Human Resource Management Strategies

Human Resource Management
Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management Strategies

Human Resource Management Strategies that SMEs Business Leaders use to Increase Employee Productivity

Background of the Problem

Profitability in many organizations is below envisaged levels due to a lack of knowledge about effective usage of human capital among their HR professionals (Lawler &Mohrman, 2013). In Thailand, organizations that fail to implement the necessary HR strategies by their recommended HR professionals often record the lowest profits or no profits and collapse within 2 to 4 years of their existence (Becker &Huselid, 2014). Zaugg and Thom (2013) asserted that employee productivity and the subsequent profitability of many organizations could be increased through the adoption of appropriate human resource management (HRM) strategies and adjust to the fast- changing labour market.

The company productivity is directly linked to the employee’s productivity. If the employees are motivated and are given the freedom to express themselves in a way that corresponds to the operations of the company’s efforts will result to improved company performance.

Inefficiency as far as HR departments are concerned leads to insolvency or financial distress of companies. Organizations have efficiently played a role in improving the nature and the operations that are undertaken by the human resource (HR) professionals. The HR professionals’ role is to ensure that the employees are effective in increasing the company profitability and productivity (Wright et al., 2014).

The creations of sustainable HR strategies are essential for improved employee productivity and continued profitability in organizations in Thailand (Pfeffer&Veiga, 2014). For instance, firms in Thailand have adopted HR strategies such as motivation and ranking of position. This strategy helps the employees to work excellently so that they can get the reward and at least get promoted to a certain position. In return, the employees’ productivity and the company’s profitability increase since the two are directly linked to one another.

Problem Statement

More than 50% of small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) business leader in Thailand fails to utilize strategic human resource management (HRM) practices to manage employee productivity (Platonova et al., 2013). HRM practice accounts for over 80% of employee productivity in SMEs (Platonova, Hernandez & Moorehouse, 2013).

The general business problem is that lack of HRM strategies to manage employee productivity could affect SMEs profitability (Chahal, Jyoti, & Rani, 2016). The specific business problem is that some SMEs business leaders in Bangkok, Thailand lack HRM strategies to increase employee productivity.     

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study is to explore human resource management (HRM) strategies that small and medium-sized (SMEs) business leaders use to increase employee productivity. The target population consists of SMEs in Bangkok, Thailand. I will interview five business leaders from SMEs who are successful in implementing HRM strategies to increase employee productivity in their perspective organization.

The implication for social change stems from its design to help businesses to implement strategies to increase employee productivity. Employee productivity could increase business profitability, which could foster growth, resulting in employment opportunities for local communities.  

Research Question

What HRM strategies that SMEs business leaders use to increase employee productivity?

Interview Questions

1.    What HRM strategies you use to increase employee productivity?

2.    What are the challenges you face while implementing HRM strategies?

3.    How do you overcome such challenges?

4.    How do you know that you are successful in implementing HRM strategies?

5.  What else could you share that is pertinent to your HRM strategies that we have not covered for increasing employee productivity? 

Nature of the Study

There are three types of research method: a) qualitative, b) quantitative, and c) mixed method (O’Brien et al., 2014).  In a qualitative method, a researcher seeks to understand the event from the perspective of those who are experiencing the phenomenon (Vaismoradi et al., 2013). Quantitative researchers use statistical method that gives numerical results to provide additional data sets for analysis (Blau et al., 2013; Gherardi&Perrotta, 2014; Wolgemuth, 2014).

In this study, I will be interviewing participants to understand the particular occurrence from their perspective. There will be no statistical analysis of numerical data. Therefore, I chose qualitative method over quantitative method.  Mixed method, researchers use both qualitative and quantitative methods (Yin, 2014). The mixed methodology is not suitable for this study since the quantitative method is not viable.  

There are many designs to choose from under qualitative method. In ethnographic design, a researcher collects ideas, histories, insight, and assumptions in cultural settings (Symons & Maggio, 2014). In narrative design, a researcher collects data in a storytelling format to find the research outcome (Benson, 2014).  The purpose of this study is to explore HRM strategies to increase employee productivity.

Both ethnographic and narrative design is not suitable for my research because I am not collecting data in a story telling from the participant’s point of view or in cultural settings. The phenomenological design is suitable for the study that plans to explore the lived experiences of the participants (Wagstaff& Williams, 2014). In this study, I do not plan to capture the lived experience of participants in a general setting, and for this reason, the phenomenological design is not appropriate.

I will use a multiple case study design for this study because it offers in-depth information about a particular matter that would not be likely to get from other designs. The case study is exploratory in nature that integrates multiple data collection techniques and helps to develop common factors inherent in the collected data (Gherardi&Perrotta, 2014; Yin, 2014). The multiple case studies will allow me to interview select SMEs business leaders from multiple companies to understand their perspective on the phenomenon under study.

Conceptual Framework

The Ulrich model is the conceptual framework for this study. Ulrich and Yeung (1989) developed the Ulrich Model in 1989. The Ulrich Model views the human resource process in terms of talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, training and development, leadership, organizational design, and HR development (Brockbank et al., 2013). The model connects HR strategy, goals, objectives, and processes into an operating model (Brockbank et al., 2013). 

The central objective of this model is to explain the relationship between the competency of HR professionals and the performance of the organization  (Huselid et al., 2014).  This framework is applicable to the study, as it will help me to understand how SMEs business leaders integrate HR strategies, HR goals and objectives, and HR process in their overall business strategy to increase employee productivity and business profitability. 

Definition of Terms

The following defined terms are specific to the study topic. These definitions help the reader to understand the study as a whole.

Cognitive Orientation: Cognitive orientation describes the different ways an individual may go about the thinking process (Wolgemuth, 2014).

Competency Model: This is a set of expectations within organizations that are used to serve as benchmarks for exemplary performance and increased productivity (Wolgemuth, 2014).

Competency: Competency describes the ability someone’s to do something effectively or successfully (Huselid, Jackson & Schuler, 2014).

Effectiveness: It’s the potential of an organization to make use of its asset to generate cash inflow that exceeds its cash outflow (Yeung, Woolcock& Sullivan, 2013).

Human Capital: Human capital is the skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by an individual and includes education, experience, knowledge, and skills (Wright, Dunford& Snell 2014).

Management: It is the capability of a firm’s management to formulate and attain challenging objectives, take change and decisive practices, outdo the competitors and motivate other to execute efficiently (Weatherly, 2013).

Managerial Competencies: These are the motives, skills, as well as attitudes necessary for a job, including characteristics such as problem-solving, communication skills, the ability to work as a team, and customer focus (Weatherly, 2013).

Practices: Practices describes the ability to perform or carryout a particular method, custom, or activity regularly or habitually (Wright, McMahan & McWilliams, 2014).

Strategy: Strategy describes a policy or a plan of action designed to attain a major or overall aim of an organization (Yeung, Woolcock& Sullivan, 2013).

Sustainability: Sustainability is logical development based on the balance of economic, social, and environmental outcomes to provide benefits to multiple stakeholders (Huselid, Jackson & Schuler, 2014). 

Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations


An assumption is acknowledged as accurate or confident to happen without having any proof, (Baranyi, Csapo, & Sallai, 2015). Making sure that the study is complete, there are several underlying assumptions. The first assumption is that during the interview process the researcher should obtain continuous feedback from the research participants. Secondly, during this study, women HR professionals are termed as considerate since they are looking for ways to increase the profitability of their organizations.

The third assumption is that the research participants would provide perspectives or ideas that would assist other HR professionals a not only focus on their industry and business alone but also think global and act the same time act local. This assumption made on the premise that the research participants will articulate how to use HR management strategies to increase organizations profitability. 


A limitation is the limiting circumstances or rule and restrictions, (Souba, & Souba, 2016). There is a limit of the study by the selected location of study, and there is a possibility of research participants unwilling to share or holding back information. For the mitigation of this limitation particularly the lack of willingness to open up and memory, the interview questions focused on specific issues followed by probing questions to seek for clarifications to ensure that short answers but on point according to the research questions obtained. The five research participants are the other limitation of the study only focused on two medium sized businesses in Bangkok, Thailand.


Delimitation is the choices which the researcher makes for the research which is under the management of the researcher, (ZHANG, & ZHANG, 2013). The researcher must rationalize these delimitations in a research proposal. To mitigate the limitations of the study several delimitations established concerns the research participants, data, as well as the geographical area of the survey.

For instance, the study included participants from two HR organizations that seemed to help organizations to manage their employee’s productivity. The data collection included interviews with the SMES businesses, and the reviews documented. The geographical area provided a reasonable representation of areas in Bangkok, Thailand.

Significance of the Study

Contribution to business practice

The creation of sustainable human resource management strategies is necessary for the continued profitability of SMEs in Bangkok (Pfeffer&Veiga, 2014). The business profitability is dependent on employee productivity (Ahmad et al., 2015; Becker &Huselid, 2014). The human resource management strategies highlight HR activities within the organizations, both large and small to remain sustainable (Becker &Huselid, 2014; Yeung et al., 2013).

Organizations that integrate HRM strategies are efficient in utilizing its human capital and ultimately displaying high profits and growth (Huselid et al., 2014; Martina et al., 2013; Platonova et al., 2013). In essence, the findings of this study could contribute to effective business practice in three ways. 

First, the study results will provide HR operational, procedural, and process strategies that successful SMEs use to increase employees productivities. Second, the study may help businesses to identify HRM software and other business intelligence tools that successful SMEs business leaders use to remain profitable.  Lastly, the study findings may act as a precursor for future research in strategy formulation to increase business productivity.

Implication of social change

The study results will lead to HRM strategies that are effective in the workplace to increase employee productivity which could lead to business profitability. Effective HRM strategies would make employees satisfied with their job and hence, lower employee turnover for the company resulting in a reduced unemployment rate in the society (Gherardi&Perrotta, 2014; Wolgemuth, 2014). (Wright et al., 2014). Moreover, employee productivity could increase business profitability. Profitability fosters business growth, which could result in employment opportunities for local communities.

A Review of the Professional and Academic Literature

The purpose of the qualitative is to explore human resource management (HRM) strategies that small and medium-sized (SMEs) business leaders use to increase employee productivity. To come up with comprehensive findings and results of the dissertations, various resources were used. They were arranged in the Zotero software. Seventy articles were researched as far as literature review is concerned, ninety seven percent of the articles were peer reviewed and ninety three percent are in accordance with limited time period required by the Walden University Chief Academic Officer (CAO) agreement.

I limited myself to case studies and peer review to acquire the necessary information that I needed to answer to the research questions formulated and more so get to review the into detail about the human resource management strategies that SMEs business leaders use to increase productivity.

The central research question of the study was as follows: What HRM strategies that SMEs business leaders use to increase employee productivity? In this section, the topic to discuss covers how organizations in Bangkok, Thailand uses or link the human resource management with employee’s productivity that yields to company’s productivity. The subsections include (a) human resource management, (b) human resource strategies, (c) employee productivity, and (d) company productivity.

Human resource management

The primary role of human resource management is to hire and fire employees. However, this changes as per the organizational environment and the nature of the firms operations. In an organization, the human resources play with the company’s operations and they tend to waste time even if they are working. To ensure productivity, the human resource management department imposes human resource strategies such as motivation of workers to ensure productivity.

Doing so, they must come up with various HR mechanisms and strategies that are flexible and easily adoptable by the employees, ((Yeung, Woolcock& Sullivan, 2013).It makes it easier for the human resource to comply with the strategies and yield efficient productivity n terms of company’s productivity. In return to this, the organization will increase on its core competencies, gain a competitive position in the market that is resulted by a bigger market share in the market arena as compared to the competitors. This makes the company profitable with a strong financial position.

Human resource strategies

The imposed plans of the human resource management tend to motivate the staffs to work a little bit harder to ensure efficiency and efficiency of the company’s operations. The strategies imposed should be flexible and adoptable to change depending with the nature of the business environment both internal and external. Also, the strategies must comply with the demand and supply of what is been produced by the employees and what is needed by the company from the human resources.

If the strategies imposed by the HR management department are not in accordance with the taste and preference of the employees, it is difficult to force them to comply. On the other hand, if they are in accordance with their demand, they will comply and changes will be identified in their productivity together with the company productivity, (Huselid, Jackson & Schuler, 2014). Some of the strategies that are imposed are motivations. Through motivations, the employees may compete fairly for the betterment of attaining the award set for the winner or the group of employees. The results of this are to increase the employee’s productivity.

Employee productivity

If the strategies imposed by the HR management department are not in accordance with the taste and preference of the employees, it is difficult to force them to comply. On the other hand, if they are in accordance with their demand, they will comply and changes will be identified in their productivity together with the company productivity, (Huselid, Jackson & Schuler, 2014). It is with no doubt that employee’s productivity is directly related to the human resource strategies.

When a company fails to impose good human resource strategies, it means that the probability that the employee’s productivity will be high is less than 0.5 and vice versa. When employees are well catered for, it guaranteed that they would reciprocate by working in an effective and efficient manner for the development of the firm’s operations. When the employees work excellently, the company profitability will increase since the organization market share and the competitive position will gradually develop (Jakob et al., 2013).

Company productivity

When the HR mechanisms and strategies are flexible and easily adoptable by the employees, ((Yeung, Woolcock& Sullivan, 2013) It makes it easier for the human resource to comply with the strategies and yield efficient productivity n terms of company’s productivity. In return to this, the organization will increase on its core competencies, gain a competitive position in the market that is resulted by a bigger market share in the market arena as compared to the competitors. This makes the company profitable with a strong financial position.

Company productivity is a result of increased or improved employee’s productivity. When the staffs work increases, they develop the organization’s competences at a minimum hurdle rate. With this, it means that the company operation cost is less hence huge profits. Furthermore, improved employee’s productivity creates opportunities for the firm to operate globally and this increases the firm’s competitive position and financial position.

Transition and Summary

The central research of this study is What HRM strategies that SMEs business leaders use to increase employee productivity? The section covered some key elements in the studyand thoseare the Problem Statement, Purpose Statement, Nature of the Study, Research Question, Conceptual Framework, Significance of the Study, and Literature Review sections.

Human capital shows a significant proportion of expenses in organizations that subsequently reduce their profits (Platonova et al., 2013). Research shows a lack of profitability strategies that are unique to the utilization of human capital (Platonova et al., 2013). Organizations perform better when their human capital is aligned to their needs (Becker &Huselid, 2014).

The review of the literature on the practices of HR professionals and organizations’ profitability has shown that in order for effective management of the human resources there is need for organizations to ensure implementation. It entails the implementation of innovative human resources management practices that are angered in the efficiency, competencies, and willingness of the HR professionals (Ahmad, Kausar & Azhar, 2015).

The organizations which are in forefront at implementing such practices with commitment and dedication, attains competitive advantage over their competitors. it is because such practices influence other variables such as financial performance, job satisfaction, employee turnover, employee commitment, among others positively.

Therefore, lead to overall organizations’ performance, productivity subsequently resulting in increased profitability (Platonova, Hernandez & Moorehouse, 2013). The findings from the study could provide HR professionals with a better understanding of the strategies that are effective to increase the employee productivity.

The knowledge could facilitate HR professionals to enhance the profitability potential in their organizations. The literature review provided an understanding of the processes, social constructs, and motivations that are unique to human resource management.

In Section 2, there is a description of a qualitative method research approach, including the populations and sampling, data collection, data analysis, and reliability and validity. The information in Section 3 presents the doctoral study findings, including applications to professional practice, implications for social change, and recommendations for future research.


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