Case 2: the Hr Function of Harrison Brothers Corp.. Corp.

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The Human Resource Function of Harrison Brothers Corporation

1. How does McCain view her role as human resource manager?

Brenda McCain, Human Resource Manager at the Westpark store, views her position as the primary contact for all human resource related topics and issues. She has developed policies and procedures as a guideline for the hiring process and spends a lot of time managing the human resource staff. Brenda’s primary responsibilities are interviewing and hiring applicants, assisting the trainer with the new employee training classes, and administering the performance evaluation and career planning processes. She is also the sole person responsible for all disciplinary actions, which include gathering the initial complaint from the supervisor, conducting the investigation and administering the appropriate discipline.

2. What is Harrison Brothers’ business strategy?

The Harrison Brothers is a multi line traditional department store that is over 100 years old. Their existing business plan has been successful since 1898 and has allowed Harrison Brothers to become one of the largest privately owned retail chains in the U.S. Their staple products are been men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. However, the store has considered expanding new items, adding household furnishings recently. James Harrison, the current CEO has an MBA education and has realized that the company must reinvent itself. The same model that has worked for the past century has become outdated.

Mr. Harrison’s plan is to leverage the company’s buying expertise to provide exciting new brands with excellent sales support. Mr. Harrison has identified that giant discounters provide attractive lines to customers, and maintaining qualified sales personnel as key objectives in his transition plan. In order to compete in the modern age, Harrison Brothers will need to provide new exciting private brands from wall to wall, sold by highly capable sales personnel and a modern management information system and HR employee program.

3. What is the structure and staffing of the human resources department?

Currently Harrison Brothers is operating under the supervision of James Harrison, CEO. Mr. Harrison is thinking about the future for Harrison Brothers and would like to implement new ideas that will generate more revenue for the store. With that in mind, the store should have a great human resource department. He has hired a consultant to assess the functions of the department.

Brenda McCain currently manages the HR department and has done so for four years. When Brenda first joined the team there was many responsibilities that were being performed by the operations manager and one of the department heads. Since then she has reorganized responsibilities and spends much of her time managing the department, supervising employees and selecting new employees for sales and support jobs. Many of the employees at Harrison Brothers are part time, older or have multiple jobs in return creating high turnover for the store. Employees are hired based on motivation, personality and drive. Trainer, Joanne Flynn assures all employees are exposed to selling techniques and different ways of interacting with customers. Manager, Jennifer Daft stated that Brenda and the rest of her staff seem to have difficulties keeping up with day-to-day operations. Jennifer’s main concern with the HR department is the lack of interest to hire employees who know how to merchandise and sell the product offered. Operations manager, Pat Hartlake believes the human resource department is understaffed and overworked most of the time.

4. Analyze the data in Exhibit 1.4. What are its implications?
The data from exhibit 1.4 indicates that staffing is of equal importance to HR and store managers. Employee staffing must be distributed properly among different departments to optimize skills and efficient management. The reason for this is that an adequate number of...
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