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IMT-62: Strategic HRD-MT1

IMT-62: Strategic HRD-MT1















Answer in 100-150 words:

a. Broadbanding

b. Countercyclical hiring

c. 360 degree feedback system

d. Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO)

e. Telecommuting

f. Apprenticeships

g. Career Plateau

h. Succession Planning

i. Inadequacies of traditional compensation systems

j. Open book management




Q1. Define Strategic Selection. Critically evaluate the various tools and techniques used in strategic selection?

Q2. "A committed workforce is worth its weight in gold." Elaborate upon this statement and describe ways as to how companies can keep their workers motivated and committed.

Q3. "Employees are a cost centre and the first target at times of cost reduction." This is an inefficient reality. Discuss ways as to how companies can avoid laying off employees even at times of economic distress.

Q4. "Today's world is changing rapidly and employers need to make sure that their employees are fully up-to-date." In light of the above statement, discuss the importance of training and development structures and what all a company can do to ensure that its employees stay updated.

Q5. "A dissatisfied employee or an employee leaving the organization is an investment gone waste."

Elaborate upon this statement.



Q1. "Even in today's commercialised world, money is not the only driver of employee performance." Examine this statement and determine the various ways in which an employee seeks job satisfaction and how best an employer can satisfy their employees.

Q2. "Discrimination is an abhorrent practice, still it continues unchecked." In light of this statement, describe the various ways a worker can be discriminated against.

Q3. "Human Resource planning is no longer an arcane science. It is a real and useful tool of Human Resource Management." Elaborate upon this statement and determine the benefits of Human Resource Planning and the ways in which the supply of human resources can be forecasted in an effective manner.

Q4. Why do most mergers and acquisitions disregard the human resource element?

5. Describe the purposes of a Union. How can a company operate on a non-union basis yet be able to effectively address the concerns of its employees and deal with efforts to unionize?





In the past, the decision criteria for mergers and acquisitions were typically based on considerations such as strategic fit of the merged organizations, financial criteria and operational criteria. Mergers and acquisitions were often conducted without much regard for the human resource issues that would be faced when the organizations were joined. As a result, several undesirable effects on the organization's human resources commonly occurred. Nonetheless competitive conditions favour mergers and acquisitions and remain a frequent occurrence. Examples of mergers among some of the largest companies include the following: Honeywell and

Allied Signal, British Petroleum and Amoco, Exxon and Mobil, Lockheed and Martin, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, America Online and Time Warner, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe, Daimler-Benz and Chrysler and Ford and Volvo.

Layoffs often accompany mergers or acquisitions, particularly if the two organizations are from the same industry. In addition to layoffs associated with redundancies, top managers of acquiring firms may terminate some competent employees because they do not fit with the new culture of the merged organizations or because their loyalty to the new management may be suspect. The desire for a good fit with the cultural objectives of the new organization and loyalty is understandable. However, the depletion of the stock of human resources deserves serious consideration, just as with physical resources. Unfortunately, the way mergers and acquisitions have been carried out has often conveyed a lack of concern for human resources. A sense of this disregard is revealed in the following observation:

"Post combination integration strategies vary from such 'love and marriage' tactics in truly collaborative mergers to much more hostile 'rape and pillage' strategies in raids and financial takeovers. Yet, as a cursory scan of virtually any newspaper or popular business magazine readily reveals, the simple fact is that the latter are much more common than the former."

The cumulative effects of these developments often cause employee morale and loyalty to decline, and feelings of betrayal may develop. Nonetheless, such adverse consequences are not inevitable. A few companies such as Cisco Systems, which has made over 50 acquisitions, are very adept in handling the human resources issues associated with these actions. An example of one of Cisco's practices is illustrative. At Cisco Systems, no one from an acquired firm is laid off without the personal approval of Cisco's CEO as well as the CEO of the firm that was acquired.


Q1. Illustrate some of the human resources issues that can arise as a result of a merger and acquisition exercise. (1)

Q2. What can an organization do to mitigate the impact of mergers and acquisitions on the human resources element? (1)

Q3. Out of the mergers listed above, using your own knowledge, determine which of these mergers have been successful or not and to what extent. (0.5)



Japanese companies in Britain and elsewhere have been practicing what has become known as lean production method (LPMs). These involve flexible working practices, team working, multi skilling, and operation of production on just in time principles.

In a study of the Nissan plant in Sunderland, it has been concluded, from an analysis of how LPMs work, that the relationship between the internal and external environment of the plant is crucial. The embedding of the corporate human resource, strategy in the plant depends upon this relationship and so does the success of the plant.

Nissan's operations are an excellent example of how an organization 'strategically' recruits and orients employees so that they match the 'Nissan Way'. Moreover, the collectivist, team working, company image is nurtured in the external community where the first phase of the strategy acquisition of employees actually commences.

Nissan's recruitment process has two distinct features that have significance for the success of the company. One is the concerned with the cogitative appropriateness of all employees. The second is to ensure that the appropriate psychological, ideological characteristics are identifiable and can be harnessed to the requirements of the organisation. In this manner, candidates unsuitable to the 'Nissan Way' can be eliminated. This latter aspect is explored in an interview, which focuses on attitudes to participation and dissent. The mix of questions is designed to define the kind of collectiveness that any future employee might espouse. Numerical, fluency and mechanical comprehension tests are also administered. There is a probationary period of three months and about 9 percent turnover in this period. This is costly first phase and it has to be judged against the benefits that accrue from successful completion of the second stage which consists of a sustained process of individual and social induction in to the 'Nissan Way'.

The recruitment process actually commences in the community environment of the organization, where it engages in external cultural activities which project an image of the company, which reinforces its culture, eg; its commitment to team working. The continued success of Nissan indicates that it has, undoubtedly created a 'wining' HRM strategy.



Q1. "Hiring the "right" employee(s) costs a lot of time and effort." Do you think it is worth the effort? (1)

Q2. What are the key elements of Nissan's culture and operations strategy? (1)

Q3. Using your own knowledge, determine how Nissan was able to succeed in the highly unionized auto industry in Britain? (0.5)

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