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Rees, G., & Smith, P. (2021). Strategic human resource management: An international

perspective (3rd ed.). SAGE.


UNIT3 Complete


1. What factors could explain the shift from traditional pay administration to a more strategic approach to reward over the last 40 years?

2. Suggest ways in which ‘employee voice’ may influence the approach of managers to strategic HRM.

3. What are the benefits of trade unions to workers and managers? Research recent trade union involvement in an international context. What role did the union play and what was the outcome of its involvement?

4. What is a glass ceiling? Describe evidence of a glass ceiling in your organization or an organization of your choice

5. Refer to Reflective Activity 9.1 below and its answer at the end of chapter nine. What does the answer tell us about stereotyping and unconscious bias?


Reflective Activity 9.1 Challenging our thinking

A father and son are travelling together in a car. There is a terrible crash. The father, who was a famous surgeon, is killed instantly. The son is seriously injured and is flown by helicopter to hospital. In the operating theatre, the surgeon says ‘I cannot operate on this boy. He is my son’.

How can this have happened?

(Answer at the end of the chapter.)

Reflective Activity 9.1 Revisited

A question to challenge our thinking (see the section ‘The concept and implications of stereotyping’ above (p. 294)):

The surgeon was the boy’s mother.


We may not think – or prefer not to recognize – that our own thought patterns are stereotyped, especially around workplace discrimination, but they probably are. To illustrate this, try Reflective Activity 9.1.

If you got the answer right – well done … but see how your friends do. If you did get it wrong, then you are in the majority – the author’s experience is that typically only 10% of any given population will get the answer right first time. For those who did not get the right answer, the problem is usually one of stereotyped thinking.

Stereotypes have been defined as ‘Cognitive structures that store our beliefs and expectations about the characteristics of members of social groups’ (Cuddy and Fiske, 2002: 4).

Stereotypes may be explicit or implicit (Greenwald and Banaji, 1995). Explicit stereotypes arise from our conscious thoughts and beliefs; on the other hand, implicit stereotyping (Greenwald and Banaji, 1995) is the result of unconscious experience, beliefs or social interaction. Implicit stereotyping, also known as ‘unconscious bias’, influences the way we respond to a wide range of diversity issues (including our attitudes to gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age and disability).

Stereotypes therefore reflect an ‘automated’ response to a person or situation. The stereotype may be over-positive about the attributes of a person but, too often, where there is difference, the stereotypes are negative and become the source of negative prejudices. In turn, these prejudices – often with little or no realistic foundations – both become the source of injustice towards the individual and fail to see the

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