Which activity illustrates the administrative role assumed by an HR professional?
A. Filling out EEO reports
B. Implementing grievance process for an employee threatened with termination
C. Evaluating the bottom-line contribution of HR programs
D. Conducting an interviewing seminar for line managers
A. Filling out EEO reports is an administrative HR activity.
Which of the following activities illustrates the operations role played by an HR professional?
A. Ensuring currency of employee records
B. Conducting recruitment for new job openings
C. Forming contacts with key individuals outside of the organization
D. Developing criteria for selecting supply chain partners
B. Conducting recruitment for new job openings is an operational HR activity.
Which of the following examples illustrates the strategic role played by HR today?
A. Securing off-site backup and storage of employee transactions and records.
B. Developing a system to track the number of people leaving the organization.
C. Creating a training program for conducting safe and legal terminations
D. Working with senior and line managers to forecast workforce needs for the next five years.
D. Working with upper management to forecast workforce needs is a strategic HR role.
Which best illustrates how HR's strategic role has transformed its operations role?
A. Upgrading an HRIS system
B. Establishing relationships with key decision makers
C. Taking a more active role responding to employee complaints
D. Analyzing job descriptions for changes to required skills that will affect recruitment decisions
D. Analyzing the required skills in job descriptions that affect recruitment & selection decisions is a strategic HR role.
The impact of demographic changes on HR is best illustrated by which of the following?
A. Need to learn more about local legislation and rule-making process
B. Survey adequacy of existing organization communication vehicles for all employees
C. Establishment of an employee self-service center
D. Evaluating ethical liabilities posed by supply chain partners.
B. To adapt to changing demographics, HR should survey the adequacy of communication, technology, socialization methods.
The way an organization groups jobs to coordinate work
Estimate of the total value of goods and services produced in a country in a given year.
Gross domestic product (GDP)
Statement comparing revenues, expenses, and profits over a specified period of time (usually a year or a quarter)
Statement of a company's financial position at a particular time. It includes: assets, liabilities & equity. These 3 should balance out.
Process for evaluating an organizations current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats
Mid-point in a data set. 50% of the scores are higher, 50% of the scores are lower.
Specific results, to be accomplished in 3 to 5 years, that an organization seeks to achieve in pursuing its mission.
Quantifiable measures of performance used to gauge progress toward strategic objectives or agreed standards of performance.
Key performance indicators (KPIs)
Processes and activities used to formulate HR objectives, practices and policies.
Strategic business management
Statistical method to predict a variable from one or more predictor variables. Purpose is to determine if a relationship exists between variables (and the strength of the relationship).
Company sells an asset that's not performing well & is not core to the business, or that is worth more as a separate entity.
Money an organization's customers owe the organization
Principles of conduct within an organization that guide decision making and behavior.
Code of ethics
Design of formal systems that ensure effective & efficient use of human capital to accomplish organizational goals.
Human resource management (HRM)
Specific point in a distribution of data that has a given percentage of cases below it.
Work groups that conduct the major business of an organization
Calculations designed to describe an organization's financial health and performance from various perspectives.
Work groups that assist line units by providing specialized services, such as HR.
Integrated processes & tools to allow information sharing & process management across functions (sometimes even with external partners, like suppliers).
Legislative measure limited in effect to either the Congress or one of its chambers.
Ratio of net income (gross sales minus expenses & taxes) to net sales.
Net profit margin
Ability of an instrument to measure what it's intended to measure & how well the instrument measures.
Ability of an instrument to measure consistently. Also the ability to repeat an experiment & get similar results.
Project planning tool that graphically displays activities of a project in sequential order and plots them against time.
System of moral principles and values that establish appropriate conduct. It's not always tied to legality, but is a critical part of an organization's responsibility socially, for employees, and the community at large.
Detailed steps a unit, department or team will take to achieve short-term objectives.
Group of people born after 1980
Proposal presented to a legislative body for possible enactment as a law.
Expected distribution given a random sampling across a large population
To Operations, an after-the-fact evaluation of a company's ability to meet it's own specifications & customers' needs.
Measure that indicates the relationship between two variables. If the measurement is +1, and one number increases the other one will too.
Combination of two separate companies, either by joining together as relative equals or by one acquiring the other.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
Process of conducting an intensive investigation of an organization as one of the first steps in a pending merger or acquisition.
Systematic tool for gathering, storing, maintaining, retrieving and revising HR data
Human Resource Information System (HRIS)
Objective examination of HR strategies, policies, practices & processes based on agreed criteria. Goal is to protect the organization, establish best practices & identify areas for improvement. This process can produce legal implications due to findings & subsequent actions.
Average score or value
Serve a purpose similar to short-term objectives, but are completed in 1 to 3 years
To Operations, the ability to yield output.
Portion of a population used to draw conclusions regarding an entire population.
Measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by consumers for goods & services. It is the mostly widely used measure of inflation (and therefore a guide for making business decisions).
Consumer price index (CPI)
Written request asking vendors to propose solutions & prices that fit a customer's need
Request for proposal (RFP)
Modification of the Constitution or a law. Either formal (written) or informal (unwritten).
Project management tool that visually outlines the critical path of project tasks. It also schedules, organizes & coordinates tasks within a project.
Program evaluation and review technique (PERT) chart
Value that occurs most frequently in a set of data
Alliance between organizations to create processes & information channels for communication & collaboration
A systematic survey & interpretation of relevant data to identify external Opportunities and Threats, and how they might affect the organization.
Form of budgeting in which all managers begin with a blank slate & must justify their expenditures for each new period.
Involves data gathered firsthand for a specific evaluation
Time allowed for the public to express its views & concerns regarding an action of a regulatory agency.
Public comment period
Measure showing how much variation there is in data scores spread out around a mean (average). A normal distribution of this value would be balanced, like a bell-curve.
Series of tasks & activities with a stated goal & objective, schedule with defined start & end dates, and budget limiting monetary & human resources.
Organizational structure that combines departmentalization by division and function to gain the benefit of both.
Describe what is important to an organization, dictate employee behavior, and create the organization's culture.
Business function responsible for selling a product to the marketplace
Organizational structure in which segments are separated by product, customer, market or region.
What an organization sells to make a profit
Measuring the financial value of an action. The ratio of the value of an investment to its cost. This allows management to determine the financial impact an activity or program has on the company's profitability.
Group of people born roughly between 1965 and 1980.
Money an organization owes its vendors & suppliers
Distance between highest & lowest scores in a set of data. (Numerically, it's the highest score minus the lowest score)
Process that helps an organization focus on how to succeed in the future by evaluating the current status, where it would like to be, and how to get there.
Organization's debts and other financial obligations
Record of how much cash is flowing into & out of an organization (including its sources or destinations)
Cash flow statement
Group of persons or objects, or complete set of observations or measurements, about which one wishes to draw conclusions.
Form of budgeting in which the prior budget is the basis for allocation of funds.
This type of analysis uses statistical methods on numeric data. It helps HR interpret collected data, reach goals, provide cost-benefit analysis & communicate results.
Based on research that supplies non-numeric data & is best used for depth of information (like underlying motivations, feelings, values), rather than breadth (how much, how many).
Rule or order issued by a government agency about how a law will be implemented; often has the force of law.
Description of an organizational challenge & possible alternative solutions, arguing for a specific solution.
Financial, physical and sometimes intangible properties an organization owns.
Vivid, guiding image of an organization's desired future
Process of planning, pricing, promoting & distributing goods and services to satisfy organizational objectives.
Refers to the number of individuals who report to a supervisor
Span of control
To Operations, the act of detailing planning based on incoming orders, order history & future forecasts.
Part of an organization that designs & develops products, processes & services to meet market needs
Research & development (R&D)
Amount of owners' or shareholders' portion of a business
Provide the direction that enables an organization to meet its long-term objectives
Relocation of processes or functions from a "home" country to another country
Degree to which decision-making authority is given to lower levels in an organization's hierarchy
Techniques for communication information about products to consumers
Ratio of gross profit to gross sales
Gross profit margin
Concise, overall picture of an organization's performance measured against goals (finance, customers, internal business practices, learning & growth).
Uses data already gathered by others and reported in various sources
For Operations, it provides the yardstick by which the amount & quality of output are measured.
Milestones that must be achieved, usually within 6 months to 1 year, in order to reach long-term objectives
Form of budgeting in which an average cost is applied to comparable expenses, and general funding is changed by a specific amount.
Analysis that shows point in time at which total revenue associated with a program is equal to the total cost of the program. After this point, savings are realized because the cost of the program has already been covered.
Measurement showing the efficiency with which an organization uses resources available for investment. Determine whether an investment has enough value to be worthwhile.
Return on investment (ROI)
Number of members of an organization that have to be present before official business may be conducted.
Degree to which decision-making authority is restricted to higher levels of management.
Specifies what the organization does, who its customers are & the priorities it has set in pursuing its work.
Organizational structure that defines departments by what services they contribute to the organization's overall mission.
Network that delivers products and services from raw materials to end customers through the flow of information, physical distribution & cash.
Combined knowledge, skills and experience of a company's employees.
To an Operations department, this is an organization's major asset (after physical buildings and equipment).
Action of canceling or postponing a decision or bill.
When conducting an environmental scan, HR should consider these 7 external factors which can impact the organization.
In an environmental scan, HR should consider demographic impacts such as...
What international factors should be taken into account when performing an external environmental scan?
Global economy, wage comparison, trade agreements, international labor law
In the global economy, why is there increased focus on the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China)
* Rapidly expanding middle class. * 1/3 of global GDP growth in the past decade.
* 25% of the global economy
* Prediction that by 2018, their combined economies will be greater than the US
What environmental factor has the greatest impact on wages & pensions?
Inflation has an immediate, direct effect on cost-of-living adjustments to wages & pension benefits.
Which of the following is the BEST data to refer to when designing retention strategies?
A. Differences between Gen X & Gen Y
B. Advances in technology
C. Turnover trends
D. Unemployment rates
C. Turnover trends is the best data set to assess for retention strategies.
Formula for cost-benefit analysis
Cost-benefit analysis = Value of projected benefits / cost
Conducting a Cost-Benefit Analysis (4 steps)
1. Define objectives
2. Define value & costs
3. Analyze data
4. Report findings
Formula for Return on Investment (ROI)
Divide the net benefits of an action value minus the action's cost) by the cost of the action. Then multiply by 100.
ROI = ((value received - cost of action) / cost of action) x 100
Formula for break-even analysis
Break-even point = cost/savings x time
Pilot projects, surveys, interviews & focus groups are examples of what type of research?
Historical data, best practice benchmarks, professional journals, purchased data are examples of what type of research?
The 3 measures of Central Tendency (which identify typical characteristics of a data set)
Mean, mode, median
The variation in a data set around central tendency values (mean, mode, median)
Measures of variation
3 Measures of Variation around a data set
Range, percentile, standard deviation
Interviews, open-ended survey questions & focus groups are examples of research that can be used for this type of analysis.
Parallel forms, test/retest, internal consistency & rater agreement are measurements to assess whether research tools & results are...
Cost-benefit analysis would be effective for which situation?
A. Comparing productivity to a competitor
B. Seeking budget to hire new staff
C. Investor seeing information about a company's financial performance
D. HR wants to confirm it's legal & regulatory compliance
B. Cost-benefit analysis would be good for assessing budgeting for new staff
A major reason to use a balanced scorecard to measure strategic progress is that this approach:
A. Provides a rounded assessment of the results of strategic activity
B. Can be accomplished quickly
C. Extends protection against legal risks
D. Can be repeated periodically
A. A balanced scorecard provides an over-all assessment
Privacy, violence in the workplace, conflict of interest, diversity, copyrights, transparency in communication with investors, whistle blowing, payoffs. There are governmental regulations for [these] type of issues.
These issues could have negative ethical impacts on an employee's [___] & may have regulatory requirements: employment information & references, credit investigations, polygraph tests, drug testing, surveillance and technology.
An individual appointed to oversee the ethics function in an organization. This person should: report to the CEO & board, be highly visible, a dedicated confidential resource, have a good working relationship with HR.
Ombudsperson or chief ethics officer
For a Corporate Citizenship Program to be successful:
Run the program like a business
Be aligned with the organization's strategic plan
Demonstrate impact on the bottom-line
Solicit employee input & participation
Primary benefit of appointing a chief ethics officer
Consistent communication of values and standards
If Congress is in session & the president takes no action for [how many] days on signing a bill, it automatically becomes a law.
Anyone may draft a bill, however only members of this group can introduce legislation.
Laws are made by [group] (like mandating establishing safe drinking water satandards). Then rules are made by [group] (like developing the list of contaminants & safe levels).
Laws are made by legislatures, and rules are made by agencies.
The primary ethical problem of a company's employee having a separate consulting contract with one of the company's clients is that of...
conflict of interest
Centralization of authority works best in an organization where
A. economies of scale are important
B. turnover is high
C. operating units need to collaborate
D. decision-making ability is expected of all employees
Centralization of authority works best when economies of scale are important.
What are the generic strategic plan elements according to Michael Porter?
Cost leadership, differentiation, and focus
Which of the following techniques is a prerequisite to developing a middle-management recruitment strategy for a company's new overseas operation?
A. Trend analysis projections
B. Environmental scanning
C. Delphi technique
D. Turnover analysis
Which is the MOST effective HR risk management practice?
A. Implementing a telecommuting program
B. Cross-training staff members
C. Ensuring personal protective equipment (PPE) is readily available at appropriate points
D. Initiating a new HR management (HRM) system
B. Cross-training gives HR greater flexibility to avoid disruptions in function under sudden stresses, such as unforeseen increases in workload or flu epidemics.
Which of the following is a key task associated with the decisional role of the project manager?
A. Communicating progress
B. Allocating project resources
C. Disseminating information
D. Building team relationships
B. Allocating resources
A struggling organization shifts from transactional sales to developing technologically integrated, strategic relationships with customers. What impact on human capital should HR report to management?
A. No net change
B. Increased recruiting costs
C. New hiring profile for sales staff
D. Hiring additional sales personnel
C. Redefinition of recruitment criteria will be needed.
An organization's attempts to differentiate its product have failed & sales are low. Which change should be implemented?
A. Cut costs across the board, reduce the product price below competitors
B. Withdraw product for market, redesign to enhance uniqueness & reintroduce at the same price
C. Isolate differentiating product factors, reduce cost in other areas, reduce product price
D. Increase marketing efforts & raise price
C. Reduce costs in other areas not related to the differentiation & reintroduce at a lower price
As a result of the Dodd-Frank Act, executive compensation levels in the financial industry must be...
Exec comp for publicly held financial companies must be voted on by shareholders every 3 years as part of the "say on pay" provision of Dodd-Frank.
What are the 3 steps to control during the Operations business function?
Observe, compare, decide.
Which is typically part of an environmental scan?
A. Review of internal salary survey data
B. Analysis of minority employees within the organization
C. Analysis of unemployment rates
D. Analysis of the organization's labor contract
C. Unemployment rates, which are an external factor, are part of an environmental scan.
A narrow span of control is BEST used when:
A. a team effort is not required
B. tasks are complex
C. there is a shortage of managers
D. subordinates are experienced
B. Narrower spans of control are typically used when tasks are complex, subordinates are poorly trained or inexperienced, or a team effort is required.
What is the first phase in the strategic planning process?
C. Strategy formulation is the first phase of strategic planning.
The House of Representatives passes a bill & sends it on to the Senate. The Senate makes substantive changes to the bill. What happens next?
A conference committee is formed to reconcile the differences. If an agreement is reached, both houses must approve the conference report. If they cannot agree, the bill is dead.
What is a likely strategy for a retailer trying to manage the risk of interrupted merchandise supply?
A. Eliminate vulnerable product lines
B. Implement binding contracts with suppliers
C. Install a new inventory level tracking system
D. Identify & develop multiple vendor relationships
D. Having multiple lines of supply will reduce the risk of an interruption in merchandise supply
An organization has designed and published its values, provided training on the values & outlined an individuals responsibilities to uphold the values.
What is this called?
Code of Ethics
What employment data would probably be of most interest to a CFO?
A. Workforce skill set compared to marketplace benchmarks
B. Feedback from annual employee surveys
C. Trends in average compensation
D. Demographic information
C. Trends in average compensation
How are the strategic planning process and environmental scan related?
SWOT analysis is typically part of the strategic planning process. The environmental scan focuses on external factors to provide additional information for strategic planning.
Of the 4 elements associated with marketing (promotion, price, product, place), which includes supply chain management?
Place refers to distribution. Placing a product requires marketers to think about how the product gets from the manufacturer to the customer. This process is known as supply chain management.
What type of organizational structure exists when a field HR unit reports directly to Corporate HR?
The design of a new corporate citizenship philosophy represents which of the following HR roles?
A bill originates in a House committee & is forwarded to a subcommittee for further review. The subcommittee conducts hearings & amends it. At this stage, the bill is sent to:
House committee for a vote. This procedure is called "ordering a bill reported."
Which is MOST likely to occur in the economy when interest rates are high?
A. Increase in gross domestic product
B. Shortage of skilled employees
C. Decreases in salaries and productivity
D. Decreased investment in tools & equiment
D. Decreased investments in tools & equipment. During high inflation, consumers are less likely to purchase items. This leave companies with less money to invest, and if they have to borrow money it will be at a higher rate & expenses will increase.
Leaders proposes decreasing lower-level managers to cut labor costs & increasing mangers direct reports by 50%. How should HR comment?
A. The workplace may be less vulnerable to union organizing efforts
B. It may harm HR's ability to hire new workers
C. There is a good chance the plan won't yield the desired results
D. As long as wage levels remain stable, the strategy should work.
C. The plan probably won't work. The ratio of managers to employees could lead to a variety of expensive workplace problems (lapses in quality, safety issues, increased unionization, etc).
R&D at a biotech company is receiving fewer applications than expected. The director asked peers in other companies & they're not having the same issue. What can HR do to help?
A. Create a mentoring program for experience employees
B. Conduct a comp & ben benchmarking study with comparable organizations
C. Work with supervisors to improve employee efficiency
B. Conducting external benchmarks in compensation & benefits packages
A small grocery store conducts strategic planning & identifies their decreased sales are due to a new chain grocery store in the area. This information is what part of a SWOT analysis
The most significant reason the IT is seen as a strategic partner in an organization is that...
Technology can provide a competitive advantage for a company
Decentralization works best in organizations where:
A. a quick response to problems is desired
B. employees don't want additional responsibility
C. contracts are negotiated with outside agents
D. a uniform policy is important
A. When decision-making authority is given to lower levels in an organization's hierarchy, it typically produces quick responses to problems.
Which action BEST illustrates HR's strategic role in the organization?
A. Influence & affect management's view on organizational change
B. Deal with resistance to organizational change
C. Monitor & ensure compliance with change
A. Influence & affect management's view on organizational change
Which statement about a balance sheet is true?
A. Vacation time isn't reflected on a balance sheet
B. Transactions that aren't measured in money may also be recorded
C. Prepaid expenses are not reflected on a balance sheet
D. Balance sheets change as each transaction is recorded
D. Balance sheets change as each transaction is recorded
Roles of HR during change
Show personal commitment & positive attitude
Involve people in the change
Ensure management is visible & supports the change
Communicate with employees
Reinforce change with incentives
The financial statement showing how an organization's assets, liabilities & equity balance out at a given point in time is called...
This department is typically characterized by being a "practical dreamer" with creativity, systematic problem solving, team work, systematic problem solving, and weighing what can be done technically with issues like quality & flexibility without cost parameters
Research & Development (R&D)
Part of Operations is coordinating purchasing and truck distribution. A union strike of drivers would limit the operational system's...
Some disadvantages of this type of organizational structure are: isolation from colleagues with similar areas of expertise, loss of economies of scale, miss seeing improvements in other areas
A legislative measure limited in effect to either the Congress or one of its chambers.
Calculations designed to describe an organization’s financial health and performance from various perspectives.
Ratio of value created to cost of creating that value; allows management to determine the financial impact particular activities and programs have on an organization’s profitability.
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