Austen Pharmaceuticals: Human Resource Case Study

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Week Three

Discussion Question #1:

• Due Date: Day 3 [main forum]

• Post your response to the following: You are a division manager at Austen Pharmaceuticals. You directly supervise 50 employees, all of who are averages or above average employees. Many individuals on your team have been with the company for several years. Several recent hirers, mostly women and minority employees, were hired to remedy the lack of financial difficulties within the company; each division manager has received instructions to decrease their employee count by 15%.

Explain the process you would use to make this decision. How will you morally justify your decision?

If I was in this situation I believe that morally I would feel bad for having to do this. However, when you are employed by a company you have the moral obligations and responsibilities to follow your job descriptions and orders. I believe the process I would use to do this is the “process of elimination”, I would first conduct an employee evaluation, and reference check (such as go back into their personal employee files, and check for any unethical behaviors, or other issues while they have been employed by the company).

These issues could be, bad performance issues, not showing up for scheduled days to work, calling in too many times, not doing their jobs quickly or efficiently. Then once I completed the employee evaluations and history of their employment with the company, I would start by letting go of those who had the worst evaluation, and no shows, and work performance issues.

However, after doing a great deal of research on this subject, I found that many managers are not properly educated on how to deal with situations such as these. For instance, I found an article similar to the situation described above; it states that the key to this is strategic planning and also coaching sensitivity.

According to (Kinghoffer, 2009), “The key is strategic planning. Management must assess the needs of the organization as quickly as possible and create and implement a three-part plan designed to focus on an organization's most valuable asset: people. Employers should incorporate these three parts when designing its plan: (1) provide sensitivity coaching for staff executing the downsizing, (2) develop a well-structured transition program for employees leaving the organization, and (3) carry out an internal reassurance and motivation program for remaining employees. As an organization prepares to take action necessary to protect itself for the future, it is critical to send a positive and powerful message that the organization cares about its people. The plan must be designed to support the transition of released employees, to increase morale and productivity of remaining employees, and to protect the organization's reputation with its clients, industry and community.”

“Sensitivity coaching for management responsible for taking the necessary actions offers tools to balance the process of releasing valued employees with the reactions and emotions of all people involved, including the person executing the layoff, (Kinghoffer, 2009).”

This article also explains so great background on how to reassure the employees who remain, after the layoffs, that their jobs are safe and such. If you would like to read more about this please refer to the web site:


Kinghoffer, M. (2009, Febuary 17). There's a Better Way to Lay Off Employees. Retrieved November 17, 2009, from

Discussion Question #2:

• Due Date: Day 5 [main forum]

• Post your response to the following: In what way do the ethical responsibilities of managers differ from the ethical responsibilities of regular employees? What creates the difference? Is it possible to manage ethics?...
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