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Hopwood Manufacturing: Seeking to Hire the Best and the Brightest, or Not (A) Case Solution
Harvey’s decision of accepting the recruitment drive of Hopwood Manufacturing was not a well-informed decision. He made this choice by keeping David Maggert in mind, as David was previously a visiting faculty member at the Lambert University. David introduced the recruitment drive in such a way as if he was a representative of Hopwood Manufacturing. Hence, Harvey had the incomplete information about David’s position in the recruitment drive plan. There was a misunderstanding about the fact that David was a consultant and not an employee of the company. This implied that David had an advisory role to play in the company. He could not affect or implement any action in Hopwood Manufacturing.
Following questions are answered in this case study solution:
How would you evaluate Harvey’s decision to bring Hopwood Manufacturing to the university? Did he make any mistakes? Should he have done anything differently? Were there warning signs that he should have recognized, and, if so, how should he have responded to those signals?
How did the characteristics of the organization and the events that transpired in the previous academic year affect Harvey’s situation? Would the problem have been different if the anonymous e-mail hate message had not been sent?
Who are the stakeholders that Harvey must consider as he contemplates his next steps? What are the interests of each stakeholder group?
Why did Harvey just sit there silently in the face of these stereotypical and discriminatory statements? Why didn’t he do something then while he had the recruiters sitting across the table from him?
What specific action(s) should Harvey take at the end of the case and in what time frame?
Case Study Questions Answers
Even though Harvey and Wilson were well aware of David’s post in the plan, later on, the charm of the package, which included a very good opportunity for the students of Lambert University, was the major factor on which Harvey’s and Wilson’s decision was based. The internship package consisted of relocation and housing, hourly wage and performance-related bonus. The step of researching about the company, its past records and its managers was completely ignored by Harvey. This led to a weak base of the decision. Another alarming sign by the recruiter, Wendy Blair, was the use of an overhead projector, which was a bit old fashioned in a university where students used PowerPoint to give their presentations. It was evident that the company has not advanced enough to be updated with the latest technology available. There was another warning signal, before the interview, when Harvey discovered that Blair is not educated.
All of the above mentioned signals should have led to an action. But unfortunately, Harvey stayed silent. One way of responding could be developing a strong base for decision making. For instance: Harvey and other heads could research well about the company and its managers, to get a better idea of the recruiters. Universities should develop their criteria for recruiters, to avoid such companies to conduct their drives. Moreover, other stakeholders of the institution should have been involved in making the decision appropriately. As an institute should function by the stakeholder's interest and long term benefit.
2. How did the characteristics of the organization and the events that transpired in the previous academic year affect Harvey's situation? Would the problem have been different if the anonymous e-mail hate message had not been sent?
The major factor in Harvey's situation was the recent popularity of the concept of cultural diversity in the University. Maintaining cultural diversity in the academic environment became a core value of the institution. The initiative of emphasizing cultural diversity started off when Lambert University's minority students received an anonymous email hate message. Certain measures were taken by the organization to ensure diversity. The measures taken were not subjected to only students, faculty and staff were also a part of it. The measures included hiring a diversity consultant, who then conducted a diversity audit through diversity questionnaires, etc. Also, the topic was repeatedly discussed in staffroom among the faculty members.
Considering all these activities been taking place at the Lambert University, Harvey’s stance on Blair’s anti-diversity dialogue was predictable. In fact, anyone in the university would have the same stance as Harvey's as the institution was working on building this core value with all the stakeholders; hence, such act by the recruiters was not tolerable and the situation demanded an action. Now, if the anonymous email were not sent to the minority students, they would not have been willing to take any action about emphasizing the importance of diversity. The problem could have got suppressed and unknown, as 95% of the student body was white, approximately. Also, if no such issue would have risen, the organization would not have been willing to take any steps to resolve it; hence, there is a probability of Harvey having a different stance about Blair’s dialogue without the email. Moreover, Harvey was white; he could have been biased about taking his decision against the act if the institution was not already working on ensuring cultural diversity in the Institute.
3. Who are the stakeholders that Harvey must consider as he contemplates his next steps? What are the interests of each stakeholder group?
Harvey’s action against the dialogue and decision of Blair should be based not only on the university's higher management interest but also on the other stakeholders’ interest including internal and external stakeholders of Lambert University. When actions are taken considering the best interest of the stakeholders, long term sustainability of an organization is ensured. Internal stakeholders, whose opinions should be considered before taking the decision are students, faculty members (both visiting and permanent), and the top level management.
It is important for the students to be involved in this decision making process, as students are the ones being affected by the recruitment drives directly. Also, the final decision has a huge impact on the way; the future recruitments will be conducted. Now that the faculty members are the ones who are educated and have a much better understanding of how to deal with recruiters, they have to be a part of decision making. Also, Harvey and Wilson will have a leading role as they are the witness of the whole situation.
Furthermore, students and teachers have an advisory role to play in this scenario. The actual implementation of the plan will be approved by the higher authority. This higher authority includes dean and directors or board of directors of various departments, including human resource, administration, etc. As far as the external stakeholders are concerned, the government should be involved, as the government is the main regulatory body within a state and racism is a topic which is widely discussed at all levels, be it national or international. The institution should refer to the constitution of the state or consult a lawyer before taking the final action. The main interest of the government would be the implementation of the laws that it has made against discriminatory activities in the country on employment or recruitment.
4. Why did Harvey just sit there silently in the face of these stereotypical and discriminatory statements? Why didn’t he do something then while he had the recruiters sitting across the table from him?
For Harvey, this was an unexpected situation, as he had heard this type of conversation from a top tier management for the first time. He ended the talk with Blair and Maggert with a thank you, without pointing out the act of discrimination that they had committed.
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