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INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MANAGEMENT (ICM 2011) PROCEEDING

SHIFTING FROM A FOCUS MANAGING PEOPLE TO CREATING STRATEGIC CONTRIBUTION IN EDUCATIONAL INDUSTRY (ISLAMIC AZAD UNIVERSITY)
Mahmoud Manafi (mahmoud_manafi@yahoo.com Maryam Nikheslat (maryam_nik_1982@yahoo.com) Mojtaba saeidinia (moji_island@yahoo.com) Saeid Zarezade (Zarezadeh.s@gmail.com) Ehsan Boroosan (ehsan_boroosan@yahoo.com) Roozbeh Hojabri (rhojabri@gmail.com) Alireza Hooman (alireza_hooman@yahoo.com) Haneen Abuazza (hanooo777@yahoo.com) Abstract In this qualitative article, the main goal is to identify and sort main elements and gaps in human resource structure of Islamic Azad University (IAU) which can be barriers to create strategic contribution. Furthermore this research shows evolution of any used concepts. In the other hand the paper focused on elements one by one to emphasize on their position to solve problems better and overcome the challenges in front. Key words: Human resource, RBV, Human practices, Human Capital, and Social Capital. Introduction Nowadays all researchers and managers think beyond the past, and for this purpose they study firms and companies in many different aspects. The vital role of knowledge in any organization that is related to HR is powerful evidence for paying more attention to HR concepts. Mark L, Lengnick-Hall et al (2009), after studying and analyzing researches in last 30 years, identified and highlighted seven themes: 1) Contingency perspectives and fit: It refers to the connection between HR policies and practices to various elements of strategy. Snows & Miles (1984) presented a typology of strategy includes Analyzers Defenders, prospectors, and Reactors that talked about matching specific sets of human resource practices to each considered strategy. 2) Shifting from a focus on managing people to creating strategic contributions: In this theme more focus emphasizes on ensuring that employees had the capacity and motivation to achieve organizational goals and targets.

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3) Elaborating HR system components and structure: Schuler (1992) defined and identified components and structure by focusing on philosophy, policies, programs, practices, and processes. Arthur (1994), Dyer and Reeves (1995), and Huselid (1995) also work on HR bundles and its relation with high performance work systems. On the other hand, some researchers such as Tsui et al (1997), Lepak and Snel (1999, 2002), Liu, Lepak, Takeuchi, and Sims (2003) talked about human resource architecture. 4) Expanding the scope of SHRM: It discusses about the relationship between HR function and competitive advantage, including: SHRM in an internal context and outside the focal organization. Schuler and Mcmillan (1984), Lengnick-Hall (1999), Gardner (2005), Milliman et al. (1991), martin & Beaumont (2001), Ngo, Lau, and Foley (2008). Some researchers such as, Martin and Beaumont (2001) Som (2007) and etc developed SHRM concepts to multinational and national environment. 5) Achieving HR implementation and execution: Concern of firms to achieve HR implementation motivated many researchers to pay more attention about this. Truss and Gratton (1994) differentiated between intended business strategy and realized business strategy. Boswell (2006) introduced a new construct as consisting of two components: (1) understanding strategic objectives of an organization, and (2) understanding how to help to specified objectives. 6) Measuring SHRM outcomes: One of the important concerns in companies and firms is measuring SHRM activities. For this purpose Kaplan &Norton (1996), Kay (1999), and Way & Johnson (2005) proposed different methods and perspectives. 7) Evaluating methodological issues: Gerhart, Wright, McMahan and Snell (2000) argued that an important component of measurement error rater differences-had been ignored, and could lead to inaccurate inferences about the magnitude and causality of relationship between variables of substantive interest (. Mark L, Lengnick-Hall et al 2009) In second theme in above, several issues such as RBV, HR practices, Human capital, and Social capital with their contribution are discussed that the name of some researchers shines more than other researchers for example Wright, Dunford, and Snell (2009), Boxell and Purcell (2000), Barney and Wright (1998), Ahmad and Schroeder (2003), Leana and Van Buren(1999), and etc. An educational industry as an important business that related to HR components needs more focus on strategic human resource management. Therefore identifying main elements have potential to create strategic contribution can be helpful.

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One of the biggest private universities in the world is Islamic Azad University (IAU) that has some problem originated from HR. Weakness in identifying human capital because of variety on types of jobs in educational industry is the important challenge. Therefore real human capital must be identified although there are some barriers for this purpose. On the other hand, another problem is about being neglected from importance of human capital, social capital and its relation with SHRM. Since famous researchers (Hatch & Dyer, 2004) believe that investment in human capital have a significant effect on learning and firm performance, it is implied how can educational industry (IAU) uses human capital for strategic contributions. By focusing on strategic structure especially high turnover in IAU we can say that using and identifying main indicators in human resource and capital has problem. Importance of HR practices is clear, but knowing the best method of HR practices in IAU needs paying more attention. In addition losing market share in internal market is another concern for IAU, and this problem is independent to existence of competitors. As researchers said, knowing RBV characteristics can be useful to sustain competitive advantage.

Literature Review Tichy, Devanna, and Formburn (1982) by making case about role of the human resource department in driving organizational performance argued: (1) that HR activities have a significant effect on individual performance, and also productivity and organizational performance, (2) the cycle of HR activities is interdependent, and (3) effectiveness strategic management comes from effective HRM. Evans (1986) also identified strategic outcomes for Strategic human resource: equity and human relations, competitive performance, innovation and flexibility, and interunit integration. Wright and Snell (1991) used open systems theory that includes inputa, throughputs, and outputs to Strategic HRM and proposed two important foci are behavior and competence. According to above, there are four important issues in Shifting from a focus on managing people to creating strategic contributions, and they will be discussed with paying attention their literature: 1- The RBV of the firm and strategic contributions Wright, Dunford, and Snell (2001), and also Boxall & Puurcell (2000) separately noted that RBV of the firms converge the fields of strategy and strategic human resource management. In the earlier, Lado & Wilson (1994) showed that by making easy and utilization of organizational competencies human resource systems can contribute to sustain competitive advantage.( This result comes from RBV and open systems theory)

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Also there is another view about RBV applying to SHRM that proposed by Kamoche (1996). He said the mutually interaction between the stock of Skills, knowledge, and expertise makes HR competencies whose strategic value is understandable to the extent that they are linked with core competencies. Taylor, Beechler, and Napier (1996) by using RBV of the firm and Resource dependence theory extended a model of the strategic international human resource management in multinational corporations. They assumed these corporations can take 3 approaches to managing their associates:
integrative, adoptive, and exportive. In 2004 another view of SHRM was suggested by Colbert that asserted rather than testing impacts of human resource practices ( e.g. selection), researchers should concentrate on the process by which the elements of the social system (e.g. choices, people actions in the system, and intentions) socialize and interact. The key features of suggested complex systems are non-linearity, unpredictability, and emergent properties.

2- HR practices and strategic contribution Empirical studies have shown there is a relationship between human resource practices/systems and organizational performance, and also some researches offered a HR practices menu that illustrated significant strategic outcomes. Khatri (2000) showed the links between strategy and human resource practices and human resource practices and firm performance. On the other hand Richard & Johnson (2001) asserted that SHRM reduces turnover, which in order increase overall market performance assessment. In relationship between human resource management practices and OP (operation management), Ahmad and Schroeder (2003) examined across three industry and four countries. They found a relationship between organizational performance and Pfeffers (1998) seven best human resource management. The seven best HRM includes: (1) employment security, (2) selective hiring of new personnel, (3) selfmanaged teams and decentralization of decision making as the basic principles of organizational design, (4) comparatively high compensation contingent on organizational performance, (5) extensive training, (6) reduced status distinctions and barriers, including dress language, office arrangements, and wage differences across levels, (7) And extensive sharing of financial and performance information throughout the organization. Huang (2000), found firms with high performance levels were more likely to adopt certain strategic human resource management practices, such as staffing, planning, compensation, training and development, and appraisal. However there are many researches about human practices and different issues, recent studies focus more on the relationship between HR practices and competitive performance. 1561

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3- Human capital and strategic contributions During 1997 to 2006, there are many researches about human capital and strategic contributions. In any research some issues were studied that caused evolution about it. Researchers almost worked on samples to prove or ignore their claims. Green et al (2006) found that SHRM is related to human resource professionals individual performance, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment. Additionally they results a positive and important relationship between SHRM and performance of organization. Hitt, Bierman, Shimizu, and Kochhar (2001), assessed the direct and moderating human capital effects on service firm performance. They found human capital has a U-shaped curvilinear effect on performance, and leveraging human capital has a positive effect on performance. They also found another issue in supporting the contingency perspective of SHRM that was human capital has a moderating effect on the relation between firm performance and strategy. Kor & Lebebici (2005) in one research found that firms profited separately from human capital (expert) leveraging strategies or service and geographical diversification strategies, but at high level have negative impact on firm profitability. Hatch and Dyer (2004) found that investing in human capital has significant effect on and firm performance and learning. They also found human capital selection, development through training, and deployment as three factors significantly improved learning by doing, that in turn improved performance. Furthermore, firms that have high turnover perform poorly in comparison to their rivals because of time compression diseconomies and failure to protect firm specific human capital from imitation. Another research by Carmeli and Schaubroeck (2005), argued that having higher levels of human capital is strongly associated with performances when top managers perceived these resources provided separate value in terms of being rare, inimitable, valuable, and nonsubstitutable, thereby reinforcing links with the RBV of the firm. Lewis and Heckman (2006) presented a decision theoretic framework for a systems analysis of talent decisions in the organization. They actually make a conceptual framework that acts as a bridge between academic Strategic Human Resource Management research and practical Strategic Human Resource Management applications. 4- Social capital and strategic contributions 1562

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Actually social capital theory (SCT) offers an additional and different view to examine SHRM and strategic contributions. The first researches in role of SHRM in making social capital were done by Leana & Van Buren (1999). Their definition was about organizational social capital (OSC) as a resource reflecting the character of social relations. Practicing Employments promote strong norms, stable relationships, and specified roles create OSC. These practices yield benefits and costs: Benefits include: intellectual capital, commitment justification, collective organization, and work flexibility Costs include: foreign innovation, institutional power, and maintenance costs. On the other hand in some researches, can see multidimensional construct called intellectual capital involves human capital and social capital. Moreover Youndt & Snell (2004) proposed three elements of intellectual capital include: social capital, human capital, and organizational capital. According empirical studies, they could find selection and training & development are related to human capital, the use of collaborative HR activities is related to social capital, and accessible IS (information systems) along with human resource activities encourage KD (knowledge documentation) are related to organizational capital. HC and SC have strong relationships with OP (organizational performance).

Methodology As above topics and elements, all related issues refer to RBV of firm, HR practices, human capital, and social capital, so by using the main sub issues of them this qualitative research was done. Questionnaires and interview in different levels of IAU highlighted main elements in each part. Sample was four branches of IAU include 28 people such as, top managers, official staff, and lecturers.

Shifting from a focus on managing people to creating strategic contributions

1-

The RBV of the firm and strategic contributions

2-

HR practices and strategic contribution

3-

Human capital and strategic contributions

4-

Social capital and strategic contributions

Figure 1- Theoretical Framework 1563

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After using statistical method by NVIVO and SPSS software to test reliability, and also expert consulting to test validity following result were obtained and sorted. (1) Lack of centralized unit to identify effective persons such as lecturers, and official staff, (2) High turnover because of weakness in job security especially for lecturer, (3) Weakness in lecturers training, (4) staffing, (5) wasting knowledge because of lack of plan to extend programs (master, PhD,) in all branches, (6) low spending money for foreign innovation, (7) no accessibility to information system.

Conclusion There are four issues in shifting from Shifting from a focus on managing people to creating strategic contributions, and they are The RBV of the firm and strategic contributions, HR practices and strategic contribution, Human capital and strategic contributions, and Social capital and strategic contributions. After analyzing and investigating each part and their relationships with IAU, seven challenges are identified and sorted, they are related to identifying human capital, turn over, training, staffing, program extending, innovation, IS. Therefore by improving HR planning and considering these elements, IAU will be able to use strategic contributions. Also planning to make motivation in sections above and using appropriate HR practices can be helpful in given situation. As improving HR elements can be effective in human capital development, IAU can reach sustainable competitive advantage using effective and

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