The goal of corporate officers is to position their business entities in the marketplace to ensure optimal competitiveness.

The goal of corporate officers is to position their business entities in the marketplace to ensure optimal competitiveness. This goal applies whether the entity produces goods, services, or information, or whether the entity is an international conglomerate or a start-up venture. Management faces special challenges, for example, in the case of mergers. The challenge can be greater when units that span international boundaries merge. Human resource managers must always be aware of the influences, whether environmental, organizational, or individual, to lead their businesses through challenging times.
In the following scenarios, your company has just been subsumed by a large multinational firm, Pomodoro, Ltd., a food and beverage industry giant. Your previous company, Thompson Snack Foods, manufactured and distributed snack foods in the southeast United States. Your product line included organic potato and corn chips, pretzels, and peanuts. You have been asked to stay on as HR manager, and you look forward to working with the new management team. Your new boss, recently transferred from the firm’s offices in Brussels, has called a meeting for Monday morning.
1. Develop a PowerPoint presentation for your new boss, the stateside director of operations, who has concerns about your firm’s ability to comply with federal HR regulations. In your presentation, identify the HR unit’s policies and procedures for keeping abreast of changes in HR laws. Describe in detail your sources for tracking the status of pending legislation as well as the provisions for complying with recently enacted laws. Your sources might include Web sites, HR-related organization memberships, magazines, and listservs.
2. Your boss has also requested information about the latest government regulations on sexual harassment. Conduct a Web search and then prepare a two-or-three-page memorandum for your boss outlining the procedures you recommend the firm adopt to reduce potential liability if charged with sexual harassment.
3. Your new boss has made it clear he wants the firm to comply with U.S. regulations. In addition, he wants to inform the firm’s staff that a zero tolerance policy for harassment of any sort is in effect. Develop a PowerPoint presentation for use at a sexual harassment training seminar at your firm. Begin by defining harassment. Session attendees would include American and international employees.
4. On October 17, 2000, an immigration law titled the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act was enacted. The high-tech industry heavily supported the provision that allowed H-1B employees to start work immediately. Research this law and develop a three-page position paper identifying the issues most important to your firm. Why was the high-tech industry so heavily invested in the bill’s passage? Be sure to discuss thoroughly the pros and cons of the bill.
5. Develop a white paper defining the issues you believe most critical for HR managers to address. Then develop a training plan for a midsize manufacturing corporation (500–1,000 employees). For this exercise, simply list the courses by topic that you would include. As a follow-on exercise in subsequent modules, you will be asked to develop a full-blown training program plan for the firm.