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Human resource management: vauxhall motors ltd

Vauxhall Motors Ltd.

Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 Preface

Human resource management is one of the key factors of an organisation to be successful. This is more critical while implementing a project. The Vauxhall is going to take several projects to improve their quality and designs but our team will emphasise on the train up of existing employees of Vauxhall in UK. This report is prepared to submit to the board of directors of Vauxhall Motors Ltd. to explain the various issues like importance of project management, employee empowerment, teamwork, diversity, cross-cultural management, personal effectiveness, decision making, negotiation, conflict resolution and influence in connection with implementation of the project.

1.2 Company Overview

The Vauxhall Company was established as Alexander Wilson & Co, Engineers by Alexander Wilson in 1857 in Vauxhall Iron Works in Wandsworth Road. At that the company used to manufacture marine engines. In 1897 the company’s name changed to Vauxhall Iron Works Co Ltd. (Holden, 2003)

In the year 1903 the company manufactured its first car with company name Vauxhall on it, which had five horsepower with no reverse gear. Following year the company produced a six horsepower motorcar with reverse gear. The company moved to Luton in the in the year 1905. In 1907 the company name is again changed to its modern name Vauxhall Motors Ltd. In 1911 Vauxhall manufactured a C-type car known as the Prince Henry, which was the first sports car made by any British maker. After First World War the company started to manufacture D-type models. In 1924 the company produced M-type car for ordinary drivers.

In 1925 American Giant General Motors Corporation bought Vauxhall with 2.5 million dollars, which led the company in big expansion of production. In 1931 Vauxhall moved into commercial vehicle production by manufacturing Bedford busses and vans with leading presence in market.

Car production was suspended during Second World War and Vauxhall worked on war production. 5,640 Churchill Tanks and 250,000 Bedford trucks were built. After the war car production was resumed and H, I and J-types cars and K, M and O model of Bedford trucks were in production. By 1947 the company manufactured 500,000 Bedford trucks. In 1950 Vauxhall started to manufacture 7-tones Big Bedford trucks and 10-tones tractors. By 1953 Vauxhall produced 1 Million vehicles, which reached to 2 Millions by 1959. Ellesmere Port car plant was established in same year. In 1967 FD Victor wins “British Car of the Year” award. By 1978 Vauxhall produced 1 million of Bedford vans and 2 millions of Bedford trucks. By 1982 Vauxhall exported 1.5 million of trucks. In 1993 Vauxhall received Queen’s Award and Investors in People Award for their achievements. In 1999 Vauxhall becomes the first manufacturer to sell cars on the Internet. 400,000 Vivaro Vans were produced by 2006, when professional truck magazine named Vivaro as Van of the year (Vauxhall Motors Website, 2010). In 2008 a new corporate logo is introduced on the car.

During these years Vauxhall manufactured a verity range of popular models of motorcars which includes Vauxhall Velox, Vauxhall Victor, Vauxhall Firenza, Vauxhall Belmont, Vauxhall Vectra, Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Insignia and Vauxhall Astra. Among them Vauxhall Astra is the latest.

In September 2009 General Motors had chosen Canadian car parts maker Magna International to buy 55 per cent stake of both Opel and Vauxhall (Jagger, 2009). There was a plan to cut a big number of jobs in Vauxhall but it is now saved by offering �270 billions of loan guarantee by UK government (Lea, 2010).

1.3 Projects Taken by Vauxhall

There are a number of critical projects which are identified by the management in order to overcome the current downturn of revenue generation in current recession. One of them is setup a plant in India as this will help Vauxhall to introduce them in that subcontinent with a lower production cost. Another project is taken by the Vauxhall to train up the employees of local plants so that their efficiency rise to a certain level of quality. This report will give the emphasis only on training project of Vauxhall.

A number of critical issues are involved like selection of employees or training, venue of the training, training costs, schedule for training and the level of employees that would be selected for training are important.

1.4 Remarks

A brief history of Vauxhall Motor Ltd. and a number of projects taken by the Vauxhall is explained in this chapter.

Chapter 2 Importance of Project Management

2.1 Project Management Theory

According to Project Management Institute (2000) “A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or service”. A project must have timeframe to finish in time and a plan to organise. It needs a budget to fulfil the cost and resource to use. A project requires evaluation criteria to evaluate the project and is intended for an outcome. Finally a project involves people to operate. (Heyworth, 2002).

Following phases are involved in project management according to Project Management Institute (2000):

Initiation- This phase deals with starting of the project.

Planning – During this phase project plans are developed.

Execution – In this phase project plans are going to be implemented where most of the time of total project is spent.

Monitoring and Controlling – This phase deals with the controlling and monitoring of the project such a way the project plans are implemented successfully.

Closing – The project is being closed in this phase.

Though all the phases above are essential for a project to be successful but focus should strictly on execution of the project.

2.2 Importance of Project Management

Outcome the project depends on how we can able to run and finish the project successfully. The project management is important for Vauxhall for following reasons:

  • Project management makes decision making easy.
  • Productivity is increased by Project Management
  • It keeps the Projects within the budget range.
  • It makes clients and customers satisfied
  • It monitors the status of deliverables
  • Proper project management decreases risk
  • It improves the quality of deliverable product or service
  • It helps companies to meet strategic objectives

2.3 Remarks

Project management is important for a company like Vauxhall to achieve its goal and objectives. Success of a project sometime depends on the company culture and relative issues.

Chapter 3 Recruitment and Selection Framework

The Vauxhall’s recruitment and Selection Process provide a framework. Department managers and senior managers hold the responsibility for the process development .That process followed to the human resources management and assist the administration of the recruitment process.

3.1 Recruitment Process

  • Requirement of the job and funding were analyzed.
  • Job description is verified for its present and future requirements.
  • Selection process is followed.
  • Path of the advertisement media is chosen.
  • Persons are short listed with their specifications.
  • Short listed candidates were interviewed and tested.
  • References, qualifications and background checks are validated.
  • Appointment making.

3.2 Review the Job:

The new position process is authorization of Transfer, Resignation, and Retirement. Then the selection process begins. This way is to review position responsibility and which the position contributes and promotes unit, department, division and company objectives. The team provides the advice to Human Resource Management on job descriptions, specification of candidate and advice to grade issues. The type of vacancy offered.

  • he candidates are required to work weekdays and weekends.
  • Have to cover that vacancy Full time or part time and permanent or contract
  • The contracts are selected particular project, task, and term of work.

3.3 Personal Action:

When an employee gives notice of intention to leave company employment, the department manager should be notifying the Human Resources Department. The HR department necessarily interviews for re-staffing must be arranged.

The personal details need

  • The good background of Education and technical experience required.
  • How many hours able to work; including weekends.
  • The candidates should have two references.
  • The candidates provide any recommendations of any known.
  • The Additional information felt useful.

(Dessler, 2001)

3.4 Selection Process:

The HR department will read all candidates application submitted. In the selection process candidates must be interviewing based on the job description and candidate specifications.

They will conduct test. The test is a valid method of assessing a candidate. That test questions are effectively measures the job description, job relevant, job reliable and consider the predictive capacity of test.

The HR department is responsible for interview, test and scheduling date and time for short listing the candidates. The Vauxhall recruitment and selection process is achieved, using the above methods. They are company objective, job oriented criteria, thorough systematic, fair.

The purpose of interview is to appointed the best candidates.

Candidates = knowledge +skills+ behaviour

Reference, Criminal Background Checks and Drug Screening are some steps in selection process.

3.5 Employment Offer:

The candidates have to complete the interview process. The HR department offers the employment. It may be extended by the employing department.

3.6 Training:

The Vauxhall want to improve effectiveness and efficiency of the current recruitment training process. This training will be providing the necessary skills enhancement to carry out a structural review of the process. This will helps to identify the process flaws as well as total costs of recruitment, then possible to identifying solutions more easy, and help justifying the any capital investment need to through cost/benefit analysis.

3.6.1 Hire Training:

Vauxhall conducts the hire training program for the employees with notebook or online manual which defines the technical skills required given by the manager. Corporate current policy and procedure were explained.

3.6.2 Training Objectives:

  • To the company raise the awareness of recruitment as a business processing.
  • The design and maintaining a business processing.
  • Calculates the total cost of the recruitment.

3.6.3 Training Outcomes:

  • To the company environment, organization’s expectations.
  • To the understanding the process.
  • To identifying a process.
  • To map and analyzing a process.
  • To improvement a process.
  • To design a process using a design cycle model.
  • To understand the advantage and disadvantage of benefit/cost analysis.

3.6 Remarks

The recruitment and selection of employees is a critical process in any organization. The right candidates should be selected for the important posts in the company.

Chapter 4 Organisational Issues in Project Implementation

4.1 Employee Empowerment

Empowerment is the process of enabling or authorizing individuals or employees to think, act and control work and make decisions in autonomous ways.

Employee empowerment enables people to make decisions about their work, increases loyalty and develops confidence their capacities.

The benefits of having an empowered individual in an organisation cannot be compared to those of a good machine.

Empowerment is the oil that induces the act of learning. Talented and empowered human capital is now the most important ingredient of organizational success. Companies like Vauxhall are learning from the Toyota Production System which seeks to stimulate employees to have a learning culture by constantly thinking of how to improve them in order to be empowered to solve problems. Vauxhall’s engineers had professional qualifications and specialised in making new models but were not fast enough to recognise the market signals. They considered the functions of products and processes separately.

Employee empowerment in Vauxhall can be dated back to 1908 where the managing director Percy Kidner gave Pomeroy the chance to design an engine for cars to be entered in a Scottish reliability Trial test. This was the beginning of the success story of Vauxhall .It was reported in a BBC report that the success of Vauxhall was as a result of the efforts and achievements of the work force According to a survey conducted by Patterson et al. (1997) in Torrington et al (2005), aspects of culture, supervisory support, concern for employee welfare, employee responsibility, and training were important variables which affected the profitability and productivity of an organisation.

It is therefore essential that Vauxhall UK trains at least 50 of its assembling staff every quarter in the use of new hire training. This will go a long way to enhance the profitability of the company.

4.2 Teamwork

“A group is a collection of individuals, contributing to some common aim under the direction of a leader, and who share a sense of common identity”(Cole,2006)Groups are widely used to solve problems, coordinate tasks, generate new ideas and make decisions.

B. Tuckman classified groups into five stages






“A team is a group of people working together to achieve a common a goal” (Team Technology, 1995-2006) It is anygroup of people organised to work interpedently to accomplish set goals or purpose. Teams are created for both long term and short term purposes. Team work is seen as utilising employee ideas to improve performance.

Woodcock (1979) in Cole (2006) classified teams into a four stage sequence just like that of Tuckman and these are presented in a table below:

The undeveloped Team

Feelings are avoided, objectives uncertain, the leader takes most of the decisions

The experimenting Team

Issues are faced more openly, listening takes place ,the group may become temporally introspective

The consolidating Team

Personal interaction is established on a cooperative basis, the task is clarified, objectives agreed and tentative procedures implemented

The mature Team

Feelings are open, a wide range of options are considered, leadership style is contributory, individuals are flexible and the group recognises its responsibilities to the rest of the organisation.

Table 3.1: Classification Of Workgroup

Vauxhall had semi-Autonomous teams in that workers produced complete components such as engines and also met on less regular basis due to their work schedules. They had union leaders who were in no way superior to them.

Teamwork is not a recent idea. It is used as a way of empowering employees to help develop their full potential in order to improve on the performance of the organisation.

It is therefore recommended that teams be formed in Vauxhall because it would increase flexibility and communication within the teams which will also lead to increased performance.

4.3 Managing Diversity

Diversity is all about managing people and their relationships, culture and attitude. Diversity affects everything from organisational structure, culture, processes, and individual or personal relationships, attitudes and prejudices. The issue of diversity is prompting many organisations to find strategic training needs. Vauxhall employed a wide range of migrants from diverse cultures and they brought along strong attitudes that affected the character of unions. They had very strong work unions due to the diverse cultural background of members.

The Racial Equality Directive (2004/43/EC) and the Employment Equality Directive (2000/78/EC) have ensured that employees are not discriminated against on the basis of age, beliefs, religion, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity.

Vauxhall should run diversity management programmes for these diverse groups to ensure the retention of staff and to change the ethos of the company in relation to the diversity of the workforce.

4.4 Cross Cultural Management

The advent of globalisation has led to the need to understand the dynamics of multicultural workplace such Vauxhall. It is important for management to understand the diverse work environments and work effectively with people from different cultures and norms that affect work ethics.

Vauxhall has a heterogeneous workforce and it is important to train management to gain competence and intercultural skills in interacting with workers.

Vauxhall employed a wide range of Migrants from diverse cultures and they brought along strong attitudes that affected the character of unions.

It is extremely important to promote education in cross-cultural competencies throughout the organisation.

It is equally important for management to deal with frictions that arise from cross cultural differences without being biased,

Management should be able to manage resolve misunderstandings among cross cultural work group and also ensure that their individual rights are respected.

4.5 Personal Effectiveness

Personal effectiveness means making the most of all the personal resources such as energy, time and personal talents of individuals that are the disposal of the company. Some of the driving forces of personal effectiveness are some form of career success and motivation at work. Personal effectiveness manifests itself in the form of personal, interpersonal and group effectiveness. It promotes happiness and wellbeing at the individual level.

Personal effectiveness enhances self confidence through learning and self improvement.- This is encouraged in Vauxhall by providing Suitable training materials and encouraging the Japanese style of management

4.6 Organisational Changes

Organisational change is any change that has an impact on the way work is performed. Change can be categorised into four options, which are the organisational structure, technological improvements in the company, changing the physical setting as well as the people in the company.

There were job cuts of up to about 900 in Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port Factory to improve its productivity and reduce costs. It also switched from three working shifts to two at the factory that makes its Astra model. General Motors tried to sell Vauxhall last year and the cost of restructuring this company is estimated to be about �3.7billion.

369 job cuts will be made at the Luton Van making factory and 154 administrative job cuts across the country. In the uncertain and rapidly changing and uncertain global world, Vauxhall company management must be responsive and cost effective in implementing change.

They must also be competitive in implementing technological change. Vauxhall was one of the first motor companies to sell its products online. Workers should also be resourced to try new ideas.

4.7 Organisational Analysis

Organisational analysis is an internal business review which helps to identify and assess areas of inefficiencies and opportunities for reorganization. It is therefore necessary that management would undertake internal analysis of the company. It is recommended that a SWOT and PESTLE analysis is done to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Vauxhall. Some of the Strengths of Vauxhall include being one of the first automotive companies to do online marketing. Vauxhall also prides itself in making various brands of cars for the UK market. Vauxhall can pride itself as being one of the most successful manufacturers of the decade. It has enjoyed a great deal of success in racing activities by winning over 100races as well as seven out of the eight manufacturer titles.

Some of its weaknesses are the production of faulty cars which are also being withdrawn just like those of Toyota.

Vauxhall has the opportunity to now strengthen its production lines and future offers to customers by retraining its staff which happen to be the most important resource currently available to the company.

It also has the weakness of withdrawing from one of the biggest promotional events of racing due mainly to the harsh economic environment in which it is currently operating.

The single most important threat facing Vauxhall as at now is the closure of its branches and laying off staff. This is somehow averted by the intervention of the Government.

It is highly recommended that management takes a closure look at the current problems that have engulfed the company and involve staff in finding solutions through a good training program.

4.8 Decision Making

The thinking process of choose a logical selection from amongst the existing options. When trying to create a good decision, a personality should weight the positives and negatives of every selection, and think about all the alternatives. For successful decision making, a personality must be talented to predict the result of each selection as well, and based on all these stuff, decide which option is the most excellent for that exacting circumstances.

Choice ended among alternative courses of deed in a circumstance of indecision. Although too much indecision is unwanted, manageable doubts provide the autonomy to create resourceful decisions.

The cognitive process of getting a decision. A point or estimation or decision reached after deliberation choosing among different courses of accomplishment using cognitive processes – memory, thoughts, assessment, etc the process of mapping the expected cost of decisions, functioning out the meaning of personality factors, and choosing the most excellent course of action to obtain.

4.9 Negotiation

Thompson (2000) has stated the negotiation as the process in which two or more organizations come up with their individual ideas and combine them together for mutual benefits. He also urges that by negotiating through internet time and transaction costs can be reduced than manual negotiation operations as the internet has become the global communication channel.

According to the press release on 23/02/2010 by European Metalworkers Federation, the success of Opel/Vauxhall in all over the Europe should be in terms of innovation, knowledge, quality and employment. The innovative manufacturing and technological capacity and not forgetting the public image of Opel/Vauxhall will tend to damage due to Cost-Cutting, Plant Closures, violation of collective bargaining and bi-lateral agreements etc. The Opel/Vauxhall is facing problems in negotiating with the trade union leaders in Europe for closing down their unit in Antwerp. Here the company should negotiate with the Trade Union in acceptable manner with regards to the plant closure and the redundancies.

4.10 Conflict Management

Martin (2005) has stated that conflict is something which affects the normal stage stability and harmony with the company or an organization. Conflict should be avoided or terminated as soon as possible for a smooth and hazel free running of an organization. The concept of bargaining is very important in solving the conflict in terms of political settings or international relations (London, 2002). According to Martin (2005) there are a number of ways to resolve the conflict within the organization. A few methods are openness, training, style & structure and procedure.

4.11 Power Politics and Influence

According to Nixon organizational politics have two different points of perspectives. According to him organizational politics can be taken as a negative process which constantly hinders the effective organizational functioning and the secondly considering the organizational politics as a unavoidable function of a conflict resolution making it to be a positive process. Mitchell (1988) has affirmed that organizational politics is very much related to impression management and ingratiation. But the three terms individually have different meanings. However the relation is created such as that impression management is a form of organizational politics and that ingratiation is a keen form of impression management.

4.12 Remarks

Organizational issues have a big impact on any project undertaken by the company. Negotiation between all levels of the organization is essential for smooth running of the company.

Chapter 5 Recommendations and Conclusions

After careful observation our team is happy to present the following recommendation to the board of directors for consideration.

Vauxhall motors are the one of the UK s oldest and leading companies. Canada based motor company Magna which has took over Vauxhall has expressed the job cut of 5000 t0 12000 numbers in October 2009 (BBC news). The news may affect the working efficiency of the employees causing conflict between the management and workers. The company needs to assure the job security and for that actual requirement of manpower should be appointed. The leadership qualities of the managers should be enhanced through proper training by experts. The communication, personality development, teamwork are the important factors for success of any company which can be delivered to employees through seminars, training and group discussions. The employees should be made aware regarding the company policies and goals to make sure that they work to meet the expectations of the company.

In the global competitive world it is essential the management should ensure that the employees would have knowledge of technology through proper training. It is also recommended that the management would not discriminate in selecting staffs for training based on gender, tribe or colour.

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