Jinnikins Jeans has carved out a reputation for itself based on its easy informality of business and product style. But this uniqueness of style is also sometimes the undoing. With respect to HRM practices, especially when it comes to formulating employee compensation programs, the model of ad hoc decision making that had prevailed in the early days can prove counterproductive.
Compensation policies of companies across industries and domains usually have these two facets: firstly, the fixed financial recompense and performance-based incentives; and secondly, the prospects for career growth and promotion.
It is fairly certain that the older reward models employed by Jinnikins ware inadequate in meeting the new visions and aspirations of the company. In the older model, there is an element of randomness and spontaneity of decision making. Breaking away from this tradition, the new HR Director, Etty, took the right measure of applying course correction. She . . . Read More
The complex and challenging role of the policeman in society is given a rigorous treatment by author William K. Muir. The book serves multiple purposes at once – it is part sociological research, part collection of interesting anecdotes and part informed commentary. The author excels in meeting each of these three objectives with élan. One of the attractive features of the book is how it combines armchair analysis with on-field documentation. With regard to the latter, the author seems to adopt a hands-on, spontaneous documentary style, where he walks in to situations of interest with a recorder/scribbling pad at hand.
Muir acknowledges the propensities of policemen for stereotyping victims and resorting to easy violence. Yet, he constructs his narrative in a manner empathetic towards them. He highlights how highly stressful the daily duties of police are and how their poise can consequently sometimes snap. A policeman’s professional life is mostly filled with . . . Read More
The first New York subway is a monumental public works project. Its appeal and achievement may not be apparent for a contemporary reader who takes local trains for granted. But in 1904 when the project was unveiled, it was a pioneering engineering effort with great public utility. At a time when the idea of public transportation was in its infancy, the first New York subway proved to be the nerve center for the city. In the more than a century of its existence, the challenges overcome by the project serve as case studies for later generations of civil engineers and urban planners. The lessons in design, planning and implementation that attended the project continue to offer practical wisdom for city planners and urban architects alike. More importantly, the infrastructure of the subway proves to be a cultural melting pot for a nation that is constantly evolving its identity.
The NYC subway was commissioned to be built by the Rapid Transit Construction Company. Privately . . . Read More
Critical Response to SARS in Toronto, in Howitt and Leonard, Managing Crises, pp. 75-130
The Toronto SARS crisis serves as an important case study for emergency operations personnel. During the unfolding of the crisis, there were some actions that were laudable actions and some others that were unsatisfactory. Given that 43 people lost their lives and scores of others suffered infection, a deep introspection on this emergency episode is called for. The rest of the essay will critically examine the actions taken during the event and identify areas in which emergency responses could be ameliorated.
As author Pamela Varley repeatedly points out in her case study, the ‘novelty’ factor of the SARS epidemic put conventional Emergency Operation Plans (EOP) to test. But the quick rate of spread of the virus, with hospitals themselves proving to be mediums for contagion, had made the Toronto emergency response team all the more arduous. Further, the . . . Read More
Qantas Airways has established a reputation for itself in the highly competitive airlines industry. It has also survived the test of time by being a long time player in the Asia-Pacific regional market. Behind this success are valued marketing and service practices. Even a cursory analysis of Qantas’ business processes indicate how the company has followed the 7P’s of service marketing, especially those of People, Processes and Physical facilities. The rest of the essay will elaborate how the company had applied these principles and where it can still improve.
It is already said oftentimes that human resources are the backbone of services companies. However clichéd this maxim is, it yet remains true. Since the staff and crew of Qantas are direct points of contact for customers, they virtually serve as the face of the company. Behind Qantas’ steady rise within the airlines market are robust processes of provisioning, recruitment and training of its staff. . . . Read More
This concept comprises many alternative meanings and connotations. Although a typical definition would suggest the fundamental notion involved is one of responsibility to someone, or for some action (and both elements could be present simultaneously, of course), there is the added dimension of the need to actually render an account (i.e., of one’s conduct) to a superior person or authority so that the adequacy of the level of performance might (retrospectively) be judged.
At a general level, accountability is the basis of agency theory, whereby an appointed agent needs to demonstrate that they have exercised due discretion in the execution of the principal’s best interests— although academics for many years have pointed out the implicit encouragement, because of the existence of reward structures that benefit the agent, for that agent to falsify records of activities undertaken on their principal’s behalf. The Parable of the Unjust Steward is a classic case here, in . . . Read More
The argument that countries differ in their ability to produce goods efficiently, and hence one country may have an advantage in the production of a product that is absolute over any other country in producing it is called absolute advantage. Efficiency is defined as producing with a minimum of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort, and therefore includes low cost, fewer resources, and fewer labor hours.
Writing about agricultural trade, Luther Tweeten argues that the United States has an absolute advantage in wheat production because only one hour of labor is required to produce a ton of wheat versus four hours to produce a ton of wheat in the rest of the world. In contrast, elsewhere in the world sugar production requires two hours of labor versus three in the United States to produce one ton of sugar. Because labor supply is limited and transferable between commodities but not between countries, wheat output (elsewhere in the world) is forgone to produce sugar. Similarly, . . . Read More
Absenteeism can be defined as any failure on the part of the employee to report to work when scheduled to do so. This includes absences that occur for any reason, whether involuntary or voluntary. Here, involuntary absenteeism refers to unavoidable illnesses and injuries that prevent an employee from attending to their work obligations. Voluntary absenteeism, on the other hand, includes unplanned absences to look after sick dependents, but can also be the outcome of boredom and/or low job satisfaction.
Unauthorized absenteeism represents a major cost for organizations all over the globe. Although individual incidents of absenteeism are fairly innocuous, the cumulative impact can be substantial. The impact on the North American economy alone is estimated to be in excess of $60 million. The obvious costs are those associated with the absentees themselves and includes their regular pay and benefits. Beyond this are the costs related to replacement labor, overtime, and lost . . . Read More
Summary of article:
The article titled ‘Finding Employees and Keeping Them: Predicting Loyalty in the Small Business’ accounts for various factors that determine employee loyalty in small businesses.
The authors assert that employees in small businesses are expected to be more versatile and dynamic. This makes hiring the right people a little challenging. In larger businesses, each employee is a specialist in a particular facet of business. To this extent, job descriptions can be sharply defined and employees hired in numbers. (Dyer and Reda 2010)
Indeed, as the study identifies, small businesses which adopt a formalized hiring process tend to perform better than their less structured counterparts. For example, parameters such as financial performance, revenue growth, as well as owners’ success perception, all point to this correlation. More importantly, selection of personnel inadequately skilled for the role has a detrimental effect on . . . Read More
DVD rental business is coming to the end of its life-cycle. While Netflix made a name for itself by excelling in this domain, the technological landscape and consumer preferences are constantly in a flux.
Netflix’ leadership position in streaming video is somewhat secure for the moment. But rapidly changing technology and competition from niche players pose numerous challenges that require anticipation and proactive implementation.
The major themes w.r.t. the Netflix study are ‘emergent technology’, ‘supply-chain innovation’, ‘precision logistics’, ‘saturated market’, ‘key product strategies’, ‘marketing strategy’, ‘customer relations’, and ‘value creation’. To elaborate on a few, let us consider first the theme of emergent technology. Netflix was a pioneer in supply-chain innovation and distribution. Hence its precision logistics was a pivotal factor in its success . . . Read More