In this article, the present study identified and addressed some important issues related to human resource management and its role within organisations. These issues involve human resource planning, training, management, career development, and work flexibility. Cyprus was used as a case study and practices amongst Cypriot Organisations and were compared with their counterparts in the European Unions. (Stavrou-Costea, 2002)
The study is done to Identify the important issues related to human resource management and its role within the organisations. As it involved training, management, career development, work flexibility etc. Implementing such practices will improve employee performance and enhance organizational competitiveness (Stavrou-Costea, 2002). Cyprus is one of the countries that are preparing for entrance in the European Union. Therefore, organizational and national competitiveness becomes important. According to the Cypriot Planning Bureau (PIO, 2000), the competitiveness of Cypriot products were suffering when compared to the other countries.
As mentioned by the Author a number of challenges and opportunities evolved for Cypriot organisations.
The first challenge is related to the role these organisations attribute on the management of their human resource. Secondly, it is to in relation with the level of innovation human resource management display in integrating human resource practices, thus meeting organizational needs.
The research methods used by the author are in quantitative form. This can be argued because the study was conducted by using the 1999/2000 CRANET survey. (Stavrou-Costea, 2002) CRANET is the largest human resource management network in the world and the only one that has been collecting comparative data on human resource management in different countries for more than two decades. The objective was and is to gather hard evidence, in the local language, about the way that human resource management policies and practices varied between countries and to see how they were changing over time. The questionnaires collected facts more than opinions.
The survey was sent to all organisations in Cyprus which employed at least 100 employees. Mailing was processed followed by telephone calls to those responsible for human resource management at each organization, urging them to complete and return it. In addition, questions of the participants were addressed even through the telephone. In order to assess the level of sophistication within Cypriot Organisations in using human resource practice, the Author compares the results from the Cypriot data with those from the European Union Countries collectively. Data for these European Union countries also have been taken from 1999/2000 CRANET survey (Stavrou-Costea, 2002).
As it is seen that there is a survey conducted, the Researcher used surveys, such as questionnaires, through mails and telephones to collect numerical data, data in the form of numbers and statistics. Quantitative data collection comes in many forms but the most popular forms are surveys, tracking and experiments
As mentioned by (Aldridge, 2001) emphasis in original a social survey is a type of research strategy it means it involves over all decisions – a strategic decision- about how to set about gathering and analysing data. The strategy involved in a survey is that we collect the same information about all in cases in a sample, usually, the cases are individual people, and among other things we ask all of them the same questions. Questionnaires however lend themselves more to quantitative forms of analysis. This is partly because they are designed to collect mainly discrete items of information, either numbers or words which can be coded and represented as numbers.
This is mainly because of large number of questionnaires survey and their common focus on representation, which helps in getting a numerical or quasi-numerical summary of results (Blaxter, Hughes and Malcom, 2010). As seen in the article the final number of those who responded was only 91 out of 230 organisations, 52 organisations had fewer than 200 employees, it was referred to small organisations and 39 had at least 200 employees referred to large organisations. Quantitative data is the term given to data that can be quantified (Anderson, 2004). and it can be seen in the article.
The advantage of the telephonic survey is that it can be completed in a short time-frame and Geographical limitation can be overcome, Clarifications of questions is also possible (Anderson, 2004). It is also criticised that during telephonic survey some interviewer may hold a partial perspective, there is no scope for recording non-verbal information, and also higher cost than postal questionnaires (Anderson, 2004)
As mentioned by Valarie Anderson the mailing process may not be reliable as the response rate may be low. This can be seen in the article only 91 organisations out of 230 organisations responded to as the reason may caused poor response rate due to loss of the attachments of the data, different software can affect the display of the images and the format of the questionnaires. (Anderson, 2004)
In the article (Stavrou-Costea, 2002) it is noticed that methodology predicted is the Epistemological Assumption as well as the ontological assumptions.
As the epistemological assumption is concerned with what we accept as valid knowledge. This involves the relationship between the researcher and what is researched. (Collis and Hussey, 2009). Positivists believe that only phenomena that are observable and measured can be valid regarded as knowledge. (Collis and Hussey, 2009) The article provides us information and difference between Cyprus and the European Union the working conditions in relation to the flexible work arrangements, strategic planning in different organisations, training etc in the form of percentage.
E.g. – among 91 Cypriot organisations, 23.9 per cent of smaller ones and 44.4 per cent of larger ones claimed to have written human resource management strategy. Further, 50 per cent of smaller ones and 36.1 per cent of larger ones claimed to have an unwritten human resource management strategy.
Positivists believe that the purpose of social research is to develop abstract and general theories about how the world works. Interpretivists, on the other hand, argue that social research only produce local, historically-contingent meanings. They seek explanation and understanding; they tell stories. (Nigel, 2008)
This shows that it relates to the epistemology methodology as it speaks about the observation of different places and measures. Researchers want their indicators to be as good as possible. That means that the measurements that they make should be valid accurately measuring the concept. (Nigel, 2008)
The interpretivists attempt to minimize the distance between the researcher and that which is researched. The two approaches has been captured by (Smith, 1983)who argues, `in quantitative research facts act to constrain our beliefs; while interpretive beliefs determine what should count as facts. (Collis and Hussey, 2009)
Going along with the methodology interpretivism is an epistemology that advocates that it is necessary for the researchers to understand difference between the humans in our role as social actor (Mark, Philips and Adrian, 2007). Also it was the difference between the two unions that consist of humans working in their own roles (Stavrou-Costea, 2002). This emphasises the difference between conducting research among people rather than objects such as trucks and computers.
The ontological assumption is concerned with the nature of reality. Positivists believe social reality is objective and external to researcher. Therefore there is only one reality. (Collis and Hussey, 2009)
Going along with what the interpretvests believe that social reality is subjective because it is socially constructed. Therefore each person has his or her own sense of reality and there are multiple realities. (Collis and Hussey, 2009)
Talking about social reality in the article, it is based on the employees working in the European Union and Cyprus. It is studied about their performance level, strong commitment towards their jobs, the training that they get from their organisations to use their skills at the task they perform. These all information can be said as a reality, as the findings were done by the surveys like telephones and mailings. It is something that was known personally from within the employees of the organisation that was effecting the growth or the integration of the organisations in Cyprus.
Ontology is concerned with nature of reality. To a great extend than epistemological consideration, this raises questions of assumptions researchers have about the way the world operates and commitment held to particular views (Mark, Philips and Adrian, 2007)
Positivists believe that the world is out there to measure. They take a realist stance towards data, suggesting that it can be objective and that it is an index of what actually exist (Nigel, 2008).they look for facts. Same way the research also tells about the facts that were found out, the difference between Cyprus and the European unions, as Cyprus had to bring in changes in their organisations to join the European unions in the near future.
While concluding the author Eleni Stvrou-Costea, says unless human resource management takes on a leading role among Cypriot organisations, their chance for success in a European or a global context may be seriously impeded. As Gratton (1998, p.13) points out: the competitiveness of organisations no longer depends on the access to capital and technology but on human capital. Yet human capital is different from financial or technological capital. We as humans have hopes and dreams; we can choose to give or to withhold our knowledge. Also seen accommodating the shift creates an unprecedented opportunities and challenges for the human resource function.
More over the author used the quantitative research as the survey was done through phone calls, and mails. Also the article tells about the ontological and the epistemological assumptions in relations to the positivist and the interpretvest.
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