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Human Resources Management – Downsizing sample essay

I. Introduction

In this era of globalisation, where the competition in the market has become drastic, human capital is deemed to be the most important factor to the integration as well as strategy of enterprises among any other factors (Waddel, Cummings, & Worley, 2007). Since retaining and sustaining workforce is undeniably crucial to corporate integration, learning the trend and comprehending the will of employees is crucial to any enterprise’s survival. Taking scenario in Australia, the authors’ objective in this article is to emphasize the importance of older workers’ contributions to workplaces and employers are suggested unbiasedly re-adjusting their attitude and policies in order to effectively utilise the productivity of older workers.

II. Article Analysis

a. Researches Methodology

In this article, secondary researches e.g. surveys, researches from others’ studies… were used primarily. In terms of quantitative researches, the article mainly gathered data from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS); Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR); and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Its data validity can be strongly substantiated as both ABS and DEEWR are under the management of Australian government; and OECD is also a renowned international economic organisation which promotes economy and social well-being of people globally. Hence, its information validity is also confirmed. Noticeably, authors also use their past studies as references, for example, their paper: “Retaining and Sustaining the Competence of Older Workers: An Australian Perspective”, written in 2009. This raises the question about the credibility of such reference. Moreover, several references seem to be out-dated, for example, “Sociology” by Giddens in 1997, or the survey’s data of McIntosh’s paper in 2001.

b. Significance of the Findings

The findings in the article are relatively clear and straightforward, yet what they truly provide to readers are beyond mere facts. It is the broad knowledge that is provided allowing readers to come up with their own judgement about the issue. The article first presents the idea to readers that an increasing wave of older workers will be coming up in the future due to the shortage of young worker and the consequences of the financial crisis in the early 2008. It is true that because of such crisis, people’s superannuation is heavily affected and therefore even elders will very likely try to go back to the labour market and look for works (Bekaert & Hodrick, 2009). Nevertheless, what the authors aim to achieve is not only to present the trend to the readers, but to raise the employers’ awareness so that they do not look down to older workers as “last resorts” as they will very likely become a major workforce in the future.

The authors claimed that older workers undoubtedly will become crucial to the Australia economy in the near future. Yet there is proof presented in the article that indicates the existence of the negativity of employers’ attitude toward older workers. This claim is also valid as according to a HR report from Thompson Reuters, a research was conducted and realized that only 25% of the number of employers being asked tried to convince Baby Boomers to stay back when they resigned, compared to 40% for Generation X and Generation Y (HR Report, 2008). On the other hand, the article also provides to readers a completely opposite proof which shows that employers hold no grudge against older workers. Such claim is also substantiated by an article by Forbes, in which, a survey of 500 hiring managers was conducted and resulted that 60% of hiring managers would likely to hire older workers, compared to 20% of those would hire Millenials, who were born just before the millennium, from 1981 through 2000 (Adams, 2012).

III. Strength and Weakness/Limitation of the article

c. The strength of the article

Basically, the article targets readers who are working in Human Resources field. It has done its part by successfully conveying the idea to readers by using sets of well organised evidences and firm hypothesises. The article also proposed a rational strategy that, according to the authors, would not only help employers to not waste human capital, but also support the older employees’ employability by changing the attitude of employers in the workplace. The data and references used in the article were relevant to the discussed area. Each and every statement in the article is backed with credible sources; therefore it makes readers feel confident and safe when they acquire the knowledge from the article. On top of that, not only it provides evidences which support only its hypothesis, but also it provides evidences that are completely contradictory to its hypothesis, for example, the case in the study of McIntosh in 2001 where the attitude of employers toward older workers was not negative at all. This helps readers to have broader view and shows that the authors were unbiased when writing this article. d. Weakness and Limitation of the article

Since the article was taking the scenario happening in Australia, its world-wide applicability is questionable. Although the article also uses some foreign data, for example, McIntosh’s research which was conducted with the U.S’s labour forces, it is still very limited. As mentioned, authors also used their part studies as references; hence, this raises questions about such sources’ credibility. Furthermore, the year which the article was written was 2011, yet there are a few references that were written a long time ago, “Sociology” written by Giddens in 1997 is an example. This also raises the question about the sources’ up-to-date applicability. One of its strong points turns out to be its weakness. Each and every statement in the article is backed up with a study; therefore it somewhat gives readers a feeling that very few ideas in the article were original.

IV. Conclusion

According to (Waddel, Cummings, & Worley, 2007), in the process of globalisation, it requires enterprises to constantly adapt and develop in the way that would maximize their intrinsic value. The article has shown readers the proof that older workers is one promising and valuable source of high-quality workforce, yet evidences show that a lot of employers are still age-biased. On that ground, it is recommended that employers should not take this matter lightly anymore. Instead, they are suggested starting to change their attitude toward the older worker, re-adjust the workplace’s policies in order to maximize and sustain the productivity of older workers.

Based on the hypothesis and findings of the article above, linking to the case study “High Flyers”, even though Silvertail is trying to build a newer and younger image, it should not get rid of older cabin crew by persecuting and being harsh on them. Rather than that, Silvertail should approach more positively by looking at their actual performance, including their motivation, and then re-allocate the job for them so that the integration and strategy of the company would be aligned. According to (Adams, 2012), older workers are superior in many fields e.g. positive work ethic, problem solving, leadership, reliability, professionalism, etc… Rather than wasting a good source of human capital, using it wisely is always optimal.


(n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2012, from (n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2012, from Australian Bureau of Statistics: About Us. (2012, November 13). Retrieved December 14, 2012, from Australian Bureau of Statistics: Adams, S. (2012, September 9). Older Workers, There’s Hope: Study Finds Employers Like You Better Than Millennials. Retrieved December 13, 2012, from Forbes: Bekaert, G., & Hodrick, R. (2009). Internation Financial Management. Boston: Peason. HR Report. (2008, September 17). Employers ‘ignoring’ older workers. Retrieved December 15, 2012, from Thompson Reuters: Manpower Research and Statistics Department. (2007). A Statistical Profile of Older Workers. Singapore: Ministry of Manpower. Waddel, D., Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2007). Organisation Development and Change. Asia Pacific. (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia.

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