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Case Study On Educational Toy

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Based on the given information, there are many problems revolving around Educational Toy Company (ETC) which concerns the human resource management (HRM) issues. The immediate problem is the dropped of sales figure recently resulting from the lack of innovation and creativity in their product design. This problem did not appear from nowhere; rather, it is the effect from poor management in particular the HRM area within the company. As mentioned, there is no one in the company that handles staffing issues which are critical to the company performance. In searching for a solution, there are several underlying problems such as staffing issues within the company arise which worsen the situation. Large number of permanent staffs, employees resistant to change, boring job routine and miscommunication are part of the underlying problems in ETC. Here in, the need to place human resource as the 'solution centre' is emphasized as it would enable better performance as it has a robust middle component in managing the company (Kates, A. 2006). This is explained by its ability to identify the root causes of problems which are often not visible when HR becomes a business partner. Although the design model brings about benefits, it is relatively sophisticated as it requires a skilled HR manager to execute it. This can be done with the assumption that John is an experienced HR professional employed by ETC. On the other hand, attention should be directed to identifying actionable staffing strategies to better prepare an organization for the future rather than to have a precise forecast of the future (Bechet, T.P., 2002 cited in Roehling, M., 2006). Other assumptions made are as follow: There is only Caucasians in the company; some employees are part of the workers union; equal ratio of female to male employees; moderate firm growth rate; relatively flat hierarchy structure; Of the 200 staff, more than three quarters work in the production line. This case study aims to provide an analysis of the problems affecting ETC and provide solutions using HR information system (HRIS) for the company strategic competitive advantage. It does not give the perfect solution, rather, the most relevant, as there are lack of information with assumptions made.

What went wrong?

To begin with, the problems are divided into a few clusters - mainly, the career management, performance management, job design and employee training & development issues will be analyzed. The dropped in sales figure in both Asia and Australia market was due to the product line based on the market research showing that the lack of innovation and creativity in ETC product were the cause. This is attributed from the assumption that ETC does not encourage or provide training and development to their employees despite having a steady growth for the past twenty years.

With no employee training and development program, it resulted in the stagnant design of ETC product which was not as attractive to the customers although the quality is superior. Despite the many permanent staff in ETC, it can be seen there was not any information about each of them and what other skills they have besides their current work skill. This hinders the company to implement training and development program for the employees. Moreover, from the case study, it shows that there were young talented individual in the company who lack of the opportunity to grow and flourish. With that, Berglas (2006) stress the importance of having talented individuals grow and keep them performing at their best level. In addition, the older employees in ETC were not trained to upgrade their knowledge although many of them are experienced and have superb quality work. Their importance could have been enriched and complemented with some training and development with enhance performance (Odums, G.A., 2006; Loretto, W. & White, P., 2006; Cabrales, A.L., Valle, R. & Herrero, A., 2006). Here in, both the old and young employees' lack the training and development which could have bring the company to a higher growth and success in current market where innovation and creativity are critical especially in this educational toy industry (Ruiz, G. 2006).

In terms of the career management issue, it lies with how the company direct and enable the employees to grow and progress in their working life (De Cieri & Kramar, 2003). From the information given, it is assumed that the company does not have a career management system for the employees. The lack of a clear guideline/framework on how they can further get promoted cause them the lack of direction in particular from the young employees perspective as they are usually more aspired and dynamic to contribute their knowledge to the company (Berglas, 2006). Despite that, the older employees did not complain about the boring job routine which can be assumed that they are basically 'used' to the way ETC operates since it was established. However, this possesses a problem on the company growth because the contemporary world is no longer similar to the 20th century. The advancement of technology speeds up our life whereby continuous learning and innovations is the key to success. Although ETC enjoys steady growth since it established, the problem with career management finally evolved whereby the new generation employees who are searching for challenging, innovative and aspiring work has no clear direction on where they are heading to in their career with ETC. With that, this reflects on the older employees' attitude towards change in work environment and routine.

On the other hand, the performance management was not functioning due to the lack of strategic HRM. It forms the basis of how well the company will grow because understanding the employees are very important whereby strategic goals can be set and adjusted to comply with the available resources - HR (Ruiz, G. 2006; Yeung, A. 2006 & Peterson, C.H., 2005). The success of a company can be reflected from how well they manage the employees' performance which is an area ETC failed to do. As John Travolta find from the employees, some of the young talented are not given opportunity to grow and 'shine'. This causes the problem with too many permanent staff within ETC as no one in the company knows exactly each employees knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA). Not only does the company wasting resources (HR), it also hinders the company growth opportunities by not using its resources strategically.

With regards to the job design problems, it overlaps with the abovementioned issues such as routine work. The younger employees have shown that the job routine is boring and stagnant. This has the effect on their motivation which might lead to poor performance or employee



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