Case Studies & Publications

HRPI cases examine innovative practices and strategic issues in human resources management. Our cases are used in undergraduate, MBA, and executive developmental programs across the country. You can order a copy of our cases by calling us at (617) 353-3304, or emailing our office.

Sandwood & Wallace: Attracting and Retaining Talent in South Africa (A)
International Human Resources Management, Talent Management
Written By: Lindsay Hoag

This case examines the challenges a company faces in implementing a global human resources strategy in South Africa.  The first priority of the Senior Vice President of Human Resources over the next two years is to transition out expatriate talent in Johannesburg and replace them with local talent.  At the same time, S&W needs to retain its experienced local talent in a fluid market environment where other companies in South Africa are willing to double the pay S&W could offer.  Unlike in the United States and Europe, where the market was mature, and salaries were known, the fluid nature of the market in South Africa made retention of managerial level talent a major challenge.  The Senior Vice President of HR must think creatively about what talent management strategies the company can utilize to not only attract experienced local talent, but also to retain talent to maintain a stable operating environment in South Africa.

eWorking at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Telework, Remote Workforce, Human Resources, Technology
Written by: Lindsay Hoag, Fred K. Foulkes

This case examines eWorking at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA). eWorking is the capability to work seamlessly from home electronically, full-time (five days) when it meets both the needs of the business and the needs of the employee. In 2004, BCBSMA allowed a limited number of associates to work from home on a permanent basis. Two years later, after many requests from leaders and associates alike, the collaborative efforts of the human resources, information technology and finance departments resulted in a formal corporate wide eWorking program available to any business unit interested in participating. By September 2010, over 20% of BCBSMA’s 3,600 associates were eWorkers.

Who is Jake Gladeston?
Social Media, College Recruiting
Written By: Amy Gannon, Fred K. Foulkes

Eva Lang, the senior manager for the Northeast region of TechConsulting, sat in her office staring out the window at the lunchtime bustle of downtown.  Eva had just returned from a long conversation with Mark Jeffing, the human resources manager for her department.  Over the past two months Eva and her team had been interviewing candidates for a key entry-level position in her group.  She thought she had finally found the perfect candidate when she interviewed Jake Gladeston, a senior at Allston University who was majoring in Business.  Jake had the right education and experience, and seemed to have a style and personality that would fit well within the TechConsulting culture.  Yet, after a member of the interview team drew her attention to Jake’s webpage, she began to reconsider her initial assessment.

Molex Automotive (A), (B), (Teaching Note)
International Human Resources Management, Risk Management
Written By: Lindsay Hoag, Fred K. Foulkes

The major events of this case take place during late 2008 and early 2009.  Due to the global economic downturn and a global reorganization taking place at the United States based Molex Corporation, Molex decides in October 2008, to close its French manufacturing plant located in Villemur-sur-Tarn and layoff 281 plant workers.  By April 2009, plant workers were increasingly frustrated with Molex management and the Molex proposed social plan required by French law when a company decides to close a plant.  During a Molex management meeting on April 20, 2009, to discuss worker layoffs, plant workers asked the French plant manager to leave and they took hostage Marcus Kerriou, the Vice President of Corporate Human Resources for Molex Europe, and Coline Colboc, the Manager of Human Resources for Villemur.  The case ends with Molex CEO, Martin Slark, and his team in Lisle, IL, sitting down to consider options on how to safely release the two executives.

Morgan Stanley – Andy Xie
International Human Resources, Technology
Written By: Amy Gannon, Fred K. Foulkes

This case study brings to light an instance where conflict may arise between the organizational culture and local culture AND/OR between the cultures of different countries in which an organization operates.  In this case, Andy Xie sent an e-mail to a few colleagues.  Within days, the e-mail was distributed broadly within and outside the organization, to the media, and even posted on the internet.  What started as just a quick sharing of thoughts and impressions became a permanent, public document available for anyone to read. By using e-mail as a means of conversation, Andy Xie put his career and his company in jeopardy.  Yet his offense – sharing personal opinions with colleagues in an e-mail – is not uncommon.  Many people who use e-mail have probably sent private messages that would have negative consequences if they were shared publicly.