Human Resource Management
Final Exam Semester 1, 2010-2011
Course responsible: Adel Golli
The final exam aims to know whether students understood the main concepts associated with the management of human resources and how they did use them andput them into practice to answer a business situation.
Section | Marks | Criteria |
Theoretical background | 10 | Identify key concepts and explain them. Try to analyze the linkage between concepts. |
Issues raised in the case study | 10 | What are the problems raised and to what extend are they linked to theory. How are you presenting your ideas and linking them?. |
Solutions,practical perspective and implementation | 20 | What are your practical recommendations and the expected results. How you put into practice your ideas, how you identify key implementation steps and include other stakeholders when assessing the situation. |
Strategic approach | 10 | What are the strategic consequences of your solutions and the way you assess them in a wide perspective (including otherstakeholders). |
Exercise 1: read the text and then answer the questions below (20 points)
Anglian Water is geographically the largest of the ten regional water companies in the UK, delivering clean drinking water and removing sewage and waste-water from the homes and premises of some 5 million customers. Throughout the 1980s there were growing concerns over the standards and level of servicedelivery afforded by public sector organisations, and in line with the then government ideology and policy Anglian Water was privatised in 1989. Following privatisation, the company introduced a major reorganisation of its business, involving a rationalisation of existing structures and a diversification into new markets - many of them overseas operations. Between 1993 and 1995 the company reducedmanagement layers from eleven to five, and 33% of white-collar jobs were eliminated, bringing a saving of £40 million. However, senior management were conscious that if the organisation was to transform itself into a successful, high-performing international company, a fundamental realignment of its existing culture was required.
Prior to privatisation, the company's culture could be described as`militaristic' - and with some justification. The risks were high. Any mistake in delivering water to customers could prove disastrous, and the company abided by the principle that `contaminated water cannot be recalled'. The management solution was to introduce strict rules and procedures that were to be followed to the letter and obeyed without question. Any diversion from routine procedureswas alien to an organisation where small risks or mistakes could rapidly and seriously jeopardise health and safety. The result was a culture in which playing by the rules, obeying orders, the acceptance and non-questioning of procedures was (and in the eyes of many had to be) the norm.
Senior management were under no illusions: the company's future success and survival in an increasinglycompetitive and aggressive marketplace depended on replacing the company's command-and-control culture with a more outward-looking, entrepreneurial, customer-focused, innovative approach to doing business. But how could this be achieved?
Philosophically, the company's approach was rooted in the need to reorientate and prepare its employees for continuing and radical change, and to do this meant creating amore flexible, empowering, learning culture. The need to move in this direction was highlighted by a series of employee attitude surveys carried out after the restructuring of the early 1990s. Among other things, the surveys highlighted a discontent with the existing management style and communication policies. This led the senior management of Anglian Water into a considered debate about the...