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Human Resource Management of Kroger

Discuss Human Resource Management of Kroger within the Human Resources Management (H.R) forums, part of the PUBLISH / UPLOAD PROJECT OR DOWNLOAD REFERENCE PROJECT category; The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) is an American retail supermarket chain founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. ...



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Human Resource Management of Kroger
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Netra Shetty
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Human Resource Management of Kroger - January 27th, 2011

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) is an American retail supermarket chain founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It reported US$ 76.7 billion in sales during fiscal year 2009. It is the country's largest grocery store chain[3] and its second-largest grocery retailer by volume [4] and second-place general retailer in the country, with Wal-Mart being the largest.[5] As of 2010, Kroger operated, either directly or through its subsidiaries 3,619 stores.[6]

Kroger's headquarters are centralized in downtown Cincinnati,[7] but it spans many states with store formats that include supermarkets, hypermarkets, department stores, convenience stores and mall jewelry stores. Kroger-branded grocery stores are located throughout the Midwestern and Southern United States.

Human resource management maybe defined as “the policies and practices involved in carrying out the ‘people’ aspects of a management position including recruiting, screening, training, rewarding and appraising” (Dessler, 2007). The core activities of the human resource function remain the same whether a company is operating in one place or more than one place but the context and scale of the activities change particularly the emergence of globalisation; as a result the role of human resource in international business gives rise to the international human resources management, which is said to be based on three dimensions. The first dimension is related to the distribution and use of human resources, and includes pertinent planning, personnel selection, training and development, performance evaluation, compensation and work relations. The second dimension involves the different groupings of countries which are involved in the international activities of human resources management; the three grouping of the country are host country, parent country and the “third” countries. The last dimension is distinguished by the types of employees working for an international company; these are host-country nationals (HCNs), parent-country nationals (PCNs) and third country nationals (TCNs) (Maksimovic, 2003).

To individuals in a company, the knowledge attained by them is important. Knowledge and skills are important factors in influencing how the employees perform; therefore, the imparting of quality education and training to employees of companies is significant and can guide the way for achieving the corporate aims. Thus by providing a great share of human capital, appropriate knowledge management generates basic conditions needed for adjustment, survival and competitive advantage required by an organisation when confronting a rising number of changes in a new business environment (Stebe & Andolsek, 2006).

Many companies misjudge the complexity of operations involved in international business, and often overlook the mutual infiltration of the above mentioned three dimensions of international human resources management and adopt a lax attitude towards this important department of the organisation. Consequently, business failures at international scale are not just a mere possibility but can often be contributed to poor international human resources management. The fundamental elements of the human resources that have to be adapted to local standards at the international market include culture, language, religion, moral codes and habitual practices. In today’s era of competitive markets, those companies which have decided on globalising their business, have already made their way into the expansion stage and have been mandated to re-engineer the processes in their organisations by means of innovation and by developing new customer relationships

The notion of best practice - sometimes called 'high commitment' HRM - proposes that the adoption of certain best practices in HRM will result in better organisational performance. Perhaps the most popular work in this area is that of Pfeffer who argued that there were seven best practices for achieving competitive advantage through people and 'building profits by putting people first'. These practices included: providing employment security, selective hiring, extensive training, sharing information, self-managed teams, high pay based on company performance and the reduction of status differentials. However, there is a huge number of studies which provide evidence of best practices, usually implemented in coherent bundles, and therefore it is difficult to draw generalised conclusions about which is the 'best' way (For a comparison of different sets of best practices see Becker and Gerhart, 1996
Best fit, or the contingency approach to HRM, argues that HRM improves performance where there is a close vertical fit between the HRM practices and the company's strategy. This link ensures close coherence between the HR people processes and policies and the external market or business strategy. There are a range of theories about the nature of this vertical integration. For example, a set of 'lifecycle' models argue that HR policies and practices can be mapped onto the stage of an organisation's development or lifecycle. Competitive advantage models take Porter's (1985) ideas about strategic choice and map a range of HR practices onto the organisation's choice of competitive strategy. Finally 'configurational models' provide a more sophisticated approach which advocates a close examination of the organisation's strategy in order to determine the appropriate HR policies and practices
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