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problem1) Link up environmental management and operations management in a strategic framework.  Describe your response.

problem2) How and why has human resource management moved from the simple concern with recruitment and reward to the more strategic role in the business?  In what ways is people management becoming the central concern for strategic operations managers – and in what ways could they enable human resources to make the strategically important contribution to the business?

problem3) Differentiate between internally (process) and externally focused performance measures. Give exs. Discuss pros and cons of relying solely on either internally focused or externally focussed measures.

problem4) What are the drawbacks of relying solely on financial measures to assess organizational performance?


Case Study

George Foreman

As a result of Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) Caustic Chemicals Company took a policy decision at Board level to increase safety performance greatly throughout whole company.  This policy was expressed formally in a statement that came out under Managing Director’s own signature.

Great emphasis was placed in this statement on individual responsibility to eliminate unsafe acts and conditions at workplace. The processes were inherently dangerous and, in the past, high standards of safety had been insisted upon in processing departments: while previously there had been occasional lapses of good practice to which the charge hands had turned a blind eye, activities had since tightened up and very little change was essential to make sure that all operatives adjusted to letter, as well as the spirit, of company policy as now published.
In the Dispatch Department, though, product appeared to be non-hazardous to most employees. It was all drummed off, or bagged in polythene, and they can not easily identify material with being hazardous.  They were always up against clock when loading and unloading vehicles and though department rules specified that protective clothing (issued free and consisting of a suit of overalls, over-wellingtons, plastic apron and goggles for use when handling particular chemicals), most workers `did their own thing’.  There was an array of various modes of dress and few complied with the proper scale of clothing deemed essential.  It was noticeable that older hands generally conformed but newer employees objected as they said that they could not see need and anyway company issue was too hot to work at the speed required.

Some years ago there had been a very unfortunate accident in loading bay.  While a 40-gallon drum was being loaded on bed of a lorry, forks of a forklift truck perforated the drum and the caustic contents sprayed over a loading hand with result that he was permanently almost blinded (totally in one eye and with 50 per cent vision in the other).

Position in the shop is that chargehands (of which there are two in shop strength of 20) have allowed safety standards to find a differential level between individuals in the department.  Older hands are resentful of the risks which they believe younger members take – and which could involve the innocent equally.

George Foreman, a tough battler of a supervisor, has just transferred to overall responsibility for the Dispatch Area, as well as the General Factory Services (a compliant group of cleaners and service operators, etc.).

He has the remit from his manager to implement the company policy and rules `to the letter’.  He has had one meeting with the chargehands, telling them what he expected with regard to standards.  They accepted what he said but no noticeable improvement has taken place over the last month.

Case problems

(i) Faced with problem describeed in the case, what will you as George Foreman do in the next week:

a) with the charge hands;

b) with the members of the department?

(ii) What new systems will you introduce to make sure compliance with good practice?

(iii) How will you gain commitment to safe working from all employees without loss of morale, or resentment?

Operation Research, Management Studies

  • Category:- Operation Research
  • Reference No.:- M93389

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