Taking Sides volumes present current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. Each issue is thoughtfully framed with an issue summary, an issue introduction, and a postscript or challenge questions. Taking Sides readers feature an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites. An online Instructor’s Resource Guide with testing material is available for each volume. Using Taking Sides in the Classroom is also an excellent instructor resource. Visit www.mhhe.com/takingsides for more details.
To purchase an electronic eBook version of this title, visit www.CourseSmart.com (ISBN 0077388240).
This convenient guide matches the issues in Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Human Resource Management with the corresponding chapters in three of our best-selling McGraw-Hill Human Resource textbooks by Noe et al., Cascio, and Bernardin.
Table of Contents
TAKING SIDES: Clashing Views in Human Resource Management
Table of Contents Clashing Views in Human Resource Management
Unit 1 Legal Environment
Issue 1. Is Affirmative Action Still Necessary?
YES:June Kronholz, Robert Tomsho, Daniel Golden, and Robert S. Greenberger, from Race Matters: Court Preserves Affirmative ActionPreferences in Admissions Survive, but Justices Condemn Point SystemWin for Business and Military, Wall Street Journal (June 24, 2003)
NO:Joe Messerli, from Should Affirmative Action Policies, Which Give Preferential Treatment Based on Minority Status, Be Eliminated? BalancedPolitics, www.balancedpolitics.org/affirmative_action.htm (2009)
Award-winning educational journalists reported that race can be used as a criterion for admissions as the University of Michigan won a milestone court case. Supreme Court judges are of the opinion that racial diversity should begin at the university level to help students transition better into a multicultural workforce. Joe Messerli, author of the BalancedPolitics Web site, provides his thoughts on both pros and cons of several management issues. He suggests that one of the main pitfalls of affirmative action is that our business world will continue to live in a colored society.
Issue 2. Will the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) Be Abused in the U.S. Workplace?
YES:Dina Berta, from Labor Lawyers: Changes to Americans with Disabilities Act May Lead to More Workplace Discrimination Suits, Nations Restaurant News (October 2008)
NO:Victoria Zellers, from Make a Resolution: ADA Training, HR Magazine (January 2009)
Award-winning writer, Dina Berta, suggests that the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) has always been controversial because it was difficult to define and understand. Now that the act has been redefined to ADAAA (Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act), it will allow more employees to fall under the disability category, which could increase the number of lawsuits. Legal attorney Victoria Zellers argues that sufficient training of HR professionals could substantially reduce litigation expenses for organizations. The HR department should be proactive to understand and provide for the special needs of their employees.
Issue 3. Is the Living Wages Concept the Best Answer for High Employee Turnover among Lower-Skilled Employees?
YES:Annie Gentile, from Wage Laws See Varied Results over 14 Years, The American City & County (October 2008)
NO:Diane Cadrain, from States and Cities Square Off over Living Wage Laws, HR Magazine (March 2004)
Annie Gentile, freelance writer and expert on employment issues, contends that increasing wages of low-skilled labor definitely will contribute to positive organizational outcomes. Diane Cadrain, legal attorney, suggests that higher low-skill wages would squeeze the profit margins for organizations and make the final product or service more expensive.
Issue 4. Should Employees Be Allowed to Wear Symbols of Faith to the Workplace?
YES:Robert Grossman, from Religion at Work, HR Magazine (December 2008)
NO:Robert D. Ramsey, from When Religion and Work Clash, Supervision (September 2007)
Robert Grossman, editor and professor of management, suggests that organizations should adopt a faith-friendly approach and allow employees to wear their symbols of faith and express themselves religiously at work. Dr. Robert Ramsey, author and freelance writer, argues that accommodating religious requests might become a never-ending list of requests that could hamper business goals and profits.
Unit 2 Talent Acquisition
Issue 5. Are Social Networking Sites Good Recruitment Sources?
YES:Jamie Eckle, from Get Social, Get a Job, ComputerWorld (August 2009)
NO:David J. Solove, from The End of Privacy? Scientific American (September 2008)
Jamie Eckle, former Managing Editor of ComputerWorld, suggests that social network sites are excellent ways to begin an informal recruiting dialogue with applicants. Informal recruiting approaches may provide more realistic job-related information so that applicants self-select themselves, saving recruiters a lot of time and money. Dr. David Solove, law professor at George Washington University and author of several books on topics related to privacy, asserts that online information is not an accurate and honest source for recruiters. Gen-Yers are more likely to post incorrect information when personal and business relationships become unpleasant.
Issue 6. Are Personality Tests Good Predictors of Employee Performance?
YES:Ira Blank, from Selecting Employees Based on Emotional Intelligence Competencies: Reap the Rewards and Minimize the Risk, Employee Relations Law Journal (December 2008)
NO:Erin White, from Theory and Practice: Personality Tests Aim to Stop Fakers; Some Say Tools Accuracy Could Be Improved to Make Misrepresentations Harder, Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition) (November 6, 2006)
Ira Blank, litigation attorney, suggests that personality tests are excellent predictors of job performance because they identify several critical work-related skills needed in todays team and multicultural environment. Erin White, reporter for the Wall Street Journal, cites the studies of Dr. Griffith, which state that student always fake their personality when they realize the outcomes are different. Questions on these tests are so transparent that it is easy to manipulate the answers.
Issue 7. Would Mandatory Background Checks for All Employees Reduce Negligent Hiring Lawsuits?
YES:Lessing Gold, from Get a Background Check, SDM (October 2007)
NO:Chad Terhune, from The Trouble with Background Checks:Employee Screening Has Become a Big Business, But Not Always an Accurate One, BusinessWeek (June 2008)
Lessing Gold, attorney and writer, contends that organizations have a liability in checking the background references of both their permanent or temporary applicants. He indicates how applicants with criminal records emerge back into the work environment with false records, potentially putting customers and co-workers in jeopardy. Chad Terhune, senior writer for BusinessWeek, asserts that information from background checking companies is so inaccurate that it is very unfair to several whose employment records have become blemished. He feels that the unregulated nature of this industry could be one of the main reasons for such employment errors.
Issue 8. Is Cognitive Ability Testing a Good Predictor of Work Performance?
YES:Martha J. Frase, from Smart Selections, HR Magazine (December 2007)
NO:Rangarajan (Raj) Parthasarathy, from Emotional Intelligence and the Quality Manager: Beauty and the Beast? The Journal for Quality and Participation (January 2009)
Martha Frase, freelance writer, suggests that cognitive ability tests are excellent predictors of work performance because they are objective, valid, and reliable. Further, these tests can be administered to a variety of job categories from entry to executive levels. Raj Parthasarathy, process improvement manager, states that emotional intelligence is the best predictor of job performance because it involves critical components of self and relationship management. Researchers are paying increasing attention to emotional intelligence (EI) as its components have positive consequences on job performance.
Unit 3 Women in Corporate Levels
Issue 9. Does the Glass Ceiling Still Exist in U.S. Organizations?
YES:Jessica Marquez, from Gender Bias Found to Start Early in Career, Workforce Management (June 2009)
NO:Anonymous, Breaking the Glass Ceiling, Black Enterprise (February 2009)
Jessica Marquez, journalist at Workforce Management, suggests that women face a glass ceiling, possibly because their careers generally begin much later and they have more career interruptions due to family commitments. Black Enterprise journalists state that women do occupy top-notch positions. The effort is in finding the right universities and organizations that will actively support such diversity initiatives.
Issue 10. Do Women Make Better Business Leaders?
YES:Ann Pomeroy, from Cultivating Female Leaders, HR Magazine (February 2007)
NO:Herminia Ibarra and Otilia Obodaru, from Women and the Vision Thing, Harvard Business Review (January 2009)
Ann Pomeroy, senior writer for HR Magazine, illustrates how organizations have identified that women are better business leaders with an example from Safeway. She states that women have some innate characteristics that serve them well as leaders. According to the research studies of INSEAD Professor Herminia Ibarra and her doctoral student, Otilia Obodaru, women demonstrate low visionary skills. These business skills are very important for strategizing and understanding the dynamic environment.
Unit 4 Employee Performance and Organizational Productivity
Issue 11. Does E-Learning Actually Promote Employee Learning and Development?
YES:Steve Allison, from The Role of Social Learning, E.learning Age (October 2007)
NO:Penny Reynolds, Yearning for E-Learning? The Pros and Cons of the Virtual Classroom for Your Call Center, Customer Inter@ction Solutions (June 2008)
Steve Allison, technical consultant for Adobe Connect, believes that e-learning provides excellent opportunities for employees to learn at their own pace. Businesses also profit because e-learning is very cost-effective compared to traditional methods. Penny Reynolds, trainer and consultant, implies that e-learning training methods are not for everyone because the lack of interaction might impede learning. Also, most e-learning initiatives pack in too much content, which hinders mastery of the subject matter.
Issue 12. Does Increased Dependence on Laptops, Cell Phones, and PDAs Hurt Employee Productivity?
YES:Paul Hemp, from Death by Information Overload, Harvard Business Review (September 2009)
NO:Michelle LaBrosse, from Working Successfully in a Virtual World, Employment Relations Today (2007)
Paul Hemp, a Harvard Law School graduate and editor of the Harvard Business Review, argues that our current society is facing loss of productivity due to excessive dependence on technology (such as BlackBerrys, cell phones, etc.), blurring boundaries between home and work. Michelle Labrosse, one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management, contends that modern technological devices allow employees to be connected to form virtual teams.
Issue 13. Do Unions Help Organizational Productivity?
YES:AFL-CIO, from Unions Are Good for Business, Productivity, and the Economy, (http://www.aflcio.org/joinaunion/why/uniondifference/uniondiff8.cfm)
NO:Dennis K. Berman, from The GameDr. Zs Chrysler Predicament: Selling Unions on Sacrifice, Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition) (April 24, 2007)
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Web site identifies the work of Professor Harley Shaiken, from the University of California-Berkeley, who states the positive impact of unions on HRM outcomes. Dennis Berman, Wall Street Journal journalist and 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner, argues that the current state of the auto industry is mainly due to excessive demands of the unions. The high cost of maintaining labor is passed on to the consumers and reduces organizational profit margins.
Unit 5 Compensation and Performance Appraisal
Issue 14. Has Merit Pay Lost Its Meaning in the Workplace?
YES:Fay Hansen, from Merit-Pay Payoff? Workforce Management (November 2008)
NO:Laura Meckler, from U.S. News: Obama Seeks to Expand Merit Pay for Teachers, Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition) (March 11, 2009)
Fay Hansen, contributing editor for Workforce Management, provides studies of leading professors from Stanford and MIT who suggest that merit pay has lost its meaning because employees are not being actually rewarded for performance. They assert that this compensation system is not distinguishing between success and failure and hence has lost its meaning in the workplace. Laura Meckler of the Wall Street Journal contends that workforces that are traditionally underpaid will benefit from such a pay system. Such workforces will feel motivated to perform better because they have been constantly paid poorly.
Issue 15. Do Intrinsic Rewards Provide for Better Employee Retention?
YES:Amanda Wilkinson, from Total Reward Is Helping to Define a New Era of Benefits Employee Benefits (July 2007)
NO:Frank Hayes, from Reasons to Go, Computerworld (June 2008)
Michael Armstrong, who writes extensively on rewards and pay, identifies the benefits of intrinsic rewards and indicates that financial rewards or external motivators are often short-lived and do not contribute to employee retention. However, intrinsic rewards contribute immensely to job satisfaction and employee retention. Frank Hayes contends that pay or external factors contribute to employee satisfaction and job retention. High compensation has a unique way of attracting and retaining talent.
Issue 16. Is Forced Ranking an Effective Performance Management Approach?
YES:Alex Blyth, from Cull or Cure? Personnel Today (May 2007)
NO:Gail Johnson, from Forced Ranking: The Good, The Bad, And The ALTERNATIVE, Training (May 2004)
Alex Blyth reiterates the thoughts of Microsoft leaders on forced ranking. This performance approach is very good at identifying the underperformers and rewarding the stars. Gail Johnson, former editor of Training magazine, suggests this method is flawed because it encourages a very competitive and dysfunctional work environment.
Issue 17. Given the Current State of the National Economy, Is Executive Pay Unreasonable?
YES:Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh, Chuck Collins, Mike Lapham, Sam Pizzigati, from Executive Excess 2007 at the Institute for Policy Studies. http://www.ips-dc.org/reports/#84
NO:Robert B. Reich, from The Economic Argument for CEO Pay, Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition) (September 14, 2007)
Compensation expert and IPS Fellow Sarah Anderson and her colleagues argue that U.S. CEOs are substantially overpaid in a 2008 study conducted for the Institute for Policy Studies. Professor Reich from Berkeley states that the capitalistic system promotes a principle of supply and demand. There are very few qualified executives, so they are in high demand. Executives have distinguished educational and work records that result in their elaborate pay levels.
Unit 6 The Effect of HRM Practices
Issue 18. Does Attracting, Developing, and Retaining the Millennial Generation Require Significant Changes to Current HRM Practices?
YES:Charles Woodruffe, from Generation Y, Training Journal (July 2009)
NO:Dana Kyles, from Managing Your Multigenerational Workforce, Strategic Finance (2005)
Dr. Charles Woodruffe, author and CEO of a company that focuses on managing winning talent, states that, based on experience, expectations, and personality needs, Gen-Yers might need a new set of management practices. Dana Kyles, freelance writer for Business Week and Strategic Finance magazines, believes that multiple generations can work together harmoniously. Several HRM practices appeal to all the generations unanimously, and it is these common practices that organizations should try to identify.
Issue 19. Do Human Resource Management Practices Contribute to Increased Firm Performance?
YES:Anonymous, Googles Lessons for Employers: Put Your Employees First, HR Focus (September 2008)
NO:Tony Pettengell, from OOMPH! Heroes or Zeroes? Personnel Today (September 2007)
This article helps to identify how HRM practices have provided phenomenal success and growth to the Google, Inc. organization. HRM leader of Google Lazlo Bock, insists that it is employees that make his organization outstanding. Tony Pettengell suggests that HRM leaders are never in the forefront in most organizations. Hence, they do not provide any substantial profits or growth in organizations.
Issue 20. Is Outsourcing a Good U.S. Business Strategy?
YES:John E. Gnuschke, Jeff Wallace, Dennis R Wilson, and Stephen C. Smith, from Outsourcing Production and Jobs: Costs and Benefits, Business Perspectives (Spring 2004)
NO:Murray Weidenbaum, from Outsourcing: Pros and Cons, Executive Speeches (August 2004)
Professors from the University of Memphis insist that outsourcing is a good business strategy because it creates higher profits, delivers cheaper products, and enhances customer response time. Professor Weidenbaum from Washington University suggests that there are several barriers to a smooth outsourcing process such as language barriers, technology glitches, and intellectual rights.
Using Taking Sides in the Classroom ISBN: 0073343900 Author(s): CONTEMPORARY LEARNING SERIES