People and Organization- Human Resources, Semco

Topics: Semco, Employment, Ricardo Semler Pages: 8 (2177 words) Published: June 27, 2009
Section one: Introduction to SEMCO

I don't want to know where Semco is headed. It doesn't unnerve me to see nothing on the company's horizon. I want Semco and its employees to ramble through their days, to use instinct, opportunity, and ingenuity to choose projects and ventures." - Ricardo Semler, CEO, Semco

Semco was established in 1953 by Austrian engineer Antonio Curt Semler. Company started with manufacturing of centrifuges for vegetable oil industry but soon owing to development in naval area it sown its seeds in manufacturing of variety of equipments like hydraulic & load pumps, axles,etc. In 1980’s when Ricardo Frank Semler, founder’s son took over, company explored various other segments & started manufacturing industrial refrigeration equipments, air-conditioners, food processors & mixers for chemical & mining industry.

In 1990’s company moved into innovative service area. ERM Brazil (Environmental consultancy), Cushman & Wakefield (real estate consultancy), Semco Johnson controls (facilities in industrial sector), are the classic examples of companies efforts to establish network across the globe. Year 2000 onwards Semco extended its arms into electrical and civil maintenance services by forming Semco Manutencao. It formed partnership with Pitney Bowes & marked its existence in postal and document management solutions. Semco venture also entered bio-energy market and formed BRENCO (Brazilian Renewable Energy Company) in 2006. (web1)

Purpose of Study

To study standard organizational design & structure, theoretical models of human resource planning in terms of recruitment, retention, success planning & to compare these aspects with similar models operational in Semco organization, to define the deviations & to critically evaluate the approach used by Semco.

Organizational Structure
Conventional v/s “Semco Way”

Every organization has its own structure & culture. Organizational structure is basically framework which can be defined and altered over a period of time while culture cannot be altered. It is very difficult to design or change culture within the organization. Structure and culture within organization goes hand in hand. It is essential for the organization designer to classify tasks based on mainly four concepts of Function, Territory, Product & Time-Period in order to get work done in organized manner. (Torrington, 1998)

“Organizations are as different and varied as the nations and the societies of the world. They have different cultures-sets of values & norms ad beliefs-reflected in different structures & systems and the cultures are affected by the events of the past and by the climate of the present, by the technology of the type of work, by their aims and the kind of people that work in them” (Handy 1993, p.180) best defines the organizational structure & culture co-relation. Three forms of conventional organizational structures are compared with the democratic form of Semco’s organizational structure.



1.This form emphasis central power.
2.Power is concentrated in hands of one person or a group called as ‘key entity’. 3.As the business expands this type of structure becomes unviable since too many peripheral decisions cannot be made without taking approval of the ‘key entity’, 4.This form is suitable for small and growing organizations as they owe their existence to expertise or initiative or just one or two members. 5.It is difficult if by any means ‘key entity’ leaves the organization. It would be difficult to maintain business in the event of new non potential ‘key entity’.


1.It is a unique kind of ‘open management model’ wherein power and rights are equally distributed amongst the group members from the respective departments, but care is taken to see that it’s not misused. 2.The hierarchical signs are removed, everyone is treated equal. 3.Peripheral decisions can be made by...

References: 1. Torrington & Hall (1998) Human Resource Management. Edition 4. Prentice hall, Europe
2. Slocum/Hellriegel (2007) Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior International student edition, USA.
3. Semler, Ricardo (1993). Maverick! Century random house UK.
4. Semler, Ricardo (2003). The Seven Day Weekend. UK Century.
5. Hackman, J.R, & Oldham, G.R (1980). Work Redesign. Reading, MA: Addison-wesley publishing company Inc.
6. web1:
7. web2:
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