March 12, 2012 at 9:12 am
This forum has been specifically set up to deal with queries regarding Topic 13:
“An evaluation of the contribution made by human resource activities to the attainment of business and financial objectives”
Please post all queries about Topic 13 here rather than in the other Forums.
If you are doing Topic 13 but you have a general type query that affects most other topics then please use a few key words and the Search facility to find the relevant and appropriate forum for your question
Thanks – Trephena OBU Forum ModeratorMarch 12, 2012 at 9:12 am
I am stocked, my research is pure descriptive, i don’t know what business model to use for the analysis. according to OBU you need to judge which accounting and business concept, theories, models and techniques to use for the analysis. In my case, am confused as i seems the data i have does not match any. please somebody help!April 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm
Sohaib Ahmed SiddiquiParticipant
I am not sure what is the problem with pure descriptive.
It all depends on the topic.
See bsc ifopack 2011/12April 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm
Sohaib Ahmed SiddiquiParticipant
Just checked your topic.
You are right to worry. The more a topic requires a primary data research the more it gets tricky. Not hard but tricky!
You need to work on theories in F1 and P3 for HRM. Then tie them up with financial results to see if there has been anything better.
Also please see if you have followed guidance provided by OBUJuly 9, 2014 at 4:30 pm
@trephena, I am currently doing the RAP topic 13, I recently started gathering information on this topic, it concerns An Evaluation of the contribution made by human resource activities to the attainment of business and financial objectives. I am a bit confuse should I be collecting data from the Human Resource Department on measures implemented to attain these objectives.This question seems to have little involvement with financial statements and more on training and measures implemented. Could you enlightened me on this topic.July 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm
@lizphil – Don’t worry that it is not a ‘financial topic’ – neither is Topic 6 (Motivation). The basic answer to your question is yes, if they have the data that would be excellent.
What you will need to detail in your report is how the HR function fits into the corporate framework in terms of its strategy – how by recruiting and employing the right people and retaining them, training them, motivating and incentivising them, the company is able to meet its business financial and strategic objectives. In your analysis section you will have to be able to evaluate the HR function’s effectiveness re the objectives, so you need to think how you can achieve this with the data available Some of the analysis can be qualitative but it would be useful if you could bring in some numbers here.
As a simple example of how a company objective impacts on HR would be if the organisation wants to increase its market share it may need more good sales people to push their products (which if is a manufacturing concern would mean producing more so some more staff in procurement and the shop floor too), or if a service industry, more personnel who can deliver the service, (which may involve specialist training for the new recruits). Conversely if the company is downsizing or introducing more automated technology the HR function will be involved in the restructuring. Sometimes it may also be a case of management bringing in new initiatives and require HR to either provide / be involved or inter-face with trainers or monitor the initiatives (just a few ideas to get you thinking about how HR fits into the bigger picture just in case you are struggling on that front).
With the data you are collecting does it relate to some KPIs like stafff turnover and absenteeism? You may be also be able assemble some costs relating to some of the main HR activities (recruitment costs – may take in advertising, agency commissions, and a portion of the HR dept staff overheads for example). It depends to a certain extent what data you can lay your hands on and how detailed the costing information is and also how helpful the HR dept manager is. Depending on what the company objectives are you may be able to demonstrate some form of relationship too in financial terms (HR costs to turnover, profit per employee and the trends for these over a period of time) If you have a good HR director they may possibly give you an idea of the KPIs for his/her function and what financial / costing information they use (budgets and variance reports perhaps?). Although you may not use all of this it is just a good idea to get to know what is potentially available.
However with this topic the one thing you have to steer clear of is just researching and setting out what you found as this does not demonstrate the requisite analytical skills. You are required to show that you have taken some data and used it to help you assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the HR function. You will need to include a few models too and as always I mention chucking in a SWOT or PESTLE for good measure as well (probably the latter would suit HR better). Also put in a departmental organisational chart – I am a bit fanatical about charts and diagrams as they are much better than words at showing how something is.
Hope that gives you a few ideas 🙂July 10, 2014 at 1:05 am
@trephena Wow! Thank you so much I just wanted to be sure I was on the right track… you also gave me a lot to think about! The only thing that is worrying me now is that the organization that I chose which is where I work is a quasi non-government so its objective is not primarily to make a profit.July 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm
@lizphil Don’t worry because in Topic 6 (and some of the other topics) there is no call for financial information. I just mentioned profits as I didn’t know what your organisation type was. If it is a Qango then there must be some set objectives and some sort of KPIs so these will form the basis of your evaluation.
You need some clear objectives that you can work from regarding the role of HR in helping with the prescribed overarching objectives for the organisation as a whole. If your Qango is focused on specialist people providing a service this will make your job a lot easier (as obviously without them the organisation would fail in its main objective) and a prime sub-objective would be recruiting the right people and then retaining them.
You still have quite a bit of time to collect your thoughts so work round some of the points I’ve made and think how you will be able to use the data you get to show whether HR is doing a good job in terms of contributing to the common cause and giving value for money (for the taxpayer or donors presumably?) 🙂July 11, 2014 at 2:48 am
Am doing the same topic as lizphil, an evaluation of human resource activities on the attainment of financial and business objectives, unfortunately there are not standard libraries in Uganda where I can enhance my research and knowledge on the topic .
any other alternative to how best I can build my project and find related references
thanks guys for your contribution on this platformJuly 11, 2014 at 11:04 am
There is no need of standard libraries. However, you can use following sources:
– You can find links on internet such as http://www.ddegjust.ac.in/studymaterial/mcom/mc-207h.pdf
– Books such as The HR Book: Human Resources Management for Business – September 1, 1999
by Lin Grensing-Pophal (Author),
– You can also search related newspapers and magazines.
– You can also increase you knowledge by borrowing course books of students studying human resource in Universities in Uganda.
However, one advise i will give is that before starting project on any topic, you must ensure that you can easily obtain all the information for you RAP. I have seen many students who just select the topic and company based upon their interest and after spending much time they end up on changing it because of information availability and accessibility issue. So, first ensure that you knowledge is sound about topic, information is available and there are no confidentiality issues.
Thanks…July 11, 2014 at 3:55 pm
@hammad Ahmed Qureshi – if the organization that you are working on has different locations in different countries is it ok to only work on the one in your country? They all have the same strategic objective. I tried asking previously but I got no reply.July 11, 2014 at 9:42 pm
Yes, you can but it should be a separate company (a subsidiary) i.e. an organisation. It should not be a division. It should not be a franchise or a branch.
Thank You.July 12, 2014 at 3:01 pm
@hammad – If there are branches would I have to choose another organisation or could I gather infomation on all?July 12, 2014 at 5:16 pm
You need to analyse a company/organisation not a branch. So, you have gather information on all if branches are covered under one company.
Thank You.July 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm
This topic relates with evaluation of role of various Human Resources (HR) activities in attainment of overall business and financial objectives of specific organisation.
HR activities are the activities in an organisation which are directly or indirectly related to employees. These activities ranges from HR planning, recruitment, orientation, training ,employee benefits, retention and retirement of employees. In short, HR activities are all those activities that related to specific employees of the organisation from their joining till retirement. In current scenario, we can easily understand that HR functions is extremely important for any organisation for its long term sustainability and attainment of strategic aims and objectives of the organisation.
Under this topic, first of all, students should have basic knowledge of HR functions in organisation and he must have excellent knowledge of specific role of HR in his/her selected organisation for RAP. First of all , he/she need to critically assess all activities of HR in selected organisation that can only attain through primary sources of information. Excellent knowledge of all HR activities in the selected organisation are extremely important for passing this RAP. Along with excellent knowledge of all HR activities, student also have vast information about business and financial objectives of the selected organisation. These objective can be both in quantitative terms and qualitative terms as well. Based on overall understanding of various HR functions, student need to assess that how these functions contributing towards achievement of business and financial objectives through provision of very specific information. Students need to more focused on what actually the selected organisation achieved through effective applications of HR functions like how HR function contributed towards maximizing profits along with minimizing overall expenditures and how these HR activities help the organisation in achievement of various qualitative aspects (qualitative aspects various organisation to organisation) in effective manner.
The extremely important aspect of this topic is that under this topic, student must properly link various HR activities with overall financial and business objectives and it is only possible when student have enough information about the selected organisation.
Key Success Factors:
Basic knowledge of HR function
Excellent knowledge of HR function in the selected organisation
Excellent knowledge of various business and financial objectives of the organisation
Proper linkage of various HR activities with overall business and financial objectives of selected organisation
Proper application of all selected aims and objectives (that decided in inception of RAP) in appropriate sections of RAP.
Proper answering of all research questions (that decided in inception of RAP) in appropriate sections of RAP.
Usage of proper research methodology to achieve good result against all selected aims and objectives (that decided in inception of RAP).
Maintain proper sequence of all discussion in logical manner by keeping all requirements of the topic.
Logically conclude all performed work at the end of Research Report by keeping in consideration of all requirements of the topic.
*Feedback from project mentor is essential to get good grades in RAP.
Major benefits for choosing this topic:
Student will practically apply his/her bookish knowledge into real life.
Various techniques learned under this topic will substantially help student in his/her professional life.
Major possible limitations faced by student under this topic:
Students may not entertain well by the management of selected organisation in provision of required information due to various issues (e.g. confidentiality aspects, non availability of authorized person to disseminate information to student for research work, etc.)
Student may not find good stuff from internet or other sources (due to weak research approach) to bring ideas for improvement in the project.
Student may be confused due to variation in actual information (verbal or documented) provided from primary sources with the result that he/she actually derive from his/her research work as per requirement of the topic.
Suitable organisation under this topic:
The most suitable organisation under this topic is that for which student have access to management of the company and moreover management of the company is willingly provide all required information to student as required under the topic. Selection of most appropriate organisation is very essential as student must have better understanding of overall operations of the organisation and moreover he/she also have enough knowledge of the sector in which his/her selected organisation actually operates. Based on better knowledge of the organisation and respective sector , student will be able to interlink various aspect of overall operations of the selected organisation with all requirements of the topic that ultimately help him/her in getting good grades.
In short student need to assess following aspects in selection of organisation for RAP.
Student’s own interest related to overall business of the organisation;
Accessibility of information from primary sources (extremely important in topic 13);
Accessibility of information from secondary sources;
Knowledge of overall operations of the organisation (extremely important in topic 13);
Knowledge of overall associated sector of the organisation;
Availability of time from concerned officials of selected organisation (extremely important in topic 13);
Basic idea of requirements of selected topic and their applications on proposed organisation in inception of RAP.
Suggested approach for this topic:
Under this topic, student must plan properly from inception so that he/she can complete all tasks effectively in proper manners. First of all, student must gain excellent understanding of major requirements of this topic and he/she need to critically assess all aspects of requirement by defining detailed strategy. Student need to assess that what process that he/she actually follow to meet all requirements that only possible through detailed planning in inception of RAP.
Student need to prepare overall content of RAP under topic 13 that describes logical sequence of all tasks that need to adhere by the student. This content will also help student to keep on right track from inception and at the same time student can also assess time factor against planned vs. actual tasks through considering his allocated time for complete preparation of RAP.
After finalization of overall content of RAP under topic 13, student need to start working logically from gathering of information as per requirement of topic. Student need to assess all gathered information very critically through consultation from mentor. Mentor feedback on key areas of RAP is very essential so student should share his/her thoughts with project mentor regularly to get efficient guidance in time accordingly.
In short, there is no 100% suggested approach for topic 13 as keeping broader level approach (described above) , detailed approach under topic 13 varies due to student’s perception that he conceived from requirements of the topic along with available information of selected organisation. Whatever, the approach you will follow , keep getting guidance from project mentor at every step so that you can meet all requirements of topic and get good grades.
Availability of Information:
Student have to complete his/her RAP based on provision of information directly from management of the organisation (i.e. primary sources of information) along with vast information available through different mediums (internet, newspaper, books, etc.) under secondary sources of information. Availability of information from primary sources under topic number 13 is very essential as this topic cannot complete at all without getting specific information of the selected organisation. Student need to ensure that he has access of vast information from management of the selected organisation and there is no confidentiality concerns by them as well.
In short, student need to assess very critically before opting this topic for RAP as all requirements of this topic only meet if student have enough information about selected organisation. If there is any doubt on provision of required information during perpetration of RAP then student should not select this topic for RAP as it impact on overall evaluation of information and overall grades of RAP.
*Feedback from project mentor is essential to get good grades in RAP.July 18, 2014 at 8:26 am
Dear all contributors
I appreciate the enormous confindence boost I have derived from this platform
The initiators ,the contributors thanks a bunch,. If am successful next year I really will wish to contribute too
Now I find myself in the biggest worst scenario I could imagine . I had got an organisation but when i went for a chat with the connector person , a senior manager dismissed my research intentions and actually threatened my friend who wished to help me with company info
In addition I have a mentor but he cant do much as he has no time .i doubt how I even arrange the meetings
However I have already started my project and things like contents and topic are done
How far can I individually with my project as I get a new company considering my topic and can I really pass using only secondary data (in respect to my topic)
Please if there any assistance that can help me kind please guide me as time is closing in on me
AlfredJuly 18, 2014 at 5:16 pm
@alfred Yes that is a real blow 🙁
You have to be able to evaluate how effective the HR function is in helping the organisation achieve its business objectives so really without any inside help I don’t know how you are going to know what some of these objectives are, let alone get data for the evaluation. In principle HR objectives are usually hiring (possibly training) and retaining the best personnel in the most efficient manner with a few sub-objectives as well that dovetail into the organisation’s strategies and objectives . However unless the company has a very detailed mission statement (so many of them are so vague “we aim to be the best….etc etc” – yes, yes that’s fine, but how exactly???) and there is some detail of its HR objectives in the annual report you will struggle on that front. The evaluation section is hard when you have the data and I think you would need either primary data or very good and reliable secondary data (preferably both) so again without these, it looks as if your RAP on this topic for this company is doomed.
So if you can’t acquire the information to satisfy the above that leaves you with the option of :
(a) choosing another organisation but still going ahead with Topic 13
(b) choosing a different topic
(c) trying to persuade the manager /organisation to change their mind.
The data is not circulated by OBU for any other purpose than for marking and is held on a confidential basis (you can even with OBU’s permission ask them if you can keep the name of the organisation anonymous but they would still want some confirmation of its authenticity that the organisation exists and the data is not being fabricated by the student). All work is retained electronically and that is a condition students have to agree to as part of the terms & conditions of submission but it is not in an electronic library accessible by students at all or staff outside the ACCA /OBU department.
Always do the contents page last – you don’t know what exactly is going to end up in your work and you would have to revise it anyway at the end before submission 🙂July 20, 2014 at 10:57 am
Thank you so much @trephena
I think I can only change the topic. This really starting to stress me
Now kindly can you from experience tell me a topic which I may rely fully on secondary data and which might be slightly easier considering the situation am in( my situation ; changing topic on top of having an uncommitted mentor)
Thanks so much
Eagerly waiting for aresponseJuly 20, 2014 at 5:53 pm
@alfred Probably for the best as if you leave it too late it will stress you even more. The 2 topics that immediately spring to mind are either ‘Topic 8 The business and financial performance of an organisation over a three year period’, or ‘Topic 17 The quality of the corporate governance within an organisation and the impact on an organisation’s key stakeholders’. Personally I would recommend going for the latter but it must be your choice.
I answered a question a few days ago for a student who was trying to decide between this topic and ‘Topic 20 An organisation’s corporate social responsibility policies, including business ethics, and their impact on business practice and key stakeholders’. I suggest you search the forums to see what I wrote as it will give you an idea of what it may involve although I only outlined Topic 17 very, very briefly. The key is to choose a company and a comparator company which have a high media CG profile, It doesn’t matter if they have a dreadful reputation with CG as that is something you can expand upon in your analysis as part of your evaluation. You do not have to limit yourself to a company in your own country as long as you have good internet access opportunities.
Topic 8 is the stock topic chosen by about 70% of students. So you could use the search facility to find forums on this. However a Topic 17 done well can get a high grade whereas Topic 8 RAPs somehow tend mainly to get only Bs and Cs if they pass as few students manage to do an evaluation worthy of an A. Of course if you are happy with a C this is immaterial! 🙂
Which ever you decide on, please use the search facility to see if we already have a forum on Topic 17 or find an appropriate one for Topic 8 (there are several already) if you have further questions and post any queries there (even if the forum is old as new postings go to the front so it will be seen – I am trying to organise our site so queries are grouped by topic rather than just a general heading so want students to help us with this). 😀September 19, 2014 at 5:04 pm
Hi all! I just read through the forum and you are all extremely helpful!
I am really struggling when it comes to selecting the business / accounting techniques for topic 13 and it is really holding me back 🙁
At the moment I am considering the following:
– Balanced Scorecard
– Resource Analysis
– The McKinsey 7S Model
Could anyone kindly tell me if these are relevant or if there are others that perhaps are more suitable please?
Thank you !September 19, 2014 at 7:50 pm
@atab I would suggest that you choose a couple:
e.g. either the SWOT or PESTLE (the markers seem to love these!) – but I wouldn’t do both for T13 – personally I would go for the latter and try to apply it specifically to HR +
either the Balanced Scorecard or McKinsey or Resource Analysis (which ever you feed more comfortable with given your data and information)
It may be appropriate to do some HR specific ratios if the data is available (normally sales or profit per employee can be calculated easily but it may be more problematic getting the figures for HR costs for example and staff turnover etc). You may also be able to look at share price as being indicative of the company’s success in achieving its business objectives. (Keep your focus on T13 so don’t try to do a mini full version of T8 ratio analysis)
Consider any other staff training initiatives if appropriate e.g. Kaizen
Don’t forget though that your role in T13 is to evaluate the contribution made by HR so you need to be able to assess it objectively not just state it that it is contributing effectively with no consequent proofSeptember 22, 2014 at 8:11 am
Thank you so much for your help!! 🙂October 16, 2014 at 5:22 pm
For anyone considering doing this topic I found this interesting article via Google Scholar. It is quite advanced in terms of the statistical analysis (and a bit heavy going in places !) but it may give you some ideas of what sorts of areas you need to consider if you want to do this topic. You will not be expected to do do such a detailed statistical analysis however some data regarding staff turnover and the average length of employment would be relevant if you can get the data. This would give you the opportunity to do some graphs and also you would be able to look at things like profit per employee over a period of time as a crude measure of whether the workforce productivity is increasing/decreasingDecember 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm
AN EVALUATION OF THE CONTRIBUTION MADE BY HUMAN RESOURCES ACTIVITIES TO THE ATTAINMENT OF BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL OBJECTIVES
I have submitted and failed .
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