducted in the study. Sources in secondary research will include previous research reports, newspaper, magazine and journal content and the Internet. In this paper, existing findings on journals and existing knowledge on books will be used as secondary research. Basically, interpretation will be conducted which can account as qualitative in nature.
For validation purposes, the researcher will pre-test a sample of the set survey questionnaires by conducting an initial survey to at least five respondents. After the respondents have answered the questionnaire, the researchers will then ask them to cite the parts of the questionnaire that needs improvement and if necessary, the researcher will even ask for suggestions and corrections. The researcher, afterwards, will again examine the content of the survey/interview questions to find out the reliability of the instrument so as to determine irrelevant questions that have to be discarded.
For the qualitative data that will be gathered in the duration of the study, a content analysis will be conducted.
The researcher will use the following statistical formulae:
1. Percentage – to determine the magnitude of the responses to the questionnaire.
% = -------- x 100 ; n – number of responses
N N – total number of respondents
2. Weighted Mean
f1x1 + f2x2 + f3x3 + f4x4 + f5x5
x = --------------------------------------------- ;
where: f – weight given to each response
x – number of responses
xt – total number of responses
Akinmayowa, J. T. (1980). Relationship of Personnel Managers to Others. Personnel Review, 9(4): 33-36.
Creswell, J.W. (1994) Research design: Qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Henstridge, J. (1975). Personnel Management: A Framework for Analysis. Personnel Review, 4(1): 47-53.
Oswick, C. and Grant, D. (1996). Personnel management in the public sector: Power, roles and relationships. Personnel Review, 25(2): 4-18.