Case Study: Mechcon Construction Division

Read Complete Research Material


Case study: MechCon Construction Division

Table of contents


Main Body4

Strategy and HRM4

HRM practices5

Strategic change initiatives6

Implementation of strategy8

Improving client relationships10

Performance management11

Corporate HR management strategy12

Rewards and remuneration14

Career development14

HRM practices15

Training and development15

Performance appraisals17

Recruitment and selection17

Rewards and remuneration18


Case study: MechCon Construction Division


The study arose from a problem within management scholarship consisting of competing explanations and prescriptions of SHRM which to some extent at least are inconsistent or even mutually exclusive. Practising senior managers consequently have no scholarly consensus upon which to draw in making decisions about managing HR within their organisations. Little is known about the ways in which managers have responded to that absence of guidance from the academy and this deficiency has been noted by numerous management scholars. Nevertheless, this literature sets the context for the problems driving this study, so it is useful to summarise the principal themes that have driven the debates, and to isolate the questions about which no consensus yet exists in the literature. The way in which managers have responded to this lack of consensus is the basic research question that this study attempts to answer, at least insofar as the two case study firms are concerned.

Main Body

One such question is the extent to which strategy is purposeful (Lundy & Cowling, 1996: 20- 31; Purcell & Ahlstrand, 1994: 45). In other words, do managers tend consciously to choose one set of long-term objectives for their enterprise from a number of possible alternative sets, and then allocate scarce resources in accordance with a deliberate plan to achieve those objectives? Legge (1995: 98) refers to this as the 'classical' approach to strategy, under which strategies emerge 'from a conscious, rationalistic, decision-making process, fully formulated, explicit and articulated, a set of orders for others, lower down the organisation, to carry out'. Mintzberg and Lampel (1999: 22) contend that this approach, named the 'design school' by Mintzberg (Linstead et al.., 2004: 502), 'was the dominant view of the strategy process, at least into the 1970s, and, some might argue, to the present day, given its implicit influence on most teaching and practice'.

Strategy and HRM

An organisation's resources are scarce in the conventional economic sense that they are finite. Similarly, 'labour' is regarded as a resource in conventional economics. Strategic questions include the allocation of scarce resources within an enterprise. It is therefore not surprising that the management of employees has come to be considered from a strategic perspective by many scholars (Gunnigle, Turner & Morley, 1998: 115; Sisson & Marginson, 1995: 107), and in recent years has increasingly been regarded as a potential source of competitive advantage (Becker & Huselid, 1998: 54). However, lively debates continue: what exactly constitutes SHRM (Keenoy, 1999)? How, if at all, does it differ from 'ordinary' HRM? Is there a single 'best practice' HRM strategy (or 'menu' of strategies), or does each enterprise have a unique strategy (Kaufman, 2001b)? Do HRM strategies exist as things-inthemselves or do they come into being in response to the needs of corporate and business strategies (Purcell, ...
Related Ads