WEDNESDAY: 1 September 2021.                                                                         Time Allowed: 3 hours.

Answer ALL questions. Marks allocated to each question are shown at the end of the question.



Dawa Limited is one of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers of human health products in Kenya and the East Africa region. It is envisaged that the company will become one of the leading global pharmaceutical manufacturers in the near future. To meet the market demand for various types of antibiotics in the region, Dawa Limited has been pursuing an aggressive growth strategy which has seen the company setting up a state-of-the-art antibiotics manufacturing facility.

Dawa Limited just like other international companies is operating in a very uncertain time.  Indeed, the acronym VUCA (volality, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) has been used to describe the kind of disruptive environment that managers and leaders have to contend with as they manage organisations.

The  volatile  environment poses a number of challenges to human resource managers operating in an international environment.  It is against this backdrop that critical human resource issues arise.  Top among them is the issue of sourcing manpower to serve the needs of the organisation into the future.  The sourcing must not only ensure diversity, but it should also consider localisation of such talent within sites hosting the business operations.

International companies are therefore supposed to ensure that communities that are hosting their operations offshore are included when sourcing talent, but again not at the expense of the requisite skills.  Having a perfect harmony is therefore a challenge for human resource managers.  Sourcing must also not only be transparent, but there must be meritocracy to ensure that the right skills and talents are recruited.   Attracting top talent therefore remains a key challenge for organisations especially with intense competition across sectors. Beyond tradition benefits and incentives, human resource managers are now being challenged to think outside the box into flexible schedules, stake options, profit sharing and ways of creating experiences for the workforce to stay committed and engaged.

As business leverage technology into their operations to build effective customer experience and robust systems, the challenge is the resultant effect of automation on human resource. Increasingly, technology and artificial intelligence are being used to undertake certain mechanical and repetitive tasks thus threatening certain jobs.

The key challenge for the human resource manager is the dilemma of whether to reduce the headcount with increased automation or to upskill their talent as they prepare them for the next higher level contribution and how to justify the decision not only to stakeholders, but to the society in view of increasing scrutiny and operational stakes.

Talking of reputation, the other challenge that human resource managers have to contend with is the increasing need to create an exciting work experience for their employees and equally executing its business as a good corporate citizen. The two are critical not only for effective recruitment of top talent, but also employee engagement for business results.

Making the workplace an experience enables organisations to entrench their business culture and values in the workforce and also leverage on the same to recruit and retain top talent. To this end, the emergence of a big global economy is increasingly becoming a new challenge for organisations and human resource managers who have to contend with the dichotomous situation of first having the work done rather than employing people versus employees who are seeking diverse skill sets and experiences.


1.      Explain the meaning of the term talent management.                                                                                             (2 marks)

2.     Examine four factors that the human resource manager at Dawa Limited should consider while planning for international talent management.                                                                                                                                   (8 marks)

3.       Discuss five effects of technology on human resource management at Dawa Limited.                               (10 marks)

4.       Examine five challenges that the human resource manager might face while resourcing internationally for Dawa Limited.                         (10 marks)

5.        Highlight five benefits of a diverse work force at Dawa Limited.                                                                                         (10 marks)

(Total: 40 marks)



1.       Discuss the relevance of knowledge management in organisations.                                                                                         (5 marks)

2.       Analyse five factors that affect organisational behaviour.                                                                                                        (5 marks)

3.       Explain five areas where strategic management decisions concerning employee relations are necessary.              (5 marks)

(Total: 15 marks)



1.        Explain five steps that might be used to manage under-performers in an organisation.                                              (5 marks)

2.       Differentiate between “intrinsic rewards” and “extrinsic rewards”.                                                                                    (4 marks)

3.        Discuss the “three legged stool” model for the organisation of the human resource function by Dave Utrich.       (6 marks)

(Total: 15 marks)



1.        Discuss three limitations of the “best practice” approaches to human resource management.               (6 marks)

2.       Assess four ways in which employers could maximise career development opportunities so that employees could attain their full potential.                                                                                                                                                                    (4 marks)

3.        Explain five differences between “traditional organisations” and “learning organisations”.             (5 marks)

(Total: 15 marks)



1.       Analyse five implications of the content theories of motivation.                                                                      (5 marks)

2.       Discuss five disadvantages of outsourcing the human resource functions in an organisation.                     (5 marks)

3.        With reference to dispute resolution:

Explain the term “conciliation”.                                                                                                                                    (2 marks)

Describe three characteristics of conciliation.                                                                                                               (3 marks)

(Total: 15 marks)

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