PGBM02: Managing and Leading People

PGBM02: Managing and Leading People

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Each question is of equal weighting.

The assessment will take the form of a 3000 word essay.  
The word allowance is plus or minus 10%.  

Students will choose one of the following questions:

1.  Managers today must be able to manage change so that an organisation can respond to the influences from external environments. Critically analyse this view. 

2.  Evaluate the importance of the role of management in the learning and development of an organisation’s workforce.

3. In a competitive international context, it is important that managers effectively work to keep their most talented employees.  Critically analyse the importance of this assertion.

4. The health and well being of employees is an important factor in a company’s success; critically examine the role of individuals and managers in the creation of an appropriate staff workload.

Please note:

Remember to provide the following information on the first page of your assignment:
Your name
Your student number
Your tutor’s name
Submission date
The title of the question that you have chosen.

Some points to remember:

1.  Ensure you ‘answer the question’

You must demonstrate your understanding of the module by supporting your points of analysis and discussion with relevant theories and evidence and/or examples. The different theoretical approaches to leading and managing people were presented to you in the weekly lectures. In the workshops you then practised how to ensure you could analyse and discuss the different aspects of leading and managing people.  

The point of the assignment is for you to demonstrate your understanding of the module by creating an ‘answer to the question’, through the application of your choice of theorists within a given context, supporting your points with evidence and examples and a critical analysis of the issues.  You are encouraged to undertake wider reading to ensure your statements and claims are relevant and up-to-date.

The University adheres to the Harvard system of referencing.  This means in text citations for example, are written like this: – It is often termed ‘the name/date’ system (Pears & Shields, 2008).
These authors are then written in the reference list (in alphabetical order) as follows:-

Pears, R and Shields, G. (2008) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. Newcastle: Pear Tree Books.


If you cite the electronic version in the text it would be (Pears and Shields, 2014) then follow the instructions in the electronic book for how to add to the reference list.

The detail of when to use page numbers in citations and how to cite different sources of information are clearly explained in the text and e-version of ‘Cite them Right’ (see the above text in the Library or check the homepage or library catalogue for the online version).

2.  The assignment format is an ‘essay style.’  
This means you create a coherent narrative in answer to the question.  Side-headings are not required in essays, but one or two headings to highlight something are acceptable but remember that each paragraph must link into the next point of discussion and this applies to sections where you have chosen a side heading.

3.  Tables, figures and/or appendices
Include these if they support your points of discussion or analysis.

Essay Topic: Reasons why it is important that managers effectively work to keep their most talented employees



The changing global market dynamics have influenced the strategies and approaches through which organisations manage their employees. The increasing industrial competitiveness and the declining number of talented, experienced, and qualified employees has increased labour poaching rivalry between industry competitors globally (Truss, Mankin and Kelliher, 2012). This has in the last decade elevated the perception of the HRM function in organisation to a strategic function, rather than the traditional operational and support system function perception. Truss, Mankin and Kelliher (2012) argued that employee retention is a critical component in strategic HRM in the current competitive global market.

This essay develops an analysis of the rationale and benefits of retaining the most talented, experienced, and skilled employees in organisations in the wake of rising international market competition. Moreover, the essay offers recommendations on strategies and approaches through which organisations can manage and enhance their talented employees’ retention.

Benefits of Retaining Talented Employees

This section develops a critical evaluation of the organisational benefits of retaining talented and qualified employees in their workforce. Therefore, it expounds on the strategic organisational gains and the implications of a reduced employee turnover ratio both in the short and long term periods.

Reduce Recruitment and Selection Costs

The HRM function operates as a system made of different sub-systems such as the recruitment and selection, and the retaining functions respectively. The theory of the organisational operations systems holds that organisational systems are interrelated and interdependent and as such the functions and operations of one function impose ripple effects on the others. In this context, there is a direct relationship between an organisational, retention rates and its recruitment and selection function (Mahadevan, 2009). On one hand, a high employee turnover implies that the organisational recruitment and selection function has to recruit new employees to bridge the resulting skills gap in the organisation (O’Meara, 2013). Further, the development of a regular and frequent recruitment process has a direct implication on the spending and resources utilization in the HR function. Sheehan and Cooper (2011) argued that the cost of recruiting an employee was equal to an average 200% of their annual rewards. Thus, this implies that conducting frequent and regular recruitment and selection processes, increases the overall organisational spending on employees management.

In the wake of increased global market competition, organisations are faced with the need to reduce the market product prices as a means to market their products affordably and increase demand against the competition. In order to actualise such a management process, organisations are required to reduce the overall production costs to allow for profit margins increment besides reducing prices. One of the strategic approaches in a competitive market is to reduce operational costs to cover for reduced market prices, thus ensuring the retention or increment of the existing business rates of return (O’Meara, 2013). In this case, increased recruitment and selection costs would imply a contrast to a competitive cost effective organisational strategy as it increases the overall production costs.

Such an increment reduces an organisational competitive edge against competitors with efficient operational systems and reduced production costs (Mahadevan, 2009). Thus, this analysis evidences that letting go of talented and skilled organisational employees has the ripple effect of increasing the organisational, operational costs through increased recruitment and selection process. Therefore, if organisational HRM functions develop suitable employee retention systems and thus reduce the employee turnover ratios, it substantially reduces the recruitment and operational costs. Consequently, this would increase organisational market competitiveness by offering organisational production efficiency and reduced operational costs advantage over peers.

Develop and Retain an Organisational Culture

An additional benefit for the retention of organisational employees is the development and retention of an organisational culture. An organisational corporate culture is the nature and process through which an organisation operates. It incorporates the organisational strategies, operational models, beliefs, and perceptions (Schein, 2010). The development and retention of a corporate culture are directly related to the existing organisational workforce. As such, in order to develop a suitable corporate culture, the process initiates with the development of relationships between the employees and creating a common goal and mission for the employees. This incorporates the alignment of individual employee interests with those of the organisation to develop a shared goal and strategic vision and objectives. This is a long term process that is developed and effected on a gradual basis (Stanford, 2013)

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