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Building an HR architecture: a case study in the healthcare sector in the East of the Netherlands

Riet, Melanie ter (2009) Building an HR architecture: a case study in the healthcare sector in the East of the Netherlands.

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Abstract:The explorative multiple case study was conducted among one nursing home and three elderly people’s homes in the East of the Netherlands. The four organizations, Bruggerbosch, Zorgcentrum de Posten, Zorggroep Manna and Zorgfederatie Oldenzaal, form an alliance association, called NoaberZorg. The goal of this alliance is collaboration in the professional field of elderly care. Although the four organizations started collaborating, there is no yet a clearly defined structural basis to do so. Such a structural basis is to be built, once NoaberZorg is aware of its HR and workforce architecture: which of the HR polices/practices can be shared, which HR policies/practices not; and which employees can be shared, and which employees not. Therefore, this study aimed at examining the appropriate HR architecture to manage the workforce and the HR policies/practices in the alliance association of NoaberZorg. No study in previous research has examined the structural possibilities for the existence of HR alliances in depth. The concept of independent organizations cooperating in the management of human resources, is counterintuitive and contrary to the fundamental views of HRM, because employees are believed to be temporarily captive and propriety assets, not shared with other organizations. This study builds on four theoretical concepts: transaction cost economics theory, the resource dependency theory, the resource based view theory, and the agency cost theory. A research model is centered around four strategic determinants: uniqueness, information asymmetry, value and discretion over an important resource. The internal impact factor in this study is the degree of integration between the strategic planning function and the HR function. The external impact factor is the external labor market for employees in the healthcare sector in the East of the Netherlands. In order to determine the appropriate HR architecture, in each organization interviews were conducted with the managing director, the management team members, a representative of the works council, the HR manager and the quality official, totaling in 29 interviews. The interview protocol contained 31 open questions. Explicitly for the workforce architecture 177 functions were analyzed. The functions were divided into managerial functions, coordinating functions, team leader functions, healthcare functions and operational functions. For the HR policies/practices architecture 49 HR policies/practices were analyzed. This study found a direct relation between the degree of integration between the strategic planning function and the HR function, and the workforce and HR policies/practices architecture of the HR alliance. Regarding the workforce architecture, it was found that the managerial functions, the coordinating functions, and the team leader functions cannot be exchanged among the organizations. Yet, the employees who fulfill these functions can exchange knowledge and work together in a project form. The workforce of most of the analyzed healthcare functions and operational functions can be exchanged among the organizations. From the workforce architecture of the functions that can be developed in the alliance, a direct relation was found to the internal labor market. Besides, a direct relation was discovered from the external labor market to the internal labor market. Concerning the HR policies/practices architecture this study found that the organizations can collaborate in the operational execution of all analyzed HR policies/practices. Based on the results of this study, an advice for the appropriate HR architecture for the HR alliance NoaberZorg is that in order to enhance the inter-alliance collaboration, the HR departments should jointly develop the healthcare functions and operational functions, and share the operational execution of the HR policies/practices. When this is done, the HR architecture is likely to meet the strategic goals of the HR alliance NoaberZorg. An internal labor market can be developed to provide employees variety, new challenges, possibilities to brush up their knowledge and experience, or employees may be given a new chance to work at another NoaberZorg organization. Employees find it important to have development opportunities, and an internal labor market protects the employees from the external labor market: the employees are preserved in the association. When the workforce of the healthcare functions are exchanged, a long period of time has the preference. The clients get familiar with the employees and built a trusting relationship. Concerning the operational execution of the HR policies/practices, each organization must in the recruitment and selection stage indicate the competitive advantage the Noabers have as being Building an HR architecture: A case study in the healthcare sector in the east of the Netherlands 4 combined employers and in the introduction period the organizations must mention to the employees what NoaberZorg can mean for them in the form of concrete examples. A NoaberZorg broad trainee policy needs to be developed. The organizations can offer students/trainees the complete breath of traineeships in the healthcare functions. Doing this, will have a positive radiation on the education institutions and future employees. It is desired to collaborate in the courses that the employees need to follow in the framework of the training policy, and reintegrating employees in the NoaberZorg organizations must be better and more utilized, because a clear financial incentive is present. A pilot for a flexpool must be developed to have a decent buffer in times of absenteeism and holidays. Pertaining to the external labor market it is viable to make agreements with the municipalities of Enschede and Oldenzaal to train people who keep their payment fees. The people who are attracted must be able to provide care of good quality. New advent employees can be attracted and be trained in the association of NoaberZorg. After the training is completed, the employees can be employed in the flexpool. Finally, although the degree of integration between the strategic planning function and the HR function shows that the HR managers have different positions and decision making authority in the organizations, it is relevant that all HR managers are present in the management team meetings that are held in the NoaberZorg association. When topics are discussed in the management team meetings the HR managers are directly involved and can respond to the topics that are elaborated, and the HR managers can make the decision who leads a certain project. As mentioned, an advice is to collaborate in managing the operational functions and healthcare functions in the association, and in the operational execution of the HR policies/practices. Therefore, it is relevant that every management team meeting in NoaberZorg attention is paid on the positive and challenging aspects of the collaboration in these two areas.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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