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Mp tutorial 1 (q)

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Reshaping the New World of Work
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Mp tutorial 1 (q)

  1. 1. BB208 Managing People (Jan-Apr 2012) 1 Tutorial 1 – Introduction to HRM Section A – Discussion Questions Q1 What are the pros and cons of change? Does it help or hurt the performance of organizations? Do you personally like change? Why or why not? Q2 Are people always an organization‟s most valuable asset? Why or why not? Section B – Case Study Managing “Daddy Stress” at Baxter Healthcare For many years women have been torn between family and career. Now it‟s time for the men to be torn. In today‟s environment, some men are starting to rethink their priorities. Sometimes they change unwillingly, pushed by their wives to spend more time on family matters. Whatever the reasons, combine them with a tight labor market, technology that allows employees to work from home, and a younger generation of chief executives and you‟re seeing the beginnings of change in the corporate workplace. “Some chief executives are beginning to acknowledge the problem, both for themselves and their employees. People like Harry M. Jansen Kraemer Jr., the 44-year-old chief of Baxter International, who makes it a point to leave his office at 6p.m. to have dinner with his wife and four kids.” “Harry Kraemer is part of a new generation. He woke up to the problem (of work/life balance) three years ago when Baxter, which manufactures medical products, surveyed employees and found that conflicts between work and home were roiling the company. Surprisingly, even more men than women reported feeling stress. Look at the gender split: forty-nine percent of men versus 39 percent of women said they were looking for a new job because of work/life conflicts.” “Kramer could understand. Unlike the bosses of a previous generation, whose wives supported them every inch of their climb, his wife was a banker until after their fourth child was born eighteen months ago. Both had heavy travel schedules. They took turns bringing the kids to day care. One day Kraemer was late to a meeting because when he arrived at his Deerfield, Illinois office he found his 3-year-old daughter in the backseat of this car. „Dad, 1|Page
  2. 2. BB208 Managing People (Jan-Apr 2012) 2 where are we?‟ she said. Rushed, he thought he had dropped her off at the baby-sitter‟s house. “Kraemer is not merely a sympathizer; he‟s a practical employer in a tight labor market. So he supports employees working flexible schedules. In the past three years the number of Baxter employees (men and women) in the United States using alternative work arrangements doubled, to 2.310. They don‟t necessarily have to take pay cuts; they‟re simply not in the office during traditional hours, instead working part or all of the time from home or getting their work done in four days rather than five. Some employees post „office hours‟ on their doors. “To make sure his managers practice what he preaches, their raises hinge in part on an evaluation by their subordinates on how well they do in providing a supportive work/life environment. “Kraemer knows employees will gauge the sincerity of the change by how he leads his life. He hasn‟t given up his travel schedule, but when he‟s in town he‟s usually out of the office by 6 to have dinner with his family, help his kids practice baseball, or do homework with them. From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. he takes a run and does voice mail and e-mail. „In any company, people are looking for signals,‟ he says. „When they see me leave at a reasonable hour, they know this isn‟t being done for effects.‟ “Is any of this good for business? Kraemer is convinced it is. He points to Baxter‟s logistics department: Thirty of its 100 employees-four of them men-work some kind of alternative work schedules. Yet volume has doubled in the last six years. “As for his immediate subordinates, Kraemer says he no longer insists they hang around all the time. „Whether your people are in Chicago, whether they‟re at home, whether they are in another country, as long as there is reasonable communication, why do you care how often you see any of those people?‟ It‟s results he wants. Questions: a) How do the pressures of the family/work balance differ for men and women? b) What specific HRM practices would support a family-friendly organization? 2|Page

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