Best practice HRM: benchmarking the resources required to drive employee participation and innovation in the workplace; a case study of a single company - the ESB
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This study examines Human Resource Management practices in the electricity industry in Ireland. The focus is on one single company — Irelands biggest electricity provider; the ESB (electricity supply board). Two areas of the state owned company are examined - PG, or Power Generation and ESBI; or ESB International. In recent times, HR management within PG have began paving the way for new HR practices and implementing new policies by way of restructuring the company’s overall business units. Currently, the HR management practices are being amalgamated with that of ESBI (ESB International). ‘Best Practice HR’ polices are examined in relation to the company’s overall strategic direction and business focus. The change initiative resulted from driving forces within the economy - a force which greatly imposes the market conditions presented within the electric industry today. The rise of growing competition has brought about an onset of monopolists onto the market and indeed the presence of independent companies has risen sharply in the last number of years, which has influenced the strength of Ireland’s customer bargaining power, external influences and the societal needs that lie within Ireland’s economy. Also the quest for a ‘greener Ireland’ and the limited fossil fuel shortage has also spurred this transition. In order to cater for the current economic and climate conditions; the ESB began a restructuring process, which started in 2008 and is due to be fully completed by the year 2015. The emphasis on conjoining PG with the ESBI and the closure of three power stations in the last number of years is also suggesting closer trading within the UK. This is unsurprising, given the attractive market conditions for electricity suppliers in the UK and Europe.
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