Managing Human Resources

Executive Summary of Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Limited Analysis

This paper has provided a detailed business report on a contemporary news story of CSL Limited- the biggest vaccine manufacturer and one of the biggest companies in Australia. Organic searches on the World Wide Web provided a way for delving deep into the topic, for which, the help of some websites, including the company’s website, peer-reviewed journals, books and articles was taken. The discussion around the enterprise, industry and human resource management analysis revealed important insights regarding the news story. In addition, this report has also identified and raised some key human resource management issues, which the organisation is currently facing and discussed them. Recommendations for the future of the company have also been given towards the end of the report. Some of the recommendations are as follows. CSL Limited should indulge in performance appraisals and promotions to ensure employee retention. Downsizing of the company should not be hurried. Rather the areas of employee engagement, employee motivation and employee relations should be focused on. Recruitment of talented applicants, human resource development and training and development should be encouraged. The company must keep its CSR activities running.

Table of Contents


Aim of CSL Limited.

Key Human Resource Management (HRM) Issues.

Identifying Key HRM Issues.




Introduction to Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Limited Analysis

The Commonwealth Serum Laboratories or CSL Limited, is an Australian company developing innovative biotherapies and vaccines and medicines for influenza, haemophilia and immune deficiencies among a host of other problems (CSL Limited, n.d.). The purpose of this report is to study a contemporary news story about the given organisation, highlight key HRM issues the company is facing and provide recommendations for the same. This report contains the key HRM issues of the company and recommendations to overcome those issues. The contemporary news stories this report will be focussing on are the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), who goes by the name Joy Linton, amidst the ongoing CoViD-19 pandemic and some HRM issues being faced by the company. Joy Linton has been named as the new Chief Financial Officer of CSL Limited (CSL Limited, 2020). She is a highly respected global leader who has comprehensive tactical and monetary experiences as CFO. She will work from Melbourne, where the Head Office of CSL is situated and will join the Global Leadership Group of CSL. She will have to travel to Australia from the United Kingdom, where she was working earlier, amidst the ongoing pandemic. The predecessor of Ms. Linton is David Lamont, who left CSL Limited to work for another reputed Australian Securities Exchange- (ASX) listed organisation. This points out at the problem of retaining capable employees on the part of the HR department of the company during this time. At CSL, the main responsibility of Ms. Linton is to manage the company’s financial strategies. Planning of finances, reporting, managing the capital, tax, treasury and maintaining relations with the company’s investors are the key accountability domains for Ms. Linton in the company.

Aim of CSL Limited

At CSL, having a positive working environment is of utmost importance to its managers (CSL Limited, n.d.). The aim of the company is to ensure the provision of a constructive environment for work to all the employees and contractors associated with the company. Mutual trust and respect are sought to be engendered in the workplace and everybody is treated in a lawful and fair manner.

Key Human Resource Management (HRM) Issues

There arose significant problems and questions when some Melbourne hotels recruited coronavirus quarantine guards via WhatsApp and then asked them to bring their own masks at the work place (Tobin & McDonald, 2020). The sacking of James Cook University marine scientist- Peter Ridd by the university was ruled as ‘unlawful’ by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in 2019 (Siganto & Swanston, 2019). These are examples of some problems which HR managers face in organisations or because of which problems arise for HR managers.

Identifying Key HRM Issues

Maharjan (2018) has pointed out that companies benefit by adopting HRM initiatives. However, there are significant challenges which may arise for the HR managers to face in the performance of their duties. Capable HR managers face these challenges and succeed in preventing the organisation’s activities from being brought to a standstill. Although, what is first necessary is the identification of these challenges. These challenges may pertain to recruitment, retention, training, productivity, health and safety, workforce diversity, payroll, globalisation, discipline, technological advancements and adoption and information management among others. The complexity of world trade has increased with globalisation. Companies have to be well-prepared in advance to adapt to changes in foreign labour markets, government regulations, inflation rates and union pressures among other factors.

Berman, et al. (2019) have highlighted that HR managers may face issues regarding employees’ legal rights, especially during CoViD-19, when most of the companies the world over are downsizing so that they can accrue some profits; recruitment, position management, employee motivation, compensation, employee-friendly policies, training and development, appraisals, privacy issues, pre-employment investigations and discrimination among a host of other issues. Remote working is also an issue needed to be taken up by the HR department.

Moreover, there are HRM issues surrounding companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives (Turner, et al., 2019). CSR initiatives of the companies are viewed with suspicion and are controversial. CSL Limited (n.d.) has mentioned that its corporate responsibility is to conduct business with ethics, and to contribute to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of its associates and communities. Responsible behaviour is critical to sustain the company. The corporate responsibilities of the company are aligned with its business aims so that it is ensured that the CSRs complement the distinctive abilities of the company and profits its stakeholders. The company discloses its annual performance in a report as a part of its CSR. Innovation, safety and quality of products, appropriate conduct both in the workplace and the marketplace and targeted community contribution are the priority areas of the company.

Kiessling and Harvey (2014) have pointed out that with globalisation, the biggest of the global organisations are facing challenges of distribution and logistics. This is especially true today in the wake of the CoViD-19 pandemic, when distribution, transportation, procurement and all other logistical functions have become extremely difficult. CSL is no exception to this problem.

Shuck, et al. (2016) have identified in their research that both a company and its employees profit from the results related to the heightened experience of employees’ engagement. Organisations are distinctively placed to affect scenarios of power and privilege that eventually warrant the circumstances for engagement to prosper. The organisations which desire higher levels of engagement have a duty to get to grips with evidences of privilege like different states of authority, access, standing, trustworthiness and business as usual.

Long, et al. (2014) have highlighted the importance of HR managers and owners of businesses to play an important role in getting the better of the issue of the turnover intentions of employees in their organisations. Appropriate human resource activities and practices can change the negative results of excessive employee turnover on organisations. Some of these practices are compensations and benefits, managing employees’ performances, training and employee relationship management.

Hohenstein, et al. (2014) have discussed the need for the inclusion of HRM in supply chain management (SCM) in the wake of growing globalisation and an associated increasing requirement for accomplished supply chain managers. However, detailed analyses of HRM problems in SCM research have not been done yet.

Edgar, et al. (2015), in their research, have tried to correlate employees’ well-being and their performance. They have mentioned that this study has received limited attention of human resource management research scholars. There is small-scale consensus regarding which specific factor of wellbeing is the most important in ascertaining performance and next, concerns have been communicated regarding the soundness of the various methods adopted to asses performance. The performance of employees in CSL has increased after the lockdowns were dissolved and business started being carried out as usual.

In addition, HRM must also take care of the following factors. HRM must include and take care of occupational health and safety standards (OHS) to ensure that the employees get a safe and healthy environment to work in. The benefits of a safe and healthy working environment are improved personal safety, improved productivity and reduced rework. CSL Limited, itself being a healthcare provider organisation, takes due care of OHS standards in its offices. Industrial relations and negotiations, meaning employees and their unions, the associations of employers and governments, are bodies which make regulations regarding employment relationship. These regulations have changed significantly over the last two decades or so with globalisation, trade liberalisation and competitive pressures. Thus, a pluralist approach to industrial relations is taken in this organisation. Such measures assist in resolving internal disputes in the organisation. Employees can reach out to their seniors to have their grievances addressed and redressed. HRM functions include remunerations, benefits like childcare, healthcare, life insurance, gym membership, etc., and strategic remuneration. Airline transport, car parking, debt waivers, goods and services, home security services, living-away-from-home allowances, low interest loans, taxation advice, financial counselling and relocation expenses are namely some more benefits. Performance management, management of diversity and performance appraisal are some of the key functions in HRM. In Australia, diversity has been categorised into demographic, which is that of gender, ethnicity and age; psychological with aspects of values, beliefs and knowledge, and organisational, which encompasses occupation tenure and hierarchy. Big global companies’ or the multinationals’ HR departments, in addition to conducting HRM locally, have to conduct international HRM and manage international assignments. Last but not the least, human resource development is one of the most important functions within HRM. Training and development, organisational education, career planning and performance appraisal are all its parts. Therefore, it can be said that the domain of HRM includes almost all of the domains and activities within organisations. It thus becomes imperative for HR managers to be multitasking, versatile, experienced and industrious to manage so many things at one time.

The HRM model used in this report is the Harvard Framework for HRM. It comprises 6 components. First, stakeholder interests are considered (Digital HR Tech, n.d.). HRM policies are defined by these interests. Simultaneously, situational factors are taken into consideration. Both stakeholder interests and situational factors affect HRM policies. Well carried out HRM policies lead to constructive HRM results and outcomes. The outcomes have long-term consequences for the organisation, each individual within it and also for the society.

Conclusion on Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Limited Analysis

Business reports on contemporary news stories of organisations serve various purposes. It is a kind of a CSR of an organisation to let the people know what is going on, on the inside. It helps the top management and stakeholders keep track of developments within the organisation. The vendors and buyers of the organisation are able to develop trust on the organisation through these news stories. CSL Limited appointed Joy Linton as its new CFO amidst the ongoing CoViD-19 crisis. The company has been facing some HRM issues which comprise retaining talented and capable leadership, legal rights of employees who have been sacked or asked to put in their papers amidst the ongoing pandemic, remote working, recruitment, training and development, employee motivation, employee turnover, CSR initiatives, supply chain management and human resource development.

Recommendations on Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Limited Analysis

The recommendations for effective HRM at CSL are as follows.

  • Firstly, the basic safety and precaution for the travel of Ms. Linton should be ensured. Her travel bookings should be made with assurance that proper sanitisation facilities are in place wherever she travels and stops.
  • Performance appraisals, salary appraisals and promotions should be granted to talented employees and leaders within the organisation so that they remain motivated and so that CSL may be able to retain them.
  • The company should not be downsized hurriedly as it may hurt the sentiments of some hardworking employees who are asked to put in their papers. It should be kept in mind by the HR department that such employees or groups of employees may resort to litigation against the company as has been the case in the past.
  • The remote working conditions of employees should be gauged, proper online working training be given to them and their work hours should be fixed.
  • At this time of pandemic, when many people across the globe have gone out of work and lost their jobs, it would be a simpler task to recognise and recruit talented individuals from among the lot. The HR department as CSL should carefully go through the curriculum vitae of their applicants and try to spot the most industrious candidates out of them to consider for recruiting.
  • Regular training and development and employee motivation sessions should be conducted at the workplace and even for remote workers online so that they can feel relaxed, pumped up and motivated towards their work. This will also reduce employee turnover rates.
  • The company should not backtrack from initiating CSR activities because this is the most opportune time for the company to prove its mettle.
  • HRM should be made a part of SCM to strengthen the latter.
  • Human resource development activities like organisational education and career planning should be doubled. These activities also include action learning, competency-based learning, apprentice training, traineeships, supervisory and management training, corporate universities and diversity training.

References for Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Limited Analysis

Berman, E. M., Bowman, J. S., West, J. P., & Van Wart, M. R. (2019). Human resource management in public service: Paradoxes, processes, and problems. Los Angeles: CQ Press.

CSL Limited. (2020). Joy Linton named as Chief Financial Officer. Retrieved, October 6, 2020, from:

CSL Limited. (n.d.). Corporate responsibility. Retrieved, October 6, 2020, from:

CSL Limited. (n.d.). Our story. Retrieved, October 6, 2020, from:

CSL Limited. (n.d.). Providing a positive working environment. Retrieved, October 6, 2020, from:

Digital HR Tech. (n.d.). 5 human resources models every HR practitioner should know. [Online]. Available at:,model%20comprised%20of%20six%20components.&text=These%20include%20the%20core%20HR,effectiveness%2C%20commitment%2C%20and%20competence. [Accessed on October 8, 2020].

Edgar, F., Geare, A., Halhjem, M., Reese, K., & Thoresen, C. (2015). Well-being and performance: Measurement issues for HRM research. The International Journal of Human Resource Management26(15), 1983-1994. DOI:

Hohenstein, N. O., Feisel, E., & Hartmann, E. (2014). Human resource management issues in supply chain management research. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 44(6), 434-463. DOI:

Kiessling, T., & Harvey, M. (2014). Human resource management issues associated with the globalization of supply chain management and logistics. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 44(8/9). DOI:

Long, C. S., Ajagbe, M. A., & Kowang, T. O. (2014). Addressing the issues on employees’ turnover intention in the perspective of HRM practices in SME. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences129, 99-104. DOI:

Maharjan, P. (2018). Challenges and issues in human resource management. Retrieved, October 6, 2020, from:

Shuck, B., Collins, J. C., Rocco, T. S., & Diaz, R. (2016). Deconstructing the privilege and power of employee engagement: Issues of inequality for management and human resource development. Human Resource Development Review15(2), 208-229. DOI:

Siganto, T. & Swanston, T. (2019). James Cook University marine scientist Peter Ridd’s sacking ‘unlawful’, court rules. Retrieved, October 6, 2020, from:

Tobin, G. & McDonald, A. (2020). Coronavirus quarantine guards in Melbourne hotels were recruited via WhatsApp, then ‘told to bring their own masks’. Retrieved, October 6, 2020, from:

Turner, M. R., McIntosh, T., Reid, S. W., & Buckley, M. R. (2019). Corporate implementation of socially controversial CSR initiatives: Implications for human resource management. Human Resource Management Review29(1), 125-136. DOI:

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