HR case questions

Strategic Compensation chapter 2 case, page 47


Exempt or Nonexempt


Jane Swift is becoming frustrated with her job as a shift leader at Jones Department Store. She’s worked there for 6 months, and the full-time job has turned into more than full time. Several associates have left the store, and as a result, the past several weeks she has worked 45–50 hours each week. She doesn’t mind working the extra hours; she is just frustrated because she is not getting paid overtime pay.

She asked the store manager, Amy Kostner, about the overtime pay she was due. Amy informed Jane that shift leaders are part of the management team and are classified as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The store is not required to pay exempt workers overtime pay.

Jane agrees that she is part of the management team. As a shift leader, Jane runs the floor when she is on duty. One of the assistant managers sets the daily schedule of associates each week, but Jane and other shift leaders assign the associates to various work areas as needed. Depending on store traffic, associates need to be moved from stocking shelves and cleaning to cashiering or assisting customers. When not work- ing on such management responsibilities, the shift leaders generally assume the duties of associates by assisting customers and cashiering. Jane reports that she typically spends only a little more than half of her time performing associate duties.

Shift leaders are also involved in managerial decisions. For example, they often sit in on employment interviews and typically are aware of employee terminations before the employee is fired. They also give feedback about the associates to the assistant managers who write the annual performance appraisals.

Just like a manager, Jane makes a lot of decisions during the course of her shift each day. If there is a dispute on a sale price, Jane searches the weekly sales flyer to determine the correct price. If a customer has a return, Jane reviews the transaction and initials it before the cashier can give a refund. However, she does not have complete autonomy in making decisions. For example, if a return is greater than $50.00, an assistant manager or the store manager needs to approve the refund.

But even though she agrees that she is part of the management team, Jane isn’t satisfied with Amy’s answer on her question about pay. If she isn’t eligible for overtime pay, she thinks that she should be paid more. While she is paid at a higher rate than most of the associates, she is not paid nearly as much as the assistant managers. A pay increase or overtime pay would at least make it worthwhile for her to put in the extra hours.


2-6.Why did Amy classify the shift leaders as exempt? Are there any advantages to Jones Department Store to having the shift leaders classified as exempt?

2-7.Do you think that the shift leaders are properly classified as exempt? Why or why not?

2-8.What are some factors that Amy should consider when determining whether shift leaders are

exempt or nonexempt?


Page 22 case:

Crunch the numbers!

Calculating the Costs of Increasing the Total Compensation Budget at Butcher Enterprises


Butcher Enterprises has experienced substantial employee turnover among its office workers. During exit interviews, more than 80 percent stated that low pay was the top reason for resigning. The company con- ducted a survey of local companies’ pay practices to confirm whether this concern is valid. Indeed, Butcher Enterprises’ average hourly pay rate for total compensation falls well below the market. The compensation survey showed an average hourly rate of $23 for total compensation. Of this amount, wages are $16 per hour and benefits are $7 per hour. In comparison, Butcher Enterprises spends an average hourly rate of $19 for total compensation. Of this amount, 70 percent is allocated for wages.


1-7. On an average hourly basis, how much does Butcher Enterprises spend on wages and benefits, respectively, in dollars?

1-8. How much does the company spend on wages and benefits over the course of one year for 100 office workers? Assume that each worker provides 2,080 hours of service each year.

1-9. How much additional money does the company need to match the market rates for this group of 100 employees?


 “Groupthink” describes a very common problem that teams experience. Where/when have you ever experienced groupthink as a problem? Have you seen any way to prevent it? What useful information is there in the two readings that might help you avoid groupthink situations?

Forum assignments are to be completed in the [Forum] tab.  Once you are assigned a group, you will have a designated area in which you will complete the assignments. Do not submit your responses in the [Assignments] tab or anywhere else on Sakai.  Once you are assigned a group, you will click on your group number in the [Forum] section and complete your assignments.  Each week your TA will set up the discussion thread under which you will be submitting your responses.

For this week, after you click on [Forums], click on the link titled “Week 2 forum assignment.”  Then click on the thread titled “Week 2 forum assignment” (no, that’s not a redundant typo…when you click, you’ll see).  You can submit your response by clicking on the ” Reply to initial message” link.


1. Average PS scores for the whole sample, males, females, non-minorities, and minorities

2.The correlation between PS scores and performance ratings, and its statistical significance (r=.37 or higher is needed for significance at p<.05).

HRMD651 discussion 7

 In their textbook, Effective Training: Systems, Strategies, and Practices, Blanchard and Thacker (2013) state that on-the-job training is “the most frequently used training method . . .OJT is the preferred method for training employees for new technology and increasing skills in the use of existing technology” (p. 225).   Blanchard and Simmering (n. d.) make the same point in the required reading this week. Have you experienced any on-the-job training?  If so, was the training effective?  Were the steps in the Job Instruction Technique (JIT) described in the Blanchard and Simmering reading followed? 


Blanchard, P. N., & Simmering, M. J. (n. d.). Training delivery methods.  Encyclopedia of management.  Reference for Business. Retrieved from

Blanchard, P. N., & Thacker, J. W. (2013). Effective training: Systems, strategies, and practices (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Gainsharing incentive plan


1. What are gainsharing incentive plans? 

2. Identify at least ten (10) characteristics that contribute to the success of some gainsharing plans.

3. Identify at least five (5) factors that contribute to the failure of some gainsharing plans.

HR (Fina Mana U2_2)


I have an assignment due. I will attach the requirements needed to complete this assignment.

Note: Completed calculations and answered questions in a 1-page word document.

Week 4 Discussion #8

 How is it possible that employee referral programs, which often include the payment of signing bonuses and finder’s fees, can often generate the lowest cost-per-hire of all recruiting practices? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of an employee referral program? 

For Eng.Kelvin Only

Due Wednesday at noon


250 words

Hello Students,

Before beginning this week, please watch the attached Powerpoint presentation.  There is sound attached to this presentation so when you open it, select slide show and allow it to advance automatically. 


For this week you should read Chapters 11 & 12 in the textbook and review the  Chapter 11  and  Chapter 12  PowerPoint presentations.

This week one focus is on the critical role of emotional intelligence (EI) in effective strategic leadership. EI refers to an individual’s capacity for recognizing one’s emotions and those of others.

Emotional Intelligence is a Key Leadership Trait In previous weeks, we focused on “what leaders do and how they do it.” This week, we address “who leaders are.” That is, we focus on individual attributes instead of leader behavior. It is important to point out that these two issues are highly related because successful leaders possess valuable traits that enable them to engage effectively in activities to create value for their organization.

Although there have been countless studies of leader traits (e.g., integrity, maturity, energy, intelligence), we address one that has really garnered a lot of attention in both the academic and business presses: Emotional Intelligence (EI). This concept has been popularized by Daniel Goleman who has published best-selling books. Goleman defines EI as the capacity for recognizing one’s own emotions and those of others.

Recent studies have found that effective leaders have a high level of EI and that EI is a better predictor of life and career success than IQ (intelligence quotient). The five components of EI are:

Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and, Social Skill

These five components are briefly summarized in EXHIBIT 11.3 in your text.

Globalization is another reason for the increasing importance of empathy (one of the five elements of EI) for business leaders. Cross-cultural dialogue can often result in miscues and misunderstandings. Empathy is a valuable antidote. Managers who have it are attuned to subtleties in body language. They can hear messages beneath the words being spoken. Further, they have a deep understanding of the existence and importance of cultural and ethnic differences.

For example, consider the case of an American consultant whose team has just presented a proposal to a Japanese client. When dealing with fellow Americans, the team was accustomed to being bombarded with questions after such a proposal. However, this time it was greeted with a long silence. Most of the members of the team interpreted the silence as disapproval and were ready to leave. However, the lead consultant gestured them to stop. Although he was not very familiar with Japanese culture, he was able to read the client’s face and posture and sensed not rejection but interest – even deep consideration. He was correct. When the client finally spoke, it was to award the consulting firm with the job.

Goleman, D. 1998. What makes a leader? Harvard Business Review, 76(6): 93-102.

There are some potential drawbacks of EI; don’t confuse the role of each trait.   Below are a few flipsides of the benefits of its essential components if taken in the wrong context.

1. Effective leaders have empathy for others (leaders may confuse empathy with sympathy and fail to make “hard decisions”)
2. Effective leaders are astute judges of people (leaders may rely too much on their judgment and dismiss others’ insights)
3. Effective leaders are passionate about what they do, and they show it (passion may prevent leaders from other possibilities and ignore realities that others see)
4. Effective leaders create personal connections with their people (if there are too many unannounced visits, it may lead to fear of micromanagement.)

Corporate entrepreneurship  (CE) refers to building entrepreneurial businesses within existing corporations. It has two primary aims: the creation of new venture opportunities and strategic renewal. In this section, we address corporate growth and renewal via internal venture development.

All the factors that influence the strategy implementation process – corporate culture, leadership, features of organizational structure, and rewards and learning systems – will affect how corporations engage in internal corporate venturing.

In some large corporations, the spirit of entrepreneurship permeates every part of the organization. It is found in companies where the strategic leaders and the culture together generate a strong impetus to innovate, take risks, and seek out new venture opportunities.

Firms using a focused approach typically separate the corporate venturing activity from the other ongoing operations of the firm. That is, CE is usually the domain of autonomous work groups that pursue entrepreneurial aims independent of the rest of the firm.

Two forms – new venture groups (NVGs) and business incubators – are among the most common types of focused approaches.

The following article describes one type of highly focused entrepreneurial environment – Samsung’s VIP Center where innovative ideas and engineering problems are addressed with great intensity and speed.

Corporations often form new venture groups whose goal is to identify, evaluate, and cultivate venture opportunities. These groups typically function as semi-autonomous units with little formal structure. A NVG’s mandate often extends beyond innovation and experimentation to coordinating with other corporate divisions, identifying potential venture partners, gathering resources, and, in some case, actually launching the venture.

Business incubators are designed to “hatch” new businesses. They are a type of corporate new venture group with a more specialized purpose – to support and nurture fledgling entrepreneurial ventures until they can thrive on their own as standalone businesses.

A culture of entrepreneurship is one in which the search for venture opportunities permeates every part of the organization. Everyone is attuned to opportunities to leverage the assets and capabilities of the corporation to create new businesses.

After reading this week’s material answer ONE (1) of the following questions in this forum:

1 – In your own words, define Emotional Intelligence (EI) and describe the key elements of EI and discuss how it differs from Intelligent Quotient (IQ).  Why is EI so important to successful strategic leadership?  Do you think that EI or IQ is more important for effective leadership and/or management?  Give an example of a leader you have known with high EI and explain your selection.

2 – What are the differences between focused and dispersed approaches to corporate entrepreneurship?    Explain.

3 – Explain the difference between proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness in terms of achieving and sustaining competitive advantage.