Best Practices For Managing IS&T Professionals

Best Practices For Managing IS&T Professionals

Michael L. Litano (Old Dominion University, USA), Debra A. Major (Old Dominion University, USA) and Valerie J. Morganson (University of West Florida, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch494
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Background

A capable and talented IT workforce is a strategic resource and competitive advantage for organizations. Prior to the popping of the IT bubble, the abundance of talented IT professionals permitted supervisors to focus on motivating extant staff. Since the industry has stabilized and skilled labor is in shorter supply, supervisors must focus on retention, a more longitudinal goal, in addition to maintaining production levels (Agarwal, Ferratt, & De, 2007; Ferratt, Prasad, & Enns, 2012). This chapter focuses on best practices for effectively managing the IT workforce.

Agarwal and Ferratt (2002a) and Major et al. (2007) have combined survey and interviewing methodologies to empirically derive taxonomies of best human resources management (HRM) and supervisory practices for IT (see Table 1). Although both taxonomies address the issue of effectively managing IS&T professionals, Agarwal and Ferratt approach the issue from a more global HRM systems perspective, while Major et al. focus on the practices of individual supervisors.

Table 1.
IS&T best practices taxonomies
Human Resource Practices
Agarwal & Ferratt (2002a)
Supervisory Practices
Major et al. (2007)
     • Performance Measurement
     • Compensation & Benefits Systems
     • Work Arrangements
     • Employability Training
     • Longer-Term Career Development
     • Opportunities for Advancement
     • Opportunities for Recognition
     • Quality of Leadership
     • Sense of Community
     • Lifestyle Accommodations
     • Organizational Stability & Employment Security
Task-Focused Practices
     • Boundary Spanning
     • Performance Management
     • Employee Involvement
     • Training & Development
Person-Focused Practices
     • Relationship Building
     • Mentoring
     • Stress Management
     • Work-Family Balance

Key Terms in this Chapter

Psychological Contract: The reciprocal exchange relationship that is perceived to exist between employees and their organizations.

Leader-Member Exchange: The unique reciprocal exchange relationship between the supervisor and each subordinate.

Boundary Spanning: Monitoring the organizational environment and crossing departmental functions to anticipate and to proactively seek out implications for one’s own department.

Performance Management: Applying techniques such as role clarification, goal setting, performance appraisal, and performance-related rewards in order to connect individual behavior and organizational strategies and goals.

Relationship Building: Developing a dynamic of reciprocity and trust between an employee and his or her (a) organization, (b) coworkers or (c) supervisor.

Embeddedness: Incorporating and establishing (a) the IT function across departments and (b) IT employees within the organization. For embeddedness to occur, IT departments and workers must participate in the organization, hold a network of partnerships (e.g., friendships and alliances), possess influence, and experience positive interactions within the organization.

Work-Life Balance: Achieving a suitable harmony between the frequently incompatible duties of work and home life that many workers face, particularly when working in jobs with irregular or long hours.

360-Degree Feedback: A procedure for providing performance review feedback from multiple sources with whom the focal employee works closely (e.g., subordinates, peers, supervisors, and customers) and self-assessment.

Training and Development: Providing opportunities for employees to acquire and to improve technical and interpersonal job-related skills and knowledge for personal growth and career advancement.

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