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Critical Analysis and Evaluation of the Key Functions of Managing Human Capital and Leadership

University: California Institute of Technology

  • Unit No: 8
  • Level: Post Graduate/University
  • Pages: 18 / Words 4608
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: MGT530
  • Downloads: 489
Question :

Learning outcomes-

  • Do critical analysis and evaluation of the key functions of Human Resource Management, workforce management, people management, and intellectual capital management
  • make an analysis of the workforce management, people management, human resource management, intellectual capital management plan, and design a valid recruitment and selection system for appropriate cultural contexts and labour market scenarios.
  • Produce a workforce management, people management, human resource management, intellectual capital management plan, and design a valid recruitment and selection system for appropriate cultural contexts and labour market scenarios.
  • Depict the critical awareness of the research the development of human, people, workforce management of resources and the related challenges facing organisations in a variety of cultures.

Description of the task -

You have been hired as a human resource management consultant in Unilever and is required to make an advice on the possibility of implementing HR practices for the purpose of competing in a most effective way at workplace. It is the requirement from the side of Board of directors to address-


Make use of relevant HRM models and also identify the approach that Unilever takes for managing its workforce (900 words)


provide the critical discussion of the HR functions like recruitment and selection, HRD, motivation and performance with respect to strategic human resource initiatives. Offer certain recommendations on the improvements section (1800 words)


On the basis of above mentioned, perform the critical evaluation of various HRM software programs that are available outside the box and also identity which among software programmes will be highly beneficial for the Unilever (650 words)


Demonstrate certain characteristics of the effective leaders that will be taken into account with respect to issues identified in previous task. For justification aspect use relevant models (650 words)


Presentation, citations and referencing

Follow the structure as mentioned below-

  • Table of Contents
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Discussion/Literature Review
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Appendix
Answer :
Organization Selected : Unilever Private Limited


Human capital management is being refereed to as the procedure of acquiring, retaining associates, training so as to make the employees more productive towards the company. Such type of management mainly focus on improving the current abilities as well as the skills of the workers so that they can refine their working capabilities much more (Cascio, 2015). Managing leadership is considered as a very necessary guide for making the employees understand the missions and the goals of the organisation and providing various measures to attain such aims. Unilever Private Limited Company has been considered in this report, it is a British Dutch consumer good company in London, United Kingdom. It was founded on 1929 and now its products are being served world wide, which makes the company one of the aged multinational organisation. The products includes beauty accessories, food, personal care stuffs, beverages, cleaning agents. The report will discuss some HRM models, various functions of HR will also be covered. Evaluation of HRM software programmes will be conducted and features of effective leaders will be mentioned while giving appropriate recommendations to benefit the company.

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Unilever plc has been facing various HR issues like maintaining the price and the margins related to their products, other issues are reduced staff turn over, weak performance and rivalry companies have been considered as major threats which have to minimised by the company for ensuring smooth and efficient functioning of the HR department.

Drawing on relevant HRM models, analyse the approach of the company to the management of its human resources.

HRM model or framework can be define as a term which focus on strategic scheme of the organisation which is design to coordinate and administer different functions of business in context with human capital (Browne and et.al., 2016). Models of HRM combine different principles of soft and hard HRM but majorly focus on only one of the two approaches. Some of the most practical HRM models which can be implemented in Unilever organisation are discussed here.

The Harvard Model -

This particular model of HRM comprises of six components such as stakeholders interests, HRM policy choices, situational factors, HRM outcomes, long term consequences and a feedback loop through. Stakeholders include management, shareholders, government, employee and many more. These stakeholders interest basically define HRM policies. Situational factors majorly impact on stakeholders interest which consist of characteristics of workforce, unions, business strategy, laws and social values (Leroy and et.al., 2018). HRM policies are then further influenced by situational factors and stakeholders interests. It consist of core activities of HR such as training and development, recruitment and selection and reward systems. Such policies of HRM will eventually leads to positive HRM outcomes if done well. Outcomes such as competence, commitment, cost effectiveness and mention that will help Unilever to achieve their target goals an objectives more effectively. Long term consequences are majorly caused by positive HRM outcomes. It could be social, individual or organisational.

The HR value chain -

It is consider as one of the best model of HRM. According to this model, everything which is done in HR department of the organisation can be divided in two different categories which are HRM outcomes and HRM activities. HRM outcomes can be define as goals and targets which are achieved by organisation with the help of HRM activities. HRM department recruit number of candidates and train them in order to achieve target goals or outcomes. Outcomes consist of employee satisfaction, retention, motivation and presence. However, HRM activities can be define as day routine activities such as training, recruitment, compensation and planning, Measurement of such activities are often done with the help of HRM metrics (Mayo, 2016). Measurement of HRM activities will bring efficiency in operations and eventually leads to reducing costs and overcoming the issues. Both HRM activities an outcomes when attain well in the organisation leads to better performance and positive results. It means that candidates are being recruited by HR department, and then sent to right training programs and thus performance of company increases.

The Standard Causal Model -

It is a best known model for HRM. This particular model has been derived from number of models which has been developed till date. It represents a casual chain which initiate with business strategy and ends with HR processes including improved financial performance. This model shows that how different activities of HR reflects business performance and leads to success. It represent that activities of HR is proved to be effective only it is matching with business strategy. Thus, HR strategy is derived from overall business strategy. Practices of HR follows HR strategy. For instance, training, hiring, appraisals and compensation. Such practices of HR will lead to positive outcomes such as commitment and engagement of employees as well as improved quality of operations.

Different approaches are need to be develop by Unilever for management of human resources as it is the most important element of the organisation in order to bring positive outcomes and success of overall organisation. It is a key for development and retention of quality staff (Arena and Uhl-Bien, 2016). Through strategic management of human resources, employees will feel valued and want to be connected with the organisation. It is a best method for bringing employee engagement. Some of these approaches are discussed here.

Understanding of company objectives - 

Organisation must have a proper understanding of their aims, mission and objectives as success of human resource is majorly dependent on how an organisation is linked with goals. Unilever need to develop some long term and short term plans for growth of HR personnel. A clear communication in respective organisational goals will ease the process for HR personnel in order to develop effective strategy for resource management.

Evaluation of HR capability - 

Current HR capacities must be evaluated in order to develop an understanding about how employees are contributing to fulfil goals and objectives. Skill inventory method will help the manger so the organisation to find out expert areas of employees. It will help employees to analyse performance and skills of the employees so that they can work on their weak areas and can enhance their existing skills (Shields and et.al., 2015).

Training and development - 

Unilever must provide training and development sessions to their employees so that they can perform effectively in organisation. It is a most vital responsibility of HR department. They are responsible for identifying training needs and to develop and evaluate employee development programs which has been created for addressing organisational requirements. Giving proper training and development to employees will help the company in achieving success and to facilitate their operations.

Identify tools required for employees - 

It is the responsibility of HR manger to cooperate with various departments of the organisation to identify how the tools which has been used by the employees are effecting their ability to perform their duties and resolving the issues. Thus, HR department needs to provide appropriate tools and resource to their employees so that they can meet the demands of organisation to full fill goals and objectives.


Functions of HR and recommendations to improve it

The department of human resource actually handles and controls the essential as well as all the crucial functions of the enterprise. All the division of the company collectively operates and make the vision of the company successful, the HR department involves those people who contributes in filling up the vacant and required positions of the business so as to make the functioning as well as processing of the company more smooth and effective. The term human capital is interchangeably used for the human resource (Stark and Jeffries, 2017). Such part of the department is accountable for all those type of functions which are associated to the worker and the employees that are working under the company. They are the one who efficiently work for the company and manage all sorts of the resources and the facilities which are required to the employees for giving their best with high potential. Some of the function of HR in Unilever plc are elaborated below.

Recruitment and selection – One of the most important function of HR is to recruit and select the desirable candidate for the post. The process of recruitment is defined determining, identifying, interviewing, choosing, hiring and on boarding the workers in different team for completing their task. As per the size of an enterprise, the process of recruitment becomes more complex and accurate. Big companies requires more skilled and professional worker for a specific domain, for this the company allot an entire team of recruiters that mainly focus on hiring the staff members (Vasilaki and et.al., 2016). All such type of roles are being conducted by HR team which involves each and everything from distinguishing to selecting an individual. The basic step of the company's human capital is to recruit potential candidate and to resolve the staff turnover issue. Various types of recruiting have been found which are discussed below.

Internal recruiting –Thisincludes in filling up the post with the recent associates from the same organisation. Such type of process involves promotions, transfer, making an employee permanent form temporary and referring potential employees in front of high authorities.

External recruiting – It is defines as a process where the company look up to various forms to fill the post, different type of external recruiting are:

  • Retained recruitingis a kind of recruitment where a certain organisation hires a specific recruiting firm for filling up the empty post and pay as per demanded. Such type of firm is completely responsible for finding the desired candidate and then interviewing them as per the company norms and requirements (Noe and et.al., 2015).
  • Contingency recruitingalso needs an outer firm, they do not get upfront money, rather the form only receives money when the candidate which they are selected gets hired by the organisation too.
  • Staffing recruitingassist in finding suitable candidates via staffing agencies, such agencies only concentrate on placing the applicants in short term basis.
  • Reverse recruitingoffer the employees better chances and positions in different companies where their skills are valued more. All types of recruitments are conducted by the HR team of any firm or agencies through various recruitment tools for selecting highest potential applicants (Morley, Heraty and Michailova, 2016).

Human resource development – HRD includes various possibilities of rendering quality training to the employees and effectively develop the career of an employee, successful mentoring as well as coaching for making the associates functioning better in Unilever plc. The basic idea behind the human resource development is to train the employees by developing their required and particular skills to make them more efficient and productive. Training sessions assist all the employees to get acquainted with the workings of the company and also to the roles they have to play while attaining the goals. Such practices aids the staff members in doing their jobs more accurately and precisely. The training programmes also improve the human relations among the workers and makes such individual more competent and dynamic. The firmness of any organisation actually depends upon the way the employees are being trained, which further helps the company to adapt with altering situations. Different types of trainings which can be provided to the employees by the HR team of Unilever plc are mentioned below for resolving the issue of weak performance.

  • Induction training –Such training is conducted to acquaint the hired candidates with the internal environment, this assist the workers in understanding the policies, codes and set rules within the company.
  • Job instruction training – Such sessions renders a brief about the post in their job, the practice help in knowing the responsibilities of their job and further make there assessment process more easier (Aminullah and et.al., 2017).
  • Vestibule training –The team in this training trains the employees on what work they have to conduct in their job but such sessions are channelised in different location which is away from the work.
  • Refresher training –The process of training is conducted to make the employees know about the latest and recent development in their own domain so as to upgrade the qualities of the associates and make them work according to the set trend. This part of training assist many individual in acquiring promotions as well as appraisals.

Motivation – The motivation has been considered as one of the prime concept in human capital management. In many companies, it has been found that the associates complete their work and give performance without any kind of motivation. The passion is most important which drives the people towards success and help them in getting promotions, people without motivation are considered liable to the company because they represent themselves dully and accomplish task without any kind of encouragement that leads in poor performance, less competitiveness and degraded quality of the work (Petrick, 2017). Due to this, respective organisation spend large amount of funds for arranging lots of training sessions, recreational activities, fun events and programmes so as to motivate the people. Such practices are being conducted and arranged by human resource department.

The Maslow's Need theory states that each and every type of a person gets motivated depending upon the hierarchy of needs. The wants and desires of an individual that starts form the initial stage of life makes an individual motivated to work as per the need for determining and achieving the desires. The needs starts with basic wants and then move to the recognition of an individual followed by self actualisation. The person move from one stage to another stage while acquiring the needs of every stage. The HR thus, have to make attempts to ensure that all the wants and demands of the employees are met at each stage so that when the worker reach at the last stage they can actualise the designation, so that they can work so effectively through giving competitive edge to the rival companies.

Performance management – Performance management can be describe as a process that helps in managing employees working or performance. It is one of the crucial function of human resource as it helps in managing as well as enchaining performance of employees. It is very important for human resource term of Unilever company to control and manage its employee performance in order to conduct business activities in effective and efficient manner. Performance management function will lead to boast the productivity of organisation (Tharikh, Ying and Saad, 2016). There are different ways that could be used by respective company in order to manage and monitor performance. Different type of performance appraisals methods are described below for making the margins and price of products balanced by Unilever plc.

  • 360 Degree appraisal –In this the employees are being provided with the questionnaire and they have to fill it by giving appropriate answers to the asked questions. This act gives a number of feedbacks to the manager which assist them is monitoring the level of performance at the end of the year.
  • General performance appraisals –Such methods make a constant communication platform between the employee and their manager which later aids them in setting the aims and helps in evaluating the ways so as to achieve such goals.
  • Project evaluation review –This appraisals requires the celebration of achieving the task within the team members, such practice also motivates every staff members to work more perfectly at the given time bound.
  • Manager performance appraisals –The performance of the high authority managers should also be appraised which not only involve their presentation but it also concerns the kind of relationship they have with the clients (Golmoradi and Ardabili, 2016).


The Unilever plc has been recommended to use internal recruiting programmes over external recruiting, because it has been found that the process of internal recruitment is more cheap as compare to the other process. No amount of money has to be provided to the outer firms and the agencies for the processes of recruitment and selection. The cost of training are also lowered in this process because the employee already know the operations as well as the functioning of the company. It also aids in boosting the passionate level in the workers during the promotion which ultimately enhance their performance quality and competitiveness. The Unilever plc is also suggested to conduct induction as well as refresher training for making the employees understand the company's policies and codes and getting them acquainted with the new and advanced developments which are coming in their way for delivering the work more legitimate way. During all the processes, the team members must be motivated throughout their journey and general performance appraisals must be rendered for correcting the errors and make their career growth exponential.

The HR department of Unilever plc are recommended to work on the programs associated to rewarding the employees for motivating the employees further. Punishment is also considered as a part of rewarding those workers who does not work according to the provided standard and the policies of the enterprise (Hassan and et.al., 2019). They are also advised to educate the current employees for upgrading the developmental as well as the professional skills, for improving the type of performance they will conduct while attaining the task. The HR team of the respective company is recommended to clearly state the job description and the required eligibility criteria at the beginning of the recruiting session so that the people who are applying for the job get a clear idea on what the company is demanding from them and what all expectation they have to meet during their tenure. A proper handbook related to the procedures, workings and the functions of the business are recommended to provide for clearing the practice, expectations and the resources of the Unilever plc.


Critically evaluate a number of HRM software programs and evaluate which one of the software would be most advantageous to the organisation.

Various HRM software programs have been invented for making the the business more advanced as well as innovative for bringing new and skilled changes to the operations of the institution and better results can be drawn form such HRM software programs. Top tools have been designed for making the roles as well as the responsibilities of the HR quick and easier (Boon and et.al., 2018). The tools assist in quick training, reflects overall progress of the enterprise and aids in learning new and advanced skills creatively. Few HRM software programs are mentioned below for resolving the issues faced by Unilever plc.

Kronos Workforce Ready – It is specifically designed for the HR which is cloud based and made for meeting the demands of the companies of varying sizes. The potential users gets wide range of the properties and the features like managing absentees, compensating administration, developing employee skills, assisting in job acquisition and also in on boarding which ultimately improve the performance level of the organisation and lowers the staff turnover number. Such software manages the part time as well as full time employees, as it is tailored to meet particular needs of business.

UltiPro Software – This software is also cloud based which collectively brings talent management, workforce management and payrolls into a single efficient software. It is also outfitted with predictive analytical tools and promote business intelligence within the organisation (Antunes and Franco, 2016). This software eases the hurdle of taking attendance of employees, the workers now can schedule their workings much easier. It also assist in measuring the performance of all the employees and aid in executing different plans for making the career of the employees bright.

Workday HCM – Such type of software controls the life cycle of the associates in a chief system for allowing the enterprise to function widely, facilitate learning, run payrolls, manage the talent to utmost and render benefits to the administration. While developing for the medium and big sized companies, such platform have the capacity to influence the demands of the small organisation as well. The software also influence the international currencies, in whole it manages compensation by tailoring the packages from various plans and make the best use of it in context to the company. The tools renders grid work sheets, plans events for new joiners and leads the pay equity.

 UltiPro Software may be used as a best HRM software program for Unilever plc because it resolves the issues which are being facing by the company. It helps in determining the opinions as well as the feelings of the workers which may be based on the conducted surveys, such practice guides the HR managers to motivates the associates and thereby upgrading their satisfaction level and eliminating the issue of staff turnover as well as the performance quality (Mekraz and Gundala, 2016). It provides wide payroll through safe platform as compared to the rival companies. Such software is user friendly and more comprehensive.


Discuss the characteristics of effective leaders taking into consideration of identified issues

An effective leader has been considered as an individual who is motivated and passionate enough to make the vision and the mission of the company attainable by taking such a positive decisions which further help an organisation in carrying out the necessary actions in the most easiest manner. Some of the characteristics of effective leaders in Unilever plc are discussed below.

Accountability – An effective leader are accountable for all the workings they are conducting either it is negative or positive within an organisation. Such leaders learn from their mistakes and make such alterations in their work that it does nor get repeated, this activity helps in resolving the issues of poor performance.

Creativity and innovation – Such type of leaders are very much innovative when it comes to make a certain team stand out within various organisation or by delivering various ideas in making the aims and the goals achievable, such practices provides an edge to the rival business (Kasemsap, 2016).

Inspire others – The most difficult task of effective leaders is to make others follow them, they make such strong speeches and attain goals so effortlessly that all the subordinates get influenced from their work and become enthusiastic to work. Such practice lower the staff turnover number issue and make the company more effective.

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Models of leadership  

Authentic leadership – Such approach focus on generating leaders credibility through honest bondings among the staff members which give value to their inputs and are purely based on ethical foundation. Such leaders are optimistic and promote positivity and openness. It is advantageous because it render good quality of trust among team members, and authentic leaders primarily do not face difficulties even in the most troubled situation.

Autocratic leadership – This model is featured by person's influence over the process of making decisions, they rarely accept the choices and the concepts of the other team members rather they make decisions on their own. Such leaders make fast decisions and lowers the stress level on the employees, though it has been seen to improve the productivity but it also make the team inexperienced.

Laissez-Faire leadership – This style involves the participation of all the workers in the procedure of making decisions, the leaders in this approach make less contribution in analysing the situation which is required to produce decisions rather they allow the associates to choose several solutions.

Unilever plc should use Laissez-Faire leadership model more often because it assist in empowering the current employees and also aids in motivating the employees which overall boost the efficiency and the effectiveness of the organisation, results in high staff number. Such model help in making more integrated team which have the capability to make high and innovative alterations in achieving goals when compared to other companies (Khoreva, 2016). Such characteristics of effective leadership and the approaches if applied accurately within the respective organisation then all the issues can be resolved effectively.

Students also like to read - Models & Concepts of Managing Human Capital and Leadership


From the above study, it can be concluded that managing human capital is important in organisation as it includes skills and knowledge own by a person which could be utilized for achieving organisational goals. It can be achieved through HR personnel. Leadership in the organisation also plays a vital role in managing operations within a company. Different models of HRM such as The Harvard Model, The Standard Causal Model, The HR value chain an be use to mange human resources. Companies are developing number of strategies ans approaches for better management of human capital and to bring effective leadership skills.


Books and Journals 

Aminullah, E. and et.al., 2017. Managing human capital for innovative activities in Indonesian herbal medicine firms. Asian Journal of Technology Innovation25(2), pp.268-287.

Antunes, A. and Franco, M., 2016. How people in organizations make sense of responsible leadership practices. Leadership & Organization Development Journal.

Arena, M.J. and Uhl-Bien, M., 2016. Complexity leadership theory: Shifting from human capital to social capital. People and Strategy39(2), p.22.

Boon, C. and et.al., 2018. Integrating strategic human capital and strategic human resource management. The International Journal of Human Resource Management29(1), pp.34-67.

Browne, W. and et.al., 2016. Two Key Success Factors for Global Project Team Leadership: Communications and Human Resource Management. Journal of Information Technology & Economic Development7(2).

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