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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mcqs on An Introduction to Human Resource Management

Question 1

What were Britain's 19th century railway workers called?

Question 2

Portfolio working is working which is:

Question 3

Why has the power of managers to act unilaterally in work organisations in the UK been reduced? Is it due to:

Question 4

What changes have evolved from inward foreign investment in the UK?

Question 5

What did the Hawthorne experiments discover?

Question 6

What is the meaning of 'toxicity'? Is it:

Question 7

Post modernist ideas have impacted on our understanding of the role of rationality in workplaces by recognising:

Question 8

According to Cloke and Goldsmith the biggest change to the history of management is:

Question 9

A philosophy of management…

Question 10

Treating employees as people or as an economic resources is:
Answer:
1. c) Irish navvies
Feedback:
The workers who by and large built the early railways in the UK in the nineteenth and early twentieth century came from Ireland and were commonly known as Irish navvies. Work was harsh, and conditions dangerous, but men flocked to work on the railways since the pay was better than in the factories and agriculture which were alternative places of work

2. a) Not attached to a single employer and contract of employment
Feedback:
Portfolio working refers to individuals who might choose to work for more than one employer and will have control over how they work and in what circumstances. As such they will not be so dependent on any single employer and are likely to have greater control over discretionary effort. Types of workers who might display these characteristics today would be skilled knowledge workers and the self employed.

3. d) UK and European legislation
Feedback:
The power of managers to act unilaterally in managing employees in areas such as hiring and firing, promotion and payment has been significantly reduced by UK and European legislation and in particular through endorsing the European social chapter. Such legislation has given employees more rights and thereby protection from arbitrary managerial decision making.

4. a) The harmonisation of terms and conditions of employment
Feedback:
UK industry has benefited from new management thinking and practices brought in by foreign firms; in particular those from Japan and Germany. Japanese companies for example have introduced efficiency gains from new production systems and management styles.

5. a) That people need to belong to a 'social group'
Feedback:
The Hawthorne experiments discovered that if people are treated with due respect and managers take an interest in them (or in other words treat them as Theory y employees), they are more likely to be motivated to higher performance and thereby be of more value to the company. While the experiments were carried out in the late 1920s they still have application and relevance today since they recognised that employees are people who need a sense of belonging to unlock commitment, loyalty and motivation.

6.a) Emotional pain
Feedback:
Toxicity (Frost, 2003) comes from the work of Peter Frost in describing a state of emotional pain which he describes as 'toxicity'. He argues that such pain is a normal part of everyday work or in his terms 'doing business' and as such it has no ill effect when it is kept to 'normal levels'. However it can become damaging to the individual when it is not handled appropriately by managers. Such circumstances might arise for example if the employee is denied the normal channels and mechanisms for releasing 'toxins' such as through engagement with others or through undermining peoples confidence, esteem and dignity through poor and/or inappropriate management.

7. b) More than one type of rationality prevails in work organisations
Feedback:
Postmodernists question the effectiveness of traditional approaches to management which are largely based around the notion of 'one best way' approaches and one type of rationality. They recognise that different types of rationality prevail in social life and these will be reflected in work organisations

8. a) Decline in hierarchy and bureaucracy
Feedback:
Cloke and Goldsmith refer to a number of changes which they believe have impacted on management; the decline in hierarchy and bureaucracy being part of the process towards greater democracy and self management at work.

9. c) Is more than a single ingredient
Feedback:
A philosophy of management is more than a single ingredient, that something extra! Encapsulated in this statement is the belief that it is many aspects which add up to the way managers will treat their employees, and which is reflected in both the style and practice of managing people in work.

10. c) A question of balance which will be affected by the context of each organisation
Feedback:
Buckingham and Elliot found that those personnel managers who were rated more successful than others subscribed to a personal and professional philosophy that had helped shape their thinking. This combined with an ability to conceptualise and mobilise a range of more effective personal characteristics was seen to be the reason why they were considered successful HR managers. This lends further support to the belief that those involved in the management of people need to underpin their behaviour as managers with a clear set of values and beliefs about the employment of people and their relationship to the organisation.

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