Case Study Reviews

This paper will consist of three different case studies. Case study 1: Florida Company Fastens Its Sights on Global Growth will take you into the medical world of business. In this case study I will discuss the company’s employee selection in the hiring process, decide what strategies would keep the organization from downsizing, and evaluate the role that HR plays when maintaining healthy relationships.

In Case study 2: Nike: Hiring Gets Off On The Right Foot, I will take you into the retail world of athletic shoes. I will discuss the five steps involved in the hiring process for Nike, explain how Nike followed good HRM practices in the recruitment and hiring of employees, explain the purpose and value of testing potential candidates, and summarize if the hiring practices of Nike violate any EEO laws or industry standard employment practices.

Case Study 3: Pay Decisions At Performance Sports brings you into the equipment manufacturer environment. Here, I will examine factors to consider regarding different methods of structuring wages and compensations, analyze the rewards of a pay-for-performance compensation package for the new purchasing agent position versus a traditional hourly wage, examine issues regarding equal pay and discuss the personal benefits and steps involved in a high performance work system. I will then give a conclusion for all three case studies and provide you with a reference page to get more information.

Case Study 1
Robert Kilbey founded Professional Products Inc. in the early 1960s. Since founding Professional Products his son, Bryan Kilbey is expanding the company internationally. The expansion will include a new 100,000 sq. ft. building, and a new sales office for the European market. This job requires highly skilled workers so they will cross-train employees for other jobs if some of their jobs move to Mexico or other countries. They will benefit from keeping a level head when determining if they need more employees for this expansion. The company also wants to be able to fill orders in 4 ½ hours from order to shipping. They will master this by having new technology to use as streamline production. They have an upper hand because they make their own elastic, thread, and rubber. To avoid downsizing, the company plans to work shorter weeks if need be. They have never laid off employees which say a lot considering that the company doesn’t have much inventory. The reason for this is because doctors request specific equipment that they would like to work in a certain way. There are major costs that go into downsizing, like severance and rehiring costs, pension and benefits payout, etc. This may be the reason Professional Products don’t plan to downsize. When planning to go international, there are more costs involved that require great attention. The main focus will be on the research, strategies, and planning so that Professional Products achieves their goals. Professional Products faces economic, political, and cultural factors when doing business internationally. They need to consider their cost before acting on their plan. They also need to consider the beliefs and practices of other countries concerning expatriates. Some countries believe that you shouldn’t work on Sunday, or have a certain dress code that you have to adhere to. There is also a language barrier that needs to be accustomed to. Training is the main factor in working internationally, because you have to be willing to train employees of other countries and train expatriates to be bilingual. When changes come up, HR managers play a major role in maintaining healthy relationships with employees. HR managers need to be able to communicate effectively and be ready to provide a calm atmosphere for employees. The issues companies face are influenced by how they organize their international operations. They also need to be able to negotiate and work with employees when changes have to be made. Healthy company relationships will help companies achieve their goals faster and help them avoid losses in the company.

Case Study 2
Nike is the world’s largest shoe manufacturer which uses computer assisted interviewing. Nike utilizes structured and unstructured interviews. I believe this is what gives them an edge on hiring the best suitable candidate for the job. These interviews have their advantages and disadvantages. Nike uses a situational interview which helps them to see how applicants handle situations that may arrive on the job and non-directive interviews to get to meet the person behind the application and get a feel of the applicant. In the hiring process, Nike first has applicants to answer eight questions over the telephone. They weed out applicants who are not available or lack retail experience. After the telephone interview, the company provides potential candidates with a computer assisted interview which is done in batches. The importance of this interview is to identify candidates who have the experience needed for the job and show their love for sports. The computer assisted interview includes a video that shows three scenarios for helping a customer; the applicant must choose the best one. The interview is given every forty-five minutes to a group of applicants. The results from this interview are printed out so that interviewers can prepare for the face-to-face interview. Nike provides applicants with behavioral based interviews to see how they will react to certain situations. This shows the interviewer what type of person will be working for them. They don’t want a person that is a hot-head or causes problems which take away from production. The results can also hinder an applicant from getting a position for this company. After the computer assisted interview, applicants must fill out an application form online. Some applicants are given a short interview, while others are given a longer interview. In which, some applicants are hired the same day, where as others have to come back for a second interview. This is because the results of the computer assisted interview shows areas that need further evaluation and areas that indicate strengths. These practices raise a red flag when dealing with EEO. Some may say that these practices are unfair and unethical, but Nike has managed to save $2.4 million during a three year period by reducing their turnover drastically. They have benefited from these interviews by staffing up fast. The EEO ensures that work environments are free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. It provides employees with equal opportunities for jobs, training, and development. Nike, I feel, has been violating this law. They discriminate on applicants by showing favoritism and some form of discrimination. All of their applicants aren’t treated the same. My question is “Why do some get hired the same day while others have to have a second interview? They don’t even give you a chance to work for their company if you don’t have experience, which means that the opportunity is not equal. Some may argue that they are not in violation with EEO laws because they are not discriminating on race, gender, or personal liking and dislikes. This is true, but is it fair to hire only people that fit specific criteria? Nike hired a solutions provider to respond and track applicants. Each potential applicant is responded to with a letter. All applicants are responded to in a timely manner via email. This really helps Nike to stand out and shows good HRM practices.

Case Study 3
Performance Sports began February, 1998. Their marketing plan insisted fast delivery, problem-free customer service, and major discount pricing. The company’s eight customer service reps earn between $9.75 and $11.25 per hour. Their four shipping and receiving associates earn between $7.50 and $8.50 per hour. The company’s two clerical employees each earn $7.75 per hour. The assistant manager is paid $13.10 per hour and the general manager is paid $14.25 per hour. Performance Sports employs 16 people. If you take a close look at the wages for their employees you would probably be able to point out a company that does the same job with employees that make more money. The reason Performance Sports employees make these wages are because they are hourly-based as opposed to pay-for-performance. Two of the company’s CSR feel they aren’t making enough for the job that they do. They both bring in large amounts of sales revenue for the company and are not pleased with their wages. So, Perkins is looking into this matter and making it first priority. She is now moving toward expanding the mail-order catalog to include a complete line of tennis equipment. This will help her to better compete and bring in more sales revenue. Perkins is also looking to hire a purchasing agent to handle the complex duties of purchasing golf equipment. She wants a person that has five to eight years experience in purchasing sports equipment. The only problem she faces with this is that she does not know how much to pay this particular person in this position. She has to be sufficient in her pay structure so that it is fair and consistent. The company has to be intact with its competition package, so she needs to really look into pay-for-performance. Pay-for-performance is a program that offers rewards for meeting certain criteria and production levels. Many companies are now turning toward this program to motivate their employees to meet demands and goals of the company. In this type of program, employees pay is increased when a certain department or group meets the standards or level of production. This program encourages employees to work toward excellence and strive to meet goals. This program also helps employees to maintain a safe working environment and avoid mistakes like high volumes of scrap. Employees’ benefit the company by being team players, which helps the company, be on the same page. The pay increases are given out certain times of the year, so managers can better maintain their budgets. If the criteria are not met, the money goes back into the budget for the next pay increase. Hourly wages are set and raises are given when managers feel like giving them. You may start a job with minimum wage and have to wait 90 days before you see a raise. This really discourages employees because job requirements are constantly changing and the wage remains the same. Some hourly employees are not properly paid for the job that they do but the company reaps the benefits of the well-done job. When you have unhappy employees it will affect the performance of their work and eventually you take the risk of losses. You may lose money in the company or the reliable employee to your competition. There are internal and external factors that influence pay. They are the competition, work conditions, potential growth for the employee, and employee treatment. If the pay is right, the company would not have to worry about losing reliable, hardworking employees to their competition. The personal benefits in a high performance work system are that it increases the value by developing strategies to keep down costs, improve efficiency and provide more intriguing products for customers. High performance work systems bring employees talents together and utilize them in new projects with flexibility. It is less likely to be copied by competition, and gives you more flexibility and ease. The key component in organizing a high performance work system is communication. You have to be able to communicate with employees in order to become a group that is working toward the same goals. Everyone needs to be on the same page, in order to successfully complete the high performance work system. This can be a very difficult task when your employees feel like they are being underpaid and used up.

These case studies show different aspects of Human Resource Management and the importance of how to effectively strategize and plan goals for an organization. They also show the problems that can be faced and how to move forward in successfully bringing your company out of hardships. It is very important that you are on the same page as your employees so that the organization can grow. You have to be able to think clearly and adapt to change. The economy is constantly changing everyday so you want to be equipped and ready for anything that comes in your way. You have to keep your mind focused on bettering the organization as a whole. Human resource managers are responsible for their employees and for the organization. If you can’t run your organization properly, it will fail to your competition. Think about ways that you can bring about change and you may better yourself ethically in the process.

Bohlander, G., & Snell, S. (2007). Managing Human Resources (14th ed.). Manson, OH: South-Western
Fraser, M. (excerpt)“Defuniak Springs Company Fastens Its Sight on Growth” Northwest Florida(Fort Walton Beach) Daily News(via Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News), March 7, 2005