strategic human resources management in the

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[9] Surugiu, F., Surugiu, Gh., Arsenie, P., Hanzu-Pazara, R., Navigation companies policies in human resource management, IMLA Conference. Proceedings ...

Knowledge Based Organization 2009 International Conference

STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN THE MARITIME KNOWLEDGE BASED ORGANIZATION Lecturer, Belev Blagovest* Lecturer, Radu Hanzu – Pazara**, Teacher Assistant, Cristina Nistor*** *

”Nikola Vaptsarov” Naval Academy, Varna, Bulgaria Constanta Maritime University, Constanta, Romania, [email protected] *** Constanta Maritime University, Constanta, Romania, [email protected]

**

Abstract Strategic human resource management is the process of linking the function of human resources and the managerial processes requiring human resource policies and practices with the strategic objectives of management in order to improve performance of the knowledge based organization. The aim of this paper is to point that an important aspect of strategic human resource management is employees’ development, which begins in the recruitment stage and continues while interviewing prospective cadets and seafarers in order to find the best employees for the maritime company. Following this stage, in order to help seafarers perform at their best, a maritime company can provide specific human resources strategies of continual training programs and regular assessment. A maritime company can increase productivity if there is an adequate human resource planning and integration of human resource strategies with business strategies.

Keywords: strategic management, human management, crew, knowledge based organization

resource

1. Introduction In the knowledge based organisation, human resources have the leading role in the development of the maritime organisation. The

Knowledge Based Organization 2009 International Conference

main factor in seafarer management is the human factor. Strategic human resource management is a very difficult domain to be analyzed, especially when we are talking about crewing, due to particular working conditions. A maritime company can acquire success when management strategies properly motivate seafarers through various methods as: good contracts, refund or pay for all courses and certifications, professional working conditions, a wage system that reduce employment turn over. Each navigation company strives to evolve in order to occupy a leading place on seafarers’ market and the key strategy needed in this case is management of personnel development. 2. Employees' development – key strategy in the knowledge based maritime company In the knowledge society, ships are becoming more and more efficient and computerized. New innovations and inventions facilitate seafarers’ work, but at the same time these machines partially replace human activity. Today, new vessels, due to their high performances, have almost completely reduced the maintenance crew. There is an obvious tendency to drastically reduce the number of crew members, but never the human factor can be replaced by technology. Still, crew members must permanently keep up with technological developments and managers must invest in the development of professional and personal skills of employees in order to increase productivity and work satisfaction. An important aspect of strategic human resource management is employees’ development, which begins in the recruitment stage and continues while interviewing prospective cadets and seafarers in order to find the best employees for the maritime company. Human resources will always stand as essential resources in maritime industry, due to several reasons: 1. People represent the main resource in this economic field.

Knowledge Based Organization 2009 International Conference

2. Human resources represent most expensive, but far the safest investment a knowledge based maritime company can make. 3. Human resources represent a continuous, ever-lasting growing and evolution potential; they are unique and cannot be replaced, because they are the only one capable to produce goods and services, to innovate, to transform and organize. 4. Humans are both creators and consumers of resources. 5. Humans are subject, object and purpose for various activities. Managerial decisions are the most difficult ones to be made, as they have to be moral, ethic and legal. Employment, promotion, professional development, motivation, dismissal etc. represent complex managerial acts, as they involve people with specific needs, characterized by their own personality, with their own objectives and personal problems to deal with. The adoption of certain managerial decisions in a knowledge based maritime company can affect individuals’ health, their career, professional development and even their life. Within human resources department, managerial decisions should be responsible (towards society), un-discriminating and flexible (towards individuals). Management decisions should not lead to social conflicts, misinterpretation or reading between lines. Decisions should be adapted to the personality of the applicants and to their educational and professional background. Managers should take into account the fact that personnel are not a heterogeneous group; crew should be regarded as a group of distinct personalities, with individual targets, hopes and objectives. This aspect is more difficult to cope with when we are talking about working in the maritime sector. 6. Human potential is not the same for each individual; it differs genetically, biologically and it depends on social, cultural, educational, family influences. Human resources strategies should take into account a basic psychological analysis. The manager or the person designated to

Knowledge Based Organization 2009 International Conference

employ seafarers should have general knowledge regarding individual’s psychology in order to successfully fulfil his/her tasks. 7. People are conservative, and from this very reason they are opposing change; on the other hand, people can easily adapt to changes. This is a characteristic of maritime industry because, generally speaking, seafarers’ labour market is an extremely vast and varied one. There is a huge number of competing navigation companies and seafarers have the possibility to choose the company that best suits them. This aspect requires a whole selection process, carefully conducted. The working conditions for a seafarer generally differ from one voyage to another according to the main factors which are: crew members, type of vessel, navigation area and duration of the contract. Referring to mentalities, customs, individual and group behaviour, people are relatively conservative; economic and social values are differently perceived by different individuals. Managers of the knowledge based maritime company must have the capability to positively direct individuals and to underline their own values. 8. People are autonomous and free and any manipulative management methods have negative effect on the knowledge based maritime company. Managerial decisions in seafarers’ management should be adopted taking into account the human dignity. People should be treated decently and fairly. This approach is the only one that can contribute to individuals’ positive motivation to participate together in fulfilling strategic objectives of the Company. 3. Strategic importance of human resources in the maritime knowledge based organization A knowledge based company perceived as a system illustrates productive functions, personnel function and human resources subsystems. A company’s goals depend on the good development of

Knowledge Based Organization 2009 International Conference

technical sub-systems put in action by the human resources subsystem. Human resources should be carefully selected and organized in order to comply with the objectives of the knowledge based maritime company. Building the human resources system means recruitment, selection, employment, vocational orientation, integration and establishing evaluation norms. The functions of human resources sub-system are: 1. planning; 2. filling in the positions within structures by recruiting and selecting the labor force; 3. achieving the planned performances (building and sustaining the group culture); 4. compensation (fixing the direct remuneration forms and stimulation forms using material means); 5. training and development (designing and developing of professional development programs) 6. improvement of professional capabilities and abilities; 7. establishing and complying with the rights of the employees, negotiation and organization of relationships among them, on one hand and between these and the knowledge based maritime company, on the other hand. Successful strategies of human resource management are expressed by the low number of seafarers’ turn-over and the numbers of successive working contracts within the same company. The statistics made on the Romanian crewing market present an increased orientation of seafarers’ to a stabilized collaboration with one navigation company. 4. Conclusions Seafarers’ strategic management differs from management of

Knowledge Based Organization 2009 International Conference

other industries. In conclusion, we are underlining the fact that the good use of material and financial resources depend on human resources. Maritime industry is a difficult domain from this point of view, the stimulating element being represented by the financial factor. In this moment, navigation companies are creating and developing an optimum strategic human resources management system, by human resource planning and integration of human resource strategies with business strategies. References [1] Branch, E.A., Elements of port operations and management, Champman & Hall, London, 1986 [2] Branch, E.A., Maritime Economics – Management and Marketing, Stanley Thornes, London, 1988 [3] Cascio, W.F., Managing Human Resources, McGraw Hill, Columbus, OH, 1986 [4] Dessler, G., Personnel, Human Resource Management, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1991 [5] Fisher, C.D., Human Resource Management, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1996 [6] Graham, H.T. and Bennet, R., Human Resource Management, Longman Group, London, 1991 [8] Griffin, R.W., Management, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1990 [9] Surugiu, F., Surugiu, Gh., Arsenie, P., Hanzu-Pazara, R., Navigation companies policies in human resource management, IMLA Conference Proceedings, 2009.

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