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Human Resource Assignment: Managing HR Roles Using David Ulrich Model


Task: 1. 'In this era of rapidly and constantly changing business environments, best practice approaches to HRM are unrealistic. Human resource specialists should act on the basis that every policy choice in HRM is contingent on the specific competitive strategy of the firm.’ (Anonymous)
Using the best practice and best fit approaches to HRM as the theoretical basis of your analysis, provide a critical evaluation of the statement and its accuracy.
2. It is not possible for HR Practitioners to have a strategic focus on their organisation's business strategy, while also being concerned with issues like employee well-being and ethics.’ Is this the case? (Note you must use David Ulrich’s conceptualisation of the role of HR professionals as the starting point for your research and provide a reasoned scholarly analysis in your answer)


The present human resource assignment explores the essential aspects of human resource management. In the present scenario, human resource allows the management to develop flexible practices within the organization as a part of competitive environment. In addition to this, it is also very important to manage the human resources for continuous development of knowledge as well as to improve the productivity of the organization. The evaluation of the organizational environment is required to be done to analyze the real market condition so as to develop practices for attain the business objectives in long run. However, the present market conditions are highly competitive and it is very difficult for the HR managers to develop the policies which can relate to both, the well-being of employees as well as the profitability of the organization. This human resource assignment details about some steps that can be taken by the human resource managers to align the HR practices with the organizational success by using David Ulrich Model. A comprehensive analysis has been conducted with the explanation of model. In the end, a conclusion has been drawn summarizing the main findings of the essay.

David Ulrich HR Model
According to this model Human Resource is an essential department for an organization and that's why a business needs to keep the focus on this department which includes employees, board members, managers and another related human resource in an organization. The model of David Ulrich is focusing on 4 roles, these roles include:

Roles Identified by Ulrich

  • HR business partner: HR business partner is maintaining communication with internal customers or clients. These HR business partners include the employees, stakeholders, creditors. HR business partner is providing an organization with the feedback related to the experience they had with the organization and based on the feedback received the overall productivity and harmony at the workplace is promoted (Gerpott, 2015).
  • Change Agent: Change agent mentioned in this human resource assignment is an agent that is playing an important role when business is trying to expand or trying to modify its goals and objectives. In this business is providing employees with an opportunity to learn new skills as per the changing business requirementsUlrich, et. al., (2017) Change agent is helping employees to adapt as per the business requirements.
  • Administration Expert: Administration expert is following the changes related to safety, legislation, trade laws, and regulation. It is helping the organization by providing information with the application of HRIS (Human Resource Information System) which can be helpful in successful monitoring, updating and securing information related to HR. It is allowing the organization to follow the policy of being paperless by storing all the required information and personnel files related to the organization.
  • Employee Advocate: An organization needs to be aware of the interest and needs of the employees. Employee advocate also is known as employee champion is the person which is responsible for motivating and satisfying employees by maintaining the positive environment in an organizationRasmussen and Ulrich (2015) This person helps conduct the surveys in an organization from employees related to employee satisfaction and problems. Also, this person helps develop new learning opportunities for the employees in an organization.

With the application of this Ulrich HR model, the organization is trying to maintain the efficiency of HR in an organization by developing the proper infrastructure of HR. There is a business organization which is lacking with properly integrated HR systems that are causing problems like payroll, recruitment, skill management, training, and education. 

Can HR Practitioner Perform Multiple Roles?
According to Yusoff, et. al., (2015) green HRM is gaining position in the market as it is helpful in increasing awareness related to environmental management. Ulrich Model is emphasizing on HR professionals and it is not important for HR to perform all the four roles all together. The allocation of each role is to be done on the basis of the organization. In Ulrich Model role of HR basically comprises of HR professional design that is performing the functions related to staffing, appraising, training and rewarding. As per the author “The strategic HR role is focusing on aligning the HR strategies and practices along with the business strategy”. So, it can be said that it is essential for HR to perform to the multiple roles specified by Ulrich but not all together at the same time, these roles are performed on the requirements of the organization.

According to Schutte, et. al., (2015) competencies models must be developed that will be detailing about the multiple competencies which must be developed for providing assistance to HR professionals by which these HR professionals can provide support to the organization and ensure successful sustainability. In this study of human resource assignment, author is developing a guideline on the basis of which the HR competency will be measured on the basis of three dimensions which include professional behavior and leadership, business intelligence and service orientation. Therefore, with this study it can be analyzed that roles mentioned by the Ulrich Model are to be followed by HR practitioner effectively.

Alignment of HR Practitioner with Business Strategies
SHRM (Strategic Human Resource Management) is considered to be most important for promoting high performance at the workplace with successful management of human capital management Harrop (2017) the business needs to implement strategic development of human resource in an organization for the establishment of the relationship among the strategic business strategies and human resource.

Earlier there was an application of traditional performance management which led to failure in achieving business strategies because there was a lack of communication from the top management. So, it is important for the HR manager or practitioners to properly communicate the business goals and objectives with the employees as it will be motivating and informing the employees about the vision and mission which business aims to achieve and this will be helpful in achievement of the business strategies Cogin, et. al., (2016) this is the reason that HR practitioners need to stay aligned with the business strategies because these strategies can be fulfilled with the cooperation and support coming from the employees.

Argument Analysis- HRM Approach of Managing People
HRM is basically an approach which is consisting of the elements:

  • Shifting emphasis of human resource to human as the cost asset.
  • Developing strategies that are helpful in providing the competitive advantage.
  • Development of strategic HRM that will be helpful in management of people by keeping in mind the organizational goals which can be achieved with the strategic management of HR and integrating these resources with policies and strategies developed by HR practitioner.

Outcomes of HRM strategies

  • Managing human resource in an organization in cost effective manner.
  • Providing fairness to employees in terms of equality and justice.
  • Providing employees with motivation and job satisfaction.
  • Maintaining social legitimacy of an organization.
  • Emphasizing on business ethics.

It can be analyzed from the that the strategic focus of HR practitioner should be on development on business strategies in the manner that these strategies are also dealing with the issues of employees related to well being and ethics (Nolan and Garavan, 2016)

HR impacting Business Strategies in human resource assignment
An HR practitioner needs to ensure that the functions or framework developed by employees must be by the business strategies and it should be fulfilling the following requirements of business:

  • Understanding the goals and objectives of business: Business colleagues or employees need to work by the business goals and objectives.
  • Seeing HR practices through the lens of business: HR practitioner needs to see through the business lens while developing any plan or framework for the employees. While developing strategies it is important to consider the key drivers related to business. The second important lens is satisfying the customer needs and requirements are important from the business perspectives.

Linking HR strategy with business results: Once the missions and goals of the business are well understood, it is important for HR to link these goals with the business results. For which there is requirement of developing the strategies and these strategies should be strong enough that they get approved by the top management as it will include performance management, change management, and employee engagement.

It is to be concluded after analyzing the information provided in this human resource assignment that roles specified in Ulrich Model for HR practitioner of a change agent, employee champion, strategic partner and administrative expert are justified roles because as stated above HR practitioner should have multiple competencies to perform all these roles by keeping in mind the business strategies. It is not that HR practitioner cannot think of achieving business strategies as these strategies are achieved by performing the multiple roles specified in Ulrich model. Also, HR competency model developed should be consisting of the three principles like personal behavior, business intelligence and service orientation. So, basically the focus of HR practitioner should be on aligning business strategies with HR strategies and practices. It is justified in this essay that how the multiple roles performed by practitioner can be helpful for the business and is it justified that practitioner should be performing all these roles altogether.

Reference List
Login, J.A., Ng, J.L. and Lee, I., 2016. Controlling healthcare professionals: how human resource management influences job attitudes and operational efficiency. Human resources for health, 14(1), p.55.

DeCenzo, D.A., Robbins, S.P., and Verhulst, S.L., 2016. Fundamentals of Human Resource Management, Binder Ready Version. John Wiley & Sons.

Gerpott, F.H., 2015. The right strategy? Examining the business partner model's functionality for resolving Human Resource Management tensions and discussing alternative directions. German Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(3-4), pp.214-234.

Guan, Y., Yang, W., Zhou, X., Tian, Z. and Eves, A., 2016. Predicting Chinese human resource managers' strategic competence: Roles of identity, career variety, organizational support, and career adaptability. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 92, pp.116-124.

Gutierrez-Gutierrez, L.J., Barrales-Molina, V. and Kaynak, H., 2018. The role of human resource-related quality management practices in new product development: A dynamic capability perspective. human resource assignment International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 38(1), pp.43-66.

Harrop, J.J., 2017. Assessment and recommendations for effective HR service delivery model implementation for organizations. Middle East Journal of Business, 55(4022), pp.1-5.

Nolan, C.T. and Garavan, T.N., 2016. Human resource development in SMEs: a systematic review of the literature. International Journal of Management Reviews, 18(1), pp.85-107.

Rasmussen, T. and Ulrich, D., 2015. Learning from practice: how HR analytics avoids being a management fad. Organizational Dynamics, 44(3), pp.236-242.

Schutte, N., Barkhuizen, N. and Van der Sluis, L., 2015. Exploring the current application of professional competencies in human resource management in the South African context. SA Journal of Human Resource Management, 13(1), p.9.

Ulrich, D., Kryscynski, D., Ulrich, M. and Brockbank, W., 2017. Competencies for HR Professionals Who Deliver Outcomes.

Yusoff, Y.M., Ramayah, T. and Othman, N.Z., 2015. Why examining adoption factors, HR role and attitude towards using E-HRM is the start-off in determining the successfulness of green HRM. J. Adv. Manag. Sci, 3.



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