Books and Movies Reviews

Sociological Imagination

Additionally exploration of how the Sl goes beyond what typical HRM theory delivers is considered. To build on the relevance of the Sl to HRM a focus s draw from the function of recruitment and selection. Concluding with how globalisation and modern society has influenced the SI and is application to HRM (Fuller 2006). The sociological imagination can easily be presented in an over sophisticated manner and misunderstood in application. To avoid such errors for the reader, early clarification is essential.

The Sl can be explained as a perspective of looking at the world through a sociological vision or lens concerned with exploring individual dilemmas and the relationship to public issues in a context of biography, change, history and social structures. These dilemmas are based on social, political and economic issues or influences (Mills 1959). This principle can be illustrated with the following short and precise examples. When individuals choose not to undertake higher education; society has less qualified individuals, productivity falls and the bar is lowered.

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When institutions continuously raise award and minimum wages individuals are made redundant whilst others receive greater economic return for their labour. As one lives out their biography they encounter a range of issues. Most are unaware that the issues they are acing are strongly related to the time they are living in and its connection to social structures (Watson 2010 & Kebede 2009). Mills (1956) also uses the notation of The Power Elite to make a judgement of the division between social structure and personal milieu, adding to a fuller sociological understanding and perspective.

It is with this preliminary understanding of the sociological imagination that we examine how it is relevant to HRM. The ideology that encapsulates HRM or previously personal management is that people in the form of labour are a valuable and manipulative variable in he process of production or the delivery of a service. The function of HRM is often undertaken in a manner of support to management such as that of a best practice advisor. For human resource managers this can provide a substantial but limited understanding of contemporary workplaces (Barker & Coy 2004 & Barratt 2011).

Due to the fact that contemporary workplace are social constructs the Sl is able to go far beyond this and deliver ideas and an understanding that would be otherwise unpredictable and subsequently eye opening. It enables HRM to understand how top level social changes and ecisions within the organisation will affect the milieu of each individual in the workplace (Kebede 2009 & Hironimus-Wendt & Ebert 2009). As HRM are powerful and influential decision makers within workplaces it is essential that they exercise a Sl.

HRM similar to sociologists are a part and product of society, however to maximise effectiveness of the Sl it is essential for HRM to circumstantially adopt views that are formed from an external perspective (Comte 1894). For HRM recruitment and selection is seen as the process to draw from, attract and select talented candidates from the labour market in order to fill available ob positions. When HRM apply and utilise their Sl it provides them with a greater understanding of how the recruitment and selection process affects the workplace (Watson 2010 & Macionis 2008).

If the employees of a workplace are to be viewed collectively as a socially constructed puzzle each piece added or removed is going to affect the overall picture. It is the role of recruitment and selection to make this picture as productive as possible through adding and replacing pieces. The Sl comes into relevance through provided greater insight into this process in a particularly broad manner (Gilster & Dalessandro 008). One particular insight can be drawn through understanding why the potential pool of applicants or labour market is at the level it is.

Change in social institutions such as governments or educational institutions have a reciprocating affect on the labour market. When governments change the legislation surrounding international work visas there is a decline in potential applicants and less job opportunities for foreign workers. If educational institutions raise entre requirements or fees then there are fewer graduates for HRM to utilise and individuals face less opportunity. When HRM exercises their sociological magination they are able to harness a greater understanding or the recruitment and selection puzzle (Barratt 201 1 & Fuller 2006).

The concept of the SI now operates in a altered society compared to when it was constructed as the Sl would suggest this has resulted in change. The key changes being the fast paced nature of information transactions and the global connectedness of the world we operate in (Macionis 2008). Social structure, history and biography are changing at an accelerated pace and increasingly influenced by global history and happenings. For HRM this means they must ontinually stay conscious to global economic, political and social changes as it is essential for the continuous relevance and utilisation of the Sl in the workplace.

This global view of the Sl builds on its relevance to HRM as workforces are increasingly moving to a global perspective and rising activity in global HRM (Kemple & Mawani 2009). It is with the above aspects and applications of the Sl in mind that we can see its consistent relevance to the contemporary workplace and particularly to the role of HRM. Not only is the Sl relevant to HRM but its pragmatic nature enhances and closes gaps the typical HRM theory cannot.


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