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How can a benefits needs assessment improve an organization’s ability to offer phased retirement and recruit and retain workers past traditional retirement age?
A company surveys its customers to determine their satisfaction levels with various operations in the organization. Findings show that there have been numerous delays in response to customer inquiries and that the delays were the result of reporting structures limiting communication to proper channels. Which type of organizational development approach should be evaluated to avoid future delays?
The HR director in a manufacturing organization is engaged in strategic planning. The CEO wants to analyze the competition, current safety legislation, supervisor strengths, and assembly-line operations. What type of analysis should the HR director recommend to the CEO to accomplish this?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 4 questions. A young learning and development specialist, having recently completed graduate training in adult education and training, is hired into an HR department that has a strong history of management and employee training programs. For now, the specialist’s assignment is to undertake scheduled revisions of specific elements in the L&D system. The programs have been well attended and received by the organization, so there has been little need to change the learning approach. The specialist soon realizes that, while the course content is well designed, built on sound practices, and engaging for participants, it offers little support or direction for transferring learning to the job environment. It is missing a major opportunity for improving job performance. She also notes a lack of competency-based learning that can be used by participants and their managers as performance standards to make it easier to implement and assess learning and performance levels. The specialist would like to propose changes, but she is new to the company and the HR function. Her colleagues are older than she is and much more experienced. They have created or directed the curriculum that she wants to change. She notices that they smile condescendingly when she speaks at department meetings about her ideas. They talk little to her and have been rather harsh in their reviews of her initial projects. It is difficult for her to argue for change using actual data because the evaluation tools the department uses focus primarily on Kirkpatrick’s levels 1 and 2. What would be the strongest argument for change that the specialist could make to her department head?
What would be the most persuasive approach that the L&D specialist could use to influence design changes with her new colleagues?
How could the specialist improve her relationship with her colleagues?
How should the specialist deal with the scarcity of company-specific data to support her beliefs that the L&D system could be improved?
After a merger, the new company leadership has decided a course shift is necessary. The vice president of HR is brought in to implement this change. What is the first thing the HR vice president should do?
What is the first step in developing strategies to retain talented employees?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 2 questions. A company has quickly experienced significant growth in business and, as a result, its employee numbers have expanded almost threefold, from 100 to nearly 300 employees. The senior leadership, including the HR director, have been in their roles with the company for a long time. With the significant expansion, the dynamics of the employee relationships within the company are on the cusp of change. The employees who have been with the company since it was smaller are quite proud of the tradition of a close-knit, cohesive group of colleagues. Many of these individuals are older than many of the new hires. The newly hired colleagues are not as personally close with each other but are good and effective employees and coworkers to each other. With the significant growth in business, the company’s employee value proposition (EVP) has been transitioning. How can the HR director enhance the EVP through the relationships between the newly hired employees and those with longer service to the company?
What are examples of how the company could more effectively and appropriately use technology advances as related to social media in shaping its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 6 questions. A company hired a new senior director of human resources three months ago. She was selected primarily due to her expertise and experience in mergers and acquisitions, as the company recently merged with one of its competitors. The director has been tasked to lead the integration activities from an HR perspective. The company operates in a very cost-focused environment, keeping its customers in the forefront of every decision they make. The merger has expanded the product offerings of the company to be able to better serve customers. As part of the outcome of due diligence, it was noted that while there are synergies from a product perspective, each organization has a significantly different approach to HR’s alignment to the organization. This was evidenced by reporting structures, policies, technology, span of control, level of involvement, and the number of HR employees. However, despite these and a number of other differences, the merger went ahead. The organizational structure of the merged organization has the CEO of the original company remaining in his position and the CEO of the competitor taking on the role of president, reporting to the CEO. The primary reason for these two senior leader roles is to retain important knowledge for the foreseeable future. Due to this merger, the company has doubled in size. The HR director’s background and experience with integration activities has her excited to jump right in and lead the HR integration team’s efforts. She recognized early on that, aside from needing to get the new organization established, HR service delivery is a critical deliverable due to increasing cost pressures, a larger global workforce, and increasing internal and external customer expectations. She has met with her new HR team as well as key business stakeholders and obtained valuable feedback and proposals. Given the organizational focus, how should the HR director proceed with the design of the new HR structure?
How should the HR director incorporate the lessons learned from her experience into the integration efforts at the company?
How should the director go about gaining support for the changes she wants to make to the HR structure?
How should the size and structure of the organization factor into the director’s decision in structuring the HR group?
How might the director demonstrate HR’s value in the integration activities?
How should the consultant respond when the HR manager and the CEO demand that he back one or the other?
How should the consultant respond to the HR manager’s offer regarding changes to the report?
How should the consultant’s manager respond to the CEO’s complaint that the consultant does not appear to be very experienced or to be doing his job effectively?
The consultant must begin preparing for a new engagement but still has some final paperwork to finish up on the current engagement and one or two outstanding tasks. How should the consultant manage the transition?
The consultant has begun working on the new engagement with a team of six other individuals. Based on research, he has developed a great idea of how to move forward with the client, but the team would rather stay with the original plan. How should the consultant proceed?
A not-for-profit organization conducts a SWOT analysis and determines that its limited global presence prevents it from delivering its message to those who could use its services. What type of SWOT information is this?
What constitutes a mitigating measure under the Americans with Disabilities Act?
Despite having a clear strategic plan, an organization is failing to meet its objectives. How could a balanced scorecard assessment help?
In a merger, one leader is known for breaking the rules to innovate and the other is known for maintaining strict control over decision making. What is the most likely outcome of this merger?
How could HR help the organization avoid the risk of employee lawsuits charging discriminatory application of discipline policies?
In terms of human capital management and workforce planning, what would an organization’s research and development (R&D) function be most interested in?
In what critical way has the expatriate experience changed in recent years?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 6 questions. An HR professional has been hired by a company as vice president of human resources to help navigate a recent merger with another company. Among other duties, the VP is tasked with deciding which employees must be laid off as a result of the merger. The founder of the company has given the VP a list of employees who are not to be laid off. The list includes the company’s chief operating officer, who has been a friend of the founder since childhood. As the HR VP reviews the employee information for the COO’s division, he discovers that the COO has experienced an extraordinarily high turnover of executive administrative assistants. The VP speaks with one of the former administrative assistants, who is still with the company in the human resources department, and he learns that the COO is, in the former administrative assistant’s words, a “cad.” She reports that the COO would regularly speak inappropriately to and around her. She tells the HR VP that the COO just liked “hitting on her, but he is harmless.” She goes on to say that the COO’s actions did make her uncomfortable. There is no documentation of any formal complaint of harassment or other inappropriate conduct related to the COO’s behavior. How should the HR VP respond to the information he has gathered from the former adminstrative assistant?
An investigation reveals that the COO has indeed engaged in misconduct. Which statement best describes how the HR VP should approach the company’s founder with his findings?
The company’s founder directs the HR VP to work with the COO to “rehabilitate” him, as the founder relies on the COO’s business acumen. The founder is adamant that he will not terminate the COO’s employment or otherwise discipline him. How should the HR VP respond?
During the investigation, the HR VP realizes that the company has not offered any training related to professionalism in the workplace, unlawful workplace harassment, and related topics. What should he do?
When the professionalism (including harassment) training is offered to employees, what should the role of the HR VP’s department be in such training?
In reviewing the company’s harassment prevention policy, the HR VP notes that the COO is identified as one of two leaders to whom complaints of harassment should be directed, with the founder being the other. What should the VP do?
In Belbin’s theory of leadership, team roles are defined by certain strengths. What else are they defined by?
A manager adjusts his or her leadership style to what is necessary for each employee depending on the employee’s level of job development and maturity. Which leadership theory is the manager following?
Due to changing customer needs, a company plans to cut 60% of its capacity and invest heavily in leading-edge technology. This will mean a major revamping of procedures, which will affect over 75% of employees. How can management improve acceptance of these changes?
HR is assisting in the development of a new security program for a company plant. What is the first step in providing the company with a cost-efficient, integrated system?
What type of learning activity would appeal to a kinesthetic learner?
What is the advantage of starting a greenfield operation?
A company’s leaders have prioritized their strategic decisions and have prepared their suppliers and third-party partners to speed up decision making. These leadership actions demonstrate an interest in making the company
A global furniture company varies its sofa fabrics and dimensions to fit local market tastes but uses standardized manufacturing methods. How would you describe this company’s strategy in terms of identity alignment and process alignment?
As a primary role in a tactical staffing plan, which activities are practically and concretely linked?
InLechmere, Inc. v. NLRB, what did the U.S. Supreme Court rule?
A computer maker’s competitive strategy has been to sell its products at bargain-basement prices. Lately, however, the company’s costs have been rising just as competitors have been dropping prices, erasing the company’s competitive advantage. Assuming that the company wishes to continue using its cost advantage strategies, what competitive strategy should it implement?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 5 questions. A high-tech U.S. employee from California is on the organization’s leadership fast track. He is in the final stages of consideration for a significant promotion that would involve a transfer to Hong Kong. This would be the employee’s first ever “expat” assignment. He has never lived or worked abroad, but he has successfully participated in several of the organization’s global leadership programs, including several extended international business trips. He has worked for the organization for almost four years and is married with three young children, ages 3, 8, and 11. The organization’s head of global mobility (GM) is the final due diligence assessor before finalizing any expat assignment. Creating the short list that is now in front of the GM head is a very careful process, fully prescribed in the several of the organization’s standard operating procedures. A few notable questions remain about the California employee: His mother-in-law is a widow, and she is seriously ill. The employee’s wife is her only child; The employee’s 11-year-old daughter is in a junior Olympic figure skating program; The employee’s wife also works in the high-tech sector and is unlikely to find a comparable job in Hong Kong. What would you recommend to better ensure the success of this assignment?
Assuming the global assignment takes place, how can the organization best keep the employee connected to his home during the assignment itself?
How should the GM head proceed to resolve the remaining concerns about this employee’s assignment?
In the absence of additional information and assuming that all final steps have been completed, what should the GM head’s final recommendation be?
What issue do you think presents the most serious challenge to this assignment’s success?
What strategic planning technique should be used before developing a middle-management recruitment strategy for a new overseas operation?
What is a key distinction in the ISO 31000 definition of risk compared to traditional perceptions of risk?
A female employee files a discrimination charge and is laid off a short time later due to a downturn in the organization’s business. What risk is the employer creating?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 6 questions. A global organization headquartered in the U.S. has grown organically over time, and the configuration of the South American business has been established country by country. Each country has been viewed as a discrete business entity. A strategic decision has been made to grow the South American business through acquisition, with a goal of increasing the size of the organizational footprint across the region. In preparation for the acquisition process, a review of all the country HR policies and practices, compensation and benefit programs, and approach to training and development is undertaken. In the course of the review HR identifies a significant disparity in the compensation structure for the CEO of the Brazilian business, who is the only female. The portfolio and bottom-line business responsibilities are similar country to country. Education and background of the five CEOs from the region are also very similar. There have been compensation adjustments along the way in acknowledgment of the growth of the business and to align with the markets in Brazil as well as in recognition of the female CEO’s performance. However, looking across the South American countries involved, HR clearly sees a disparity. Right now this CEO is part of the team looking at possible organizations to acquire and has high visibility across the region. HR recognizes that Brazil is one of the global economic focus areas and that this CEO is perceived by the global heads of the business as not only key to the acquisition strategy but to the ongoing success of the entire business. Given that one of the key areas in retention is a perception of equity and that compensation and benefits are at least at market, what would be the appropriate first step for HR toward a solution?
What would be the best approach to share the findings with the business leaders?
What should HR do if the South American business heads choose to defer any action on this situation and the pay disparity?
What would be the strongest business rationale for acting to correct disparities immediately?
What areas other than strategic compensation would be important considerations for HR in preparing for organizational growth?
HR may feel that they do not know what they need to know. What would be an appropriate methodology for HR to become more comfortable about what they need to know?
What is the most appropriate focus for HR in an organization that is stable and is focusing on processes that support continued success?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 5 questions. The chief human resources officer (CHRO) for a leading global supplier of technology solutions to the call center industry has been with the organization for three years, reports to the CEO, and is part of the senior leadership team. The board of directors has decided to end the employment contract with the CEO, citing frustration with the terms of the contract, and has asked the CHRO to lead the search for a replacement. An interim leader has also been announced; this individual has been in the role of chief operating officer for the last six months. The dismissed CEO had been in this role for close to 15 years. During that time the very likeable CEO tried to engage and interact with as many front-line employees as possible when visiting global locations. The CEO was often seen in employee break rooms talking with employees about upcoming holidays and family as well as organizational challenges. The interim CEO is quite the opposite—very shy and introverted but brilliant and innovative in creating strategy. Before the CEO’s sudden departure, HR had won the CEO’s agreement on an employee engagement strategy that included an employee survey component. The communication telling all employees about the survey and generating some excitement and encouragement to complete it had started two weeks before the CEO’s departure. Historically, the company has achieved an 80% response rate and a good balance of feedback. The interim CEO, aware of this survey and the survey statistics, has directed the CHRO to suspend the survey. The interim CEO expresses concern that the sudden change will skew the results and indicate a negative reaction to the new CEO leadership. Eventually the company hires someone from outside the company, a leader who has a reputation for disregarding employee issues and interests. What should the CHRO do first in response to the direction from the board?
How could the CHRO best help the interim CEO in taking on this new role?
How should the CHRO respond to the interim CEO’s direction to suspend the employee engagement survey?
The CHRO has noted growth in the interim CEO’s ability to interact with employees. Employees have expressed this reaction to HR. How should the CHRO share this information with the interim CEO?
Given that there have been two significant leadership changes in a short period of time, how should the CHRO respond?
What is the purpose of an organizational needs assessment?
A national chain of veterinary clinics has previously operated on a volume principle, seeing as many clients as possible each day and maximizing billable activities for each contact. It now believes its greatest opportunity for growth lies in creating “clients for life.” It will begin to offer a managed health-care plan for companion animals. While it will use advertising, it will rely heavily on point-of-contact sales efforts to clinic visitors. How will this shift in strategy affect HR?
An HR leader mentions an upcoming change in compensation strategy at a management retreat. The news quickly spreads, employees are alarmed, and productivity (and the reputation of HR) suffers. How could this have been avoided?
To develop its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, a global corporation is reviewing existing international principles and guidelines. They find that, while the OECD Guidelines and the Caux Principles are in general agreement on most issues, there are some significant differences. Which set of guidelines should the organization follow?
An organization is having trouble with the quality of its electronic products. The general impression is that a few common problems generate the majority of the quality deficiencies. What type of chart would help this organization identify the causes of its problems?
In a SWOT analysis, how would the geographic dispersion of learners in an organization be classified?
When is the best time to involve HR when a major change is being introduced into an organization?
What is an indirect cost of turnover when an accounting manager responsible for the direction and supervision of four accounting employees leaves the organization?
An HR manager is asked to participate in a job fair at a local college. How would participating create the most strategic value for the manager’s organization?
A sales prospecting seminar is presently being offered as a five-day course. You believe that it could be just as effective as a three-day course. How can you best prove to the organization that the training results will not be sacrificed by cutting the training time?
Which activities should be performed first in the process of merger and acquisitions?
How can a company determine if their engagement action plan for reducing accidents on the job is working?
HR works with a committee of managers to identify and assign points to pertinent compensable factors for various jobs. These points are totaled for each job to come up with an overall point value for each job. The relative worth of each job can then be compared to the others based on their point values. This is an example of what type of job evaluation?
An organization is facing extreme competition for skilled workers. An economic slowdown and the pressure to cut costs and increase productivity make the need to get the best people in the right jobs even more crucial. What branding technique would be the most effective?
Last year, a firm reorganized its sales team and introduced a new compensation plan. Since then, team performance has declined. The sales manager has asked HR to prepare a training program in aggressive sales techniques. Before constructing a training program, what issue should be explored first?
When implementing a merger and acquisition strategy, which of the following has the most impact on long-term success?
HR finds that a disproportionate number of the organization’s IT workers are nearing retirement age. What potential solution could HR implement that is most likely to be effective?
The workforce needs of a global advertising/digital media firm are heavily influenced by volatility in the size and number of the accounts it holds. What would be the best approach to managing this firm’s workforce needs?
What leadership theory is characterized by the belief that managers must use different leadership styles depending on the circumstances?
The training director for a company that wants to provide training for its 30 customer service representatives wants to undertake a needs analysis. Once the data has been gathered, the next step is to
Peter Senge’sThe Fifth Discipline discusses five disciplines that interface and support one another in order to create an environment where learning can occur. These disciplines are mental models, personal mastery, team learning, shared vision, and
What is a disadvantage of a “best of breed” solution over an integrated solution?
A German company has rules and policies that govern the behavior of its employees. It acquires a U.K. company that has few rules and policies and prides itself on a quick response to market opportunities. What is the most likely outcome of this acquisition?
What should be the focus of ethics training and education?
How does the organization’s value chain affect HR activity?
What does a high debt-to-asset ratio suggest about an organization’s financial performance?
The Center for Creative Leadership’s research concluded that the four major groups of experience that were most beneficial to leadership development were key jobs, important people, training, and
A company decides to implement a strategic planning process. In preparation for the strategic planning meeting, the senior vice president leading the strategic planning exercise asks HR to prepare a presentation on the increased use of technology and the associated benefits. How could HR maximize the value of this presentation to the strategic planning team?
Finance requests HR’s input on human capital costs in the upcoming budget period. What information would have the most direct impact on the budget?
At present, the attrition rate for women far exceeds that for men in management at a global nonprofit organization. A strategic initiative is to move more women into leadership development programs. What process could help mitigate the organizational exit of women and retain them for leadership positions?
A manager holds quarterly meetings with her production supervisors to get their input on tools and support needed to promote their employees’ success. This manager is demonstrating what type of leadership?
Is it ethical for a multinational firm to employ children aged 14 and over in its operations in a less developed country even though this practice would not be allowed in its home country?
What is most likely to be the case in a company with a polycentric approach to management?
A small organization does not have the time or personnel to administer benefits, payroll, or personnel records programs. Which flexible staffing alternative might be an option for them?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 6 questions. A nonprofit organization focuses on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The company has been in operation for nearly 30 years and is seen in the community as a founding leader in the environmental industry. They have been a driving force influencing governments and corporations’ approach to corporate social responsibility. Over the past few years, the industry has been changing, and this has affected the organization. Employees have historically enjoyed a long tenure with the company. However, highly talented people have left after only a few years. The downturn in the economy has also resulted in reduced funding, and recently new players have entered the field and are vying for the same financial resources. Employees are working longer hours to try to obtain more grants, but the competition for the awards is rigorous. Key areas on the most recent employee engagement survey have dropped significantly. The HR director has been reviewing information in addition to the annual engagement survey to identify any trends. He has reviewed exit interviews as well as stay interviews. An overwhelming trend is that employees are frustrated by all of the bureaucracy and red tape that is associated with applying for grants. It can take up to two months just to get permission to apply, and then there is a scramble to create an application that stands out from the rest. Five people who recently quit, all of whom had nearly ten years of service at the company, cited this sentiment. There have been signs that these people are actively trying to recruit (or “poach”) employees to their new organizations. There are also complaints of long working hours and working weekends because additional staff cannot be hired until grant funding is assured. Employees are also citing issues with compensation, which does not differentiate based on contribution level. Newer employees are identifying issues with their supervisors, who are too busy to provide guidance or advice. The feedback is not all negative. Many employees are quite pleased with the benefits that are offered, especially the ability to telecommute and working a flexible schedule for all employees regardless of position or years of service. Many other programs, policies, and activities are also well managed, including the internship program, the on-site gym, and educational reimbursement. The other area that employees identify as positive is the work they do to help the environment, which seems to sustain a significant number of employees. This work has been rewarded by recognition from other organizations. Recently a new challenge arose. A few years ago, one of the organization’s funding sources, a global chemical company, was in the news for releasing chemicals into the water supplies of developing countries. Funding the work of environmental nonprofits was meant to make amends for their past mistakes. Today, the nonprofit’s CEO was advised by the chemical company about pending revelations of further dumping. The chemical company will double the current level of funding if the nonprofit supports its message that the released chemicals are not harmful to the environment. The CEO is asking the director for a reaction. How should the HR director respond to the negative feedback from current and past employees?
How should the director build upon the organization’s strengths in employee engagement?
How can the director leverage employees’ commitment to their work and the recognition of that work by outside agencies on an external basis?
How should the director advise the CEO in the matter of the chemical company offer?
The employees learn of the proposition made by the chemical company and are communicating their displeasure, to HR, that the organization would even consider this request. They suggest that their hard work and dedication toward achieving the organization’s mission, vision, and values have all been for nothing. How should the HR director respond?
How should the HR director manage the threat of employee poaching by former employees?
In an effort to improve employee relations and increase worker participation, a company institutes an employee feedback committee. What committee practice would constitute a violation of the National Labor Relations Act?
A small publishing firm believes it is too small to benefit from strategic planning. What is the best short-term benefit of strategic planning that might influence it to begin the process?
Who developed the leadership theory that classifies leaders according to their concerns with people and production?
An organization’s minority employees are engaging in “covering” behaviors such as avoiding other members of their minority and dressing and behaving to “blend in.” What organizational approach to diversity and inclusion is a likely cause?
In which situation might it be better assume a “take it or leave it” tactic with a potential vendor instead of negotiating?
What is the compa-ratio for an employee who earns $10 an hour where the salary range is $8 to $12?
An organization has 50 employees, of which 10 have been full-time for over five years, 35 have been full-time for one to five years, and five have been full-time for less than six months. How many of the employees are eligible for leave under the FMLA?
An organization’s CFO tells the diversity council that supply chain relations have too large and direct an impact on the bottom line to make any diversity-based policy changes other than the minimum needed to ensure legal compliance. What legitimate and compelling business case can the diversity council make in favor of more aggressively aligning supply chain policies with the organization’s internal diversity and inclusion strategy?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 4 questions. A Germany-based multinational conglomerate has a U.S. entity with approximately 2,000 employees. The head of HR has asked the U.S. HR vice president to explore a new health-care program for U.S. employees. Corporate strategy calls for increased market competitiveness, while compliance, cost reduction, and streamlined ease of use are strategic HR goals set forth by the head of HR and the global senior leadership team for this new initiative. The U.S. HR VP schedules a call with the head of HR to review multiple options, including the use of a new alternative: a health insurance marketplace or health exchange. The VP provides the HR head with some basic information regarding private health insurance exchanges in the U.S., including: They are run by private-sector or nonprofit companies; Health plans and insurance carriers must meet certain criteria defined by the exchange management; Private exchanges combine technology and human advocacy and include online eligibility verification and mechanisms for allowing employers who connect their employees or retirees with exchanges to offer subsidies; They are designed to help consumers find plans personalized to their specific health conditions and budget; These exchanges work directly with insurance carriers, effectively acting as extensions of the carrier. Now that the head of HR is updated on the alternative approaches to health care for the U.S., he asks the U.S. HR VP to come up with a request for proposal (RFP). Once this process is completed, he asks that the VP present this information to the leadership team so they can make a selection about the options to provide coverage to their U.S. employees. How should the organizational strategy drive the U.S. HR VP’s approach to the RFP and his recommendations to the leadership team?
How should the HR VP incorporate strategic goals as part of the vendor selection process?
How should the VP evaluate the various proposals to determine the best fit for the organization?
How should the HR VP present the available options to the head of HR and the rest of the leadership team?
According to the conditions and limits of the Weingarten rights, what may the union representative do?
Which statement best describes how an organization can benefit from having a detailed demographic profile of its workforce?
During a benefit needs assessment, what would help to determine if the use of a given benefit has increased or decreased over time and, if it has, how quickly or slowly the increase or decrease has occurred?
At a quarterly meeting of function leaders, management tells sales that the organization’s cash flow is being hurt by delinquent or slow-paying accounts. How could HR best help sales address this?
What is the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement?
What type of interviewing is especially valuable for selecting international assignee?
A nonexempt employee is at the maximum level of a pay range. There are no job openings in the next pay range. What is the best way the organization can reward the employee for exceptional performance without adjusting the base wage rate?
What type of engagement may present risks to employees’ well-being and to the sustainability of their engagement and performance?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 3 questions. A web-based consumer-to-consumer company is pursuing an aggressive global growth strategy. Senior management wants to acquire a software company in another country so that it can create a new presence there and build its market share. The company to be acquired specializes in products related to the first company’s services. Acquisition negotiations are in the final stages when HR learns of the pending purchase. The VP of HR immediately writes a lengthy e-mail, pointing out that without HR’s involvement, the due diligence on the acquisition is not complete. The e-mail goes on to list potential risks associated with the acquisition from an HR standpoint and how HR could have helped in addressing those risks. The e-mail is not well received. Management believes that the issues are being raised too late in the process and are distracting the acquisition team from the critical financial priorities. Despite management’s negative response, did HR handle this situation in the most effective manner?
How could HR have avoided this late intervention?
In a discussion with management, which would have been the strongest example of HR’s possible contribution to this venture?
How are job specifications different from job competencies?
What characterizes an organization that is effective at strategic planning and management?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 4 questions. An innovative business model, a charismatic leader, a unique work environment, and sound HR practices have helped an airline gain market share rapidly at the expense of more traditional competitors. This has attracted investors willing to fund an aggressive plan to create a regional operation by aggressively acquiring small local airlines in neighboring countries. Whenever the airline enters a new market, the same business model and policies are implemented to replicate the “cool” factor. The VP HR has been with the company from its beginning and is an active member of its leadership team. He is an avid traveler and a big believer in the benefits of a diverse and multicultural workforce. That’s what won CEO support for developing the innovative people practices that now distinguish the airline. This is, however, the VP HR’s first experience with globalizing HR practices. An immediate conflict between headquarters and local policies emerges when a country HR manager raises the issue of discounted tickets for spouses in the total rewards package. In the headquarters country, marriage is defined as between “spouses of opposite gender,” but in some of the new countries of operation, same-sex marriage is legal. The VP HR is personally opposed to expanding the benefit globally to same-sex spouses and has not taken action after repeated requests. Frustrated, the country HR manager writes directly to the CEO about the issue, arguing that limiting this benefit may lead to legal challenges or employee relations issues that could damage the company’s reputation, the work climate, and the ability to attract talent in the future. The issue is complicated by the fact that the country HR manager is herself married to a partner of the same sex. The CEO is upset by the e-mail from the country HR manager and urges the VP HR to respond and quickly. What would be the best way for the VP HR to manage this?
How should the VP HR approach the country HR manager who went around him and wrote directly to the CEO?
What would be the best way to communicate the final policy on this matter?
Was it ethical for the country HR manager to become involved in this issue?
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has almost single-handedly standardized international sustainability reporting methods and measures. Two other factors have helped increase the release of annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) or sustainability reports. What are they?
An organization has decided on a strategy that adds workplaces in other countries and increases cross-border assignment. What should the HR director do first?
A soft drink company has bottling plants in Europe, Asia, and North America. Communication within each area is high, but there is less communication with headquarters. According to Perlmutter’s headquarters orientations, what term describes this company?
Which employer could legally administer a polygraph test to a prospective employee?
Refer to the following scenario for the next 3 questions. As part of a growth strategy, a global beverage manufacturer has acquired a major competitor. The new organization offers marketing advantages and opportunities, but the merged structure presents a certain amount of redundancies in the workforce. The leadership team has targeted a 15% reduction in workforce requirements. The news of the restructuring causes surprise and concern in the global workforce. A union represents employees of the acquired company in the Netherlands. Historically, the competitor and the union worked well together. The union has made employees aware of the redundancy provisions in the new collective agreement, but employees are not really sure what to expect. The company sends a proposed structure to the union for their feedback that highlights redundancies and changes to individual employee roles based on seniority. The union would like to participate in discussions at upcoming staff meetings. Intent on creating a more direct relationship with these new employees, the senior vice president (SVP) of HR declines to include the union in the meetings. In the period after the merger, the organization experiences significantly more disruption than anticipated in their European operations. Productivity is down by 10%, and there has been a spike in unplanned absences and sick time. The leadership team is concerned that this rate threatens the 18% profit margins they predicted. A global joint management-union committee is formed. It generates a comprehensive report with recommendations on how to enhance mutual respect and employee appreciation across the organization. How would you assess the SVP HR’s response to the union’s request to be involved in announcing reductions?
The leadership team is brainstorming ideas on ways to improve productivity and profit margins. What could the SVP HR suggest?
How should the SVP HR use the information identified by the global management-union committee?
HR has heard that a significant part of the workforce may resent levels of executive compensation reported recently in a business journal. How should they proceed?
HR is committed to maintaining the strength of a division that is being sold by reducing resignations by key talent as soon as the divestiture is announced. What could be done to engage the employees long-term?
A small family-owned grocery store analyzes internal and external factors affecting business and identifies that a recent decrease in sales can be attributed to a retail grocery chain that recently moved into the area. What type of strategic information is this considered?