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This essay will discuss the theoretical issues related to human resource management strategies, human resource planning, employment relations, diversity management and recruitment and selection.

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Introduction This essay will discuss the theoretical issues related to human resource management strategies, human resource planning, employment relations, diversity management and recruitment and selection. The essay will compare the differences in human resource management between two airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Finally the essay will put forward recommendations to the two airlines in the human resource area. The human resource needs of today's organisation need to be continually analysed due to constant changing conditions. This analysing is known as human resource planning (HRP) and it ensures that the right number and type of people are available at the right time for the organisation (Dessler et al 1999). There are many factors that contribute to HRP and trends that influence the organisation's external environment. These factors are workforce diversity, outsourcing, globalisation, technological development, new organisational structures, casualisation and the shift from manufacturing towards service and knowledge-based work (Dessler et al 1999). Workforce Diversity Workforce diversity is divergence from an assumed norm or set of expectations. The government have created legislations confirming the right of all members of society to experience comparable life and work opportunities, irrespective of difference of sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, physical abilities or whether they belong to the dominant culture or language group (Human Resource Management Study Book). The reasons that these legislations were introduced were due to the changing of the workforce. More women joined the workforce as did people of differing ethnic origins. ...read more.


The increase of employment within the service sector has also meant an increase in casual employment which leads to a lower level of unionisation. This leads to changes being required with HRP where modifications are required in payment, training and working conditions (Human Resource Management Study Book). Environmental Issues Affecting American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The environmental issues affecting American Airlines appear to arise from them being a more traditional organisation and they do not seem to be moving with the times. The first area of concern for American Airlines is the use of lower paid pilots to fly the new regional jets. The older pilots are being threatened by this form of outsourcing and advance in technical development. The older pilots also dislike the erosion of their authority by the company dictating which types of aircraft they can and cannot fly. This is also a technological development issue. American Airlines does have some positive sides to its technological development. It has developed yield management and frequent flyer programmes to keep up the times and offer a better service. Southwest Airline's environmental issues look more positive as the organisation seems to be far better prepared for the future. The HRP has been analysing and targeting any foreseeable problems. There doesn't seem to be any hierarchy problems with the pilots since all the pilots fly the same modern aircraft type. The service quality seems to stem directly from the CEO who is very customer orientated, and he hires his staff with that in mind; which could come under the workforce diversity issue. ...read more.


The pilots no longer have trust in their employers, therefore the organisation and the employees cannot work side by side to create that competitive edge. However, Southwest Airlines has a trust between employee and organisation that can give them that competitive edge. This can be seen when the employees took a pay cut during a fuel price increase to help cut costs. The CEO has tried to create an employee friendly policy; the CEO sees his employees as a family, whose birthdays and anniversaries are as significant to the company as their work related accomplishments (Bisoux 2003). Recommendations. American Airlines need to look very carefully into its SHRM. There is little or no trust from the employees. If this is not rectified this will only cause more problems in the future and they need to take immediate steps to regain employee trust. Southwest Airlines needs to look at its recruitment. Its policy of recruiting by personality and the ability to give good service (rather than just by qualifications) is commendable. To ensure they do not face the future with a shortage of employees that have sufficient technical knowledge and skills they need to ensure they have a balanced recruiting policy and a good in house training system in place. Conclusion This paper has looked at the different aspects of HRM. It has looked at the importance of HRP, SHRM, ER and recruiting. The paper has given examples and recommendations where the two airlines can improve to crease a stronger and more trustworthy working environment to give them a competitive advantage. An organisation's HRM strategy will have significant impact upon its success (Gautschi 1999). ...read more.

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