1) What is Sonoco’s source for competitive advantage and how is it supported / constrained by human resource for management? * Sonoco as typically for company whose competitive strategies are predicated on long-term relations with employees, requiring that the workforce be perceived as an investment or asset to be nurtured and protected for the long haul, rather than an expense item to be pruned whenever this is expedient in the short term. “It was not uncommon for employees to spend their entire career at the company. In early 2000, over 60% of the executive committee had been with the company at least 20 years. However, one of the downsides to a tightly knit culture was the internal reluctance to hold underperformers accountable. * To change its business model to enable new top-line growth and to reduce its overall cost structure to be competitive in the global marketplace. On the consumer packaging side, Sonoco had to rethink how it met the demands of a growing, convenience-obsessed society and how it would differentiate itself from its competitors. Controlling costs to support the shift in the business model. Cost cutting provided an ideal opportunity to rethink how parts of the company were structured, including HR. * By the late 1990s, in response to societal trends, Sonoco’s strategy was evolving from one that had traditionally been product driven to one that was more solutions oriented. Simultaneously, Sonoco was placing more attention on the needs and desires of the end consumer. 2) What were the objectives of change for Cindy Hartley? How successful were the HR changes at Sonoco? Was the sequence of change the right one? * The task being asked of Hartley was to devise a new HR organization that, in addition to costing less, would support three not entirely inclusive objectives: a) Create corporate-wide consistency on how HR systems and processes were implemented and used; b) Increase the level of accountability...
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