International HRM Case Study: Apple Inc.

Apple hrm case study: abstract.

International human resource management has become a necessary undertaking in many multinational corporations. Globalization, a major driver of international trade, is one of the factors behind this development. Success in international ventures is significantly driven by the input of expatriates or international assignees.

In this paper, some issues relating to these assignees were highlighted. They include such issues as the various aspects of pre-departure training, recruitment, and selection criteria. Staffing strategies were also reviewed in this study. The author of this paper proposed a system of measuring return on international assignments.

The topics mentioned above were analyzed in the context of Apple Inc., a top ranking multinational corporation. The success of this organization is one of the reasons why it was selected for this study.

Key words: International human resource management, international assignees, multinational corporations, Apple Inc.

Apple’s HRM

In the recent past, there has been an increase in the number of multinational corporations operating in the world. Such companies are heavily investing in the global market. A number of factors have influenced the growth of these organizations.

They include dynamics of international trade, amalgamation of the financial markets, and human migration. Other factors include speedy movement of capital as a result of globalization. All these factors have facilitated trade on the international arena.

Human resource management entails the activities carried out by organizations to effectively utilize their human resource. Consequently, effective human resource management at the global level is a major determinant of success in international trade.

Human resource development at the international level has largely focused on the formulation of effective and highly skilled workforce. By doing this, individual employees and the organization at large can realize their ultimate goals of serving customers.

Apple Inc. is a competitive global company in the communications and electronics industry. It is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of communications and media devices.

It is also involved in the manufacture and distribution of digital music players and portable computers. The company has operations in different parts of the world. It has an elaborate international human resource management system.

The current study addresses the element of international human resource management with regards to Apple Inc. Various aspects related to management of personnel in this organization are reviewed.

They include, among others, training of employees, deployment across the world, and return on investment. The author of this paper holds that effective management of human resource at Apple Inc. has contributed to the success of the organization.

Apple’s Experience in International HRM: Case Study

Components of pre-departure training.

Overview. According to Avril and Magnini (2007), pre-departure training provides expatriates with the knowledge and skills required to survive following their immediate arrival at the destined country of work. Essentially, employees going to work in another country require information on various aspects of the host nation before they leave home.

Some of the things they need to know include the culture and customs of the host country. They also need to be aware of the language and dress code appropriate to the new environment. In addition, international assignees need information on business etiquette in the new country (Avril & Magnini, 2007).

Information on verbal and non-verbal communication, taboos, rules, decision-making techniques, and business management structures should be provided to international employees during pre-departure training.

Culture and customs of the new country. Training on host country’s customs is essential in ensuring that the expatriates adapt to the local culture. It is noted that business operations would be negatively affected if the behavior patterns of the new employees conflict with the cultural expectations in the host country.

For instance, a US citizen working for Apple Inc. may be deployed to Saudi Arabia. Such an employee should be aware of how Saudi nationals regard alcohol. In addition, female employees would be expected to conform to the societal expectations with regards to their dress code.

Language. Language is an essential component of communication in international business. Expatriates and inpatriates require more than just basic knowledge on the host country’s language for effective execution of their assignments. In addition, they should be aware of non-verbal communication techniques. Such awareness would facilitate communication in foreign countries.

Business etiquette in the new environment. Business etiquette may vary between countries. In some parts of the world, governments regulate business policies. For instance, such elements as tax policies, power distance, and human resource management may differ from one country to the other (Katz & Seifer, 1996).

An expatriate manager at Apple Inc. would be required to understand the variation of such policies. Failure to comply with the new rules and regulations would most likely jeopardize the operations of the corporation in the host market.

Business management structures and decision-making techniques. Different countries adopt different approaches in relation to business structures and decision-making techniques. For instance, decision making in high-power distance cultures differs with that in low-power distance communities.

As such, a manager working for Apple’s branch in Korea should be aware of the best approach to adopt in directing employees. The same applies to a German employee working in Africa, where decisions usually come from the top management.

Rationale for Utilizing the Pre-Departure Training Components

Managers are expected to effectively handle employees from different cultural backgrounds. The ability of such managers as far as the employees are concerned affects the profitability of the company. People from different countries express their nationality and dress codes differently.

The approach used by international assignees when dealing with certain problems may also differ. Such issues as the need to interpret actions and comments, predict behaviors, and resolve conflicts may arise. As a result, focusing on the various components of pre-departure training would harmonize Apple’s operations with the reality in the host country.

Performance Assessment among Expatriates

Introducing assessment. Assessing the performance of expatriates is a major element in international human resource management. The performance can be reviewed using a number of criteria. Such criteria include determining strategy implementation and attainment of competitive advantage.

According to Caligiuri (1997), there are three criteria commonly used in evaluating expatriates. They include completion of foreign assignments, performance on the foreign assignment, and cross-cultural adjustment. The criteria apply to all employees irrespective of the operations of a particular organization.

Completion of foreign assignments. It is an important behavioral measurement. It is used in reviewing the results of tasks assigned to foreign employees. Success under this criterion is determined by the ability of the employee to complete their assignment without seeking for transfer to another country (Caligiuri, 1997).

Premature termination translates to failure in relation to the performance of the expatriate. In most cases, premature termination occurs when the expatriate requests for transfer to home country before completion of the assignment. The assignee may also be requested to return home before they have completed their work.

Cross-cultural adjustment. Adjustment to foreign culture also determines the success of the assignee (Caligiuri, 1997). Inability to adjust to the host country means failure in the assignment. Successful adjustment indicates that the employee is psychologically comfortable working and living in the new country.

Adjusted assignees are comfortable with the local culture. On their part, maladjusted employees find it hard to survive in the new environment. The failed employees may prematurely terminate their assignments (Suutari & Brewster, 2000).

Performance on the foreign assignment. Multinational corporations expect their employees to adjust culturally and remain in their foreign posts. In addition, the expatriates are expected to successfully execute their assignments. According to Caligiuri (1997), a large number of maladjusted foreign employees fail to achieve the envisaged outcomes in their work.

There are various measures of performance with regards to foreign assignments. They include establishing working relationships with the locals. Others include transfer of information and the language and cultural proficiency of the foreign employee (Caligiuri, 1997). The measures are in relation to the benefits of expatriates to the multinational corporation.

Recruitment and Selection Strategy for Apple Inc.’s International Assignments

According to Suutari and Brewster (2000), international assignments entail three discrete phases. The first is the pre-assignment stage. It involves the selection and preparation of employees for deployment.

The second is the ‘actual’ assignment. It involves the ‘actual’ stay of the expatriate in the new country. The last is the post-assignment stage. It is also commonly known as repatriation.

Recruitment and selection of expatriates is a multifaceted process. It takes into account both personal characteristics and interpersonal skills. Caligiuri (1997) postulates that most international organizations use knowledge of company systems and technical competencies in the selection process.

The strategy is the most suitable recruitment and selection criteria for Apple Inc. It is noted that measuring relevant cross-cultural and interpersonal abilities is a difficult task for many organizations. In addition, most expatriate postings rely on personal recommendations.

Such recommendations are derived from either line managers or specialist personnel (Suutari & Brewster, 2000). As such, Apple should rely on the proposed recruitment and selection policy. The strategy would reduce chances of failure in the assigned job.

Staffing Alternatives for Foreign Operations

There are several approaches used in resolving the issue of human resource in relation to international assignments. The strategies include ethnocentric and polycentric staffing approaches. Others are regiocentric and geocentric staffing strategies (Dowling, Welch & Schuler, 2004).

The ethnocentric approach involves filling all the key positions in the organization with local experts. The polycentric approach, on the other hand, proposes the use of host country’s nationals in managing subsidiaries. However, in this approach, key positions in the corporation’s headquarters are held by nationals of the parent country (Dowling et al., 2004).

The regiocentric approach is a mixed staffing strategy. Here, executives are transferred between regions. Operations of the company are divided according to geographical regions.

Apple should adopt the geocentric policy to address its staffing needs. The approach disregards the nationality and location of the candidate. It is appropriate for Apple Inc. since the corporation has a vast international experience and a global structure that is well developed.

Importance of a High Quality Mentoring System for International Assignees

Mentorship refers to a form of developmental relationship. In this case, an experienced employed assists less experienced members of staff in performing their tasks. The mentors can function as guides in the exploration of career interests. They provide support to international assignees deployed by multinational organizations.

Mentoring systems for expatriates can be formal or informal. The former describes established procedures and specified targets. The latter, on the other hand, is initiated whenever the assignees seek advice from their superiors or from external professionals.

A high quality mentoring system is very important to any multinational organization. It determines the success or failure of foreign employees. In most cases, the programs provide the management with an opportunity to support the assignees.

The support is especially important during departure or repatriation phases of the assignment. As such, the programs are powerful means of strategically retaining valuable employees with international experience.

High quality mentoring programs also help the employees to adjust to their new environment. It improves their productivity and overall performance in their new posts.

In addition, the programs provide continuous communication on changes in the company and the state of affairs back at home. As a result, the expatriates can effectively cope with transfers, expatriation, and repatriation.

The current global economic meltdown has led to cost constraints in most organizations. As such, it is important for organizations to have the right people at the right place. High quality mentorship programs are very essential in the management of talent and employees.

To this end, Apple Inc. employees should always have a mentor irrespective of their position in the foreign country. The mentors should supervise the assignee with a view to support their development.

They should assist the new employee for a given period of time. Prior to the assignment, the employee must undergo an extensive pre-departure training. The training will help them settle down in the host country.

Measuring Return on Investment in International Assignments

Every business undertaking requires a mechanism to determine its subsequent return on investment. The same applies to international assignments in multinational organizations. The companies should analyze the profitability or importance of international assignments to the parent organization.

Studies conducted with the aim of measuring return on investment with regards to international human resource have focused on numerical results of foreign deployments. In most cases, the costs and returns associated with the investment are used to determine its profitability (Caligiuri, 1997).

To determine Apple Inc.’s return on investment, one should take into consideration a number of factors. The various aspects of international human resource management would help in assessing the profitability of foreign employees. The factors include identification of the assignment’s purposes, cross-cultural training costs (Dowling et al., 2004), and compensation.

In addition, performance management and repatriation outcomes should be factored in. Calculation of return on investment would eventually be ascertained by analyzing the financial and non-financial costs and benefits of the venture. The costs and benefits are then linked to the expenditure incurred with regards to the assignment.

Apple Human Resource Management: Conclusion

International human resource management differs with domestic management of employees in several ways. Managing employees at the international level is characterized by different labor markets, varying management practices, and dynamic labor laws. Economic and other cultural barriers make international management of human resource a complex affair.

Managing international employees may differ from one organization to the other. However, according to this author, the underlying principles are similar in all organizations. As a result, effective management of assignees and their related assignments is a major determinant of the success of these international ventures.

Avril, A., & Magnini, V. (2007). A holistic approach to expatriate successes. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 19 (1), 53-64.

Caligiuri, P. (1997). Assessing expatriate success: Beyond just “being there”. New Approaches to Employee Management, 4 (1), 117-140.

Dowling, P., Welch, D., & Schuler, R. (2004). International human resource management: Managing people in a multicultural context (4th ed.). Cincinnati, OH: Southwestern College Publishing.

Katz, J., & Seifer, D. (1996). It is a different world out there: Planning for expatriate success through selection, pre-departure training, and on-site socialization. Human Resource Planning, 19 (2), 32-47.

Suutari, V., & Brewster, C. (2000). Making their own way: International experience through self-initiated foreign assignments. Journal of World Business, 35 (4), 417-436.

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HRM Case Studies With Solutions

Let’s study Human Resource Management Case Studies with solutions. HRM Case studies play a vital role in management education especially in subjects like Human Resource Management (HRM), Personnel Management, PAAP and related subjects.

It gives a clear picture of the concepts when you practise them through case studies. Here we have given some live HRM case studies that are short, useful & interesting. This will allow you to think beyond the theoretical part and make you capable to apply the concepts in real-time situations.

Table of Contents

We are also providing solutions which are free of cost. We welcome your feedback about these HRM case studies.

Below are short and simple Case Studies on HRM with Solutions, Questions, and Answers.

HRM Case Study 1

Harsha and Franklin both of them are postgraduates in management under different streams from the same B-School. Both of them are close to each other from the college days itself and the same friendship is continuing in the organization too as they are placed in the same company, Hy-tech technology solutions. Harsha placed in the HR department as employee counsellor and Franklin in the finance department as a key finance executive. As per the grade is concerned both are at the same level but when responsibility is concerned Franklin is holding more responsibility being in core finance.

By nature, Harsha is friendly in nature and ready to help the needy. Franklin is silent in nature ready to help if approached personally and always a bit egoistic in nature. They have successfully completed 4 years in the organization. And management is very much satisfied with both of them as they are equally talented and constant performers.

Harsha felt that now a day’s Franklin is not like as he uses to be in the past. She noticed some behavioural changes with him. During general conversations, she feels that Franklin is taunting her that she is famous among the employees in the organization, on the other hand, he is not even recognized by fellow employees.

One morning Mr. Mehta General Manager Hy-tech technology solutions shocked while going through the mail received from Franklin about his resignation. Mr. Mehta called Harsha immediately and discussed the same as she is close to Franklin. By hearing the news Harsha got stunned and said that she does not know this before she also revealed here current experience with him. Mr. Mehta who does not want to lose both of them promised her that he will handle this and he won’t allow Franklin to resign.

In the afternoon Mr. Metha took Franklin to Canteen to make him comfortable after some general discussion he starts on the issue. Franklin, after some hesitation, opened his thinking in front of Mr. Mehta. The problem of Franklin is

1) when he comes alone to canteen the people from others don’t even recognize him but if he accompanied by Harsha he gets well treated by others.

2) one day Both of them entered the company together the security in the gate wished them but the next day when he came alone the same security did not do so.

3) Even in meetings held in the office, the points raised by Harsha will get more value so many times he keeps silent in the meeting.

It happens to Franklin that he has to face such degradation in each day of work which totally disturbs him. Franklin also questioned that ” Harsha and myself have the same qualification, from the same institute, passed out in the same year both with first class. We have the same number of experiences in this organization. Moreover, the responsibilities with me are more valuable than those of Harsha. After all these things if I am been ignored or unrecognized by the fellow employees my ego does not allow me to continue here”.

By listening to this statement Mr.Metha felt that it is not going to be very difficult to stop his resignation. Mr. Mehta explained Franklin the reasons for such partial behaviour of the employees. After listening to Mr. Mehta Franklin said sorry for his reaction and ready to take back his resignation. And he called Harsha and spoke with like before.

Questions for HRM Case Studies: Case Study 1

Find the reason that Mr. Mehta would have given to Franklin.

Solution for HRM Case Study 1

Mr. Mehta listening to this case understood the situation and realized the reason behind the partial response given by the employees towards Franklin and Harsha. As Franklin said both Harsha and Franklin are passed out from the same college in the same year. Both of them joined the company together both have the same experience. Even in performance-wise, both stands in the same level i.e. both are constant performers and good performers.

Franklin analyzed all the above-said similarities between him and Harsha. He also stated that he holds more responsibility than that of Harsha. One thing Franklin did not notice or analyzed is the job profile of Harsha. It is true that Franklin holds more responsibility than that of Harsha but when it comes to direct interaction with employees Harsha wins the employees’ attention in this aspect. Harsha being a counsellor in HR she faces the employees every day. She developed good rapport among the employees due to her friendly nature. She is always remembered by the employees whenever they face any problem as she gives good counselling and most of the time she suggests the best solutions for such issues.

Franklin though holding a key position in finance his profile does not allow him to interact with the employees. Though he has a helping tendency he does only when someone approached him personally. As the employees of other departments do not have any relation with him they never approach him for help. Mr. Mehta having a good experience understood these things when Franklin explained his problems one by one. Later he relates each situation, explained by Franklin with the above said reasons and made Franklin understood the reality.

Mr. Mehta said that the security in the gate or the employees in the canteen who recognized Harsha and not Franklin would have interacted with her during counselling or approached her for any issues. And as usual, she would have counselled well or solved the issues of them that is the reason why they treat her and wish her whenever where ever they meet her. When it comes to the case of Franklin they would have hardly met him or interacted with him.

When it comes to the point that even in-office meetings Harsha, points are valued so Franklin keeps mum. For this, Mr. Mehta replied that the points put forward by her would be related to employees or from the employees’ point of view which actually the management wants to know so they give value to her points. And as quoted Fraklin after, one or two such incidents keep silent in the meeting. He never made an attempt to raise some suggestions so management does not have any option to listen to that suggestion.

After listening to all the explanations given by Mr. Mehta Franklin realized his mistake and felt proud of the Rapport developed by Harsha among the employees. He said to Mr. Mehta that he will take back his resignation. And rushed to Harsha to make an apology and to meet her as a friend as like his college days.

HRM Case Studies Part 2:

HRM Case Study 2

Watson Public Ltd Company is well known for its welfare activities and employee-oriented schemes in the manufacturing industry for more than ten decades. The company employs more than 800 workers and 150 administrative staff and 80 management-level employees. The Top-level management views all the employees at the same level. This can be clearly understood by seeing the uniform of the company which is the Same for all starting from MD to floor level workers. The company has 2 different cafeterias at different places one near the plant for workers and others near the Administration building. Though the place is different the amenities, infrastructure and the food provided are of the same quality. In short, the company stands by the rule of Employee Equality.

The company has one registered trade union. The relationship between the union and the management is very cordial. The company has not lost a single man day due to strike. The company is not a paymaster in that industry. The compensation policy of that company, when compared to other similar companies, is very less still the employees don’t have many grievances due to the other benefits provided by the company. But the company is facing a countable number of problems in supplying the materials in the recent past days. Problems like quality issues, mismatch in packing materials (placing material A in the box of material B) incorrect labelling of material, not dispatching the material on time, etc…

The management views the case as there are loopholes in the system of various departments and hand over the responsibility to the HR department to solve the issue. When the HR manager goes through the issues he realized that the issues are not relating to the system but it relates to the employees. When investigated he come to know that the reason behind the casual approach by employees in work is

  • The company hired new employees for a higher-level post without considering the potential internal candidates.
  • The newly hired employees are placed with higher packages than that of existing employees in the same cadre.
  • Narrate the case with a suitable title for the case. Justify your title.

Solution for HRM Case Case Study 2

Employee Equality is not the need for every hour. In the above-said case, Watson Ltd had provided all facilities to employees at each grade in an equal manner. But still, the employees started creating certain issues like materials are meeting the quality supply schedule is not met etc. And the HR manager said that the policy of hiring new employees for the higher post without considering old potential employees is the major problem.

“Employee recognition VS Employee equality ”. As the HR manager states that employees are not been recognized for the potential rather the company has gone for new recruitment. Because of which the company faces problems.

  • The points rose by the HR manager as the reason for the latest issues in the organization is justifiable or not. Support your answer with Human resource related concepts.

Yes, the points raised by the HR manager is justifiable because “Human beings are social Animals as popularly” said by many Human resources Scholars. So human minds demand social recognition, self-respect, consideration, etc for their work and performance.

In the above-said case, even the company provides and stands by the concept of employee equality when it fails to recognize the potential talents of existing employee they felt dissatisfaction towards the organization and they showed in the way of quality issues and slow down production.

Related HR concept.

Slow down Production:

The concept of slow down production is a type of employee’s strike. The Industrial Relations sates that when the employee wants to show their dissatisfaction to the management but don’t want to go for strike they follow slow down strike. The impact of which will be understood after a particular time period.

Employee Recognition:

Human beings can be easily motivated by Rewards and recognition than that of money. In this case, also the employee is not satisfied even after all facilities just because of the reason that they are not recognized.

Hawthrone Experiment:

In the four types of test conducted by Elton Mayo, the remarkable hike in production is recognized in the stage when they consulted the employees for the management decisions regarding them. The same thing was missing in Watson Ltd. Before the new hires if the management consulted the employees both management and employees would have avoided this issue

Hygiene Factor:

The theory of hygiene factors states that there are certain factors related to employees the presence of which will not create a major impact but the absence of such things will lead to a de motivation to the employees. Employee Recognition is one such factor when the management fails to do so it will Detroit the employees to a great extent.

  • Help the organization to come out from this critical issue. If you are in the role of HR manager what will be your immediate step to solve this case.

If I was in the post of the HR manager I will try to discuss the issue and ask for the reason from the management for new recruiting rather than considering available potential talents. I will personally analyse the reasons provided by management and if acceptable I will discuss the same with the employees. Everything is possible with a discussion. So I will discuss and convince the employee that this won’t happen again in the organization. I will also initiate the collective bargaining process for reasonable salary hike for the existing employees.

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Human Resources Management Case Studies

A Guide to Human Resources Management Case Studies

Human Resource Management case studies provide valuable insights into the challenges faced by HR professionals in diverse workplaces. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore real-life examples of HRM in action, showcasing the strategies and solutions implemented to tackle various HR challenges.

Key Takeaways:

  • Human Resources Management Case Studies offer practical insights for HR professionals.
  • Real-life examples highlight strategies and solutions for overcoming HR challenges.
  • Case studies showcase the importance of effective HR strategies in organizational success.
  • Diverse scenarios demonstrate the application of HRM practices in different workplaces.
  • Continuous learning and adaptation are crucial for HR professionals to stay effective.

The Changing Landscape of HRM

In the rapidly evolving global business environment, Human Resources Management (HRM) is constantly adapting to new trends and challenges. From the emergence of emerging markets to the digitalization of workplaces, HR professionals have had to navigate through various obstacles to effectively manage their workforce. One of the most significant challenges in recent times has been the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has necessitated swift and innovative HR strategies.

To gain a deeper understanding of how organizations have successfully managed these changes and optimized their HR practices, we will delve into a range of case studies. These case studies provide valuable real-world examples that HR professionals can analyze and apply in their own organizations. By studying these HR case studies , professionals can learn from the experiences of others, gaining insights into successful strategies and approaches.

Utilizing HR case studies for analysis allows us to discover how organizations have leveraged HRM to overcome obstacles and adapt to new circumstances. These real-life examples showcase the diverse ways in which organizations have effectively managed HR challenges, providing valuable lessons and strategies for HR professionals across industries.

Company XYZ, a multinational technology firm, faced challenges in attracting and retaining top talent due to the fast-paced nature of the industry. To address this, they implemented a strategic HR initiative that focused on creating a flexible work environment, providing opportunities for professional development, and offering competitive compensation packages. As a result, the company experienced a significant reduction in employee turnover and an increase in employee satisfaction and productivity.

This case study highlights how HR professionals at Company XYZ were able to adapt to the changing landscape of HRM by implementing innovative strategies. By analyzing such success stories, HR professionals can gain valuable insights into the strategies and practices that drive organizational success.

  • HRM is constantly evolving to respond to new trends and challenges in the business world.
  • Case studies provide real-world examples of effective HR practices in managing change.
  • Successful organizations leverage HRM strategies to optimize their workforce and drive organizational success.

The Importance of Effective HR Strategies

Effective HR strategies are crucial for organizations to attract, retain, and develop top talent. By implementing strategic HR practices, companies can create a positive work environment that fosters employee engagement, productivity, and overall organizational success. In this section, we will explore case studies that highlight successful HR strategies implemented by companies across different industries, providing valuable insights for research and inspiration.

Case Studies: Success Stories in HR Management

Case Study 1: Company X

“Our HR strategy of prioritizing employee well-being and work-life balance has had a significant impact on our organizational culture. Through flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, and regular communication channels, we have seen a remarkable increase in employee satisfaction and productivity.”

Case Study 2: Company Y

“By investing in employee development and career progression, we have been able to attract top talent and retain key employees. The implementation of mentorship programs, training initiatives, and performance feedback systems has led to higher employee engagement and a stronger talent pipeline.”

Case Study 3: Company Z

“Our HR strategy focuses on promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce. Through targeted recruitment efforts, diversity training programs, and inclusive policies, we have successfully created a culture that celebrates and values diversity, leading to improved employee satisfaction and innovation.”

The Impact of Strategic HR Practices

These success stories demonstrate the tangible benefits of strategic HR practices. Organizations that prioritize effective HR strategies are better equipped to attract and retain top talent, foster employee engagement and satisfaction, and drive overall organizational success. By studying these case studies, researchers and HR professionals can gain valuable insights and inspiration to enhance their own HR practices and achieve similar levels of success.

By examining these HRM case studies for research and guidance, organizations can adopt successful strategies and adapt them to their unique contexts. The implementation of effective HR strategies is key to creating a thriving workplace culture that empowers employees, maximizes productivity, and ultimately drives the success of the organization.

Fundamental Concepts of HR Management

Before diving into Human Resources Management Case Studies , it is essential to have a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts that underpin HR management. This section will explore key definitions and concepts to provide a strong foundation for in-depth analysis of the case studies.

Definitions and Clarifications

Let’s start by clarifying some key terms:

  • Management : Refers to the process of coordinating and overseeing organizational resources to achieve specific goals and objectives.
  • Resources : In the context of HR, resources refer to the individuals who contribute to the organization’s success, including employees, contractors, and other stakeholders.
  • Role of a Manager : A manager is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and controlling resources to achieve organizational goals and objectives. In the HR context, managers focus on effectively managing human resources.
  • Difference between Management and Administration : While the terms management and administration are sometimes used interchangeably, it is important to note the subtle distinctions. Management is concerned with the implementation of strategies and the coordination of resources, whereas administration involves the overarching policies, procedures, and regulations that govern the organization.

By understanding these fundamental concepts, we can delve deeper into the case studies and gain valuable insights into the challenges and solutions faced by HR professionals.

Inspiring Quote

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

Key Definitions

Management functions and responsibilities.

Effective management is essential for HR professionals in their role of overseeing an organization’s human capital. Understanding the four basic functions of management – planning, organizing, directing, and controlling – is critical for HRM success. Each function contributes to the efficient and effective management of human resources, ensuring organizational goals are met.

In addition to these management functions, HR managers have specific responsibilities that contribute to the overall success of the organization. These responsibilities include:

  • Recruitment and selection of qualified candidates
  • Employee onboarding, training, and development
  • Creating and enforcing HR policies and procedures
  • Ensuring legal compliance in all HR practices
  • Managing employee relations and resolving conflicts
  • Designing and administering compensation and benefits programs
  • Developing and implementing employee engagement initiatives
  • Overseeing performance management and evaluation processes

Furthermore, HR plays a vital role in the administrative cycle of an organization. HR professionals are responsible for managing and maintaining accurate HR records, handling payroll and benefits administration, and ensuring compliance with employment laws and regulations.

By effectively executing their management functions and fulfilling their responsibilities, HR professionals contribute to the development and success of an organization’s human resources, driving overall organizational performance and productivity.

Skills and Competencies in HR Management

The success of an HR manager relies on a combination of technical skills and personal qualities. Understanding and mastering these essential skills and competencies is crucial for effectively managing human resources in any organization. Here, we will explore the key characteristics that distinguish an effective HR manager and how they contribute to success in HR management.

1. Integrity

Integrity is the foundation of trust in any HR department. HR managers must demonstrate honesty, transparency, and ethical behavior in all aspects of their work. By upholding high ethical standards, HR managers cultivate a culture of integrity, ensuring fair and unbiased treatment of employees and fostering a positive work environment.

2. Flexibility

Flexibility is essential in an ever-changing business landscape. HR managers must adapt to evolving workplace dynamics, industry trends, and technological advancements. This includes being open to new ideas, embracing change, and continuously updating HR strategies to align with organizational goals and employee needs.

3. Resilience

HR managers often face challenging situations that require resilience and the ability to navigate complex issues. They must stay composed in difficult times, effectively manage conflicts, and find creative solutions to address HR challenges. Resilient HR managers are invaluable assets to organizations, as they can lead teams through change and uncertainty, ensuring continuity and stability.

4. Proactivity

Successful HR managers are proactive in identifying potential issues before they escalate. They anticipate future needs and create proactive strategies to address them. By staying ahead of the curve, HR managers can plan and implement initiatives that support employees’ growth, well-being, and overall job satisfaction.

“Proactive HR managers take a proactive approach to identify potential pitfalls early on, allowing organizations to prevent problems rather than just managing them when they arise.”

In addition to these personal qualities, HR managers must possess a range of technical skills to effectively manage human resources. Some of these skills include:

  • Recruitment and selection
  • Training and development
  • Performance management
  • Employee relations
  • Compensation and benefits
  • HR data analysis

To exemplify these skills and competencies, let’s take a look at a real-life HR case study:

By analyzing such HR case studies , aspiring HR professionals and organizations can gain valuable insights into the practical application of skills and competencies in HR management.

Now that we have explored the essential skills and competencies in HR management, it is clear that successful HR managers possess a unique blend of personal qualities and technical skills. These individuals play a vital role in driving organizational success by effectively managing human resources and fostering a positive work environment.

Employee Motivation and Engagement

Motivated and engaged employees are essential for organizational success. In this section, we will explore the crucial role of HR in motivating employees and fostering a culture of engagement. By examining real-life case studies, we will identify effective strategies and initiatives implemented by organizations to boost employee motivation and engagement.

Motivation through Recognition

Employee recognition is a powerful tool for motivating and engaging employees. Organizations that prioritize recognition programs create a culture of appreciation and reinforce desired behaviors. Case studies highlight the impact of tailored recognition programs on employee satisfaction, morale, and performance.

Professional Development and Growth

Providing opportunities for professional development and growth is another key driver of employee motivation and engagement. Organizations that invest in training, mentorship programs, and career advancement opportunities empower employees to enhance their skills and fulfill their potential. Real-life examples demonstrate how these initiatives contribute to higher employee satisfaction and loyalty.

Well-being Initiatives

Employee well-being initiatives play a vital role in nurturing a positive work environment and enhancing motivation. By offering wellness programs, flexible work arrangements, and promoting work-life balance, organizations prioritize the holistic well-being of their employees. Case studies highlight the positive impact of these initiatives on employee engagement, productivity, and overall satisfaction.

Effective Communication

Open and transparent communication is integral to fostering motivation and engagement among employees. Organizations that prioritize effective communication channels, including regular feedback, town hall meetings, and collaborative platforms, create an environment of trust and inclusion. Real-life examples demonstrate how improved communication positively influences employee engagement and overall organizational performance.

“Effective employee motivation and engagement are the cornerstones of a thriving organization. By examining real-life case studies, HR professionals and organizations can gain valuable insights into successful strategies and initiatives that fuel motivation and foster meaningful employee engagement.”

The case studies above demonstrate how organizations have successfully implemented strategies to motivate and engage their employees. By leveraging recognition, professional development, well-being initiatives, and effective communication, these organizations have created a positive work environment that drives employee satisfaction, productivity, and loyalty.

Strategies for Effective HR Management

HR professionals play a critical role in developing and implementing effective HR strategies. By analyzing real-life case studies, we can gain valuable insights into HR best practices. These case studies highlight successful strategies in key areas such as:

Recruitment and Selection

Training and development, performance management, compensation and benefits, labor relations.

Let’s explore how organizations have utilized these strategies to optimize their HR practices and achieve their business objectives.

“The key to effective HR management lies in understanding the unique needs and challenges of your organization. By analyzing case studies, we can gain valuable insights and tailor our strategies to drive employee engagement, productivity, and organizational success.”

Effective recruitment and selection processes are crucial for attracting and hiring top talent. Case studies in this area often showcase innovative methods used to identify and attract qualified candidates. From leveraging technology platforms for applicant screening to implementing targeted recruitment campaigns, organizations have successfully optimized their hiring processes.

Investing in employee training and development is essential for enhancing skills and fostering long-term growth. By examining case studies in this domain, we can learn from organizations that have successfully implemented comprehensive training programs, mentorship initiatives, and continuous learning platforms. These strategies contribute to a skilled and motivated workforce.

Effective performance management systems align individual and team goals with organizational objectives. Case studies in this area often highlight organizations that have implemented performance measurement frameworks, regular feedback systems, and performance-based incentives. This data-driven approach ensures transparency, fairness, and continuous improvement.

Strategic compensation and benefits programs attract, retain, and motivate talented employees. Case studies demonstrate how organizations have designed competitive salary structures, employee recognition programs, and comprehensive benefits packages. These initiatives contribute to higher employee satisfaction, engagement, and overall organizational performance.

Managing labor relations requires effective communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills. Case studies in this area offer insights into organizations that have successfully fostered positive relationships with unions, implemented fair labor practices, and resolved labor disputes amicably. These examples highlight the importance of proactive labor management strategies.

By learning from these case studies and applying the demonstrated strategies, HR professionals can optimize their HR management practices and create a positive impact on organizational success.

These case studies showcase the application of effective HR management strategies in different organizations. They provide practical examples of how organizations have achieved success by implementing various strategies tailored to their unique needs and challenges.

Leveraging HR Technology

HR technology has revolutionized HRM processes, enabling organizations to streamline operations and enhance efficiency. By leveraging the power of technology, HR professionals can optimize their strategic decision-making and ensure a seamless employee experience.

Let’s examine some insightful case studies that illustrate the successful implementation and utilization of HR technology. These examples demonstrate how organizations have harnessed the potential of HRIS (Human Resource Information System), talent management software, and data analytics tools to drive meaningful outcomes and achieve their HR objectives.

Case Study 1: Enhancing Recruitment with HRIS

In this case study, Company ABC implemented an HRIS software to streamline their recruitment process. The software automated job posting, applicant tracking, and resume screening, significantly reducing the time and effort spent on manual tasks. With the implementation of HRIS, the HR team at Company ABC experienced a 40% reduction in time-to-hire and an improvement in the quality of hires.

“The HRIS software has transformed our recruitment process, allowing us to focus on strategic talent acquisition. The automation and advanced analytics capabilities have enabled us to make data-driven decisions and hire top talent efficiently.” – Sarah Thompson, HR Manager, Company ABC

Case Study 2: Optimizing Performance Management with Talent Management Software

In this case study, Company XYZ adopted a talent management software platform to streamline their performance management process. The software offered features such as goal setting, continuous feedback, and performance analysis, empowering managers and employees to take a more proactive approach to performance improvement. As a result, Company XYZ experienced a significant increase in employee engagement and aligned performance goals across the organization.

“The talent management software has revolutionized our performance management process. It has fostered a culture of continuous feedback and empowered our employees to take ownership of their professional growth. The transparent performance analytics have enabled us to identify and reward top performers effectively.” – John Davis, HR Director, Company XYZ

Case Study 3: Leveraging Data Analytics for Strategic Decision-Making

In this case study, Company DEF implemented advanced data analytics tools to gain insights into their HR processes. By analyzing data related to employee engagement, turnover rates, and performance metrics, the HR team at Company DEF could identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. This strategic use of data analytics enabled Company DEF to make informed decisions and implement targeted HR interventions, resulting in improved retention rates and increased productivity.

“Data analytics has been a game-changer for our HR department. By leveraging actionable insights from our HR data, we have been able to proactively address employee concerns, enhance our talent acquisition strategies, and design targeted training programs. Our data-driven approach has significantly contributed to our overall organizational success.” – Lisa Johnson, HR Manager, Company DEF

These case studies demonstrate how organizations can harness the potential of HR technology to drive efficiency, improve decision-making, and enhance the employee experience. By leveraging the right combination of HRIS, talent management software, and data analytics tools, HR professionals can transform their HR practices and contribute to the strategic objectives of the organization.

Leveraging HR technology is essential in today’s digital era, where technology continues to shape the future of work. By staying informed about the latest HR technology trends and exploring case studies, HR professionals can identify opportunities for innovation and drive impactful HR initiatives.

Now, let’s explore another critical aspect of HR management – diversity and inclusion.

Diversity and Inclusion in HR Management

In today’s diverse workforce, creating an inclusive environment is essential for effective human resources management. Organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion benefit from improved employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and enhanced innovation. Let’s explore some real-life examples of HRM case studies that highlight the successful efforts of organizations to foster diversity and inclusion within their workforce.

Case Study 1: XYZ Company

XYZ Company, a global technology firm, recognized the value of diversity and inclusion in driving organizational success. They implemented a comprehensive diversity program that focused on recruiting and retaining employees from diverse backgrounds. By promoting a culture of inclusion through training, mentorship, and employee resource groups, XYZ Company witnessed a significant increase in employee engagement and creativity. This case study demonstrates the positive impact of diversity and inclusion initiatives on overall organizational performance.

Case Study 2: ABC Corporation

ABC Corporation, a leading retail company, recognized the importance of diversity and inclusion in meeting the needs of their diverse customer base. They implemented unconscious bias training for their hiring managers and implemented policies to ensure equal opportunities for all employees. As a result, ABC Corporation experienced improved employee satisfaction, reduced turnover rates, and a boost in customer loyalty. This case study exemplifies the positive outcomes that can be achieved through a commitment to diversity and inclusion in HR management.

By analyzing these HRM case studies , organizations can gain valuable insights into successful diversity and inclusion initiatives. Implementing similar strategies, such as targeted recruitment efforts, inclusive policies, and diversity training programs, can help companies create a more inclusive and diverse workforce, fostering a culture of innovation and success.

Incorporating diversity and inclusion into HR management practices is not only a legal and moral imperative, but it also leads to tangible business benefits. Organizations that embrace diversity and create an inclusive workplace are better equipped to attract top talent, retain employees, and drive innovation. By learning from these HRM case studies , organizations can develop effective strategies to foster diversity and inclusion, ultimately contributing to their long-term success.

Adapting HR Practices in Times of Crisis

In times of crisis, such as economic downturns or natural disasters, HR professionals face unique challenges that require them to adapt their practices quickly and effectively. By analyzing HRM case studies that showcase organizations’ responses to crises, we can gain valuable insights into the strategies and approaches they employed to navigate through turbulent times and emerge stronger.

The Importance of Flexibility

One key lesson we can learn from HR case studies in times of crisis is the importance of flexibility. Organizations need to be agile and responsive to rapidly changing circumstances. HR professionals play a vital role in proactively adjusting HR practices, policies, and procedures to meet the immediate needs of employees and the organization as a whole.

“During the global financial crisis of 2008, XYZ Corporation faced severe economic challenges that threatened its survival. The HR team swiftly implemented cost-cutting measures, including a freeze on hiring and salary reductions, while carefully balancing employee morale and engagement. Through open communication and transparent decision-making, XYZ Corporation managed to weather the storm and emerge with a more resilient workforce.”

By adopting a flexible approach, HR professionals can help organizations navigate through turbulent times, mitigate the impact on employees, and position the company for recovery and future growth.

The Power of Resilience

Resilience is another critical factor in adapting HR practices during a crisis. HR professionals need to demonstrate resilience in the face of uncertainty and guide employees through challenging times. By instilling confidence, providing support systems, and fostering a sense of unity, HR managers can help organizations withstand the pressures of a crisis and emerge stronger.

Resilience can be seen in action through the implementation of employee assistance programs, mental health initiatives, and crisis communication plans. These measures help employees navigate the emotional and psychological challenges brought on by the crisis, ensuring their well-being and enabling them to contribute effectively to the organization’s recovery efforts.

Proactive Planning for Future Crises

The best HR case studies in times of crisis highlight the importance of proactive planning. While crises may be unexpected, organizations can anticipate potential challenges and develop contingency plans to address them swiftly and efficiently. By anticipating various scenarios and regularly reviewing and updating crisis response strategies, HR professionals can position their organizations for success even in the face of uncertainty.

In addition to crisis preparedness, proactive planning involves identifying key skills and competencies that will be crucial in future crises. By integrating training programs, succession planning, and talent management initiatives into their HR practices, organizations can ensure they have the capabilities necessary to navigate through any crisis that may arise.

Table: Strategies for Adapting HR Practices in Times of Crisis

Adapting HR practices in times of crisis requires a combination of flexibility, resilience, and proactive planning to ensure the well-being of employees, maintain productivity, and secure the organization’s long-term success.

Human Resources Management Case Studies provide HR professionals with valuable insights into real-world challenges and innovative solutions. By analyzing these examples, organizations can learn from best practices and optimize their own HR strategies. The showcased case studies highlight the diverse scenarios that HR professionals face and the creative approaches they employ to overcome obstacles.

Continuous learning from these experiences enables HR professionals to enhance their skills and contribute to the overall success of their organizations. These case studies serve as a source of inspiration, demonstrating the importance of adaptability, strategic thinking, and effective HR management.

By embracing the lessons learned from Human Resources Management Case Studies, HR professionals can strengthen their expertise, foster employee engagement, and drive organizational growth. These real-life examples reaffirm the significance of HRM for businesses in today’s dynamic and ever-evolving corporate landscape.

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Student Workbooks

Welcome to the Student Case Study Resources page. Thank you for reviewing the Terms of Use for Students and clicking on the ‘accept’ button to gain access to case study content available for your exclusive use.

The case study method is a very effective way of helping you think critically to apply the concepts you have learned in your studies at university. There is one Student Workbook for each case. Please click on the content domain headline to see the list of cases for which you may download the Student Workbook.

Compensation and Benefits

Benefits and business at aflac and l. l. bean.

By Sandra M. Reed, SPHR Today, HR professionals are responsible for programs far beyond the profession’s administrative personnel roots. They are expected to measure the success or failure of HR practices based on the achievement of organizational outcomes. Brand identity, bottom-line profitability, employee job satisfaction, and increased management focus are all outcomes that can be achieved, in part, through an organization’s total rewards program. This case examines two very different organizations and how they align their total rewards programs with their organizational goals and values. This case study is of moderate difficulty for an undergraduate audience. A student workbook is available to download.

Designing a Pay Structure: A Case Study and Integrated Exercises

By Lisa A. Burke, Ph.D., SPHR Compensation is a critical area of human resource (HR) management, and one that can greatly affect employee behavior. To be effective, compensation must be perceived by employees as fair, competitive in the market, accurately based, motivating and easy to understand. This case is rated as slightly challenging and requires familiarity with and use of the Internet and Microsoft Excel. Instructors can make the case and associated exercises less challenging by eliminating certain tasks assigned in the case, or may increase the difficulty by adding other relevant tasks and questions. Teaching notes accompany the case. Instructors who have previously taught compensation courses, are familiar with the Internet and Excel, have work experience with pay systems, or who conduct research in compensation area may find the case easier to facilitate. A student workbook is available to download.

Employee and Labor Relations

Classism isn’t classy: exploring socio-economic diversity.

By Rita Rizzo, M.S., CMC This case explores the socioeconomic differences among employees of a family-owned pool and spa contracting and supply store. The enterprise employs 53 workers; 20 skilled workers from the middle class, 30 unskilled workers from the poverty class, and the family of three who owns the store and who come from wealth class. Due to high employee turnover, customer service complaints, scheduling overruns, low morale, and frequent miscommunication, the company owners try to create more synergy and cooperation among the ranks. The case study will take three 50-minute classes to complete and is written for an undergraduate audience.

A student workbook is available to download.

Collective Bargaining in College Dorms

By Patrick P. McHugh, Ph.D. This case promotes learning about the labor relations process in the United States. The case follows the actual efforts of undergraduate resident assistants (RAs) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) who sought to be represented by the United Auto Workers union for collective bargaining purposes. The case highlights:

  • The legal parameters regulating labor relations.
  • The factors contributing to employee interest in union representation.
  • Union election campaign strategies and activities of employers and unions.
  • The influence stakeholders have on labor-management relations.
  • The importance of pre-contract negotiations.
  • The interpretation of the outcome of contract negotiations.
  • The important role of contract administration.

The case is designed for undergraduate or graduate students in an introductory or survey HRM course and can be used as a complementary case for an undergraduate or graduate labor relations course.

Under the assumption that the class meets twice a week for 1.5 hours per session, the instructor can cover the entire case in one full class session or divide it into two, covering it in half of two class sessions. Instructors can easily adjust the case for different class time-bands. However, at least 1.5 hours of class time should be allotted for coverage and discussion of the case.

Creating Synergy in a Four-Generation Workplace

By Rita Rizzo, M.S., CMC This case study, written for undergraduate students, is based on generational differences in a metropolitan children’s museum. Employees from various generations experience communication challenges, differing values systems, disparate approaches to work and interpersonal conflict. Learners assume different generation roles and address these issues in a team setting. By the end of the case, learners explore the preferred communication methods and styles to use to be effectively heard and understood in each generation, identify the work ethic characteristics of each generation in today’s workplace, respond to generational differences that affect workplace performance and productivity, and collaborate with others to create and sustain a work environment that capitalizes on generational diversity. This module requires three 50-minute classes to complete.

Fallsburg Schools Negotiations Simulation

By Alan Cabelly, Ph.D. The Fallsburg School Negotiations simulation provides students with the opportunity to negotiate a complex labor agreement in a relatively short period of time. This simulation has been extensively pretested. It has been used by one instructor in approximately 16 different negotiations classes with 300-400 students participating over a span of 10 years. Students have been both undergraduate business students and MBA students; the typical classroom setting has been a 2½-day workshop where the entire focus of the class is negotiation.

The Student Collective Bargaining Act

By Patrick P. McHugh, Ph.D. This exercise explores the labor relations process in the United States, including union organizing, contract negotiations and contract administration. In the United States, the labor relations process is a set of interdependent activities guided by an often confusing regulatory framework, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This exercise will help instructors navigate students through the labor relations process in an effective and engaging way.

Students are given the opportunity to form a fictitious union (the Student Solidarity Union) and engage in collective bargaining with the instructor over the terms and conditions of the final exam. The rules governing the exercise are based on the Student Collective Bargaining Act (SCBA), a fictitious act created to help students understand the NLRA and the labor relations process. It identifies the rights of students and instructors regarding the collective bargaining process over the final exam.

The exercise follows the labor relations process and, as such, is a progressive exercise. The exercise is geared to undergraduate students in an introductory or survey HRM course.

The Vigilance Project—A Case Study on Conflict and Team Dynamics

By Peter G. Dominick, Ph.D. This case provides an opportunity to look at how several different factors interact to affect conflict and team performance. These include contextual issues like a merger, cultural values and physical location. They also include team dynamics and leadership and, last but not least, intrapersonal and interpersonal needs and concerns. Remind students that the case is presented largely from the perspectives of the Americans involved.

Work-Life Balance in Large Organizations

By Gill Maxwell Changing demographics in the U.S. labor force and in other developed countries such as the United Kingdom (U.K.) and recruitment challenges in some organizations have encouraged more employers to consider work-life balance and flexible working arrangements. Developed for an undergraduate audience, this case study series explores flexible working arrangements in five different organizations located in Scotland in the U.K. A student workbook is available to download.

Employment Law

Religious discrimination and racial harassment: what ever happened to marshawn demur.

By Gwendolyn M. Combs, Ph.D. The workplace is becoming more diverse as global operations and immigration becomes more widespread. The management of religious differences and the interface of varying religious beliefs and management practice are profound concerns for many HR professionals. Written for an upper-level undergraduate or graduate audience, this case describes a situation involving an employee’s religious beliefs and the allegations of racial harassment which result.

Aetna: Investing in Diversity

By Wayne Cascio, Ph.D. Raymond Marcos, chief diversity officer at Aetna, is preparing to make a presentation to the company’s board of directors at its mid-December meeting. In a deteriorating economic environment that seems to be global in its reach, the board is looking to cut expenses in any way possible. To do that, it is reviewing every major company business initiative. Diversity is one such initiative, and the board wants to understand the business case for it. It also wants to see a clear plan to measure outcomes, including systems and data. Raymond knows that some of the board members are relatively new, that almost all of them are independent directors from outside the company and that they may not have a deep understanding of the historical roots of Aetna’s diversity efforts or the objectives of those efforts. At the same time, he is eager to showcase the company’s diversity initiatives and their results, both direct and indirect.

Click here to download this case study.

Note: Development of this case was made possible by a grant from the Society for Human Resource Management and the National Academy of Human Resources. All of the characters in the case are fictitious. Information presented was current as of the time the case was written. Any errors are solely the author’s.

Building the Future: HR's Role in Organizational Design

By Steve Weingarden, Ph.D. This case study provides a history and overview of organizational design (OD). Students will use the information in the overview to complete an exercise as a hypothetical organizational design consultant working with a real company of their choice. Students will read about the definition and purpose of organizational design, methods of measurement, six models of organizational structure and two models on how to apply organizational structure principles.

This case is intended for advanced undergraduate students. Students studying human resources (HR) will likely benefit most, but general business students should gain insight from the case, particularly regarding the role of HR in organizational design.

Download the student workbook .

This item may be reproduced free of charge for use in HR classrooms in colleges and universities, in training classrooms in the workplace or in any other learning environment where HR knowledge is taught. For all other uses, requesters are directed to the “Obtain reuse/copying permission” button that appears in the Tools box on this item.

IBM’s Global Talent Management Strategy: The Vision of the Globally Integrated Enterprise

By John W. Boudreau, Ph.D. In early 2003, Randy MacDonald, the senior vice president of human resources for IBM Corporation, was reviewing his recent meeting with Sam Palmisano, the CEO of IBM. Randy had been the chief HR executive at IBM since 2000, joining when Lou Gerstner was in the middle of his tenure as IBM’s CEO. Sam and Randy discussed IBM’s strategic view of the evolution of global markets, IBM’s strategic position as a leader in global transformation and the evolving needs of IBM’s clients. Sam coined the phrase “Globally Integrated Enterprise” (GIE) to describe what he had in mind. He foresaw that IBM’s clients would increasingly be moving toward a GIE and that IBM needed to get ahead of that trend. This had implications for every aspect of IBM, including significant implications for IBM’s supply chain, IT systems, strategy, marketing and services development and deployment. Underlying all of these implications were significant challenges for IBM’s human capital and its approach to human resource management. This three-part case examines the strategic issues and the solutions IBM examined and implemented to meet the changing nature of their business and client needs.

To download this case, click on Part A , Part B , and Part C .

Click here for a biography about the author of this case, John W. Boudreau, Ph.D.

International HRM Case Study—International Assignments

By Fiona Robson, Ph.D. This case, based on a fictional U.K.-based organization, gives learners the opportunity to think about key decisions involved in international assignments and to transfer their knowledge of domestic HR issues to an international context. Students will learn about the main elements and issues related to international assignments; when it is appropriate to use expatriate workers; the skills and knowledge needed by expatriate workers; and how organizations can prepare expatriate managers to succeed in an international assignment.

MacroEnterprises, Inc.—A Case Study in Three Parts

By Julia Storberg-Walker, Ph.D.; Diane Chapman, Ph.D.; and James Bartlett III, Ph.D This case study, written for graduate-level students, takes learners into the real-world of human resource (HR) consulting. Learners assume the role of an HR consultant to help a fictitious organization improve its performance. Three different consulting challenges comprise this case; each challenge can be used individually or be offered as one comprehensive assignment to solve all three segments of the case. Learners will explore how to become a strategic HR partner; develop collaborations with external training providers; and integrate evaluation into standard operating procedures.

Three documents comprise this case: a student workbook , a management/office staff dataset in Excel and a manufacturing staff dataset in Excel. The datasets should be used as indicated in the case study.

PAC Resources, Inc.: A Case Study in HR Practices

By Myrna L. Gusdorf, MBA, SPHR PAC Resources is a fictional organization that experiences many of the difficulties common in today’s business climate. In response to declining sales, PAC Resources must transform itself from a strategy of expansion and high profit to one of cost containment and staff reductions. The case is presented in two parts. Part I lays the groundwork for the case, with discussion of the organization and details of the human resource department. Part II is presented in e-mails from various staff members. The e-mails identify specific problems that need to be addressed by the HR department and give the reader an understanding of PAC’s overall culture.

This case is appropriate for upper-level undergraduate or graduate students in a human resource (HR) management or business management degree program. At a minimum, students should have previously completed lower-division classes in HR management, introduction to business and principles of management.

Power and Influence in the Management of Human Resource Development

By Rick Holden and Vivienne Griggs There is a wealth of literature exploring power and influence in organizations. These cases examine the effect of these issues on the role and effectiveness of human resource development (HRD). The goal is to explore the reality of HRD in organizations and in doing so, highlight tensions that emerge when theory is applied to actual practice. The cases are based on interviews with one or two key people in each organization as part of a wider research project.

Reyes Fitness Centers, Inc.

By John Sherlock, Ph.D. This case describes a growing mid-size U.S. company in the Southeast in the fitness club industry. The recently hired HR director is given the opportunity by the organization’s CEO to propose HR initiatives to help the business meet its strategic goals. The case gives HR students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of strategic HR management. The case is divided into Parts A & B to allow flexibility of covering the case either one part at a time or in its entirety, depending on the content and schedule of a course.

Training and Development

Case study: southwood school—training and development.

By Fiona Robson, Ph.D. This case study, based on a real organization but fictionalized organization in the U.K., explores training and development issues. Students will learn how to identify the components of an effective training program; understand what must be considered when designing a training program; compare the soft and hard skills required by the appraisers and appraisees in this case study; identify the vital role of appraisees in an effective performance management program; and how to effectively evaluate a training program.

Download the student workbook for this case.

Note: Southwood School is a three-part case intended to be taught in succession beginning with Performance Management, then followed by Training and Development then Recruitment and Selection. Instructors have the flexibility to use one, two or three of the cases depending on need.

Developing a Leadership Strategy: The Case of the Toy Research Society

By Steve Weingarden, Ph.D. This case encourages students to consider organizational development needs when creating a leadership development philosophy and an associated leadership development design.

The Toy Research Society (TRS), a nonprofit organization, has been in existence for more than 70 years. The organization's mission has remained the same during this time, but the membership, the use of the Society by nonmembers and the competitive landscape have changed substantially. Driven primarily by a board of directors and regional volunteer leaders, the Society has never had a formal leadership development philosophy. Now, the long-time president has retired, and TRS leaders are reflecting on how to prepare for the future, especially with increased calls for leadership role clarity and more delegation of work to members. As a member, you have the opportunity to develop the needed leadership strategy.

Target Audience: This is a scenario-based case study with an optional exercise. It is intended for upper-level undergraduate students studying organizational development or behavior, leadership development or human resource development. Students in more "generalist" HR courses may find this case too removed from mainstream HR to fit their needs and may find the content too challenging.

K. Hovnanian’s Approach to Preserving Intangible Assets After Acquisitions

By Paula Caligiuri, Ph.D., and William Castellano, Ph.D. This case study examines homebuilder K. Hovnanian’s approach to acquisitions, with a focus on how the organization retains key intangible assets – such as leaders’ knowledge and social capital – of their acquired companies. It introduces learners to the HR and business strategy issues associated with acquisitions. By the end of the case study, students will be able to identify HR’s role in retaining intangible assets during a strategic acquisition; understand the challenges to managing acquisitions when retaining key intangible assets is a strategic goal; develop HR strategies and implementation plans to integrate the intangible assets of both organizations; and address key HR challenges during the post-acquisition phase.

Click here to download the student workbook for this case study.

New Kid on the Block: Diagnosing Organizational Development Issues Using Data

By Steve Weingarden, Ph.D. In this scenario-based case study, undergraduate business or HR majors explore how to diagnose organizational issues, particularly as they apply to talent management and organizational socialization and onboarding. Students will learn how to judge the accuracy of opinions versus data; develop an approach to gather meaningful data; understand the importance of having a strategy to develop a diverse talent pool of qualified candidates; and learn the importance of onboarding and socialization in job satisfaction and retention.

Workforce Planning

Case study: southwood school—performance management.

By Fiona Robson, Ph.D. This case study examines the implementation of a new performance management system designed specifically for support staff at a school in the United Kingdom. This is the first part of a three part case about Southwood Schools and implementation of its new performance management system.

Case Study: Southwood School—Recruitment and Selection

By Fiona Robson, Ph.D. This case study, based on a real but fictionalized organization in the U.K., was developed to provide resources to promote learning and understanding in the areas of recruitment and selection. It is geared toward an undergraduate audience.

Click here to download the student workbook file for this case.

Four Recruitment and Retention Case Scenarios

By Marcia R. Gibson, Ed.D. In this series of four case scenarios on recruitment and retention, undergraduate students are presented with business-based scenarios and are asked to consider the staffing requirements for a new project. Students will learn to determine recruitment needs; identify recruitment policies and guidelines; determine a recruitment strategy and develop a communication plan to implement the new recruitment strategy.

This case includes the case scenarios in a student workbook .

Is There a Doctor in the House? Attracting Physicians for an Underserved Area

By Francine K. Schlosser, Ph.D. This case explores physician attraction issues in a mid-size Canadian city located in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. To address a severe physician shortage, city leaders must create a compelling vision of the benefits incoming doctors might anticipate when opening practices in their area. Students will identify how to improve the current recruitment strategy; develop interview and discussion points for incoming and visiting candidates to ensure a position-person fit; and develop customized recruitment strategies.

The Case of the Writer Who Couldn't Write

By Alan Cabelly, Ph.D. This case focuses on two key organizational issues: Staffing decisions (Case A) and performance management (Case B). Related issues include the relationship between staffing and performance management, managerial control and decision making, termination decisions and the role of an established group in new employee socialization. Instructors can focus on staffing, performance management or both.

The case is based on a real case; students will be intrigued to find out what happened in the actual situation. It can be analyzed by using a traditional Harvard style analysis, by having students develop staffing and coaching techniques or through the use of role plays. These methods can be combined.

This case can be adapted for use by undergraduate or graduate students in either an advanced organizational behavior course or any level human resource management course.

Top Choice—A Case Study in Succession Management

By Steve Weingarden, Ph.D. This is a scenario-based case study with a structured exercise available. It is intended for upper-level undergraduate students, preferably with a basic understanding of organizational structure and selection. Upper-level undergraduate students will engage in a case study about succession planning management—specifically at the executive level in a highly public situation—and job analysis.

Workforce Planning: Aging and Employment

By Barbara McIntosh, Ph.D., SPHR Shifting demographics, the changing nature of work and the emerging platforms to achieve productivity, including technology and workplace flexibility, are increasing the need for strategic human resource (HR) management and planning. Understanding the issues related to an aging workforce is central in this planning process. Economic conditions, uncertainty in the labor market, and intergenerational dynamics are changing both employer and employee expectations about the role of work, and the impact of these volatile forces on employment remains uncertain. The issues are particularly complex because of the regulatory and legal environment, productivity demands, and established HR policies and practices. This course examines labor market dynamics, labor force participation patterns, evolving employer policies and practices, and changing employee expectations. Particular emphasis is placed on current best practices and emerging trends regarding older workers.

Two case studies are included as part of this course. Click on each link below to access the desired document:

Gardens for All Supply Company: Older Workers as a Tactical Advantage for Business Student workbook

General Appliances: An Aging Workforce Case Study Student workbook

The development of these case studies was made possible through the support from a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Multiple Content Areas

Central columbia hospital.

By Steve Riccio, Ed.D., SPHR Competencies: Relationship Management; Communication

Central Columbia Hospital was founded in 1889 as a nonprofit, community based health care facility in northeastern Pennsylvania. This 116-bed, acute care facility employs 963 employees and is nestled along the Susquehanna River’s northern branch in Briar Creek. The facility provides general medical and surgical services to the surrounding community of approximately 70,000 people. The hospital is proud of its tradition of upholding its mission to these communities by providing comprehensive health care services in a compassionate, caring and cost-effective manner while maintaining the highest level of professional excellence. The hospital is in the process of a yearlong celebration commemorating its 125th anniversary. They are experiencing a fair number of interesting HR issues presented in five individual cases.

On this site, the student workbooks are available for students to download.    

Each scenario includes question sets for undergraduate and graduate students. Your instructor may assign additional questions as well. The scenarios are as follows:

  • Scenario A:  Transactional to Transformational HR.
  • Scenario B:  Retention.
  • Scenario C:  Talent Development.
  • Scenario D:  Technology/Social Media/HIPAA.
  • Scenario E:  Acquisition and Organizational Culture/HR Communications.

Hudson College

By Steve Riccio, Ed.D., SPHR This case study was used for the case solving competitions held at five regional student conferences in March and April of 2014.

The case involves a fictional organization.

Founded in 1881, Hudson College is a private liberal arts institution located in Beacon, New York. Hudson is a four-year undergraduate institution accredited through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. One of its strengths is its strong partnership with the vibrant Beacon community. Hudson has been challenged by the difficult economic climate, increased competition among schools within and outside its peer group, and external pressure from its key stakeholders. The college's current strategic plan outlined an ambitious agenda focused on diversity and inclusion, a reenergized commitment to increasing the school's affinity among its alumni, and a multiyear capital project initiative that includes new construction and renovations to support the academic and residential experiences for students. Some faculty and administrative staff believe recent retirements and resignations of individuals in key positions have affected employee morale and the college's reputation of providing outstanding service to its students.

The case begins with introductory information about the organization and is then divided into five scenarios. Each scenario includes question sets for undergraduate and graduate students. Debriefs are included with each scenario.

Click on any of the following to download the desired scenario:

  • Scenario A: Talent management | Student workbook
  • Scenario B: Employee engagement | Student workbook
  • Scenario C: Performance management | Student workbook
  • Scenario D: Title IX | Student workbook
  • Scenario E: Employee benefits | Student workbook

The Georges Hotel: A Case Study

By Myrna L. Gusdorf, MBA, SPHR This case study was used for the case solving competitions held at five regional student conferences in March and April of 2013.

The Georges Hotel is a small upscale boutique hotel located along the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. It is owned by two brothers, Jeff and Chad Mitchell. The Georges was rebuilt from an old hotel that was badly in need of repair when the Mitchells purchased it from a major hotel chain in 1995. After extensive renovation, the property was reopened as the Georges Hotel and has operated profitably since 1998. As the case opens, the Mitchells are preparing to acquire another run-down hotel in Chicago. It too will be renovated and reopened. This will be the second Georges Hotel in what they anticipate will be a small chain of Georges Hotels located in major cities across the country.

Click any of the following to download the desired scenario:

  • Scenario A: Family-owned business and strategic planning | Student workbook
  • Scenario B: Succession planning | Student workbook
  • Scenario C: Staffing and employee conduct | Student workbook
  • Scenario D: Supervisors and equal employment opportunity | Student workbook
  • Scenario E: Supporting the organization's mission | Student workbook

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Cases in Human Resource Management provides students with insights into common challenges, dilemmas, and issues human resource managers face in the workplace. Using a wide variety of well-known companies and organizations, author David Kimball engages students with original, real-world cases that illustrate HRM topics and functions in action. Each case is designed to encourage students to find new solutions to human resource issues and to stimulate class discussion. Case questions challenge students to think critically, apply concepts, and develop their HRM skills. The contents are organized using the same topical coverage and structure as most HRM textbooks, making Kimball the ideal companion for any introductory HRM course.

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HRM / Organizational behaviour Case Study

The tata group: hr challenges.

Publication Year :  2006

Authors:  Doris John & Vasudha.A

Industry:  Conglomerates

Region: India

Case Code:  HRM0026C

Teaching Note:  Available

Structured Assignment:  Not Available

The case allows for discussion on challenges faced by large conglomerates in adopting standardized HR policies. It also allows discussion on issues pertaining to employer branding and how the brand equity could be sustained in a globalised scenario.

  • To discuss Tata's HR initiatives as a model employer
  • To discuss how the Tata brand equity could be sustained in its quest for growth across the globe and if the brand would suffer dilution in its pursuit for growth.

Keywords :  Employer Branding, Tata Group, HRM Case Study, Ratan Tata, JRD Tata, Corporate Branding, TBEM, TCS, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Balanced Score Card, Brockbank Model, Tata Work Levels, Performance Ethics, Quality of Work Life, Employee Retention

Related Case Studies

  • � Employee Retention in Indian BPO Industry: The New Initiatives
  • � Google�s HR Dilemma
  • � Human Asset Management at SAS � A Success Story
  • � Tata: The Most Admired Brand
  • � Tata Consultancy Services: Developing talent pool

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Free HRM Case Study with Solution

  • Post author: myspeakhr
  • Post category: Case Study
  • Reading time: 7 mins read

The HRM case study with a solution which focuses on the importance of communication in the organization. This free case study on human resource management with answers elaborates the statement ‘Proper communication Channel a way to Effective Management’. This HR case study is related to how the communication channel is important to make effective management. The hierarchy and reporting system must be effective to avoid any demotivation among the employees.

HRM Case Study with solution

Title of case study: Proper communication Channel a way to Effective Management

Background of the case study

AutoSpare public Ltd is an Age-old automobile industry involves in the manufacturing of engine Spare parts. They are highly valued among the customers as they are a monopoly in some of their parts. Most of the Indian Automobile leaders are the customers of Auto Spare to name a few TATA, Force Motors, M&M and Cummins, etc.

Auto spare has 3 manufacturing Unit and all of them are situated in 3 various places in Southern India and the management is been done from one of the Manufacturing plants located in Chennai. As most of the customers are located in the Northern and western regions of the country the marketing managers are spread in those places convenient to meet the customer. Only the VP Marketing and GM Marketing are working from the head office. They act as a link between the company and the marketing people as they communicate the targets to the marketing people and submit the reports, send by those people, to the higher authorities.

Mr.More, Mr.Mehta, Mr.Rajesh are the marketing team looking after the western region, from where more number of customers are operating. The Job profile of these people includes getting monthly requirements from the clients, mailing the same to the respective departments, looking after the supply whether the goods are reaching the customers as per schedule, and attending the customers in case of any quality issue regarding auto spare parts. And sending the weekly report consists of reports in detail about all the above-said things to the VP & GM Marketing.

In recent days the western region of Autospare is facing a different problem. Even though there is a slag in the Automobile industry being a monopoly Autospare doesn’t face a problem as it gets a continuous schedule to supply from the customers. But the marketing department finds it very difficult to get the material from the plant and supply it to the needy customers. Most of the time it happens that the production itself was supposed to be stopped due to the non-availability of materials from Autospare.

The marketing team has to attend quality issues at least thrice a week. They have sent a number of reports regarding these issues but all at the vein, no improvement from the production side. The marketing executives were losing their good terms with the customers. Slowly the customers started to develop other sources for the parts manufactured by Autospare Pub Ltd. Still, they are finding it difficult to develop such sources as the raw material required is unique. In this situation, the CEO of Autospare visited the customers of the western region. Almost all the customers highlighted the quality as the main issue. And most of them also stated that Autospare fails to supply the products as per schedule most of the time.

As soon as he returned to head office he sent a mail to all the marketing executives in the western region claiming that:-

  • “The executives failed to maintain their rapport with that of customers.
  • The sales in the western region are not up to the mark due to the irresponsive nature of the marketing department.
  • Failed to check out whether the schedule is met or not.
  • All the employees in the marketing department of the Western region including the territory head, along with GM and VP must give a detailed explanation about the issue.”

He also demanded a detailed report, from Production VP, regarding Production and dispatch of products along with schedules received by the production department from the Marketing Department.

He also instructed HR Head to investigate the issue and submit the report and also suggest a reporting model that will avoid such an issue later.

Questions on this HRM case study

1. Who is at fault in this case CEO or VP GM Marketing or Production Department or marketing people in the western region. Justify your answer. ( can make necessary assumptions if required)

2. Consider yourself as one of the marketing executives from the western region and frame a report as demanded by the CEO ( can make necessary assumptions if required)

3. If you are the HR Head how will you proceed for the investigation? what will be the reporting model that you will suggest to the CEO?

By analyzing the case it is clearly given that the Marketing department of the western region has sent a number of reports all in vain. Hence the fault, in this case, is on the CEO only. we can quote two major reasons for this a) If the marketing department has sent a number of reports it is the duty of the CEO to take action against these reports and give directions for rectifying actions b) the customer has highlighted the quality issue as the main issue. Even after that, the CEO didn’t consider it as a problem.  Hence CEO is at fault (assumptions: VP GM has reported the reports sent from the western region to the CEO)

Considering myself as a marketing executive I will frame a report highting the following points:

  • Number of earlier reports sent to the head office
  • Number of quality issues faced during last month from each customer
  • Number of times the company failed to supply the materials to the customers on time
  • How frequently the western region keep updating the schedule to the production department

( You can add other details which you feel relevant to the case)

Being Head HR I will conduct the investigation in the following manner:

  • with western region marketing people- To understand the real problem. Will intimate them to submit a report on the same
  • With VP and GM Marketing: To understand their communication and reporting patterns. Whether they comminate with all departments and CEO properly and timely
  • With the production department: How they process the communication received from the marketing department. Is there really a quality issue exist.

The report model will be like:

The communication flow needs to be regularised. Both the marketing department and Production department must submit a weekly report and monthly report and the same need to be addressed to CEO also. A review meeting must be kept specifically to address the quality and supply issues. The report of the same must be sent to the CEO.

The solution to this HRM case study will be published on 28 April 2020. Stay tuned.

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    International HRM Case Study: Brunt Hotels, PLC, Purdue Global GB520-M Managing SHRM in a Global Economy. Globalizations has allowed companies to expand beyond domestic borders. Business strategy has become global also, and this increases the scope of strategic human resource management.

  6. A Guide to Human Resources Management Case Studies

    By HR Consulting Team January 26, 2024. Human Resource Management case studies provide valuable insights into the challenges faced by HR professionals in diverse workplaces. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore real-life examples of HRM in action, showcasing the strategies and solutions implemented to tackle various HR challenges.

  7. International human resource management in multinational companies

    A key challenge within the field of international human resource management (HRM) is the greater integration of multinational firms and how this gives rise to the globalisation of norms that affect work (Schotter et al., 2021). Work is becoming more globalised and increasingly governed by international structures.

  8. Readings and Cases in International Human Resource Management

    Description. This new edition of Readings and Cases in International Human Resource Management is a classic edited textbook, taking account of recent developments in the international human resources management (IHRM) field, such as the pandemic, the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as climate change.

  9. The Global Human Resource Management Casebook

    Description. This casebook is a collection of international teaching cases focusing on contemporary human resource management issues. Each case centers primarily on one country and illustrates a significant challenge faced by managers and HR practitioners, helping students to understand how the issues they learn about in class play out in the ...

  10. (PDF) 13 Case Studies in Human Resource Management and ...

    PSD acts as human resource manager to the management and. development of high -performing, dynamic, effective, efficient, and fair human resources to establish. an outstanding and people -oriented ...

  11. International Human Resource Management: A Case Study Approach

    In the face of globalization, multinational companies have become the norm, rather than the exception. HR professionals now need to manage across borders, cultures and time zones, meaning that a complete understanding of the theory and practice of International Human Resource Management (HRM) is essential. International Human Resource Management is a concise introduction for all students ...

  12. Human resource management

    John P. Steinbrink. Using the results of a survey of 380 companies in 34 industries, this author examines three basic types of compensation plans: salary, commission, and combination (salary plus ...

  13. Readings and Cases in International Human Resource Management

    The new edition of Readings and Cases in International Human Resource Management examines the interactions between people, cultures, and human resource systems in a wide variety of regions throughout the world.. Taking account of recent developments in the international human resources management (IHRM) field, the sixth edition will enable students to meet the international challenges they ...

  14. [PDF] International HRM Case Study

    International HRM Case Study. F. Robson. Published 2008. Business, Education. Note to Hr faculty and instructors: SHRM cases and modules are intended for use in HR classrooms at universities. Teaching notes are included with each. While our current intent is to make the materials available without charge, we reserve the right to impose charges ...

  15. Human Resource Management: Case Study with Solutions

    Abstract: Human resource management (HRM) plays a vital role in organizations as it focuses on effectively. managing the human capital to align with orga nizational goals and objectives. This ...

  16. Student Workbooks

    The case study method is a very effective way of helping you think critically to apply the concepts you have learned in your studies at university. There is one Student Workbook for each case ...

  17. Cases in Human Resource Management

    KEY FEATURES Original case studies bring concepts to life through a number of well-known organizations, including Apple, Amazon, Google, LinkedIn, and Zappos.; Case questions require students to think critically about HR issues and apply HR concepts to each case.; An emphasis on important issues and current trends in HRM brings up key topics in the field such as state and federal minimum wage ...

  18. (PDF) International HRM Case Study

    The first part provides a brief overview of International HRM; the second part introduces the organization featured in the case study; and the last part looks at some of the issues involved in the recruitment and selection of expatriates.

  19. Case Study 5 Apple Inc International HRM

    Case Study 5 Apple Inc International HRM - Free download as Word Doc (.doc / .docx), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free.

  20. The HRM Best Practices: A Case Study of Strategic Human Resource

    Abstract and Figures. This paper attempted to study the Apple's secret of HR practices. The Objectives of the study were 1) to study and analyze the roles of HR administrators at Apple Inc on ...

  21. The Tata Group: HR Challenges

    Abstract: The Tata Group, one of the largest and most respected business conglomerates in India, had an outstanding heritage of adopting some of the best HR practices. Over the years, the Group had expanded rapidly and a common HR platform was needed across the group. A Group HR Strategy was formulated and implemented across the group, with ...

  22. HRM Case study with Solution

    7 mins read. The HRM case study with a solution which focuses on the importance of communication in the organization. This free case study on human resource management with answers elaborates the statement 'Proper communication Channel a way to Effective Management'. This HR case study is related to how the communication channel is ...