MGMT E-4240 Fall 2010 Final Exam Due Monday, December 20, 2010 by 5:30 p.m. in your TA’s email in-box HARVARD UNIVERSITY EXTENSION SCHOOL MGMT E-4240 Human Resource Management Instructors: Bill Murphy Fall 2010 Dr. Michael Thomas Directions There are four (4) essay questions below. Answer any three (3) of them. Each answer is worth up to 33 points towards your final exam grade. Do not answer more than three because there will not be any extra credit granted for additional answers. Please remember the following while answering: 1. Read the question carefully. They have multiple parts. Be sure to answer all parts fully. 1. Keep answers brief and to the point. Answers must not exceed 750 words(approx. 3 double-spaced pages). 1. Please indicate clearly the number of the question you are answering – it is not necessary to re-type the question. 1. Start each answer on a new page. 1. Organize your answers carefully. Content is most important, but form, spelling, and grammar will be analyzed in grading your exams. 1. Avoid sweeping generalizations. Use logical argument and specific information about the strategic human resource practices you have learned in class in backing up an assertion. It is not necessary to define key terms and concepts, unless it is requested in the question. 1. SAVE ADDITIONAL COPIES OF YOUR WORK in case the submitted original gets lost or damaged. 1. Please put your name on the first page and at the top of each page, in the header, in case the pages get separated. 1. Exams will be returned through the Extension School. Exam Due: Monday, December 20th by 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Exams will only be accepted in your TA’s email in-box. Thank you for being part of our course this semester and best wishes in your future studies! Choose any three (3) of the four (4) essays below to write. Keep answers brief and to the point. Answers must not exceed 750 words (approx. 3 double-spaced pages each). Question 1 “Work is a very misunderstood, under-rated idea. In fact, human beings are prepared and can operate at levels far in excess of what they think they can do. If you let them think they’re tired and ought to go on vacation for two years or so, they will.” Don Burr, People Express “…we will orient you to who we are—our heart, our soul, our goals, our vision, our dreams—so you can join us, and not just work for us. You have a right to know who we are and what we think. You have a right to know our hopes, our dreams and our goals…We should have a great work environment, too….we need to create that by respecting each other. It’s not the fact that we’ll have conflict, it’s what we do with it. It’s not “them” and “they.” We all have the same dream of excellence; we all have the same goal: to be successful. Horst Schulze, Ritz Carlton “…Platt felt strongly that the HP way bestowed the company with a unique competitive advantage: highly competent employees who exhibited good teamwork and were committed to excellent performance. Lew Platt, Hewlett-Packard Leadership and vision are critical parts of the implementation of a strategically valuable human resources system, but they are only the first parts. To be lasting, vision must be institutionalized in programs, policies and procedures. Referring to each of the executives above, write an essay that compares and contrasts their visions for their companies, and name at least two human resources related programs, policies or procedures instituted in each company to support the vision. For each program, policy and procedure you discuss, tell us whether it was effective in carrying out the vision. Why or why not? Question 2 Throughout this semester, the lectures and discussions, the text, and the case studies have provided insights into the complexity and importance of the basic principles and techniques of human resource management for managers in all types of organizations. One of the key issues we have dealt with during the course is the development of human resource policies which can position the organization to be successful in the future. We examined several organizations, including People Express, Merck Sharp & Dohme Argentina, S.G. Cowen, Morgan Stanley, Ritz-Carlton, Mass General, and Hewlett-Packard, all of whom may be more or less ready to face future challenges (assume all companies are still in existence today). Prepare an essay which addresses the following questions: 1. Name 3 major challenges that organizations, in general, will face in the next 10 years that will have human resources implications. Articulate why you feel there will be HR implications. 2. Choose any 2 of the organizations we studied through the case studies and discuss how well you feel they are able to face the 3 challenges you outline. What are some examples of human resource policies and procedures that these organizations have instituted that will make them more or less adaptable to these challenges? 3. If you say they are not positioned to adapt to one or more of your challenges, suggest changes that would help position them better. Question 3 You are the head of HR at a 150 person organization that creates educational video toys for children in the 3 to 12 year old range. The company values education, fun, fair play, children, and providing top quality products for a reasonable cost. There are four major units in the organization: · Research and Development (responsible for the research and design of prototypes and for testing in pre-schools and elementary schools), · Technology (responsible for developing the electronic components of the toys and for the company’s systems such as payroll, inventory control, etc.), · Sales (responsible for the development and delivery of the sales strategy), and · Administration (responsible for the infrastructure including human resources, financial, and physical plant operations). 1. You sit on the senior management team. Develop both a vision statement and a values statement for the organization that can be used to attract and excite both staff and customers. Explain why you incorporated key ideas or phrases in your statement. 2. Describe your compensation philosophy for the four different units. Do you provide incentive compensation? If so, for whom? What measures do you put in place? Make sure the compensation philosophy fits with your vision statement. 3. Name 3 other human resources-related policies, procedures or programs that your company offers that support the vision and values of the organization. Explain why they exemplify what you think the organization should represent. Question 4 Start-Up, a computer software company in Massachusetts, is facing the reality of a competitive marketplace. To increase their bottom line, they will downsize from 1,000 to approximately 800 employees. There is neither a union nor a seniority system in place, although there is a thorough performance management process in which all staff participates annually. The President comes to you, the Director of Human Resources, to explain she feels there are too many senior workers who are highly paid and not as productive as some more recent, younger, recruits. She also worries that a number of longer service workers are poised to retire in the next year, taking years of knowledge with them. She’d like to create some openings so she could hire and train younger replacements. She suggests that the layoffs help her “fix” many of these issues. She wants to layoff 150 workers from the over-50 age group (approximately 400 staff are over 50), and the final 50 from the rest of the population. 1. Describe the legal concepts of systemic disparate treatment and disparate impact. 2. Determine which legal issue(s) applies in this situation and advise the President on how to handle this situation and why. 3. Recommend a layoff approach that is legally sound and would address her concerns. 4. Would your strategy be different if there is a union? If so, how?