Under the Inland Revenue’s pay and grading system, staff are placed in one of five pay bands, A to E. Our concern in the paper is with those clerical employees, placed on the lowest grades: E ~ divided between El, E2 – and D, since this was the group at which the HR-teamworking intervention was aimed. From 1997 figures. Band E2 accounted for 27 per cent of staff. Band El for 34 per cent and Band D for 22 per cent of the Inland Revenue workforce (Currie ; Procter, 2003).
The jobs and responsibilities of each of these grades are as follow.At revenue assistant (Band E2) level, work is made up of basic clerical tasks such as receiving mail, record-keeping and sorting and filing documents. Revenue officers (El) are concerned with the routine calculation and collection of tax. They would also be the point of contact for members of the public.
Revenue executives (D) deal more with complex tax cases and with the tax affairs of more highly paid employees. They also provide technical support to revenue assistants and revenue officers. Front line managers (D) have a role that is managerial rather than technical.Tax inspectors (Grade B), who represent the dominant professional group in the Inland Revenue, were not subjected to reorganisation. They continued to work relatively individualistically, although there was some sharing of cases, where cases were complex.
Perhaps the most important part was the introduction of self-assessment for a large number of UK taxpayers in 1997/8. Under self-assessment, increasing numbers of taxpayers, who paid tax outside the PAYE framework, assessed their own tax liabilities and submitted these to the Inland Revenue for processing (Currie ; Procter, 2003).This, in its initial stages, was expected to increase both quantity and complexity of clerical employees’ workload. Perhaps the most important of these was that the immensity and complexity of self-assessment meant that – at least in the first instance – there was a need for employees to interact more so that they learnt from each other about how to administer tax assessment under the new regime. For example, there was uneven take-up of the team development activities across local offices.While the human resource managers hoped that the team development pack would be utilized as a basis for teambuilding, the fact that the Inland Revenue consisted of regional fiefdoms meant human resource managers positioned in the Inland Revenue headquarters had difficulty in imposing generic human resource policies and practices across the organisation.
However, the uneven take-up of team development activity did not make a significant impact upon the implementation of teamworking (Currie & Procter, 2003).Similarly, team and interpersonal skills development for team members to support the implementation of teamworking appeared less important than research studies otherwise suggest (Delbridge et al. , 2000). One reason is that the teamworking implemented was parsimonious, particularly when compared with empirical accounts of its introduction in other contexts – for example, the autonomy aspired to from theoretical perspectives, such as the socio-technical perspective.In the Inland Revenue, both the scope and degree of teamworking were limited, to a large extent because it followed an economic, rather than a social or cultural rationale (Currie & Procter, 2003).
Yet we stress it represented more than just the label ‘teamworking’ ascribed by management to the reorganisation of work. There was significant change in managerial style, which involved less control and surveillance, and team members shared learning, which affected the way work was carried out.As a result, team members enjoyed control over the methods and pace of work and made decisions about how to improve work processes, as well as making decisions about allocation of work (Marchington, 2000). Conclusion It can be clearly seen from this comparative study that to succeed the organisations need to develop a strong and strategic vision; work through project teams to address future differentiation; and underpin their strategies through learning.It doesn’t take long for a well established organisation like Marks & Spencer’s to plunge into falling profits and also it doesn’t require anything out of this world from a public sector bureaucratic styled organisation like The Inland Revenue. The organisations have to constantly innovate and renew their customer offerings and products by a project-based devolved business development integrated with learning.
All the organisations need to have a strong leadership with a clear vision to succeed and some sort of benchmarking to have a constant eye on their progressive performance.Analysis in HRM is concerned with identifying the strategic choices associated with the use of labour in firms and with explaining why some firms manage them more effectively than others. Strategic choices in HRM involve political compromises as well as serious cognitive challenges (Boxall & Purcell, 2000). Theory in HRM is made more complex by a range of factors, including the segmentation of internal labour markets, the influence of diverse contexts, and the interdependencies of strategic management in firms, among others.Existing descriptive research illustrates the ways in which the HR policies and practices of firms are heavily shaped by contextual contingencies, including national, sectoral and organisational factors. As a field, HRM is important to researchers and students who want to understand business strategy better and of great practical significance to executives particularly to those executive teams that want to stand back from the detail of labour management and review the firm’s performance as an employer (Boxall ; Purcell, 2000).
ReferencesBoxall, P. , Purcell, J. , (2000) Strategic human resource management: where have we come from and where should we be going? International Journal of Management Reviews, 14608545, Jun2000, Vol. 2, Issue 2 Brymai. A and Burgess, R.
G. (1993) Analysing Qualitative Data. London: Routledge. Budhwar, P. , S. , (2000) Strategic Integration and Devolvement of Human Resource Management in the UK Manufacturing Sector.
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