Reading summary


Author’s name

Summary of week nine: Star performers

The reading highlights the elements or components of star oroutstanding performers. It is prudent to identify the outstandingperformers in an organization, if talent is to be managedefficiently. Research has indicated that numerous managers rely ontask and contextual performance as the key elements or components ofstar performers. Managers use talent management systems where theyidentify the key performers who outshine others in an organization.The authors conducted a study to identify the extent to which taskand contextual performance contribute to star performance.

It is evidently clear from the reading that outstanding performershave a superior performance than their fellow workmates. However, theauthors have warned that according psychologists, performance hasbeen described as a complex and multifaceted construct. Performanceis more than just applying a skill, but it involves behavior,cognition and communication abilities. Star performers are describedas being skillful, social, more productive and keen to set andachieve goals. According to the research conducted by the author, itwas found that task and contextual performance are indeed critical inidentifying star performers. However, it was evident that otherbehaviors such as leadership attributes and self-driven attributesare significant in identification and management of star performers.


Whereas task and contextual performances are critical, it is clearfrom the study that leadership and self-drive attributes areessential in determining star performers. Task performance involvesthe primary and specific skills that are required to perform a task.On the other hand, contextual performance is the behavior that anindividual adopts in order to enable him or her perform a particulartask in a given context. Although these two components of starperformance are largely used by HR managers, this research hasindicated that they are not sufficient. These other aspects ofbehavior seem to be increasingly crucial in identifying starperformance in an organization.

Summary of week ten: Innovative Total Rewards Strategy

The reading focuses largely on the need for a systematicallydeveloped reward system for companies. The reading has focused onMarriott international as the case study for the research. It isstated in the reading that Marriott is one of the largesthospitability company in the world and it therefore has a hugeworkforce. The employees of the hospitality company are drawn fromall over the world. Salaries of the workers is the largest budget forthe company with over 40% going to offset salaries. The company haslargely relied upon a non-systematic and piecemeal form of rewardsystem and the management seems to have realized this and thereforesought to develop a holistic and fact based systematic reward system.According to the authors, a reward system should be aimed atattracting, retaining and motivating employees. The reward systemshould also enhance productivity, as well as enhance the returns onthe huge sums of money Marriott invests in its human resource.

The new reward system that was developed by Marriott focused mainlyon how both the associates and the company would benefit. It alsofocused on the return on investment for the company. The rewardsystem focused on paying for performance. The rewards that Marriottdecided to offer would be higher than that of the competitors. Thereward system would have base pay, overtime pay, incentive pay andbenefits pay.


Marriott used a database of the past five years to come up with thereward system. The new reward system the company adopted wasbeneficial to both the company and the associates or the employees.Whereas it enhanced attraction and retention of employees, the rewardsystem also enhanced productivity. This in turn was meant to increaseprofits for the company. It is evident that the company investheavily on human resource, and it is therefore prudent to get returnson such an investment. Although this program was halted by theeconomic slowdown of 2000 and 2001, it is clearly evident that thesystem is viable should the economic fortunes change.

Week 11 summary: Workplace bullying

This reading highlights the plight of apprentices at building andconstruction sites. The apprentices are reported as being bullied andsubjected to inhumane behaviors yet they hardly report suchmistreatment to authorities either within or outside theconstruction. A majority of these apprentices are youths who lackpower and status in the work place hence they are at risk of beingbullied. The media in Australia has been reporting some of thebuilding and construction workplace bullying that have resulted inphysical injury for the victims. The reading has also highlightedvarious types of bullying such as belittlement, teasing, isolation,destabilization and overwork.

The management has a role of dealing with bullies in the workplace.Policies must be established that discourage bullying in theworkplace. Power over subordinates has been stated as the primarycause of bullying. Senior and middle managers are said to be themajor bullies in the workplace. Bullying cases go unreported by thejunior workers. This is because they fear losing their jobs. Some ofthe apprentices interviewed also pointed out that they needed themoney and if they reported they would lose the money. The studyconducted by the authors indicated that the power to offer rewardsand administer punishment were significant in bullying.


It is clear from this study that the cases of workplace bullying inbuildings and constructions are imminent in Victoria, Australia. Theapprentices hardly report the cases to the authorities for fear ofapprehension. They fear losing their apprenticeships, as well as thepay that accompanies them. The people in power have been described asthe primary drivers of bullying in construction and buildingworkplaces. There are various types bullying that exist, but mostlyare related to assignment of a lot of work to the apprentices. It isalso worth noting that bullying has been resulting from jokes betweenand amongst employees. It is hard to draw the line between jokes andserious matters.