Q1. Discuss the relationship between corporate human resources structure andoperations at the plant level. What impact, if any, did that relationship have on thesituation described by Newcombe? Answer:
After investigation of Mount Ridge Engineering¶s corporate human resource structure and plant operation procedures, in my opinion currently the relationships between humanresource policies and actual plant operations are very weak. Although we can say that thehuman resource department has established a fairly complete set of procedures and policies,the actual implementation of the policies at plant level operations do not seem to be thoroughenough, no employee implement those rules. Especially, the staffing function is very weak.There is no proper linkage between corporate HR structure and operations at the plant level.In other word there is no chain of command kind of linkage between them. It seems thatoperations office can do the HR functions by themselves like hire and fire which is in factcorporate HR department¶s sole function. Even in the termination form there is onlyEmployee¶s signature and Plant supervisor¶s signature i.e. no control of the corporate HR department at all. The leave reason seems to be written by the supervisor not the employee,this is not logical. In fact, forcing a person for signing on the blank form of termination noticeis completely illegal and against labor act (if the allegation of Johnson is true). This maycreate a big legal problem in future.Here are the examples which show the fuzzy relationship between corporate human resourcestructure and operations at the plant level:1.
What Johnson had done was out of his job description or employee handbook:Johnson would like to have a promotion due to know a good deal about the equipmentoperator¶s job. But seems the standard promotion channel was not set up or Braxtondidn¶t follow the system when doing evaluation. Hence Johnson did a lots but stillcouldn¶t get the promotion from Braxton.2.
Johnson didn¶t follow personnel regulations when he¶s absent: As Johnson was notsatisfied with the annual evaluation, hence, he was absent without notifying his boss.3.
Braxton took advantage of his authority to terminate Johnson. Because on thetermination letter his signature was enough to terminate him (while making Johnsonto sign on the blank form, as per allegation).There are several causes for this situation:1.
Rapid expansion preventing proper dissemination of human resource policies.2.Lack of comprehensive human resource training program.3.
Lack of proper human resource related internal controls.4.
Retention culture has not yet developed (to hire a new staff is more expensive than toretain the old staff).Due to the above fuzzy relationship between corporate HR structure and operations at plant ithas created a long term negative impact
on the whole organization itself. As described by Newcobe, one of their biggest problems has been getting management-especially plantmanagement to understand the legal and governmental regulations affecting HR procedures.
Over the years there have been situations where supervisors have not followed company policy.An example of this adverse impact is Johnson¶s case. Though Newcombe had alreadydeveloped many benefit packages of human resource as company policies at the beginning,seems nobody followed. Such as, Johnson didn¶t notify his supervisor when he¶s absent,Braxton added the incorrect reason through the termination form for Johnson¶s leave, and the job Johnson did was out of employee handbook. O
ne of the important goals of the company is to remain nonunion. But if the situation getmore bad shape there may be chance of discrimination, deprivation and finally the companycan get unionized. If the situation gets continued, the company can even get warning or punishment from department of labor, which will adversely affect the competitive advantage.
Q2. How should Newcombe have handled this...
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