Answered Essay: As the largest employer in Ouachita County, Arkansas, International Forest Products (IFP)

As the largest employer in Ouachita County, Arkansas, International Forest Products (IFP) Company is an important part of the local economy. Ouachita County is a mostly rural area in south central Arkansas. It employs almost 10 percent of the local workforce, and few alternative job opportunities are available in the area. Scott Wheeler, the HR director at IFP, tells of a difficult decision he once had to make. According to Scott, everything was going along pretty well despite the economic recession, but he knew that sooner or later the company would be affected. “I got the word at a private meeting with the president, Janet Deason, that we would have to cut the workforce by 30 percent on a crash basis. I was to get back to her within a week with a suggested plan. I knew that my plan would not be the final one because the move was so major, but I knew that Ms. Deason was depending on me to provide at least a workable approach. “First, I thought about how the union would react. Certainly, workers would have to be let go in order of seniority. The union would try to protect as many jobs as possible. I also knew that all of management’s actions during this period would be intensely scrutinized. We had to make sure that we had our act together. “Then there was the impact on the surrounding community to consider. The economy of Ouachita County had not been in good shape recently. Aside from the influence on the individual workers who were laid off, I knew that our cutbacks would further depress the area’s economy. I knew that there would be a number of government officials and civic leaders who would want to know how we were trying to minimize the harm done to the public in the area. “We really had no choice but to make the cuts, I believed. First of all, I had no choice because Ms. Deason said we were going to do it. Also, I had recently read a news account that one of our competitors, Johns Manville Corporation in West Monroe, Louisiana, had laid off several hundred workers in a cost-cutting move. To keep our sales from being further depressed, we had to ensure that our costs were just as low as those of our competitors. The wood products market is very competitive and a cost advantage of even 2 or 3 percent would allow competitors to take many of our customers. “Finally, a major reason for the cutbacks was to protect the interests of our shareholders. A few years ago a shareholder group disrupted our annual meeting to insist that IFP make certain antipollution changes. In general, though, the shareholders seem to be more concerned with the return on their investments than with social responsibility. At our meeting, the president reminded me that, just like every other manager in the company, I should place the shareholders’ interests above all else. I really was quite overwhelmed as I began to work up a human resource plan that would balance all of these conflicting interests.” How might each HR function be affected by the reduction in force? Remember that all employees at IFP are not members of the union. List the elements in the company’s environment that will affect Scott’s suggested plan. How legitimate is the interest of each of these? Is it true that Scott should be concerned first and foremost with protecting the interests of shareholders? Discuss. Corporate culture is discussed in this chapter as a major internal environmental factor affecting an organization. How might the downsizing of IFP affect the corporate culture of the company?

Expert Answer

How might each HR function be affected by the reduction in force? Remember that all employees at IFP are not members of the union.

The reduction in the force will impact most significantly to the union function of the organization. In case of a union environment, as per the labor management agreement, the employee’s lay off will be based on seniority. On the other hand, laying off in the nonunion organization will be driven by the performance of the workers and as per the requirements of the organization. Thus the focus of the reduction of force will mainly be on the performance management function. In fact in order to perform various measures of cost cutting, Scott should examine different elements of a compensation plan. In fact some of the employees may also be affected due to human resource development function as they may require to undergo training so that they can be fit to take the responsibilities of other employees.

1-20.    List the elements in the company’s environment that will affect Scott’s suggested plan. How legitimate is the interest of each of these?

All the actions can be considered as legitimate. The right to consideration is provided to the local government as the government not only represents the government but the various functions of the company are also affected by the government. All the employees must be represented by the unions but they must be also having the right to sustain themselves in an organization. The surrounding community is already facing a lot of issues and any further lay off will make the situation worst.

On the other hand there is no legitimate claim for consideration from the competitors. The only things applicable here is that any attempt made by the competitors in terms of price cutting will result in cost-cutting moves at International Forest Products. The interest off the shareholders are the main responsibilities of the top management.

1-21.    Is it true that Scott should be concerned first and foremost with protecting the interests of the shareholders? Discuss.

Scott has been told that this should be his foremost concern, and he probably has no real choice but to comply. Still, the trend in management is to recognize a variety of interests as legitimate, so Scott is certainly justified in attempting to balance the conflicting interests rather than considering only the shareholders.

1-22.    Corporate culture is discussed in this chapter as a major internal environmental factor affecting an organization. How might the downsizing of International Forest Products affect the corporate culture of the company?

There is no doubt that an immediate effect of the downsizing will be on the morale of the remaining workers. Even those who remain may wonder what will occur at a later time. Hopefully workers will ultimately realize that the downsizing was necessary to ensure the continued success of the organization.

Buy Essay
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Help Me Write My Essay - Reasons:

Best Online Essay Writing Service

We strive to give our customers the best online essay writing experience. We Make sure essays are submitted on time and all the instructions are followed.

Our Writers are Experienced and Professional

Our essay writing service is founded on professional writers who are on stand by to help you any time.

Free Revision Fo all Essays

Sometimes you may require our writers to add on a point to make your essay as customised as possible, we will give you unlimited times to do this. And we will do it for free.

Timely Essay(s)

We understand the frustrations that comes with late essays and our writers are extra careful to not violate this term. Our support team is always engauging our writers to help you have your essay ahead of time.

Customised Essays &100% Confidential

Our Online writing Service has zero torelance for plagiarised papers. We have plagiarism checking tool that generate plagiarism reports just to make sure you are satisfied.

24/7 Customer Support

Our agents are ready to help you around the clock. Please feel free to reach out and enquire about anything.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:
$0.00

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

HOW OUR ONLINE ESSAY WRITING SERVICE WORKS

Let us write that nagging essay.

STEP 1

Submit Your Essay/Homework Instructions

By clicking on the "PLACE ORDER" button, tell us your requires. Be precise for an accurate customised essay. You may also upload any reading materials where applicable.

STEP 2

Pick A & Writer

Our ordering form will provide you with a list of writers and their feedbacks. At step 2, its time select a writer. Our online agents are on stand by to help you just in case.

STEP 3

Editing (OUR PART)

At this stage, our editor will go through your essay and make sure your writer did meet all the instructions.

STEP 4

Receive your Paper

After Editing, your paper will be sent to you via email.