Strategic Human Resource Management & Virgin Essay

Words: 4240
Pages: 17


Virgin stands as an example of the benefits and success to be derived when top management realise that simply managing people is not sufficient, but investing in the human element that is responsible for all aspects of the operations, will reap tangible rewards.

Virgin approach recognised that human resource management should not just be approached from a series of procedures, polices and systems but should be balanced with a keen interest in the people of the organisation through which key objectives are met.


In 1970 Richard Branson initiated the Virgin firm as a distributor of records. Today, after establishing itself in the airline, cellular phone and financial industries (just to name
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While he may not classify his leadership or management style according to any model or theory, there are evidences that he engages a number of best practices which are in keeping with the Blake Mouton Managerial Grid – Team Leadership; Transformational Leadership and key principles of Theory Y. There are indications of an equally high focus on productivity and employee relations and an emphasis on team building, motivation and participatory management (Mind Tools, 2011):

1. Encouragement of independent thinkers (Higgins, 2010). According to Blake and Mouton, having employees actively participate in key activities and contribute to the development of processes and procedures will encourage buy-in and commitment (Mind Tools, 2011). Virgin employees are encouraged to “have a passion for new ideas” and to “think differently”. Branson himself is known for “thinking outside the box” and is unconventional in his approach to business.
2. Reward innovation (Higgins, 2010). In keeping with Theory Y, employees are rewarded, recognised and celebrated both at a team and individual level. Staff are encouraged to be innovative and this behaviour is rewarded both tangibly and intangibly.

3. Open-door policy – Branson postulates open communication and has ensured that there are various avenues available to