I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Description of company in general terms and its business areas, key players and their roles, and relevant time frame of the case. ComInTec AG & Co (ComInTec) is a world leading industrial company with administration, sales offices and production plants in various regions in the world.1 The owner of the company, Peter Koenig, wants to have a new personnel selection system to be developed to fill 25 middle management positions in the Asian-Pacific (APAC) region2. He prefers to have a standardized personnel selection system which works everywhere (i.e. something that is ‘’applicable cross-nationally and cross-regionally’’ 3). This means that is should be specific in one country, but that it should also work in other countries. Mr. Koenig delegated this task to Thomas Koch; a German expatriate who works as a HR Director in the regional headquarters in Hong Kong.4 The project team Koch leads in Hong Kong is very diverse and is a cross-functional team with members from Germany and China. The key players
Owner of ComInTec
HR Director, expatriate, works in regional headquarters in Hong Kong. (German) Andreas Mueller
Economist with extensive experience in HR (German) Sarah Goldmann
Intern, completed four semesters of psychology (German) Dai Wei
Goldmann’s research HR assistant, Bachelor in HR management (Chinese) Sabine Weitmann
In-house psychologist (German)
HR employee. Studied at the Strategic Human Resource Management Institute in Hong Kong (MBA) (Chinese) Bettina Carter
Lawyer (German, lived in California for many years)
The team had been working on the development of this new personnel selection system for four months and had various meetings over that past weeks5. The case ‘’starts’’ at Monday morning at 8:30 AM6 and ‘’ends’’ on Friday afternoon in the same week. Most of the case describes the four hour meeting between Koch and his team members which started at 9:30 AM7 on Monday and ended around 1:30 PM8. The case ends with a brief description of what happens after the meeting - until Friday.9 The case shows the issues that arise when setting up a personnel selection system in an international context. Koch’s multi-functional and cross-cultural team faces other issues such as conflicts, interpersonal relationships, cultural differences and organizational culture. Furthermore, the case shows that there are various perspectives and attitudes among team members and management. Lastly, the case concerned with how to come to an agreement on the personnel selection system; what modules and stages to include, which methods and assessments to use and the implementation and adaptations across countries of the system10. Peter Koenig gave Thomas Koch a week to come up with a detailed plan; otherwise the project would be allocated to central headquarters.11
II. ANALYSIS QUESTIONS : Problem Identification, Alternatives, Recommandations & Implementation 1.
What strengths and what shortcomings do you see in the newly developed multinational personnel selection system? Strengths
The fact that the team was able to come to a conclusion of implementing a two-tiered system.12 The first tier consists of three modules. Firstly, viewing the candidates’ application documents. Second, conducting a telephone interview and thirdly, obtaining references from three former employees. The second tier is separated into four modules. A panel interview, biography-oriented, in-depth interview, simulated group exercise and testing respectively13. In my opinion a simulated group exercise is especially a strength, as it shows how an applicant works in team and how he or she socially interacts. This interpersonal as well the non-verbal behavior can be a good indicator about the effectiveness of his or her leadership/ managerial skills as well as the teamwork and planning competencies. Another strength is that they chose to use a ‘’six eye method’’, meaning that three people will...
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