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MBA5005 Managing Human Capital Assignment Sample

Assignment 2 guide

Report format with Harvard style referencing
Word count: 3000 words

Font and font size: Calibri, size 12 as per assessment guide

Task: you have to choose an organisation (Australian based organisation or based in any other country), as long as you have access to vital information from the organisation and you have to write about three key issues relating to that organisation. Furthermore within your work you have to have evidence of research too (as this is a vital area of academia too).

Recommended structure (this is just a guide).

Title page:

Have a title page with your name, student number and title of assignment too.

Table of contents:

Have a clear table of contents

Executive Summary

Executive Summary includes the scope and the main findings of the report that is generally written in past tense. Ensure in the executive summary you give an overview of what the report is about and give summary of all the main points. Please try and have the executive summary at about 300 words. Please kindly ensure that this part here is concise and specific.


Introduce the role of Human Resource Management, its importance and the challenges facing operations in today’s business environment. Ensure you clearly state the topics examined and provide background information about the organisation and outline the structure of the report. Please dedicate about 200-300 words to the introduction. Please ensure that in your work, you are concise and clear in terms of what you want to say. Remember to have short and clear sentences too.


Critically discuss the three topics using the questions to direct your discussion. From a human resource management perspective discuss how these concepts are used/managed within an organisation. (Try and have about 800 words per section)

Section 1: Introducing performance management and linking it back to the organisation. Please ensure you provide evidence of academic research within your work too.

Section 2: Handling economic shock in your organisation (so link it here back to the organisation again. Please ensure that you provide evidence of research within your work also.

Section 3: Crisis management planning and link it back to the organisation (please again make sure that you provide evidence of research)

Please kindly keep in mind the following for assignment help

1. give examples to back up your discussion in each of the sections

2. Each paragraph has to be about 10-12 lines of writing with clear arguments, evidence of linking to examples and use of in text referencing also.

3. introduce relevant theory (support your statements with academic/ industry references) and 3. link to practice. Remember to reference the examples you have taken from literature within the main body of your report

4. Please ensure that you try not to directly quote other peoples work. So for this assignment please try and ensure that you have about 2 or 3 direct quotes maximum within your work (please listen to the session we had on the 04th March with our librarian Jenny, where she chats about APA referencing).

5. Please have about approximately 25-30 references (so have a mixture of company reports and academic references within your work). Please kindly remember to use the VIT library for further advice. Please ensure that for every paragraph you try and have about 2 to 3 in text references within your work too. Please also have a look at the APA referencing guide that has been uploaded onto LMS.


A full conclusion should draw together all the key points discussed. Thisdoes not bring in any new information, but summarises discussions that have already taken place within the main body of your essay (200-300 words).


Have a reference list here and please ensure that adheres to havard style referencing too. Remember to have your reference list in alphabetical order
Appendix (optional)

This is completely optional. If you want to include any extra information here, ie a table from your company or a graph please kindly include it in here



Human resource management plays an important role in the development of an organisation. The role played by the human resource management for an organisation includes that of recruiting, developing policies, training employees, compensating the employees as well as ensuring that grievances are addressed. The importance of human resource management is that it helps bridge any gap between the employers and the employees and manage the performance of the employees while signifying the strategic objectives associated with the organisation. Human resource management also helps ensure that the employees find a comfortable working environment while addressing any form of issues from motivation to grievances. At the same time, as stated by DeNisi and Murphy (2017), challenges in attracting top talents, managing the multi-generational workforce, and managing diversity are faced by human resource management in the modern world.

The report provides an account of human resource management's perspective while trying to cope with the concepts of performance management, economic shock, and crisis management planning. For this, a case study organisation is undertaken to understand the application of these aspects. Wesfarmers is selected as the case study organisation to highlight the perspective of human resource management. Wesfarmers is a retail organisation that is considered among the top 10 organisations in the country with a high market share. The company dominates the Australian market and has its base in New Zealand, making it a major retail conglomerate(Wesfarmers.com.au 2021).

The report tries to highlight how performance management can be linked with the activities undertaken by the employees at Wesfarmers. At the same time, an account of the way economic shock is handled is provided. Furthermore, crisis management planning methods undertaken by Wesfarmers are also provided to identify the strategies undertaken.

Section 1: Performance management

Performancemanagement can be considered a process that ensures certain activities and outputs are met to achieve the organisational goal. Usually,as Schleicheret al. (2018) pointed out, performance management is considered as focusing on the performances undertaken by an employee. However, it is not so as the term can be related to the performances achieved by an organisation and the departments. In the words of Franco?Santos and Otley (2018), it involves the development of an employee, coaching, and taking corrective actions so that mistakes are not repeated. It also involves goal setting, monitoring as well as providing feedback on the performances undertaken.

The problem that Wesfarmers faces with performance management can be directed at the employees. As of 2020, Wesfarmers have 107,000 employees working across Australia and New Zealand(Wesfarmers.com.au 2021). With the recent COVID case, organisations aim to reduce the number of employees. For Wesfarmers, such an action needs to be based on the employees' performances during the crisis while maintaining the protocols(Wesfarmers.com.au 2021). As such, performance management guidelines and assessment needed to be made based on the employees' responses during the pandemic.

In this case, the solution is to ensure thatWesfarmers identify those employees who were hard-working and aware of the situation during the pandemic. It is evidenced that during the pandemic, it had been suggested that Wesfarmers are to work with limited staff. For example, the Wesfarmers branch in Victoria had worked with 3000 employees in the branches across the state to ensure safety protocol(Wesfarmers.com.au 2021). Hence, in this case, the solution to manage the performance is directed at the number of employees who had only been enrolled for work. In this case, a goal-setting theory can be applied to manage the performance undertaken by the employees.

The goal-setting theory defines that conscience goals define the actions undertaken by an employee. In Wesfarmers' case, the goals set for the employees had been to maintain the safety protocols while providing a prompt response to the customers in lockdown. According to Schleicheret al.(2019), one of the theory's characteristics is that the performance at the individual level and the organisational level is analysed. Hence, it is important that Wesfarmers set up the goals achievable by the employees in the challenge faced in the business environment.

The real business difficulties that Wesfarmers can face is that of managing the presence of the employees. Wesfarmers had issued a 14-day quarantine break for any employee suffering from the virus(Wesfarmers.com.au 2021). Therefore, in this case, the company will need to maintain the gaps between works done so that performance management can be judged fairly. As observed by Richardset al.(2019), this can hinder the flow of performance management and identify the faults that the employees had undergone during the pandemic. Hence, a fair performance evaluation of the employees cannot be gained due to such policies as well as the application of the goal-setting theory.

From the analysis conducted, results that can be obtained include the difficulty during which Wesfarmers can find itself in the evaluation of the employees' performance. As stated by Tseng and Levy (2019), the short-term and long-term alternative action that can be considered for the issue is that Wesfarmers identify those employees that have worked well in the past and take lay-off decisions based on it.The advantage of the alternative is that it can allow Wesfarmers to maintain the ethical dilemmas in laying-off employees. However, the disadvantage is that experienced employees might have to be laid off.

As such, a conclusion can be made, which can point to the fact that Wesfarmers had taken effective decisions in maintaining the safety protocols during the pandemic. The employees had provided with the benefit to remain quarantine which provides evidence that the company tends to focus on the interest and the problems faced by the employees. However, owing to the budget cut and employ lay-off that is prevalent in the business market, Wesfarmers might need to undertake decisions on such matters. Application of performance management might provide the company with unsatisfactory results due to the uncertainty and lack of fair evidence about the work.

In general, a business problem can be associated with ethics. Raffoniet al.(2018) are of the opinion that on the one hand, owing to the financial depression in the country as well as in the organisation, Wesfarmers might be involved in employee lay-off; on the other hand, the company cannot find a proper explanation for such an action. With a lack of evidence to judge the performance of each employee despite limiting the number of employee appearances, Wesfarmers need to apply ethical consideration while trying to deal with the situation at hand.

Section 2: Economic Shock

The pandemic had brought about a downfall in the economic balance as well as the GDP in every country. According to Sheth (2020), industries being under lockdown for more than six months as well as having a stopgap working hour had hindered the smooth growth of the economy.The analysis made by Bakeret al.(2020) stated that in the case of Australia, the pandemic had lowered the economy drastically. Records indicate that since March 2020, the economy of Australia had plunged down by 7%, the largest fall in 1959.Compared with the 2019 fall, the GDP had dropped 5.1% more.

The problem with the organisations due to this is that strategic changes in the approaches needed to be made. According to Morkunas, Paschen and Boon (2019), job losses are certain, and the income level of the employees are also expected to fall. As such, for a company like Wesfarmers, the response to the economic shock needed to be made by identifying the ways by which job seekers can be kept at bay, and the existing employees be lay-off without causing any ethical violation(Wesfarmers.com.au 2021). Although the CEO, Rob Scott, urged the employees to deal with the crisis as a constant in the country, solutions related to the fall of the economy need to be made to handle the situation perfectly.

As such, the solution in this case for Wesfarmers is to apply a normalcy approach in the undertaking business. As observed by Grizane and Jurgelane (2017), due to the economic crisis, Wesfarmers need to address some of the economic, intellectual operations that are undertaken in business. For example, any form of highly equipped technology that can monitor employee progress or make delivery easy need to be laid-off so that the cost of upgrading such technologies can be saved. In the words of Burkaltsevaet al.(2017), it is necessary that the economic shock be addressed by digging the roots of the company and downsizing its operations to meet the times during which technology had not been of a stable and dominant position in the market.

As such, the Neoclassical economic theory associated with economics can be applied to address the situation of the company. According to Morkunas, Paschen and Boon (2019), the application of the Neoclassical economic theory can allow for managing the supply and demand of the products. For Wesfarmers, the economic crisis not only has to deal with the number of sales made but also with the operations of the company. Hence, factors of production need to be identified in a way that does not indulge excessive requirement of finance.

The real business difficulties, in this case, are to manage the quality of the products as well as ensure that the operations do not account for the excessive financial drain. At the same time, another problem that can be faced is that of the constant economic fluctuation. As evidenced by the analysis earlier, about the economic situation, before the pandemic, the economy of Australia had fallen by 6.1%. Hence, stability in the economy is rare in the country and can have a negative impact on the overall growth of an organisation(Burkaltsevaet al., 2017). In the case of Wesfarmers, it can be evidenced that the difficulties can stretch to a cautious approach in the overall running of its business.

The results that can be gained from this is that Wesfarmers need to manage not only the quality of its products but also ensure that it maintains an overall successful approach for its operations. Hence, as stated by Abbas and Hassan (2017) alternative way in terms of cutting down technology and going back to its roots is necessary for Wesfarmers. This can be both short-term as well as long-term given the fact that it is needed for the company to sustain the fluctuation in the economy. The advantage of this is that Wesfarmers can maintain its heavy financial drain while the disadvantage is that latest technology cannot be used justly.

As such, a conclusion can be made which can justify the exact nature of the changes that Wesfarmers need to make while commencing with the strategic involvement of the economic crisis. It is, in fact, necessary that the company tend to manage the rapid decline in the economy by contributing towards the economic growth with CSR activities. However, it is also necessary that the company maintain the reputation in terms of customer satisfaction and for ensuring that the working conditions of the employees remain stable.

In general, the business problem with economic depression can be related to the loss of sales. With the pandemic already lowering the sales, the further decline can lead a successful company like Wesfarmers into a huge loss. As such, not just lower-level employees, higher employees need to be laid off along with changes in the operations and departments that need to be made by Wesfarmers.

Section 3: Crisis Management Planning

Crisis management involves the process which an organisation undertakes to deal with the disruptive changes that can threaten an organisation or a stakeholder.According to Bundyet al.(2017), crisis management involves three phrases which include the pre-crisis, response to the crisis and the post-crisis phase. As stated by Jankelováet al.(2018), crisis management planning is a document that helps in underlining the plans that are required to be followed so that an effective response to the crisis can be provided. It usually helps in planning infrastructure so that the crisis can be respondent to well and clearly. In the modern world, the coronavirus pandemic is the main crisis that every organisation needs to address.

The problem associated with crisis management and its planning is that it is necessary to understand the basic issue concerning the crisis. In the case of Wesfarmers, the problem with the crisis management planning is that the company need to point to the exact issue which can hinder the growth of the company. According to Reuter, Hughes and Kaufhold (2018), the financial crisis for Wesfarmers had been reported due to the advent of the coronavirus, and as such, it is necessary that the company try to manage the financial condition of the business. Hence, the planning needs to be directed at the increase in budget for the company.

The solution to this can be to fulfil the specific requirements and demands of the customers as well as that of the employees. In the words of Williamset al.(2017), the maximisation of returns can be one of the solutions that Wesfarmers can adopt so that it can manage the crisis. As stated by Tokakis, Polychroniou and Boustras (2019), the planning, however, need to be directed at the overall management of the organisation, which includes preparing a budget for operations, employees, as well as the input of materials. This can allow Wesfarmers to understand the returns it can gain and, at the same time, make future plan keeping in mind the three stages of crisis management.

As such, the theories associated with crisis management that Wesfarmers can adopt is that of the five-stage crisis management theory of Mitroff. As identified by Uitdewilligen and Waller (2018) in this theory, the crisis signal is detected initially and based on the detection; prevention steps are measured. For example, with Wesfarmers, the financial crisis due to the pandemic needs to be mitigated by the possibility of employee lay-off as well as a reduction in operations of the company. At the same time, Bowers, Hall and Srinivasan (2017) are of the opinion that containment of the crisis can be managed by monitoring the movement of the finances and recovery of the finances can be done by identifying the returns that exist in the market. Finally, the crisis managed can serve as a learning experience for Wesfarmers to manage the same in the future.

The real business difficulties that can be associated with the solution is that it is not always possible to understand the financial crisis and predict whether the finance lost can be gained in a quick time. Hence as stated by Williamset al.(2017), the uncertainty of the plan is always a possibility, and despite the risk management techniques, financial planning cannot be considered to have a positive impact on the overall strategic planning of the organisation.

The results that can be predicted in this case for Wesfarmers can be based on the evidence that with the uncertainty of the financial management, the crisis management planning needs to be directed at understanding the areas which can have a positive impact on Wesfarmers. For example, as a short-term as well as long-term alternative customer satisfaction can be considered as a form of crisis management activity that Wesfarmers need to implement so that losses incurred can be curbed. The advantage is that Wesfarmers can be directly associated with the customers while the disadvantage is that it might divertWesfarmers from focusing on its financial crisis from its internal affairs.

Hence, the conclusion can be provided in this case that crisis management can have a satisfying impact on Wesfarmers and can lead to an overall understanding of the business situation. With the advent of the pandemic, various companies had to undergo financial changes, and the crisis management planning had been directed at such changes keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic and its impact. For Wesfarmers, such crisis management can lead the company to understand the various possibilities of financial implications in the business market.

In general, the problem identified can have a negative impact on the growth and reputation of Wesfarmers. This is mainly because Wesfarmers might not be able to manage the financial dents that the pandemic had brought about and thus can lose its position as a top 10 market share holder in Australia. As stated by Uitdewilligen and Waller (2018), this can also hinder the opportunities of the company to maintain a stable business and dominate the market of the country by gaining trust form its stakeholders.


From the overall analysis of the scenarios and the condition in Wesfarmers, it can be concluded that in terms of performance management, Wesfarmers might not be able to make a fair judgement about the actions of the employees. With a vast number of employees reducedfor safety protocol, Wesfarmers would want a different approach that can help the company to maintain its ethical approach in the business.The performance management does not provide an overall proper response for the problems of Wesfarmers and thus can be considered to not have a positive impact on the solution related to employee lay-off post-pandemic.
In terms of the handing of the economic shock, it can be concluded that Wesfarmers has managed well in identifying the crisis and ensuring that the crisis is made part of the organisation for the future. Although a huge loss isexpectedin the sales of the company, Wesfarmers also need to make changes in the overall operations so that any form of excessive financial strain can be eliminated. This can provide the company with some stability, although it cannot guarantee success for the changes it might bring about in the operations of the company.

The analysis of the crisis management provides a conclusion that Wesfarmers hold a strong position in the business market and, as such, can be considered to have a positive impact on the overall scenario of the business. The financial crisis had brought about problems in the operations of the company, although the crisis management planning might not be able to bring about a stable scenario for the overall operations of the business. Thus, it can be stated that for Wesfarmers, each of the three situations can be handled well by human resource management only if a specific identification of the problem can be made. 


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