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MPA-014: Human Resource Management

MPA-014: Human Resource Management

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

If you are looking for MPA-014 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Human Resource Management, you have come to the right place. MPA-014 solution on this page applies to 2023-24 session students studying in MPA courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MPA-014/TMA/2023-24

Course Code: MPA-014

Assignment Name: Human Resource Management

Year: 2023-2024

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

This Assignment consists of Section – I and Section - II. There are five questions in each section. You have to answer a total of five questions in about 500 words each, selecting at least two questions. from each section. Each question carries 20 marks.


Q1) Write a note in brief on important models of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Ans) The concept of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) encompasses a variety of models and approaches that contribute to both its theoretical development and practical implementation. These models can be categorized into two main groups: prescriptive and descriptive. Prescriptive models offer specific recommendations for the practice of SHRM, while descriptive models aim to understand and explain SHRM practices based on empirical evidence.

Guest's Model of SHRM

Guest's model, introduced in 1987, emphasizes the empirical and conceptual derivation of HRM practices over time, eventually leading to the prescription of policies. Guest identifies four essential elements or goals of SHRM:

  1. Integration: This involves aligning HR practices with organizational objectives and strategies. It ensures that HR decisions and activities support the overarching goals of the organization.

  2. Commitment: Guest highlights the importance of fostering commitment among employees. Elevated levels of commitment lead to increased engagement and motivation, contributing to organizational success.

  3. Flexibility: SHRM should be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances and market dynamics. This includes the ability to adjust HR practices in response to evolving business needs.

  4. Quality: Guest underscores the significance of maintaining high-quality HR practices. Quality HR processes result in better talent management, improved employee performance, and enhanced organizational outcomes.

Guest's model has been criticized for not adequately accounting for contextual factors, such as the impact of situational and environmental variables on organizational practices. It assumes a one-size-fits-all approach to SHRM, which may not always hold true.

Functionalism in SHRM

Functionalism draws upon sociological theories like those of Auguste Comte and anthropologists like Malinowski and Radcliff Brown. It emphasizes social order, stability, and continuity within the "organic whole" of an organization. Functionalism argues that organizations hold together through purposive rationality and that HRM's purpose is to sustain organizational coherence through integration.

Functionalism aligns with the idea that SHRM should facilitate the alignment of various organizational sections and functions to achieve strategic goals. It promotes the idea that HR practices should contribute to the overall harmony and functionality of the organization.

High-Performance Working Model

High-performance working focuses on enhancing employee skills and enthusiasm to achieve organizational goals. Key drivers within this model include:

  1. Decentralized Decision-Making: Decision-making authority is distributed, especially at the operational level, to continuously improve services and products offered to customers.

  2. Employee Development: Emphasis is placed on continuous learning and self-management, fostering employee growth and organizational potential.

  3. Alignment of Processes: HR processes are aligned with organizational objectives to build trust, enthusiasm, and commitment among employees.

  4. Fair Treatment: The model values fair treatment, not only of employees but also the broader community, which contributes to trust and commitment.

  5. High-Performance Management Practices: Rigorous recruitment, training, incentive systems, and performance management processes are implemented to support high performance.

High-Commitment Management Model

This model seeks to elicit commitment from employees, emphasizing self-regulation and trust. Key features include:

  1. Leadership Development: Leadership is cultivated at all levels, emphasizing commitment as a valued characteristic.

  2. Flexible Job Design: Hierarchies are reduced, and job descriptions become flexible to empower employees.

  3. Team Infrastructure: Teams play a crucial role in disseminating information, designing work, and problem-solving.

  4. Job Design for Satisfaction: Job design focuses on providing intrinsic satisfaction to workers.

  5. Job Security: Permanent employment guarantees are offered, reducing the need for layoffs.

  6. Performance Incentives: Merit pay, and profit-sharing schemes are introduced to recognize and reward high-performing employees.

High-Involvement Management Model

This model promotes democratic involvement, treating employees as partners and focusing on communication and participation.

  1. Work Teams: Online and offline work teams are established.

  2. Job Rotation: Employees are encouraged to rotate roles.

  3. Employee Involvement Activities: Programs for employee involvement and problem-solving groups are implemented.

  4. Suggestion Programs: Systems are in place to collect employee suggestions.

  5. Decentralization of Quality Efforts: Quality efforts are decentralized, involving employees in continuous improvement.

Q2) Discuss the principles of fixing remuneration.

Ans) The determination of salary scales for employees is a complex process influenced by a variety of factors. These factors play a crucial role in ensuring that compensation is fair, competitive, and aligned with both economic and social considerations.

  1. Structure of Emoluments:

    The structure of emoluments, which includes salary and other benefits, should be designed to attract, and retain individuals with the required qualifications and abilities at different job levels. It must be fair and equitable, and job evaluation is often used to achieve this goal. Job evaluation involves assessing the relative worth of different jobs within the organization.

  2. Scales of Pay:

    Salary scales must be competitive compared to prevailing market rates outside the industry. In a globalized economy, organizations and governments must consider liberalization and economic reforms when setting compensation packages. This may involve negotiations with unions, especially in the public sector. A national wage policy can help ensure consistency and uniformity in pay administration across sectors.

  3. Social Criteria:

    Determining the minimum salary goes beyond economic factors. Social criteria are crucial to ensure that minimum wages meet social standards. Various approaches can be used, including need-based, capacity to pay, relative parities, job evaluation, productivity, and living wage approaches. The goal is to strike a balance between what is socially desirable and economically feasible.

  4. Equal Pay for Equal Work:

    The principle of "equal pay for equal work" emphasizes that organizations should compensate positions rather than individuals. This principle seeks to eliminate wage disparities based on gender, race, or other non-performance-related factors.

  5. Variations in Compensation:

    Compensation should account for variations in employees' experience, background, skills, duties, responsibilities, and the hazards associated with their work. Jobs that involve higher risks or responsibilities often command higher pay to attract and retain qualified employees.

  6. Level of Consumer Prices:

    When determining pay scales, it is important to take into account both current consumer prices and inflation rates. To keep employees' purchasing power stable despite fluctuations in the cost of living, wages should be reviewed on a regular basis and adjusted accordingly.

  7. Social Considerations:

    For the purpose of establishing a social order that is both equitable and just, it is critical that the gap between the highest and lowest earnings be kept to a minimum. Finding solutions to the problem of income disparity should be a priority for both governments and private organisations.

  8. Matching Salaries with Personnel Requirements:

    The qualifications and experience needed to meet the needs of an organisation should be reflected in the salaries offered by that organisation. It is essential to offer compensation that is competitive in order to entice and keep top people, particularly in an economy dependent on the accumulation of information.

  9. Employer's Capacity to Pay:

    The financial health of the employer is a significant factor. If the economy is thriving, employees should share in the prosperity. Conversely, during economic downturns, employees may need to accept constraints in salary increases. Balancing the interests of employees with economic realities is a challenge faced by governments and organizations.

  10. Legislation:

    Minimum wage legislation and other labour laws play a critical role in shaping salary determination. These legal frameworks ensure that compensation meets certain minimum standards and protects the rights of workers. Legislation can also influence the negotiation process between employers and employee representatives.


Q3) Discuss the approaches and the elements in the learning process.

Ans) Two major approaches to the learning process provide valuable insights into how individuals acquire knowledge and skills: the behaviourist Approach and the Information Processing Approach. These perspectives offer distinct views on the mechanisms underlying learning and the factors that influence it.

Behaviourist Approach:

The Behaviourist Approach to learning posits that learning triggers specific and responses. It views learning as a process that leads to experiences, whether desirable or undesirable. Within this framework, two types of conditioning are recognized:

  1. Classical Conditioning: This occurs when a stimulus automatically elicits a response. For example, an individual who develops a liking for a particular food associates its flavour with positive feelings.

  2. Operant Conditioning: Operant conditioning follows a desired response, which, when reinforced, increases the likelihood of that response being repeated upon the recurrence of the stimulus. In essence, it involves learning through consequences, such as rewards or punishments.

Information Processing Approach:

The Information Processing Approach conceptualizes learning as an information processing system. It suggests that learning involves the transmission of signals containing information to receivers.

Several factors and processes affect the receipt and utilization of this information:

  1. Signal Transmission: Information is transmitted as signals, but these signals may encounter communication barriers such as noise and disturbances that can impede effective transmission.

  2. Encoding and Decoding: The sender must encode information, while the receiver must decode it before it can be utilized. This encoding and decoding process ensures that the information is interpretable and actionable.

  3. Sensory Input: The approach highlights that in learning, signals containing data or information are filtered through the senses of the learner. The receiver then recognizes these signals through the interpretive process of perception.

  4. Selection of Responses: Learning involves selecting and executing appropriate responses based on the information received. The efficiency of this process depends on the attention given to relevant stimuli and the choice of suitable responses.

  5. Feedback: Feedback is an integral part of the Information Processing Approach. It serves as a mechanism for assessing the effectiveness of the learning process. Learners receive feedback, both internally and externally, regarding their performance and the impact of their actions.

  6. Internal Feedback: Internal feedback comes from the learner's own assessment of their performance based on the knowledge and skills imparted. It helps individuals evaluate whether they have executed a task as intended.

  7. External Feedback: Learners also receive feedback from external sources, such as peers, supervisors, or clients. This external feedback informs them about how well they are performing in alignment with what they have been taught or trained for. Effective feedback is constructive and not seen as criticism. It helps individuals improve their performance and make necessary adjustments.

Additional Considerations in the Learning Process:

In addition to the fundamental approaches outlined above, several other significant elements influence the learning process:

  1. Feedback: Feedback is essential for effective learning. Learners need to be informed about what they have learned, what remains to be acquired, the advantages of their learning, and the steps required for better performance. Both internal and external feedback play crucial roles in this regard.

  2. Choice of Whole or Part Learning: The choice between whole learning (learning an entire concept or skill at once) and part learning (breaking down learning into smaller components) depends on several factors, including the complexity of the subject matter, the comprehension level of participants, and time constraints.

  3. Role of Memory in Learning: Human memory plays a vital role in the learning process. Information is received through sensory memory, then stored briefly in primary memory, and finally transferred to long-term memory for extended retention. Strategies to facilitate effective encoding and retention in long-term memory are crucial for successful learning outcomes.

Q4) What is capacity building? Discuss its objectives and significance.

Ans) Capacity building refers to a strategic and systematic process aimed at enhancing an organization's or individual's ability to effectively achieve its goals and objectives. It involves the development of knowledge, skills, resources, and infrastructure to improve overall performance and adapt to changing circumstances.

At its core, capacity building seeks to empower entities to become more self-reliant and sustainable. This process often includes activities such as training, skill development, technical assistance, and the creation of supportive systems and structures. It can be applied to various contexts, including nonprofits, government agencies, businesses, and individuals.

The National AHEC Leadership Conference, held on August 20, 2003, in Portland, had a comprehensive agenda aimed at addressing crucial aspects of capacity building in organizations. The agenda included the following key topics:

  1. Assessing Organizational Capacity: The conference focused on the initial step of capacity building, which involves evaluating an organization's current capabilities and strengths.

  2. Developing a Capacity Building Plan: Once the assessment is complete, organizations can create a strategic plan for enhancing their capacities. This plan serves as a roadmap for improvement.

  3. Developing Keyboard and Management Capacities: This aspect emphasizes the importance of building both technical and managerial skills within an organization to ensure smooth operations.

  4. Building Effective Collaborations: Collaboration is a key element in capacity building. The conference explored strategies for establishing and nurturing successful partnerships with other organizations.

  5. Assessing Change Management Strategies: Change is a constant in organizational development. The conference examined strategies for effectively managing change and ensuring that it aligns with an organization's goals.

The National AHEC Leadership Conference Outlined Several Specific Objectives to Guide Its Capacity-Building Efforts:

  1. Prioritizing Areas for Improvement: Identifying the most critical areas that require enhancement is the first step in the capacity-building process.

  2. Developing Specific Outcomes: Setting clear, measurable outcomes along with strategies and tactics to achieve them ensures that the organization's efforts are targeted and effective.

  3. Identifying Required Resources: Organizations must determine the necessary resources, whether financial, human, or technological, to achieve their identified outcomes.

  4. Implementing Plans: Putting the capacity-building plan into action is essential for realizing improvements within the organization.

  5. Evaluating Progress: Regular evaluations help organizations determine what strategies are working, what is not, and what valuable lessons have been learned in the process.

  6. Continuous Improvement: The conference emphasized the importance of an iterative process, where organizations continually assess and modify their capacity-building efforts to adapt to changing circumstances.

Effective Capacity Building Offers Numerous Advantages to Organizations:

  1. Optimum Resource Utilization: By consistently applying research and development (R&D) principles, organizations can maximize the use of their resources.

  2. Future Preparedness: Capacity building involves assessing existing logistics and identifying ways to enhance them, preparing the organization for future challenges.

  3. Competitive Advantage: Improved capacities can give an organization a competitive edge in its chosen field or industry.

  4. Informed Decision-Making: Capacity building supports informed, long-term decision-making within an organization.

  5. Career Development: It provides training and guidance for individual career growth, benefiting both employees and the organization.

  6. Data-Driven Evaluation: Capacity building often involves developing a database to measure and evaluate the organization's current working capacity, enabling data-driven decision-making.

Q5) Write a note on quality circle process.

Ans) Within a business, quality circles are an extremely useful tool for refining work procedures and finding solutions to problems. These circles are made up of committed teams of workers that work together to discover, analyse, and find solutions to work-related difficulties by employing a number of different approaches to problem-solving. The effectiveness of quality circles is contingent on the adoption of a methodical approach that entails the selection of issues, the investigation of their underlying causes, the development of potential solutions, the execution of suggestions, and the presentation of the results to management.

  1. Selection of a Problem: The quality circle initiates its activities after members have received training. During the first meeting, members generate a list of problems related to their work area through brainstorming. To prioritize these problems, they gather data and create a "Pareto diagram" to assess their severity. It is crucial to ensure that the team does not expend unnecessary time on minor issues or problems already under resolution. Additionally, it is advisable to start with simpler problems to build confidence before tackling more complex ones.

  2. Analysis of a Problem: Once a problem is selected, the quality circle employs statistical tools such as brainstorming and cause-and-effect analysis to delve into the issue. Brainstorming involves all members to identify potential causes, while the cause-and-effect analysis helps pinpoint key factors contributing to the problem. The group then chooses the most critical causes for further analysis and solution development.

  3. Development of a Solution: With the major causes identified, the quality circle members collaborate to propose solutions. Typically, the circle members implement the agreed-upon solution themselves. If the recommendations require the involvement of another department, members interact with their colleagues in that department or seek facilitation. Once an effective solution is established, the facilitator arranges for a presentation to management to highlight the quality circle's achievements.

  4. Implementation of the Solution: If the recommendations fall within the jurisdiction of the quality circle members, they proceed with implementation, gaining approval from their immediate departmental authorities. In cases requiring investment or broader approval, the suggestions are elevated to higher management levels. It is crucial that management either promptly implements the recommendations or provides timely feedback to the quality circle explaining the reasons for non-implementation. Sometimes, a steering committee reviews the recommendations and seeks clarifications from circle members before making a final decision.

  5. Management Presentation: The management presentation is a crucial phase where the quality circle leader and members present their project and recommendations to the organization's management. This presentation serves as a dynamic form of communication and recognition. A well-structured presentation can significantly enhance the impact of the solution recommendation. It provides a platform to share case studies that may serve as educational tools for the organization in the future.

Management presentations serve several purposes, including improving communication between management and employees, demonstrating management's commitment to quality circle activities, and fostering positive relationships among all employees. They also recognize and celebrate the efforts of quality circle members. During these presentations, certain guidelines are followed, such as time limits, introduction of all team members, highlighting cost savings and key points, and using problem-solving tools and techniques.

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