HRPD 712

Assignment #1 – Strategic Management

Assignment Type: Individual Report

88 Marks (15% of final course grade)


1. Individually prepare responses to the 4 questions/tasks outlined below.

2. Prepare a word-processed file of no more than 8 pages double spaced, with a font size of no more than 14 and no less than 12.

3. Papers of more than 8 pages double-spaced will be penalized; References must be part of the 8 pages.

4. Please include a cover page, and note your name and student ID (this page will not be included as part of your overall page count).

5. Please submit a printed paper copy of your assignment to your professor at the beginning of class the week of January 28th, 2013. Late papers will be penalized 5% per day unless extenuating circumstances prevail as per the School of Business Assignment Policy.

6. The paper must be authored by the HRPD 712 Winter 2013 student to be graded.



Students will conduct primary (as available) and secondary research, present opinions while they compare and contrast corporate strategies as it relates to the HRM function.

Students will also develop smart objective statements to support corporate mission statements as well as conduct a SWOT analysis for an organization against theories reviewed in Chapters 1 & 2 and class discussions.

Students will also prepare supporting and opposing positions on the role of HR as a strategic partner based on Chapter 2 and in-class discussions.

Question #1: (24 marks)

First step is to select two companies in the same industry sector (hotels, restaurants, post-secondary institutions for example) one company must be utilizing a low-cost provider strategy and the other a differentiation strategy.

Your task is to compare and contrast the practices of these two organizations with particular emphasis on the impact these business strategies have on the following human resource management functions including:

o recruitment and selection,

o orientation and training,

o performance appraisal and

o compensation

o Ensure that as you compare and contrast that you provide at least 3 items (insights) per HRM function noted (4) for each organization.

o Your submission can be completed in chart format with bullets.

An effective way of tackling this exercise is to select two businesses with which you are familiar as this gives you some additional knowledge. Please feel free to interview HR professionals working in the organizations you have selected, and ensure that you conduct any secondary research required to provide a comprehensive comparison and contrast.

Question #2: (12 marks)

Write 2 “SMART” objectives for each of the following company mission statements (12 marks):

o Product quality is our number one priority.

o Every customer will be a satisfied customer.

o On-time delivery is our commitment to our customers.

Question #3: (12 marks)

Conduct a SWOT analysis for a company that you would like to work for after graduation. Assess the company against the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities contained in the SWOT matrix documented on pages 26- 27 of your text book.

Provide your analysis / inputs in a chart format utilizing bullets to clarify your insights.

Ensure that your input includes at least a total of 12 insights and addresses all components of the SWOT.

Question #4: (20 marks)

Discuss 5 possible reasons why HR WOULD be considered a “strategic” contributor to an organization.

Discuss 5 possible reasons why HR might NOT be considered a “strategic” contributor to an organization.

Evaluation Guidelines

Your Report will be evaluated on the quality of your ability to:

1. Provide a comprehensive comparison and contrast of two organizations, one pursuing a low cost provider strategy, the other pursuing a differentiation strategy.

24 marks

You will provide at least 3 insights across the 4 different HRM functions outlined.

2. Write SMART objectives for the 3 mission statements provided.

12 marks

Smart objectives are effective if they; are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. Be sure to assess your inputs against these criteria.

3. SWOT analysis and comparison for Loblaw. 12 marks

Remember to complete the analysis by comparing your inputs against the SWOT analysis matrix provided in your text on page 27.

You must provide at least 12 insights and address all elements of the SWOT.

4. HR as strategic or not strategic as a business contributor. 20 marks

You must provide 5 comprehensive arguments that support both perspectives.

5. Links to course readings and additional research 10 marks

Clearly cite your work and identify at least 2 separate sources

Words that are not your own must be formally cited utilizing standard APA formatting for references.

6. Writing/Communication Effectiveness 10 marks

The report is error free (spelling/grammar/punctuation)

The report is concise (communication is clear and to the point)

The report is professional (easy to read, accurate in its content)