Question 1: Identify and discuss some of the key HR factors for Dell.
Use the concepts of Strategy Framework (Sparrow and Pettigrew) to show how these relate to Business Pressures and Strategy.
Dell has to be seen to manage problems that researchers have investigated in recent years in order to maintain its competitive advantage. These problems include a lack of strategic management, organizational difficulties in managing across functions, personal and cultural problems in attempting to create the necessary synergy f skills in core functions , and a potential lack of internal consultancy skills in the personnel function (Sparrow and Pettigrew 1988). Only then, can Dell maintain its dominance in the computer industry with their just-in-time manufacturing business model.
1.1 Linking HR function to business needs
Dell's HR challenges the problem proposed by Sparrow and Pettigrew by aligning themselves as a strategic partner and using three approaches. The first concerns the use of planning manpower needs or succession activities to link personnel programmes to the requirements of business plans and forecasts.
Such planning, however, only becomes strategic if it includes the monitoring of environmental trends and modelling of alternative scenarios (Sibson, 1983). A major difficulty is in the alignment of HR activities with long-term business objectives. Dell grew by 56% in 1998 (Joinson 1999) and posed a challenge for the HR function to adapt to the company's rapid growth in selection and recruitment of staff whilst developing staff to meet the ever changing business requirements through segmentation.
1.1.1 Human Resource Factors
For Michael Dell, inventing the Next Big Thing is not the goal. His mission is to build the Current Big Thing better than anyone else (business goal) and making sure his staff are equipped for implanting the changes (HR goal). He doesn't plan on becoming IBM or HP.