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Human Resource Management Case Study Review



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                This is a case study that analyses the problems experienced by the Human Resource Manager of Columbus Engine Works and the possible remedies to the said problems


    The case study is of Columbus Engine Works (CEW) Company,  dealing with the assembling of midsize diesel engine for sale to truck manufactures. CEW Company has not been in operation for the last three years, the closure of the company was as part of the planning process for the new beginning by cutting some costs and then reorganizing itself. Before the closure CEW Company had approximately 2100 employees which were all laid off during the closing down.

                After the planning and reorganization the company decided to reopen its doors for operations yet with  new goal. The goal is to create a very flexible manufacturing system, which would be well efficient and appropriate to change from one engine configuration to the next while still delivering very high quality. This new company’s goal can only be achieved if it improves its plant processing which would include designing, building, and the opening of anew assembly process which would be characterized by a high degree of automation.

                To achieve all these Human Resource Manager of Columbus Engine Works is faced with the greatest challenge of recruiting well qualified and high talented Human resource which according to the new Mark should never be more than 1500 employees. The challenge first starts by the department developing a selection criterion which would first give preference to the former employees whom were members of the Diesel Workers Union. This would not be a difficult problem since former workers had had a taste of the former company and would be willing to be considered for the new selection, but getting the new employees would be the biggest task.

                The human resource manager must look for employees who are capable of combining both the two goals of strategic management and the corporate. These goals are to be the best diesel engine producer in the world and to be an industry leader in terms of research and development respectively. The employees must also be willing and capable of achieving the goals.

                The human resource manager as well has to consider a case of decentralizing and creating new human resource practices to be adopted by the both company’s research and development and midrange plant teams. This would be another problem since the company is developing and it might not bring some unity of purpose among the employees.

                Another oncoming problem are factors that are put into place that would enable the company to implement a Total Quality Management (TQM) strategy. This strategy which includes use of robotics and other automated systems; this has been proved by the installation of a highly automated engine painting process.  This automation may not be easily accepted by the employees. TQM also needs employees of the assembly team that are charged with tasks of streamlining their jobs and reducing the defects are used throughout the process, they are therefore expected to continue learning all jobs that associated with their department and to change with technology. Recruiting the correct employees who are willing to meet those demands is another problem.

                The instruction and issuance of the same dress code for all the employees-Khaki pants is a demoralizing factor for top management. This would have never been a good improvement considering the great innovations that have been made in the company. The dress code may communicate lack of staff motivation to well qualified job applicants.

                The company activities and employment roles needs staff members who have physical stamina, strength and agility. This is because the company activities involved being able to stand and move around for quite long time and demanding nature of the activities at the work place. The desired employees had to have excellent reading and comprehension skills and the ability to understand and interpret some mathematical and statistical concepts. The desired employee also had to have oral communication skills, presentation skills, analyzing skills and must have the ability to learn more. These skills and others as having team interest and dependability

                There are other problems that are dealing with actual recruitment and selection of employees that would be appropriate for the designation of jobs in the new industry.  The problems were the labor market attributes and had to be dealt before the actual recruitment. In the labor market there are little staff with the appropriate skills, both the graduates and the undergraduates are under backed and are not deemed fit for this kind of job designation therefore it would not be easy for the HRM of CEW to get appropriate labor. The other factor that would make it difficult is that since there are very few jobs the pay would be low, this result into the workers not committed to their works, hence low quality production.

    There are other companies in the same industry that would be willing to use the same labor and pay well, this would leave the HRM with a promise for good pay and get well qualified employees. Even if the company were to get a lot of applications then the selection of such candidates would be another expensive task.

                To get the correct employees for the company Human Resource Manager will have to device a good selection criterion and pay system. This would be capable of attracting and maintaining all the employees.

                 To achieve this company will have to organize a recruitment drive that would be organized in to stages. The first stage would be the statistical reasoning; this would be used to determine very able applicants. Those who proceed to the next stage would be introduced to a six stage test that  would be used to determine their ability to learn and acquire new skills- this would be necessary for the employees since CEW deals with new innovations. It would also be used to determine the capability to read a comprehension and mathematical reasoning.       This would be followed by the test of team discussion exercise whereby the company will have to tape and analyze later.

                For the solution of all these problems the following decisions were given inline with team work and achieving of both the corporate and the strategic goals. One it is said that work to be organized in the groups and these group members are to play a role in the selection, training, disciplining and providing performance feedback to other group members.

                Te same groups were also to be used to enforce very strong norms and behaviors among themselves, this would instill in them a strong sense of togetherness in them. It was also resolved that status distinction between the management and other employees be minimized to ensure that employees from different departments are also part of the company.

                For the CEW quality requirements to be realized there, need a well qualified staff which can only be attracted if the HRM is willing to hike the pay base slightly above the market to convince the talented to apply.


    The faxed book from pages 258-274

    Human Resource Management Case Study Review. (2016, Oct 13). Retrieved from

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