Strategic alignment between HR and organizational strategy, both horizontally and vertically, is achieved by supporting practices. Notions of strategic alignment have their roots in contingency theories of strategic HRM. An HRM contingency framework is one in which HRM policies and strategies are related to the underlying organizational strategy and in which alignment of HRM practices are contingent upon both the internal and external environments in which the organization operates. This theory emphasizes vertical alignment, the integration of HR strategies with organizational strategy. Earlier in the course, you read Porter’s work on strategy, which suggests that there are three potential ways to achieve a competitive advantage—focus, quality, and cost leadership. Strategic HRM scholars have argued that there are distinct HR practices aligned with these organizational strategies for increased competitive advantage: for example, performance systems that emphasize longer-term achievements or career paths that reinforce learning and skill development. In contrast, a cost-leadership strategy can be supported by reduced levels of employee training and development. Turning to horizontal integration of HR strategies, also termed “bundling,” is equally important to organizational success. This requires careful consideration of how selection, developmental, and compensation practices fit to form a system that is equally aligned with vertically integrated practices. In addition, organizations want to adopt practical HR practices that have the potential to attract, motivate, and retain key talent and create a competitive advantage while aligning with their strategic goals. For this Discussion, you will use the following scenarios to craft your response. If your last name begins with A–M , use the first scenario. If your last name begins with N–Z, use the second scenario. •An organization decides to evaluate performance at the team level and the job design revolves around work teams. Consider the benefits and potential challenges, such as no individual accountability. •An organization’s staffing polices emphasize hiring at entry levels. They have a strong focus on training and promoting from within. Consider the benefits and potential challenges, such as the internal staff’s skills not being at the level to successfully meet the organization’s strategic goals. Post by Day 3 a cohesive and scholarly response based on your readings and research this week that addresses the following: •When might these “best practices” from the scenario you selected be beneficial when an organization wants to increase its competitive advantage, and when might it hurt its competitive advantage? •What theories and/or frameworks of strategic HRM might be applied to the scenario you selected for an HR professional to be successful in implementing the scenario on a practical level? Be specific and provide examples. •Then respond to someone who has chosen the opposite scenario, adding value to the discussion by exploring both viewpoints.
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