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Congruence of HRM Frames and Trust in HRM. Results of an explorative case study at Zara

Arun, S (2014) Congruence of HRM Frames and Trust in HRM. Results of an explorative case study at Zara.

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Abstract:Purpose of the research This research departs from the idea that one of the main conditions for HRM success is that HR professionals and line managers perform people management in congruence with each other. Line managers become more responsible for the implementation of HR practices, due to the devolution of HR responsibilities to the line. The purpose of this study is to explore the link between shared HRM frames of HR professionals and line managers and employees’ trust in HRM. Case study: Zara Zara was selected as the company to be studied. The people management at Zara can be traced to the Control oriented HRM system that aims to improve efficiency, by enforcing employee compliance with specified rules and procedures. The strategic objective of this control oriented HR system is to increase employee efficiency and productivity through greater emphasis on rules, regulations, and close monitoring to regulate employee behavior. For Zara, this Control oriented management system goals are to maintain order, a structured organization, and clarity in rules and procedures among all the organization members to focus eventually on the product in order to increase the sales performance and stimulate growth of the business units worldwide. Findings The study revealed high congruence within the HRM frames of line managers and the HR professional. The intended goals and managerial reasons for this people management to be in place were in common. This Control HRM system keeps the organization goals maintained by the strict guidelines and procedures and close monitoring to regulate employee behavior. In addition, both groups acknowledged that the composition of the HRM system’s employee policy brings a lot of clarity regarding what is desirable and expected from all the members of the organization. For Zara, business operations speed is a high priority, which is expressed by the implementation of the HR practice time management. The line managers’ use of the TGT HR instrument and HR practices like time management, team meetings and performance appraisals (evaluations) were congruent due to similar perceptions. Line managers perceived involvement of the line in HR practices as very important for designing and implementing HR activities, as they are responsible for creating value. Due to this system, the company manages centralized decision making with vertically oriented (top down) positioning roles. Furthermore, both line managers and HR think it is important that all the employees’ activities and tasks are coordinated in a good and efficient manner. Finally, there was found to be a confident level of trust in the people management which could be linked to the high level of congruence among the HRM frames of both groups. Recommendations to Zara Although a high congruence within the HRM frames was found, some minor inconsistencies arose from this HRM system. We advise to anticipate on these differences and to strengthen the HRM system which will allow empowerment of the HR function and the best performance of their teams. More specifically, we recommend Zara: 7  Develop a higher advanced TGT system regarding the registration of hours and other information concerning HR tasks. This saves a lot of time and calculations that can be used to focus more on the products in the business units. In this way, the employees can login and register their hours themselves.  Regarding applying for holidays, it saves a lot of disappointments among employees and managers if there are less blocked off times in which they are not allowed to take vacation time. A proposal is to leave the vacation scheduling to the line, as they are very well aware in which periods they need to employ their human resources and in which periods they cannot be missed.  Scheduling more time for training sessions to train both managers and employees. In this way the managers and employees remain up to date as to what is important in the business units, which ensures they continue to be reminded of what is desirable. Furthermore, management obtains a clear structure in the units concerning which employees should perform certain tasks.  With regard to the performance of all the organizational members it is desirable that both groups are stricter with the guideline to hold performance appraisals or evaluations twice in six months.  More communication accessibility is desired towards HR if line managers are unclear about whom to contact with difficulties about specific guidelines or tasks which need to be performed by the line managers. Second, HR should communicate more often with line managers about how to deal with certain situations that are difficult in practice. In this way, the line managers can manage to deal with certain situations themselves and HR can focus more on their own tasks.  Line managers should communicate more openly and honestly towards employees, about the reasons concerning whether to renew or not renew employee contracts. By consulting for example the collective labor agreement, the line could try to manage certain situations themselves.  Remain to provide HR assistance and involvement at the business units in order to show line managers and employees that personal contact is available.
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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