Article 1: The Impact of Human Resource and Operational Management Practices on Company Productivity: A Longitudinal Study Dana Cuffee BSA 523 Operations Management and Analysis August 31, 2009 Dr. Woo This article talks about human resource and the operational management practices on a company productivity. This paper reports on the study that evaluates the individual and collective impact on manufacturing performance of the seven managerial practices most associated with these theoretical perspectives: empowerment, training, teamwork, total quality management, just in time, advanced manufacturing, technology, and supply chain partnering.
There was little or no evidence related to a company performance in longitudinal practices to show companies that adopted specific practices to improve their performances. A study was conducted by Birdi, Clegg, Patterson, Robinson, Stride, Wall and Woo (2008), to determine the importance of psychology-based practice on a company’s productivity. They studied 308 companies over 22 years and implemented the 7 practices. As a result of the study, it was concluded that none of the operational practices were directly related to productivity. Empowerment focuses on giving individual or teams’ responsibility rather than management.
Extensive training is providing employees with a wide range of skills. Teamwork is a group of employees working together on a common task. Total quality management is based on the principle that quality control should be a part of the production process. Just in time is a system for making products in direct response to internal and external demand from customers. Advanced manufacturing technology includes a range of computer based machinery, such as computer numerically controlled machines, robots, and computers aided design and process planning. Supply chain partnering is trategic alliances through long term relationships with suppliers to guarantee that the right materials and components are provided at minimum cost. The case study has three hypotheses. The first hypotheses included empowerment, extensive power and teamwork would independently enhance company performance. This is based on the theory that empowerment required extensive skills in order for it to work, thus both of these practices underscore the effectiveness of teams. Also, learning from extensive training requires teamwork and problem solving skills, which provides the competencies on which team performance depends.
The second hypothesis was that having total quality management, just in time, advanced manufacturing technology, and supply chain partnering will independently enhances company performance. The combined practices worked as a synergy, affecting each other. Lean production adds supply chain partnering in the mix, which in turns, bolster the other practices by helping to ensure all the other components. The third hypothesis was that empowerment, extensive training, and teamwork will positively interact with total quality management, just in time, advanced manufacturing technology, and supply chain partnering to predict company performance.
Stevenson (2007) also uses the seven practices in his book. Total quality management (p. 427) involves everyone in the organization in a continual effort to improve quality and achieve customer satisfaction. The just in time (p. 694) concept believes in a processing system in which goods move through the system and services are performed just as they are needed. Empowerment (p. 428) believes in giving employees the responsibility and the authority to make changes to accomplish their task. Cross training workers (p. 07) to perform different parts of a process and to operate a variety of machines adds flexibility and value to the worker. Some organizations use self directed teams (p. 329) to achieve a higher level of teamwork and employee involvement. They are empowered to make certain changes in their work processes. Stevenson has several advanced manufacturing technologies described in his book. To name a few are computer aided manufacturing, numerically controlled machine (p. 246) and robots (p. 247). All of them depend on the level of automation a company need.
Every job wants to improve and get better over time (even the military). The military also focuses on the 7 practices of empowerment, training, teamwork, total quality management, just in time, advanced manufacturing, technology, and supply chain partnering. With the budget cuts, shortage of personnel and the concept “do more with less”; the military has to strategize just like civilian company. Normal every day function that were usually a soldier’s unit responsibility, but now the soldier is required to maintain and perform himself.
In conclusion, this article, focuses on the importance of psychology based practices; empowerment, extensive training, and teamwork to sustain competitive advantages within human resource management. Once the companies fully implemented the seven practices, their overall performance did improved. References Stevenson, W. J. , (2007) Operation Management (10-ed) New York. McGraw- Hill/Irwin Birdi, k. Clegg, C. , Patterson, M. , Roberson, A. , Stride, C. , Wall, T. , & Woods, S. (2008). The Impact of Human Resource and Operational Management Practices on Company Productivity: A Longitudinal Study. Personnel Psychology, 61(3), 467-501.