SUBJECT: Human Resource Management (re-exam)
Note:- 1) Kindly write case study number question number properly
2) Attached...
abroad but has frequently travelled to Latin America. Both he and his wife speak Spanish adequately.
Their two children, a...
Case – 2 “Who’s Side are you on, anyway?”
It was past 4 pm and Purushottam Kshirsagar was still at his shop floor office. ...
Case -3 A Worried CEO
Sudarshan, the Managing Director of M. Feeds, a Bangalore- based company, is a worried man. All his
...
Case – 4 A Case of Burnout
When Mahesh joined XYZ Bank (private sector) in 1985, he had one clear goal—to prove his mettle...
Case - 5
A Case of Misunderstood Message
Indane Biscuits is located in an industrial area. The biscuit factory employs lab...
Case - 5
A Case of Misunderstood Message
Indane Biscuits is located in an industrial area. The biscuit factory employs lab...
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Human resource management (2)

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  1. 1. SUBJECT: Human Resource Management (re-exam) Note:- 1) Kindly write case study number question number properly 2) Attached question papers with answer sheets _____________________________________________________________________________ Case – 1 he Office Equipment Company Office Equipment Company (OEC) must identify a manager to help set up and run a new manufacturing facility located in the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip. The position will have a minimum duration of three years. OEC manufactures office equipment such as photo copying machines, recording machines, mail scales, and paper shredders in eight different countries. OEC’s products are distributed and sold worldwide. Currently, OEC has no manufacturing facility in the Middle East but has been selling and servicing products in Israel since the early 1 970s. OEC sells its products in Israel through independent importers, but is now convinced that it needs to have a local manufacturing facility in order to take full advantage of the new, more peaceful situation in the region. Despite occasional turmoil that interrupts new moves towards peace, OEC’s sales in Israel have been improving, with increase in profitability. OEC has recently been contacted by distributors in Jordan and Egypt about possible sales of OEC products. Incentives for foreign direct investment in Gaza Strip could help OEC develop extensive operations in the region at considerably reduced cost. OEC hopes to begin constructing a factory in Gaza Strip within the next six months. This factory would import products and assemble them. The construction of the assembly plant would be supervised by an US technical team and a US expatriate would be assigned to direct the production. This expatriate manager would report directly to the headquarters of OEC at US. The option of filling the position of managing director with someone from outside the firm is alien to OEC’s policy. Otherwise the options are fairly open. OEC uses a combination of home-country, host- country, and third-country nationals in top positions in foreign countries. It is not uncommon for managers to rotate among foreign and domestic locations (in the US). In fact, it is increasingly evident that international experience is an important factor in deciding the persons who will be appointed to top corporate positions. The sales and service operations in Israel have been controlled through OEC’s European regional office located in Podernone, Italy. A committee at the European regional office has quickly narrowed its choice to the following five candidates. Tom Zimmerman Zimmerman joined the firm 30 years ago and is well-versed in all the technical aspects required for the job. Zimmerman is a specialist in start-up projects, and has supervised the construction of new manufacturing facilities in four countries. He has never been assigned to work abroad permanently. His assignments have usually been in developed countries and for periods of less than six months. He is considered to be extremely competent in the duties he has performed during the years, and will retire in about four-and-a-half years. Neither he nor his wife speaks any language other than English—their children have grown and are living in the US. Zimmerman is currently in charge of an operation about the size that the one in Gaza Strip will be after the factory begins operating. However, as that operation is being merged with another, this present position with become redundant. Brett Harrison At age forty, Brett has spent 15 years with QEC. He is considered highly competent and capable of moving into upper-level management within the next few years. He has never been based
  2. 2. abroad but has frequently travelled to Latin America. Both he and his wife speak Spanish adequately. Their two children, aged fourteen and fifteen, are just beginning to study Spanish. His wife is a professional as well, holding a responsible marketing position with a pharmaceutical comp any. Carolyn Moyer Carolyn joined OEC after getting her BS in engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from the prestigious Bond University in Australia. At the age of 37, she has already moved between staff and line positions of growing responsibility. For two years, she was the second-in- command of a manufacturing plant in Texas about the size of the new operation in Gaza Strip. Her performance in that post was considered excellent. Currently, she works as a member of a staff production planning team. When she joined QEC, she had indicated her eventual interest in international responsibilities because of a belief that it would help her advancement in career. She speaks French well and is not married. Francis Abhrams Francis is currently one of the assistant managing directors in a large Mexican operation, which produces for and sells to the Mexican market. He is a Jewish New Yorker who has worked for QEC in Mexico for five years. He holds an MBA from New York University and is considered to be one of the likely candidates to head a Guatemalan operation when the present managing director retires in four years. He is 35, married with four children (age’s two to seven). He speaks Hebrew adequately. His wife does not work outside the home and speaks only English. Leon Smith At 30, he is assistant to the managing director at the Athens manufacturing facility, a position he assumed when he joined OEC after completing his under-graduate studies in the US seven years ago. He is considered competent, especially in production operations, but lacks in managerial experience. He was successful in increasing QEC’s production output in Athens during his tenure in Athens. Leon travelled extensively in the Middle East. He went to the college with a number of students from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt. These individuals came from prominent political and business families in their countries, and Leon has visited them during his travels. He thus has the advantage of being reasonably well-connected with influential families in the region. He is not married. Questions:- 1. Whom should the committee choose for the assignment and why? 2. What problems might each individual encounter in the position? 3. How might QEC go about minimizing the problems that the chosen person would have in managing the Gaza Strip operations?
  3. 3. Case – 2 “Who’s Side are you on, anyway?” It was past 4 pm and Purushottam Kshirsagar was still at his shop floor office. The small but elegant office was a perk he was entitled to after he had been nominated to the board of Horizon Industries (P) Ltd., as workman-director six months ago. His shift generally ended at 3 pm and he would be home by late evening. But that day, he still had long hours ahead of him. Kshirsagar had been with Horizon for over twenty years. Starting off as a substitute mill-hand in the paint shop at one of the company’s manufacturing facilities, he had been made permanent on the job five years later. He had no formal education. He felt this was a handicap, but he made up for it with willingness to learn and a certain enthusiasm on the job. He was soon marked by the works manager as someone to watch out for. Simultaneously, Kshirsagar also came to the attention of the president of the Horizon Employees’ Union who drafted him into union activities. Even while he got promoted twice during the period to become the head color mixer last year, Kshirsagar had gradually moved up the union hierarchy and had been thrice elected secretary of the union. Labor- management relations at Horizon were not always cordial. This was largely because the company had not been recording a consistently good performance. There were frequent cuts in production every year because of go-slows and strikes by workmen—most of them related to wage hikes and bonus payments. With a view to ensuring a better understanding on the part of labor, the problems of company management, the Horizon board, led by chairman and managing director Avinash Chaturvedi, began to toy with the idea of taking on a workman on the board. What started off as a hesitant move snowballed, after a series of brainstorming sessions with executives and meetings with the union leaders, into a situation in which Kshirsagar found himself catapulted to the Horizon board as work an-director. It was an untested ground for the company. But the novelty of it all excited both the management and the labor force. The board members—all functional heads went out of their way to make Kshirsagar comfortable and the latter also responded quite well. He got used to the ambience of the boardroom and the sense of power it conveyed. Significantly, he was soon at home with the prospective of top management and began to see each issue from both sides. It was smooth going until the union presented a week before the monthly board meeting, its charter of demands, one of which was a 30 per cent across-the-board hike in wages. The matter was taken up at the board meeting as part of a special agenda. “Look at what your people are asking for,” said Chaturvedi, addressing Kshirsagar with a sarcasm that no one in the board missed. “You know the precarious finances of the company. How could you be a party to a demand that simply can’t be met? You better explain to them how ridiculous the demands are,” he said. “I don’t think they can all be dismissed as ridiculous,” said Kshirsagar. “And the board can surely consider the alternatives. We owe at least that much to the union.” But Chaturvedi adjourned the meeting in a huff, mentioning, once again to Kshirsagar that he should “advise the union properly”. When Kshirsagar told the executive committee members of the union that the board was simply not prepared to even consider the demands, he immediately sensed the hostility in the room. “You are a sell out,” one of them said. “Who do you really represent—us or them?” asked another. “Here comes the crunch,” thought Kshirsagar. And however hard he tried to explain, he felt he was talking to a wall. A victim of divided loyalties, he himself was unable to understand whose side he was on. Perhaps the best course would be to resign from the board. Perhaps he should resign both from the board and the union. Or may be resign from Horizon itself and seek a job elsewhere. But, he felt, sitting in his office a little later, “none of it could solve the problem.” Questions :- 1. What should he do?
  4. 4. Case -3 A Worried CEO Sudarshan, the Managing Director of M. Feeds, a Bangalore- based company, is a worried man. All his efforts to regain the lost market and to wipe out red in the company’s balance sheet have proved futile. Sitting alone in his chamber, lighting up cigarette after cigarette and sipping cups of coffee, Sudarshan started recollecting events of 1987 which wrecked the fortunes of a once successful company. Subbu and his team got defeated in the union election held in beginning of 1987. Rivals,Gowda and his team, got elected with comfortable majority. The winning team had a leaning towards CITU, which was known for its militancy. The attitudes and actions of Gowda and his team were not to the liking of the management, particularly Setty, the Factory Manager. The management was waiting for a way out to deal with the new team of unionists. Not reconciled to the loss of power, Subbu and his cronies started a cultural association with an apparent objective of promoting Kannada, the local language. Setty welcomed the formation of the association and, in fact, even encouraged its activities. The management too gave financial support to the cultural outfit. Emboldened by the encouragement given, Subbu and his team demanded that the management should negotiate with them about all matters relating to employee welfare. This proposal was not acceptable to the management which turned it down. But Setty began hobnobbing with Subbu often to the consternation of the leaders of the recognized union. One day Gowda and Subbu had a heated exchange of words which resulted in physical bout inside the plant. Sridhar, HRD Manager, placed the duo under suspension on grounds of indiscipline. Enquiry was conducted in which Subbu was acquitted. But Gowda refused to appear before the enquiry officer. Having been acquitted, Subbu demanded reinstatement, which the management readily agreed. Subbu, with triumph writ large on his face, came to factory but the team led by Gowda protested by calling a strike. Them management assured Gowda that he too would be reinstated provided he was acquitted by the enquiry officer. Gowda was in no mood to listen to the management nor was he prepared to face the enquiry. Subbu demanded reinstatement which Gowda protested. The stalemate continued and the strike lasted three months. Work resumed after prolonged talks. But the scars remained. Setty got a sack and Sridhar left and joined an Indo-French company. M. Feeds lost its customers and the efforts (setting up, for the first time, a marketing department) to regain their patronage did not succeed. The bottom line became red and it grew thicker as years went by. Questions:- 1. What should Sudarshan do?
  5. 5. Case – 4 A Case of Burnout When Mahesh joined XYZ Bank (private sector) in 1985, he had one clear goal—to prove his mettle. He did prove himself and has been promoted five times since his entry into the bank. Compared to others, his progress has been the fastest. Currently, his job demands that Mahesh should work 10 hours a day with practically no holidays. At least two day in a week, Mahesh is required to travel. Peers and subordinates at the bank have appreciation for Mahesh. They don’t grudge the ascension achieved by Mahesh, though there are some who wish they too had been promoted as welt. The post of General Manager fell vacant. One should work as GM for a couple of years if he were to climb up to the top of the ladder. Mahesh applied for the post along with others in the bank. The Chairman assured Mahesh that the post would be his. A sudden development took place which almost wrecked Mahesh’s chances. The bank has the practice of subjecting all its executives to medical check-up once in a year. The medical reports go straight to the Chairman who would initiate remedial where necessary. Though Mahesh was only 35, he too, was required to undergo the test. The Chairman of the bank received a copy of Mahesh’s physical examination results, along with a note from the doctor. The note explained that Mahesh was seriously overworked, and recommended that he be given an immediate four-week vacation. The doctor also recommended that Mahesh’s workload must be reduced and he must take to physical exercise every day. The note warned that if. Mahesh did not care for advice, he would be in for heart trouble in another six months. After reading the doctor’s note, the Chairman sat back in his chair, and started brooding over. Three issues were uppermost in his mind—(I) How would Mahesh take this news? (ii) How many others do have similar fitness problems? (iii) Since the environment in the bank helps create the problem, what could he do to alleviate it? The idea of holding a stress-management programme flashed in his mind and suddenly he instructed his secretary to set up a meeting with the doctor and some key staff members, at the earliest Questions :- 1. If the news is broken to Mahesh, how would he react? 2. If you were giving advice to the Chairman on this matter, what would you recommend?
  6. 6. Case - 5 A Case of Misunderstood Message Indane Biscuits is located in an industrial area. The biscuit factory employs labor on a daily basis. The management does not follow statutory regulations, and are able to get away with violations by keeping the concerned inspectors in good books. The factory has a designated room to which employees are periodically called either to hire or to fire. On the National Safety Day, the Industries Association, of which Indane Biscuits is a member, decided to celebrate collectively at a central place. Each of the members was given a specific task. The personnel Manager, lndane Biscuits, desired to consult his supervisors and to inform everybody through them about the safety day celebrations. He sent a memo requesting them to be present in the room meant for hiring and firing. As soon as the supervisors read the memo, they all got panicky thinking that now it was their turn to get fired. They started having ‘hush-hush’ consultations. The workers also learnt about it, and since they had a lot of scores to settle with the management they extended their sympathy and support to the supervisors. As a consequence, everybody struck work and the factory came to a grinding halt. In the meantime, the personnel manager was unaware of the developments and when he came to know of it he went immediately and tried to convince the supervisors about the purpose of inviting them and the reason why that particular room was chosen. To be fair to the Personnel Manager, he selected the room because no other room was available. But the supervisors and the workers were in no to listen. The Managing Director, who rushed to the factory on hearing about the strike, also couldn’t convince the workers. The matter was referred to the labor department. The enquiry that followed resulted in all irregularities of the factory getting exposed and imposition of heavy penalties. The Personnel Manager was sacked. The factory opened after prolonged negotiations and settlements. Questions:- 1. In the case of the lndane Biscuits, bring out the importance of ‘context’ and ‘credibility’ in communication. 2. List the direct and indirect causes for the escalation of tension at Indane Biscuits. 3. If you were the Personnel Manager what would you do?
  7. 7. Case - 5 A Case of Misunderstood Message Indane Biscuits is located in an industrial area. The biscuit factory employs labor on a daily basis. The management does not follow statutory regulations, and are able to get away with violations by keeping the concerned inspectors in good books. The factory has a designated room to which employees are periodically called either to hire or to fire. On the National Safety Day, the Industries Association, of which Indane Biscuits is a member, decided to celebrate collectively at a central place. Each of the members was given a specific task. The personnel Manager, lndane Biscuits, desired to consult his supervisors and to inform everybody through them about the safety day celebrations. He sent a memo requesting them to be present in the room meant for hiring and firing. As soon as the supervisors read the memo, they all got panicky thinking that now it was their turn to get fired. They started having ‘hush-hush’ consultations. The workers also learnt about it, and since they had a lot of scores to settle with the management they extended their sympathy and support to the supervisors. As a consequence, everybody struck work and the factory came to a grinding halt. In the meantime, the personnel manager was unaware of the developments and when he came to know of it he went immediately and tried to convince the supervisors about the purpose of inviting them and the reason why that particular room was chosen. To be fair to the Personnel Manager, he selected the room because no other room was available. But the supervisors and the workers were in no to listen. The Managing Director, who rushed to the factory on hearing about the strike, also couldn’t convince the workers. The matter was referred to the labor department. The enquiry that followed resulted in all irregularities of the factory getting exposed and imposition of heavy penalties. The Personnel Manager was sacked. The factory opened after prolonged negotiations and settlements. Questions:- 1. In the case of the lndane Biscuits, bring out the importance of ‘context’ and ‘credibility’ in communication. 2. List the direct and indirect causes for the escalation of tension at Indane Biscuits. 3. If you were the Personnel Manager what would you do?

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