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HR Policy Making

Human Resource Decision Making at Calgary Impoprters Ltd.

Calgary Importers Ltd. is a large importer of linens, china, and crystal. It has branch offices in 6 provinces and has long been plagued by problems in its human resource practices. These problems led to the following discussion between the vice-president of human resources and the vice-president of distribution:

Rob Whittier: You may not agree with me, but if we are going to have consistency in our human resource policies, then key decisions about those policies must be centralized in the human resources department. Otherwise, branch managers will continue to make their own decisions focussing on different aspects. Besides, the department has the experts. If you needed financial advice, you would not ask your doctor; you would go to a banker or other financial expert. When it comes to deciding compensation packages or hiring new employees, those decisions should be left to experts in salary administration or selection. To ask a branch manager or supervisor to make those decisions deprives our firm of all the expertise we have in the department.

Henry DeLahn: I have never questioned your department's expertise. Sure, the people in human resources are more knowledgeable than the line managers. But if we want those managers to be responsible for the performance of their branches, than we must not deprive those managers of their authority to make human resource decisions. Those operating managers must be able to decide whom to hire and whom to reward with raises. If they cannot make those decisions, then their effectiveness as managers will suffer.

1. If you were president of Calgary Importers Ltd. and were asked to resolve this dispute, whose argument would you agree with, why?
2. Can you suggest a compromise that would allow managers to make these decisions consistently?

Solution Preview

1. If you were president of Calgary Importers Ltd. and were asked to resolve this dispute, whose argument would you agree with, why?

I would actually agree with both sides. I strongly believe that the experts ...

Solution Summary

The focus of this solution is on the policy making process of HR.

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