Unit 3 HRM Guest Model Assignment

Unit 3 HRM Guest Model Assignment

Unit 3 HRM Guest Model Assignment


With the change in modern times, organizations have realised and considered the employees to be an indispensible asset for the long-term success of the business and effective management of human resources will drive an organization towards the achievement of its predefined objectives. Through this unit 3 HRM guest model assignment I will discuss the Guest Model of HRM along with Storey’s idea in relation to PM, IR and HRM and how can it be implemented in Harrods.

Managing human resources

Managing human resources can be referred to a manager’s functions relatively performed for the employees of an organization. The functions comprises of planning and resources allocation, directing the employees in visioning the goals, developing a work atmosphere where employees are motivated and their contributions are recognized.

Task 1

1.1. Explain Guest’s model of HRM as applied to the organisation of your choice.

The primitive intent of Guest’s Model of HRM is to understand how HRM is different from personnel management. The model emphasizes that HRM is based on commitment in contrast to compliance as in the case of personnel management. The Guest’s model of HRM goes ahead of just employee recruitment and training. It stresses on considering employees as valuable asset which needs to be managed strategically for gaining their commitment in attaining the goals of Harrods. The model eventually focuses on an employee’s individual needs in comparison to that of the team as a whole. (Guest, 2010) The Guest’s model is based on 4 key components:

  • Strategic Integration: according to this component Harrods should have the capacity or ability of maintaining a proper balance its business and HRM strategies and is related to the hard aspect of HRM.
  • Flexibility: when Harrods gains the ability of adjusting to the changes of the business environment and work behavior, it automatically will acquire the flexibility element which comprises of both soft and hard HRM
  • High Commitment: it relates to the employee commitment and identification towards Harrods which eventually will show their commitment in going an extra mile whenever required.
  • Quality: it states that if Harrods employees are managed by adopting qualitative measures, it will influence their productivity and will a positive impact on the services provided to customers. (Guest, 2010)

Harrods has implemented this model at its workplace for organizing various programs of employee engagement. Guest’s Model is based on 6 different analyses namely HRM practices and outcomes, strategy, financial, performance and behaviour outcomes. Harrods understands that importance of having the knowledge of both soft and hard HRM. In Hard HRM only financial advantage is pursued by Harrods if the manager chooses Soft HRM then he/she will aim of taking care of employees’ interest along with that of the organization.  The HRM department in Harrods is committed in bringing out the best performances of employees and is simply just not aimed in looking out the financial outcomes of Harrods. The various human resource practices implemented at Harrods include mentoring and spotting of talent. Furthermore, Harrods often organizes employee surveys to get a clear picture of the needs of employees. (Guest, 2010)

1.2. Using an organisation of your choice, compare the differences between Storey’s definitions of HRM, personnel and IR practices.

According to Guest’s HRM model, it is essential to consider the employees as a valuable asset for the company which must be suitably utilized for obtaining desirable organizational outcomes such as improved employee performances, low employee turnover and high problem solving skills. However, Storey’s views on HRM are comparatively different. According to Storey for an organization, employee factor is significant and their commitment towards the organization generates change in the outlook and company’s performance. He emphasized that HRM should just not be the source for hiring right people but should also incorporated in formulating strategies and decision making to escalate the scope of reaching the predefined goals. (Bratton and Gold, 2012)

Guest’s HRM model

Comparison of IR or personnel practices at Harrods and Hamelys

Harrods understands the importance of employee engagement and as adopted various techniques such as job enlargement, job rotation, career development and job enrichment for delivering outstanding performance in the form of increased productivity. Activities like job enlargement has helped the employees to take up challenging roles for fulfilling their individual self-actualization need. (Bratton and Gold, 2012)

Storey’s model of HRM is implemented at Harrods by understanding the employees’ psychological needs to get them engaged into various activities and further satisfying them with distribution of non-monetary rewards which eventually will improve employees’ performances and organizational growth.  The personnel or IR practices pursued in Hamleys is based on three key aspects namely enjoyment, rewarding and fun. Hamley believes that use of these 3 aspects will generate employees interests and help them to per from. Furthermore, Hamley also encourages an employee’s personal development and training events are organized for creating and maintain their enthusiasm and passion towards work. Benefits like interest free travel loans, pension and bonus schemes are provided at Hamelys for motivating employees in improving their performances. (Bratton and Gold, 2012)

1.3 Assess the implications for line managers and employees of developing a strategic approach to HRM for any organisation of your choice.

Engagement and involvement of employees at Harrods is been given the absolute importance and hence, are always encouraged to take part in the decision makings. This not only makes quick decisions but also brings out better and different ideas and simultaneously motivates the employees in giving their best performances as they are made to feel an integral part of Harrods. It eventually fulfils the employees self esteem and self- actualization needs which are the basic needs of every human. (Boselie, 2010) Harrods undertakes strategic approach in HRM practices involving different implications for line managers and the employees. At Harrods, line managers are responsible for managing the organization’s culture, business policies, leadership style and controlling its implications on achieving the objectives whereas employee empowerment, job rotation and participation in decision makings are considered for employees. Line manager is responsible of taking care of employees under his/her supervision. Strategic approaches undertaken for enhancing employee’s participation and lessening the turnover rate includes change in the organizational structure implemented for cultivating coordination amid line manager and employees. Reducing the layers in hierarchy helps in making the structure more flexible and reachable. Moreover, employees are encouraged in sharing ideas, opinions, and observations with line managers. To improve the employees’ productivity, topmost management shares day to day plans with the line managers and employees. Harrods HR department frequently organizes employees surveys and there outcomes are utilized in framing strategies and implementing changes within the organization. (Boselie, 2010)

Task 2

2.1 Explain how a model of flexibility might be applied in your organisation.

The main purpose behind Harrods adopting the model of flexibility is developing the capability of the organization to respond diverseness of the competitive needs. Harrods sets its mission and goals in accordance to the model of flexibility within the organization and then identifies the external threats and opportunities. Once the analysis is done, focus is placed on flexibility desired which eventually focuses on employees skills. By adopting a model of flexibility in workplace, Harrods sets an example of an organization that cares for the employees needs.  In case an employee needs to take a day off for some personal work, Harrods following the flexibility model will grant the same. Christensen and Schneider, 2015) The flexibility model has helped the female employees of Harrods the most who have a family to care of.  Harrods works in maintaining an organizational structure where different flexible techniques can be implemented which is also helpful during industrial fluctuations when Harrods needs to be flexible for coping up with the external changes of business environment. In Harrods, Atkinson model of flexibility is practiced which is based on breaking down employees into 2 groups namely peripheral and core. Core groups encompass employees who possess skills and knowledge which cannot be replaced and are very important for Harrods whereas peripheral groups are not very skilled and are needed for executing certain jobs and hence, can be replaced easily. Harrods has set certain criteria which employees needs to fulfil for requesting work flexibility. Take for example, to avail work flexibility an employee needs to notify well in advance so that the work schedule can be adjusted. (Christensen and Schneider, 2015)

2.2 Discuss the types of flexibility which may be developed by your organisation.

Flexibility can either be functional or numerical. The concept of functional flexibility allows Harrods employees in playing various roles and responsibilities other than the roles played routinely. This kind of flexibility depends completely on the activities of training and development and is beneficial for Harrods in maintaining the human resource needed in crisis situations. The practice of numerical flexibility in Harrods allows the HR manager to ensure the number of employees needed by the company is fulfilled. Mentioned below are the types of flexibility Harrods can develop:

  • Flexitime: is basically referred to changes made in the work hours of employees and is designed for offering the employees with more flexibility in workplace allowing them the flexibleness in starting and finishing their work citing their family responsibilities, mode of transport etc. Implementation of flexible working can help Harrods by escalating job satisfaction amid employees and enhancing their morale. It will also reduce absenteeism and improve employee productivity. Moreover, it will help in employee retention and enable Harrods in attracting employees with higher skills. (Hill, Erickson, Holmes and Ferris, 2010)
  • Job sharing: it engages two employees who voluntarily share set of task. This kind of arrangement can be customized to suit various circumstances. It will help Harrods to engage tow employees for completing a job working part-time and will eventually lessen the financial resources spend on the job.
  • Working from home: it allows the employees to do their job away from workplace with the help of telecommuting facilities like smartphone, laptops etc. If Harrods provides this facility to its employees it can easily lessen its overhead expenses and can also help in controlling absences and will allow Harrods to employ the best people irrespective of their geographical locations.
  • Compressed Work Week: it allows employees to work and complete 35-40 hour workweek in less than scheduled working days. From Harrods perspective, CWW will help in scheduling meetings, coordinating with co-workers and communicating with clients. CWWs allows employees in getting a day off in every 2 weeks which means longer weekends and family time whereas Harrods gets a more certain flexible work arrangement that will make the employees happier while reducing disruptions. (Hill, Erickson, Holmes and Ferris, 2010)

2.3 Assess the use of flexible working practices from both the employee and the employer perspective.

Harrods is primarily concerned about employees’ performance and turnover and hence has adopted flexible working practices at workplace to deal with the issues. Flexible working helps in increasing employee productivity and attracting and retaining the best people creating a winning situation for both employees and Harrods. The perception of flexible working has changed from a problem in managing to a tool that provides newer business opportunities and satisfies employees with greater freedom. (Stavrou and Kilaniotis, 2010) Flexible working practices have helped Harrods in retaining the skilled employees and also attracting the new ones. It has been observed that employees’ productivity has increased by 30% since Harrods has adopted the work from home practice. Increased level of productivity was attained by raising the output while making a cut on the capital and labour inputs. The practice of work from home has boosted job satisfaction amid employees who prefer to devote the working hours in doing work rather than spending on travelling to reach the office. It has further enabled an improved work-life balance and has left a positive impact on customer services. Flexible working practices have enhanced Harrods competitiveness by better responding to the market changes through effective use of staff and have further allowed extending the hours of operations leading to more revenue generation. (Stavrou and Kilaniotis, 2010)

Flexible working at Harrods is making the employees happier with more young employees entering the workforce who prefer freedom and flexibility at work. Research suggest that 1in 3 employees under 30s look for social media freedom, device and work flexibility over pay pack while accepting a job.  The arrangements of flexible working allow the employees to devote more time in satisfying their personal and family needs and generate more job satisfaction amid them. (Stavrou and Kilaniotis, 2010)

2.4 Discuss the impact that changes in the labour market have had on flexible working practices.

The flexible working practices at Harrods often gets influenced by the changes in labour market which might occur as result of demographic shift, technology evolution and rise in appointment  of post and under graduates candidates. The change at times is beneficial for Harrods in hiring employees with multiple skills. The utilization of flexible working practices has helped the organizational structure at Harrods in controlling employees’ activities. (Eichhorst, Escudero, Marx and Tobin, 2010) The demographic changes have helped Harrods in maintaining a diversified workforce which gives more scope to innovation. UK government has a vital role to play in the flexible working arrangements practiced in organizations. In challenging labour  Harr Hamarkets it becomes hard for Harrods to practice a flexible working arrangement and might need to force the full timers to work overtime and transfer part timers into full timers. When the industry witnesses fluctuations, Harrods faces huge loss and are forced for bulk employees’ termination, imposing others to take up added responsibilities which overburden them. Economy also has hand in bringing a shift in the condition of labour market. (Eichhorst, Escudero, Marx and Tobin, 2010) Employees have the tendency of switching jobs if they feel unhappy with the existing ones and Harrods with the help of its flexible working practices attracts skilled employees and taking the most advantage of this situation. Harrods flexible jobs attract employees looking for sustainability. Apart from furnishing telecommuting, part-time and paid leaves opportunities to employees, Harrods should also devise functional flexible systems for meeting their needs, resulting into increased job satisfaction. Change in labour market leaves a positive impact on flexible working condition in terms of unemployment rate. In the situations of crisis, change in labour market forces the flexible working arrangements at Harrods to satisfy organization’s needs. (Eichhorst, Escudero, Marx and Tobin, 2010)

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Task 3

3.1 explain the forms of discrimination that can take place in the workplace using examples of recent discrimination cases which has made the news.

Different forms of discrimination

  • Gender Discrimination: it occurs when preference is given to one gender over the other and the victim is subjected to unfair treatment while recruitment or is a current employee.
  •  Racial Discrimination: is the most common form where the victim is differently treated on the grounds of his/her race or nationality. In spite of laws prohibiting racial discrimination but is practiced in most of workplaces.
  • Age Discrimination: the victims of this discrimination are mainly middle-aged and older employees who are terminated in favor of younger employees. Many companies prefer hiring young employees over middle-aged at less pay. Though there are laws forbidding companies from discriminating employees on the basis of age.  This kind of discrimination can be seen in hiring, promotions, compensation, trainings, benefits, job assignments and layoffs.  (Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf and Cooper, 2010)
  • Disability Discrimination: qualified disabled candidates/employees are subjected to this discrimination. Despite of laws been enforced, organizations usually do not prefer hiring a disabled person and even if hired, they are provided with necessary facilities for disabled people or are given low level jobs.
  • Religious Discrimination: the victims of this discrimination are subjected to unfair treatment on the grounds of their religious beliefs and practices. It can be in the form of harassment or refusal in considering their religious practices. (Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf and Cooper, 2010)

Harrods has often been in the news for practicing gender based discrimination. A recent discrimination case which made headlines was of Ms Lokhova who worked as the floor manager was harassed when she discovered that Harrods was consistent in giving a pay rise to her male counter parts and she was derived of the same for over 3 years. She dragged Harrods to the employee tribunal and after almost investing all of her savings finally managed to win the case and Harrods had to compensate £160,000 and also pay the 50% of funds she invested in fighting the case. (Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf and Cooper, 2010)

3.2 Discuss the practical implications of equal opportunities legislation for an organisation.

Harrods always makes a genuine effort in ensuring that its recruitment and selection process compiles with the equal opportunities legislation and is also carried in the workplace so that every employee receives their rights. The enforcement of equal opportunities legislation also ensures that an organization is not involved in practicing any kind of discrimination in its workplace. Harrods operates in accordance to Equality Act (2010), Criminal Justice and Immigration Act (2008) and Racial and Religious Hatred Act (2006) and can face legal actions if it fails to obligate to the regulations. (Groeneveld and Walle, 2010) The imposition of Equality Act ensures anyone who is qualified and eligible for a certain vacant position can apply for the same irrespective of caste, age, gender or nationality. The act protects the individual rights of employees and shields them from being treated unfairly. The equal opportunities legislation has both positive and negative implications on Harrods. The implementation of equal opportunities legislation has helped Harrods in avoiding practice of discriminations in the workplace which has further empowered the employees leading to improved productivity. The legislation has made Harrods an ideal place to work and has helped in improving the company’s goodwill and reputation attracting more investors. The negative implications can be since the application of the legislation is time consuming; the focus from other critical areas might get diverted and the application of the legislation will increase the cost burden of Harrods. (Groeneveld and Walle, 2010)

3.3 Compare the approaches to managing equal opportunities and managing diversity

Managing equal opportunity and diversity are relatively different from each other and so are the approaches. Various external factors such as government rules and regulations, ethical and social contribution of the business leave their influence on equal opportunities whereas internal factors like work process and structure of organization influences diversity.  (Kirton and Greene, 2015)

Managing Equal Opportunities

Opportunities are provided to the employees for sharing their ideas, opinions in the decision making process. Harrods has initiated a program ‘Bright Ideas’ under which employees are encouraged to discuss their innovative ideas in improving the operations and customer services. Strict policies against discrimination have been framed and vacancies are open for all eligible candidates irrespective of their backgrounds. Harrods also rewards its employees for their contributions and are strictly adhering to the UK government’s regulations in designing its pay structure, promotion, transfer policy, training and recruitment process. (Kirton and Greene, 2015)


Managing Diversity

Harrods also ensures of managing diversity by generating a cross departmental approach. The employees are rotated from one role to another for maintaining diverseness in the team which together bring in innovative ideas that can be beneficial for the business. Role transfers have helped the employees in expanding their knowledge base and evolving different ideas and opinions. Employee are briefed and trained when they join to increase their competency levels. Harrods has also reduced layers in the hierarchical structure making it more   reachable to employees. (Kirton and Greene, 2015)



We can conclude by saying that managing human resource is an organization’s integral responsibility which helps it in framing a competitive verge by decisively engaging the employees. Managing human resources further helps in establishing an open work culture which encourages and allows the employees in sharing their ideas and participate into decision-makings. In this HRM guest model assignment we have discussed the Guest model of HRM and its application on Harrods and how workplace discrimination can be eradicated by allowing diversity in Harrods and the implications of equality legislation on the organisation.


Bratton, J. and Gold, J., 2012. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
Boselie, P., 2010. Strategic human resource management: A balanced approach. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.
Christensen, K. and Schneider, B. eds., 2015. Workplace flexibility: Realigning 20th-century jobs for a 21st-century workforce. Cornell University Press.
Eichhorst, W., Escudero, V., Marx, P. and Tobin, S., 2010. The impact of the crisis on employment and the role of labour market institutions.
Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D. and Cooper, C. eds., 2010. Bullying and harassment in the workplace: Developments in theory, research, and practice. Crc Press.
Guest, D.E., 2011. Human resource management and performance: still searching for some answers. Human Resource Management Journal, 21(1), pp.3-13.
Groeneveld, S. and Van de Walle, S., 2010. A contingency approach to representative bureaucracy: power, equal opportunities and diversity.International Review of Administrative Sciences, 76(2), pp.239-258.