This is “Preface”, article 4 from the book Beginning Management of Human Resources (v. 1.0).
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Thank you for using Portolese Dias’s Human Resource Management! Whether you are an instructor or student, by using this book you are part of the Unnamed Publisher revolution. As instructors, the ability to customize this book by changing, adding, deleting, and moving text around, we are leveraging technology while making it beneficial (and cheaper!) for our students. If you are a student, I think you will appreciate the conversational style and features designed to make reading the book engaging.
Competing books are focused on the academic part of HRM, which is necessary in a university or college setting. However, the goal with this book is not only to provide the necessary academic background information but also to present the material with a practitioner’s focus on both large and small businesses. While the writing style is clear and focused, we don’t feel jargon and ten-dollar words are necessary to making a good textbook. Clear and concise language makes the book interesting and understandable (not to mention more fun to read) to the future HRM professional and manager alike.
It is highly likely that anyone in business will have to take on an HRM role at some point in their careers. For example, should you decide to start your own business, many of the topics discussed will apply to your business. This is the goal of this book; it is useful enough for the HRM professional, but the information presented is also applicable to managers, supervisors, and entrepreneurs. Besides these differences, other key differences include the following:
- This book utilizes a technology focus and shows how HRM activities can be leveraged using technology.
- We have also included a chapter on communication and information about motivational theories. Since communication is a key component of HRM, it makes sense to include it as a full chapter in this book. Human motivation is one of the cornerstones of HR, which is why we include information on this as well.
- Rather than dividing certain chapters, we have combined some chapters to provide the entire picture of related topics at once. For example, in Chapter 6 "Compensation and Benefits" we discuss both pay and benefits, instead of separating them into two chapters.
- The exercises and cases utilize critical thinking skills and teamwork to help the points come through.
- The Fortune 500 boxes focus on the concepts and how large companies apply these concepts. However, we still focus on small- and medium-sized businesses.
- Practical application is the focus of this book. We want you to be able to read the book and apply the concepts. We feel this approach makes the material much more useful, instead of only academic.
- We use several YouTube videos in each chapter.
- The author introduces each chapter in a video format.
- How Would You Handle This? situations in the book utilize critical-thinking skills to think about ethical situations in HRM. Each situation also includes audio examples on how an HRM professional or manager could handle the situation.
These features and pedagogical components make the book easy to read and understand while still maintaining an academic focus.
The organization of the book is intuitive. The book follows the process HR professionals or managers will go through as they ensure they have the right employees at the right time to make sure the company is productive and profitable.
- In Chapter 1 "The Role of Human Resources", we discuss the role of human resources in business and why, in a constantly changing world, the HRM function is key to a successful business.
- In Chapter 2 "Developing and Implementing Strategic HRM Plans", we discuss HR strategic plans and how those plans should be developed. Strategic planning is necessary to tie company objectives with HRM objectives, but it is also important to have a “people plan” and address the ever-changing work environment.
- In Chapter 3 "Diversity and Multiculturalism", we discuss the diversity aspect of business and why multiculturalism is so important to ensuring a healthy organization.
- In Chapter 4 "Recruitment", recruitment, the process for getting the most qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds, is the focus. We discuss some of the important laws to consider when hiring people and methods to recruit highly qualified individuals.
- In Chapter 5 "Selection", we talk about the selection process. Once you have recruited people, you must organize the process that selects the best candidate. This can include interviewing, employment tests, and selecting the criteria by which candidate performance will be measured.
- In Chapter 6 "Compensation and Benefits", we discuss how you compensate individuals through pay, benefits, vacation time, and other incentives.
Chapter 7 "Retention and Motivation" discusses the talent management approach—that is, how you can retain the best employees through retention strategies and motivation techniques.
- The training and development aspect of HRM is likely one of the most important aspects of HRM. After you have gone through the time and effort to recruit, select, and compensate the employee, you will need to ensure career growth through continuing training, which is the focus of Chapter 8 "Training and Development".
- Since communication is a key component to any and all aspects of HRM, we have a detailed discussion on communication and management style. While some of the information may be covered in other classes on topics in which people (such as HRM) are the focus, a review on communication is important. In Chapter 9 "Successful Employee Communication", we also discuss management styles, since this is an important form of communication, and in fact, many people leave organizations because of their managers.
Chapter 10 "Managing Employee Performance" discusses some of the possible performance issues and how to handle those performance issues. We also discuss employee discipline and how to handle layoffs.
Chapter 11 "Employee Assessment" focuses on how to assess performance of the employee. We address performance evaluation systems and methods.
- Most HRM professionals will work with unions, the focus of Chapter 12 "Working with Labor Unions". The unionization process, how to negotiate union contracts, and history of labor unions are discussed.
- Employee safety and health are necessary to a productive workplace. Chapter 13 "Safety and Health at Work" addresses some of the health and safety issues, such as drug use, carpal tunnel, and other issues relating to keeping employees healthy at work.
- Finally, Chapter 14 "International HRM" looks at the differences between international HRM and domestic HRM. We discuss the recruitment, selection, and retention components of international HRM.
Each chapter contains several staple and innovative features as follows:
Opening situation: The opening situation is used to show how the chapter topics have real-life applications for HR professionals and managers. The short openings are straightforward and show the practical application of the concepts.
Learning objectives by section: Instead of a long list of learning objectives at the front of the chapter, we divide the learning objectives by section and offer exercises and key terms for every section in the book. This is a great way to “self-check” and make sure the key concepts are learned before moving to the next section.
How Would You Handle This? situation: These situations are created to utilize critical-thinking skills that are necessary for strategic HRM. The situations are ethics-based in nature and also include audio that discusses the situation.
Introduction video: Every chapter includes an introductory video by the author, discussing the importance of the chapter to HRM.
YouTube videos: Since the book is technology focused, it makes sense to use the free technology available to cement many of the concepts. Each chapter has at least two YouTube videos, with some chapters including up to five or six.
Figures: There are numerous figures in every chapter. I think you will find they are clear and focused but are not a series of endless graphs and charts of statistics that are interesting but of little value to learning the key strategic concepts in HRM.
Case study: The case study at the end of every chapter is a good way to make sure students have learned the material. The case presents real-world situations and utilizes HRM knowledge and skills to complete. The case studies are often tied to not only the current chapter but also past chapters to ensure continued application of past concepts.
Team activities: The team activities will sometimes require students to work in small groups but may also involve the entire class. These activities are designed to promote communication, teamwork, and of course, the specific HRM concept, which are all valuable skills in HRM.
Instructor’s Manual: The instructor’s manual includes PowerPoint slides with notes, author teaching notes, exercise solutions, extra discussion questions, video to accompany the case study, and an additional case study. In addition to these features, additional YouTube videos are included to share with your class if you wish. A 1,400 question test bank is also included, with true-or-false, fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, and essay questions.
I am confident you will enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it for instructors, professors, and students. Feel free to send me a personal e-mail if you have questions or comments about this book.
Best wishes for a great semester or quarter!