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Organizational Learning And Development Assignment Sample

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Organizational Learning And Development Assignment Sample


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Task 1 & Briefing Paper

This briefing paper will be written to identify a number of good practices in organizational context. For this purpose a UK based organization will be selected. The particular organization selected for this report is Tesco Plc. The good practices identified will then be given to certain people practitioners at different regional event and insights will be shared. This paper will also provide a detailed understanding of the approaches which can be taken for supporting effective decision making and critical thinking within the HR remit

Evaluation of the theories and concepts in relation to evidence based practice

HR practices that are based on evidence include making of appropriate decisions and taking actions accordingly so that the desired outcomes can be reached. The core concept in relation to evidence based practice significantly involves the finding of approaches and solutions to deal with certain practices of people management that have a strong empirical base. Simply stating it is the method via which decisions are taken in an organization on the basis of the evaluated data of the organization. The evidence – based practices further uses skills of critical thinking as well as evidence available to to take decisions in relation to specific HR problems (Portney, 2020). An appropriate decision making process must be based on critical thinking as well as gathering knowledge from available evidence. It is highly likely that evidence – based decisions will reap results that will provide the organization with the desired outcomes in the long run.

The evidence – based approach also uses various models related to the decision making process. This involves the rational model. Specifically in case of rational model, information that is factual in nature is used to arrive at a particular decision through a step – by – step process. The different steps through which an organization arrives at a particular decision through a rational model have been outlined in the following (Bhui, et al 2021). Firstly, the problem is identified and the criteria under which decisions are going to be taken will be identified. Next, the weighting of the decision making criteria will be done. After that the alternatives will be generated. The next stage is the evaluation of these alternatives and the last stage is the selection of the best alternatives. Evidence based practice in decision making is a common approach that is undertaken by many major organization. Tesco, a multinational British retail company has also many of these approaches.

Evidence based approaches

Evidence based practices are very important in supporting suitable decision making as they minimize the chances of error caused due to various judgments. Unreliable and biased management decisions are highly common at the time of lack of evidence. It is likely that the managers will make biased decisions when they are basing their decisions on popular decisions taken in management or previous experiences. In a specific article by CEBM (Centre for Evidence Based Management), Each individual at every employment level must utilize the best available evidence during making decisions. Utilization of evidence based decision is morally considered to be right.

A particular evidence – based practice can also be utilized for supporting sound judgments and decision making at a professional levels through increase of the levels of accountability. A great number of decisions taken by managers have both negative and positive impact on the performance of the organization (Al Khajeh, 2018). Analyzing the validity and reliability of evidence benefits both each individual as well as the organization as a whole. The practices makes sure that the managers takes decisions that are best suited for the organization and can be supported by organizational data, and professional insights and expertise through scientific research if called to justify the taken decisions.

Evaluation of macro and micro analysis tools

  • Every organization including Tesco is affected by their external and internal aspects. These aspects are a part of the general environment of the organization and should be analyzed for the determination of their effect on the organization. A number of tools are present in people practice including future state analysis, Ansoff Matrix, strategic review, SWOT analysis, Fishbone analysis etc. The methods of analysis that can be utilized to assess the macro and micro environment of an organization include interviews, work sampling, utilizing questionnaires, observations, and job analysis.
  • The micro environment of an organization refers to the environmental factors that consist of customers, stakeholders, suppliers and competitors. These are mostly internal factors that can affect the organization. Tools micro analysis like the Porter’s 5 forces can be used to analyze the micro environment. On the contrary, macro – environment refers to more general factors that affect the business. These are mostly external factors that affects that the organization cannot control but affects its activity and productivity. Different macro – environment aspects involve political aspects, economical issues, technological aspects, physical occurrences, legal aspects and nature. A common tool that is often used for analyzing the macro – environment for organizations such as Tesco is the PESTEL analysis.
  • The tool of Porter’s 5 forces analysis given by Michael Porter assesses and evaluates a business’s competitive strength. The model involves five principles which together analyses the micro environment of an organization. The five forces in the Porter’s five forces involves threat of new entrants, Buyer’s bargaining power, supplier bargaining power , threat due to substitutes and competitive rivalry (Bruijl, 2018). These have been demonstrated in the following figure.
  • The tool of SWOT analysis is a mixed tool that analyzes both external and internal factors influencing an organization. The acronym SWOT refers to Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threat among Strength as well as Weakness focuses on internal factors whereas the other two aspects that Opportunities as well as Threats focuses on external factors affecting the organization (GURL, 2017). Utilization of this tool is quite simple and can be utilized by any organization including knowing about the external environment during entering new market.
  • Next, PESTEL is an important macro – environmental analysis tool that analyzes the economic, political, legal, social, environmental and technological aspects. Diplomatic tension and Trade policies and regulations are some key political factors that can affect the performance of an organization. Tesco is a British multinational retail company and so it is vital that they understand the regulations, policies formulated by the UK government, trade unions as well as other bodies of regulation. Hence, the company’s HR department needs to ensure that the company complies with all the relevant regulations. The HR further needs to regularly updated about the alterations in regulations and how they can impact the organization. Under PESTEL analysis, legal factors involve regulations and rules affecting people’s practice (Song, et al., 2017). The practitioners in HR department should make sure that the company’s existing procedures and policies complies with the regulatory standards of the country. The economical conditions of the country provide the biggest influence over an organization. The changes in economic trends should be monitored by the HR as it may result in shifts in the financial status throughout the globe. Economical aspects such as supply and demand, inflation, exchange rates and interest rates, etc directly affect the organization. Hence, it can be concluded that the HR department of Tesco needs to notify their management about the present economic trends to make them aware of economic changes in the future.
  • Technological aspects include the effects exerted by new technology that may result in recruiting or downsizing skilled force. It is the responsibility of the HR department to advice the organization regarding necessary technological changes that should be done in the organization for the purpose of retaining the workforce which has proper knowledge regarding technological alterations. In terms of social conditions, the organizational performance can be affected due to the workforce availability (Pan, 2019). Generally, it is the HR department’s responsibility finds certain recruiting strategies that will attract skilled individuals for performing the organizational duties. Lastly, the environmental factors demarcates the all naturally occurring phenomenon that can affect the organizational performance. The market throughout the globe is stimulated to align with goals of sustainable development. All these aspects are relevant for Tesco also and it is the HR department’s duty to to make sure that the company’s policies are compliant with the policies of environment sustainability.

Explanation about the critical thinking principles

Critical thinking can be defined as a skill enabling people to think properly and reflect on their ideas, arguments and opinions objectively (Renatovna, 2019). It comprises of objective evaluation and assessment of issues of people’s practice to form an overall judgment. On the basis of the definition, different critical thinking principles have their basis in unbiased rational analysis, skeptical analysis and assessment of factual information. Rational and objective thinking is related to being objectively correct. The critical thinking principles facilitate differentiation between statement and issues that are false or true in a logical manner. Further objective and rational thinking uses logic as well as other cognitive acts including insights, creativity and imagination. Specifically in people approaches, different critical thinking principals can be applied to a number of situations. At the time of application of critical thinking to the process of decision – making, the practitioners in HR department need to understand the problem properly and differentiate between opinions and facts. The decisions based on evidence are more often than not based on the evidence validity of critical thinking principles to eliminate bias.

Assessment of two different ethical theories as well as perspective

The Kant’s moral theory or Kantianism is in a well known ethical theory in which the main concept is that there are certain aspects which are forbidden even if they lead to happiness. It is a renowned example of the moral theory of deontology whose principal mainly focuses on one’s moral duty instead of the consequences of their actions (Caviola, et al., 2021). The theory has its basis in an individuals ability to take actions according to the moral categorical imperatives that are universal in nature. The theory further suggests that all decisions need to be taken on the basis of moral obligations to the society and individuals. Hence if this theory is followed the decisions taken will always be correct ethically.

Another renowned ethical theory is Utilitarianism that differentiates wrong from right through focusing on different outcomes. It is a commonly used method of persuasion in normative ethics. Utilitarianism is based on some action’s consequences and proposes that the choice that is highly ethical is the one that will do maximum amount of good. This theory might be utilized to influence and inform efficient decision making at the time when the decision taken will be most beneficial to the employees or the organization as a whole (Savulescu, et al., 2020). For instance the COVID – 19 pandemic has affected organizations throughout the world including Tesco and has made cheap labor highly important. The HR practitioners at the organization face huge dilemma of laying off some employees and hiring employees at a low cost. This can seem to be ethically incorrect, but in the long run it will facilitate organizational sustainability, especially during this pandemic situation. Various factors such as individual rights or justice are not considered in this theory.

Utilizing the theories to influence and inform efficient decision – making

The theories of decision-making have specific effect on the process of decision making. Ethical decisions that are sound in nature must be highly sensitive to proper ethical practices. The theories are mainly divided under three frameworks but the HR department must look after that maximum amount of ethical obligations is being maintained in an organization. The frameworks of ethics built around theories of ethics involve the duty framework, conceptualist framework as well as the virtue framework. The utilization of the three frameworks for analyzing a particular situation before taking certain decisions helps the decision maker to have a clear viewpoint about the problem at hand and take a sound decision that complies with ethical implications as well as the parties involved. In the following figure the key points of the different ethical theories along with their disadvantages and advantages have been provided.

Range of approaches of decision making that can be used for identification of possible solutions

  • Practitioners in the HR department play a vital role in the process of decision making within an organization. According to the various functions of the HR practitioners, different approaches of decision – making can be used for the purpose of finding appropriate solutions for different problems. Some processes of decision-making commonly used by HR practitioners include problem – outcome frame, best fit, de Bono (six thinking hats), future pacing and approaches of action learning. Although a single process can be used for solving various human resources problems, but different approaches of decision making should be used for addressing different issues.
  • The decision making practice of De Bono ( six thinking hats) was developed Edward de Bono in 1958. This decision - making approach is highly favourable for personal thinking as well as group discussions as it includes a parallel combined process. The six different hats refer to six different thinking ways. The wearing of various thinking hats mentally results in different people looking at a particular problem differently and in the process com with various solutions. The 6 thinking hats refers to six separate mind frames and is differentiated by six different colors and shapes of hat. The red color signifies decisions on the basis of emotion. White signifies decision according to facts (Aithal and Kumar, 2017). Yellow represents positive decisions; black signifies judgmental decisions, blue represents thinking decisions whereas green signifies creative decisions. HR practitioners and managers can switch between the hats during the process of decision making. The hats of thinking are vital to help people think rather deeply in relation to specific issues as well as come up with appropriate decisions.
  • Framing of outcomes as well as problems is another process of decision making used for identifying solution to problems specific to certain people (Turan, et al., 2017). Framing involves a scheme of interpretations on which individuals often depend for understanding as well as responding to situations. Separate framing and diagnosis of problems may cause difficulties while solving certain problems. It is vital that HR practitioners frame their organization’s problems in a way so that the desired outcomes can be accurately achieved. For instance, an organizations turnover may be framed as a management problem, HR problem or individual problem depending on the way it is evaluated.

Illustrating the points made in previous section

Decision - making is a constant factor in peoples practice throughout the lifecycle of an employee within an organization. Compensation is a significant issue in people practice that needs decision making (El-Brolosy and Stainier, 2017). Increasing the compensation of the employee is a decision that needs to be thought through as there are several factors that affect the decisions. Although performance is important for determination of compensation, and other factors like industrial rates of payment, external markets, minimum wage need to be considered. Attracting as well as retaining of talents is an area that is people specific in nature and may encounter several challenges. Competition for attracting the most skilled and talented employee can be seen in both private and public industry. Recruitment of a workforce that is effective is important efficient performance and sustainability of the organization. Competitive rewards and wages can lead to turnover and losses of the best talents. The HR is given the responsibility of taking tough decisions over identifying the best practices that enhance attraction and retention of most qualified individuals during recruitment. The approach of framing outcome can be utilized to solve different challenges in recruitment and retention. Specific issues that are causing turn over should be identified by the HR for the purpose of finding solutions to reach desires outcome.

Different ways through which an organization can measure non-financial and financial performance

There are many factors through which an organizational performance can be measured. Financial factors involve net and gross profit, revenues, cash flow, productivity, and investment return (Miroshnychenko, et al., 2017). Net and gross profit is ratios of profitability used for identifying the profitability of an organization whereas cash flow indicates the money amount that the business currently has. Indicators of non-financial performance involve legal compliance, employee feedback, sector rating, customer feedback and others. Customer retention and customer feedback directly affect the retention of customer whereas other non financial factors are also vital

Both customer retention as well as customer attraction are necessary aspects. Retention is important as it helps in determining the number of customers who are particularly satisfied with a specific product or service. On the other hand feedback helps an organization in identification of the areas of improvement. In addition human capital can be used to measure the performance of the organization. On the basis of employee survey, a company can properly its performance on the basis of unskilled labour ratio against skilled employee. The main advantage of utilization of non- financial assets is that they help in better compliance.


This briefing paper has been written to identify a number of good practices in organizational context. For this purpose a UK based organization has been selected. The particular organization selected for this report is Tesco Plc. The good practices identified have then been given to people practitioners at certain regional event and insights have been shared. This paper have also provide a detailed understanding of the approaches which can be taken for supporting effective decision making and critical thinking within the HR remit

Task 2 & Data Analysis and review

Assessment of data and measuring financial and non-financial performance of the organization

In the following section two sets of data and interpretations made from them have been provided. The data sets contain a 360 degree review for the Department A. The Table 1 involves feedback elicited by the employees regarding their line of managers. The data for the Table 1 and deductions made from the table have been discussed in the following. 

Graph 1

The Table contains a 360 degree feedback from employees on their line-manager. The employees of department A were asked a set of 10 questions regarding their line managers. A total of 256 employees responded to these questions whereas 32 employees did not respond (Bos-Nehles and Veenendaal, 2019). The first question asked the employees whether they positively supported their line managers in the role they performed. To this 100 employees agreed whereas 156 employees disagreed which indicated that in some cases the employees the employees were not positively supported by their line managers in their role. Secondly, 45 employees agreed that performance targets set by the line managers were achievable whereas 221 employees disagreed showing that unachievable performance targets were being set by the line mangers. Next, 161 employees disagreed that learning and development received by them helps them in achieving current and future working practices whereas 95 employees agreed. This revealed that the learning and development provided to the employees initially was helpful to some extent but not entirely adequate for dealing with future working practices (Holbeche, 2018). A similar conclusion was achieved to the question regarding whether the line managers were empathetic to the employees work / life balance. From these questions and other aspect from graph 1 it is evident that high number of respondents disagree with a high number of positive attributes that were asked to the line managers. Hence it can be concluded that the line managers need to focus on their employees more

Critical systems and data used within effective people practices to give insights through measuring people and work performance

Both Qualitative and quantitative data can be used within effective people practices to give insights through measuring people and work performance. Qualitative data uses information on habits, human observation of several behaviors employee factors influencing performance and other skills (De Block and Vis, 2019). On the contrary quantitative data utilizes figures and numbers to illustrate performance.

People practices in adding value in an organization and methods for measuring the impact of people practices

There are several people practices that add value to the organization. Firstly defining the customer is very important. The customer that the organization should cater to is the top management potential employees and others. After determination of the targeted segment the organization should work on providing maximum value to them (Seijts, et al., 2017). After understanding and optimization, measuring the value is also vital. It is vital that the managers within the organization know the value in the market especially when they are selling the product to their own organization. The fourth aspect of people’s practice that adds value to an organization is resources and budgets. After the HR department of the organization has figured out ways to measure the effect of their initiatives, they need to expand their actions for earning further return. Lastly, strategizing and connecting are also important aspects that add value to the organization.

The best way to measure the impact of people practices is to begin with one or more value objectives and then measure the change through looking at their progress. These can also be done through taking feedback from the respective targeted segment (Jyoti, 2019). The initiatives should be developed through keeping in mind that their impact can be properly measured and reported. This will help in both understanding the value of people practices and justifying the efforts for doing the same.


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Al Khajeh, E.H., 2018. Impact of leadership styles on organizational performance. Journal of Human Resources Management Research2018, pp.1-10.

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Bos-Nehles, A.C. and Veenendaal, A.A., 2019. Perceptions of HR practices and innovative work behavior: the moderating effect of an innovative climate. The International Journal of Human Resource Management30(18), pp.2661-2683.

Bruijl, G.H.T., 2018. The relevance of Porter's five forces in today's innovative and changing business environment. Available at SSRN 3192207.

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