Case Study - the Australian Cladding Company

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Human Resource Management

Case Study:
The Australian Cladding Company

Question 1:
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What are the immediate and underlying problems facing ACC?

Introduction

In the case study, Jim Hackett (Jim) started the Australia Cladding Company (ACC) as the Managing Director in the year 1998, where new light weight and low cost house cladding product was created. From there, ACC grew rapidly and also supplied its products to other states and internationally. The products from ACC have gained popularity in major building projects, home buildings and extension work. ACC supplies and install the products to large building projects in Western Australia which had gained positive comeback in the construction industry. Jim had chosen the management team from his mates from the building industry whom they are Ben Harper (Engineering and Design), Reg Grundy (Marketing and Sales), Arthur Seymour (Financial Controller), Ted Clark (Production Manager) and Jill Hackett (Jill) who is Jim’s wife (Personnel – Wages and Salary or Personnel Admin). As the business is good in ACC, they have rapidly grown and employed more staffs. However, even though the sales are increasing, but the profit earning is decreasing. Problems were identified, where it is related to the human resource management (HRM) planning, and a consultant, Terry Wild (Terry), was employed. Nevertheless, these problems and solutions related to HRM will be further discussed in this paper.

Kramar et al. (2011) states that, HRM relates to “policies, practices and systems that influence employees’ behaviour, attitudes and performance”. Therefore, HRM in an organization plays an important role in justifying what are the best activities to be done in the organization to ensure constant strategic competitive advantage in the business industry. In every business, there will be problems and issues arise due to the management issues, employee issues and many more. In the case study, symptoms identified is very much related to the employees in ACC. As employees are valuable resources to the organization (Brundage & Koziel, 2010), which is also agreed and acknowledged by Meers (2007) that employees in the organization are indeed important to the organization, hence, this paper is to identify the immediate and underlying problems that ACC is facing in regard to HR issues. There are also limitations to this case study as it is based on limited number of articles and the data collected is from secondary resources. Furthermore, limitations on the problems identified in this paper are solely based on the case study given and it’s not identifying the problem where all companies are facing in the current society.

Immediate Problems (Symptoms) Identified in ACC

In the case study, there are a few immediate problems identified in ACC whereby there is an increase on workplace accidents. This can be seen from the case, and Sandra, who is one of the machine operators, had told Jim that the workers are not careful when they are working around the machine. Following on will be the high turnover rate on employees, whereby there are increasing numbers of skilled staffs, key engineers and an IT specialist who have left ACC. Next would be the problem where the employees are discontented within the workforce. This is due to the lack of professional development on the employees and they are unhappy about it. Moving on is that the female workers felt uncomfortable with the way some men spoke to them, which could lead to sexual harassment cases if it is not addressed properly. There is also inefficiency problem among the employees as the employees at times will hang around doing nothing, while at times, they will be stressed and working flat out. Moreover, there is an increase in labour costs and scrap and wastage cost in ACC which eventually decrease the profit earned by ACC despite of the sales which is in the rise. And lastly, there is...
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