GSBS6040 EXAMINATION QUESTION BANK
TRIMESTER 3. 2017
• There are eighteen questions in this Examination Question Bank covering topics 1 to 9.
• Six of these questions will be on the examination paper.
• Students will be required to answer four of the six questions.
• Students will not be informed beforehand which six questions will be on the paper.
• Each question has equal weighting—that is, each answer will be awarded a maximum of 10 marks, for a total of 40 marks.
• The examination will be two hours in duration, with 10 minutes reading time.
• Students are encouraged to use these questions to help them review and apply the course content.
• Required readings from the textbook, and the additional required readings, are all examinable content. Also, use examples from class discussion to illustrate answers in the examination.
TOPIC 1 – DEFINITIONS, VALUES AND ASSUMPTIONS
1. A unitarist approach to management implies that people in organisations are capable of being ‘of one mind’ and a business manager’s role will be about finding or specifying common purposes in the interests of all. Discuss.
2. HRM has been transformed from the former personnel management model. What changes have been necessary to bring about this transformation? Explain the roles that a contemporary human resource managers must play.
TOPIC 2 – LINKING TO STRATEGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
3. A normative business model does not describe a situation or structure that exists in an enterprise. Rather, it is a plan that an enterprise utilises to improve its operations. Rather than simply stating how a particular enterprise works, a normative business model prescribes structures and practices for the business. The Harvard Model of HRM and other such models are often criticised as normative. Discuss.
4. Provide three examples of how specific human resource management (HRM) practices would differ if an organisation changed from a growth to a decline strategy.
TOPIC 3 – HRM RULES, ROLES AND FUNCTIONS
5. The direct handling of people is, and always has been, an integral part of every business manager’s responsibility. What roles should HRM play in today’s modern organisation?
6. Why are rules about the rights and accountabilities of managers and employees at work important? Include in your answer an outline of the different types of rules with examples.
TOPIC 4 – HR PLANNING, WORK AND JOB DESIGN
7. Why is the need for human resource planning so important in today’s business environment? Explain the relationship between job analysis, individual competency development and job design.
8. Explain the concept of the psychological contract. Why is this concept so important in modern business organisations?
TOPIC 5 – RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION
9. The War for Talent means that, when recruiting, managers of organisations will scout for employee 'talent' in the ‘global village’. From the perspective of the resource-based view (RBV) of organisations, explain why managers might prefer to employ existing employees in new jobs as they arise, rather than employing from outside.
10. A number of writers have debated the ‘high road’ versus the ‘low road’ approach to HRM. How could such concepts impact on recruitment and selection processes? How do these approaches relate to the business life cycle?
TOPIC 6 – PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT
11. Should companies be interested in helping employees plan their careers? Are there potential corporate benefits to be gained? Do individuals also have a role to play in planning their career? Discuss.
12. Despite the fact that most large organisations have some form of performance review system, many critics say that these systems do not work. Explain how an effective performance review system can be used as a tool for measuring and improving employees' performance through mutual setting of goals and objectives.
TOPIC 7 – PAY AND REWARDS
13. ‘The design and development of a strategic remuneration system — one that fits with an organisation’s strategic plan and direction — is a complex and challenging task.’ Evaluate this comment.
14. Equity theory may play a very large role in determining an individual’s perception of an organisation’s remuneration and reward system. Procedural fairness and distributive justice are related concepts. Explain and discuss this view.
TOPIC 8 – EQUITY, DIVERSITY, HEALTH AND SAFETY and WELLNESS
15. All industries have different kinds of safety risks and health issues, depending on the nature of the workers, the work and the environment. Explain actions that an HR manager might take to effectively develop a workplace safety and health culture.
16. What is the meant by the terms ‘glass ceiling’ and ‘sticky floor’? What may be the consequences where a glass ceiling or sticky floor is perceived to exist within an organisation? Can human resource development strategies help to address these issues? Explain.
TOPIC 9 – EMPLOYEE VOICE AND REPRESENTATION
17. In a pluralist society, employee voice is essential to ensure improved organisational performance. Evaluate this claim.
18. Describe and evaluate at least three mechanisms through which workers express their voice at the workplace, either individually or collectively. What would be the benefits and challenges that organisations may encounter in responding effectively to employee voice? Support your answers with examples.