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ROLE OF HR: A strategic Partner Employee Champion An Agent of Change Administrative expert Conscience Role Counselor Mediator Spokesman Problem-solver

Challenges faced in present & emerging HR practices: i. ii. iii. Environmental Organisational Individual

Environmental Challenges: The internet revolution Work force diversity Globalization Legislations Evolving work and family roles Rise of service sector

Organisational Challenges: TQM Decentralization Downsizing Organisational restructuring Culture Technology Outsorcing

Individual Challenges:

Matching People & Organisations Ethics & Social Responsibility Empowerment

Case Study: Emerging Human Resource Practices At Aditya Birla Group Analysis: The company mandated integration of people and systems. With the initiative of the HR manager, the company has been able to make provisions for a 360 degree performance appraisal program where employees will have the chance of questioning the decisions taken by higher authorities as well as their leadership styles. This tells volumes about Aditya Birla Groups role as an agent of change. Aditya Birla Group also prioritized employment generation to combat the stunted growth rate. Besides, implementation of a path breaking retirement policy also validates the role of an employee champion as far as emerging HR practices at Aditya Birla group is concerned. Also, there has been a shift from operational focus to the concept of value addition determining the cost of capital and the risk associated with business. These practices served in enhancing communication and training throughout the group. This shows how well a mediator and administrative expert the HR practices have been in the Aditya Birla Group. A very important aspects of the emerging HR practices in the Aditya Birla Group was the drive to build human capital and incorporate a humanistic attitude along with expanding their business. The introduction of abundant HR managers and job evaluators fuelled group dynamics. This not only promoted internal competition but this was also well received by industrial peers. The expansion of business and the drive to increase literacy in a good number of villages had also been commendable. Coming to the challenges faced by the organisation, Aditya Birla Group had been making a good number of acquisitions abroad; collaborations with companies in Europe, the U.S.. So developing a global corporate mindset was of the numerous environmental challenges the Group faced. Also, being responsive to local cultures in the face of globalisation was another challenge since commanding brand equity abroad was equally necessary. This was accompanied by the challenge of maintaining values and morale within the employees of the Group. It transcended employee-organisation relationship and mere economic transactions.

Next, the individual challenge of morphing commodity business into customer-centric businesses was well taken up by the Group; like shifting from aluminum to foils, etc.. So, to sum up, we see that in the Indian context in particular, and in the case of the Aditya Birla Group in the last decade, the emerging HR practices incorporated a lot of designing and redesigning of practical models. The implementation of these models led the Group to success. Also, the practices included the development of competencies which were evaluated and reevaluated in order to identify new capacities within the Group. Clearly, as a strategic tool, the HR role of keeping up with external and internal changes in the environment has been well played.