The assignment will be assessed according to assessment criteria in this feedback form.
Foundations of Human Resource Management (BUSS 2043)
Case Study – Part 1
Key Assignment criteria
Introduction – 10%
ief introduction (no more than 200 words) that summarises the human resource issues relevant to the case
Indepth comprehensive answers to each question – 25%
An accurate and inclusive response to each question is provided
Answers supported by arguments and examples - 35%
Draws on relevant HR concepts and academic literature to support arguments
Provides examples from work/other experiences to illustrate the points made
Clear structure – 10%
There is a clear structure to the response (e.g., all information relevant to one response is provided before moving to the next question)
References – 10%
References provided as required (see the Course Outline for details related to minimum requirements)
Reference style – 10%
Uses appropriate referencing style (i.e., Harvard-UniSA) in-text and reference list
Overall Summary Comment
Outstanding performance on all learning outcomes.
Excellent performance on all learning outcomes.
High performance on all learning outcomes, OR excellent performance on the majority of learning outcomes.
Pass Level 1
Satisfactory performance on all learning outcomes, OR high performance on some learning outcomes which compensates for unsatisfactory performance on others, resulting in overall satisfactory performance.
Pass Level 2
Satisfactory performance on the majority of learning outcomes.
Fail Level 1
Unsatisfactory performance on a number of learning outcomes, OR failure to meet specified assessment requirements.
Fail Level 2
Unsatisfactory performance on the majority of learning outcomes.
During the course you will be given access to a case study. You are required to review the case and respond to the questions included in the case. You are expected to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of relevant HRM concepts in your response.
In order to develop student knowledge and skills, this course employs a ‘fourfold’ approach to learning: concrete situations, reflection, analysis and action. The aim of this assessment is to help you develop your critical thinking skills. Case study analysis provides you the opportunity to enhance your understanding of HRM concepts by applying them to realistic contexts.
· Demonstrate knowledge of the variety of techniques available to HR practitioners in ca
ying out operational HRM activities
· Identify appropriate techniques for use in specific operational HRM situations
Page 1 of 7
Case study written by S Perera
Winning the European Market:
Strategic Change at Arup Packaging Limited
Arup Packaging Limited is a large manufacturer of packaging solutions. Arup’s products
include glass, aluminium, plastic and paper based packaging solutions. Arup mainly
operates in Australia and comprises of four business units. The business units are
organised based on the material used in packaging solutions: glass packaging,
aluminium packaging, plastic packaging and paper packaging.
Arup is an unlisted public company; this means it is a company that has issued shares
to the public but is not listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. In 2016, Arup
ated 50 years. The company employs around 800 people across its four
manufacturing plants, distribution centres, sales offices and corporate office. The sales
offices and distribution centres are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Arup recently opened a sales office in Paris.
The four manufacturing plants and the corporate office are all located in close proximity
to each other in Newcastle in New South Wales (NSW). Newcastle is located in the Hunter
egion of NSW, about 160 kilometres north of Sydney. Arup is proud to be one the few
manufacturers that continues to exclusively manufacture in Australia. Arup believes that
its investments in advanced technology have resulted in consistently high quality
packaging solutions. The management team and the Board of Directors see product
quality as Arup’s competitive advantage, insulating it against competition from cheaper
production options overseas. Arup’s core values are teamwork, integrity, excellence and
Out of Arup’s 800 employees, about 700 are located in its manufacturing plants and
corporate office in Newcastle. Manufacturing employees are represented by the
Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union. This union has generally had a harmonious
elationship with Arup management. Since it started as a plant with just 100 employees,
Arup has been a strong part of the Newcastle community. It is one of the largest
employers in the region and continues to attract local employees.
Since its inception, Arup has concentrated on high quality packaging produced in large
quantities. Arup’s customers are some of the largest food and beverage manufacturers in
Australia. Arup has found that these customers have stable product lines and their
packaging solution requirements remain mostly stable. Often the biggest changes
equested by these customers are modification to existing packaging (e.g., larger size
aluminium can, different coloured beverage bottle). Only needing to make minor product
changes has meant Arup has been able to maintain high levels of productivity. While
orders from these customers initially grew rapidly, in the last 5 years the growth has
In response, Arup’s Board of Directors initiated a strategic review and a risk analysis of
Arup in 2015. After this exercise, the Board of Directors and the top management team
identified their dependence on a few large customers in Australia as a significant risk to
Arup’s future. The Board members and the top management team decided to look at
expanding Arup’s customer base while maintaining the company’s existing clients.
In 2015, Annie Lee, CEO since 1999, retired and Franco Weller joined as the new CEO of
Arup. Franco was given a mandate to take the expansion initiative forward. The Board of
Directors encouraged the hiring of a senior manager to handle strategy and business
development. This position reports directly to the CEO. Brenda Petersen started as Head
of Strategy and Business Development in April 2016.
Page 2 of 7
Case study written by S Perera
Since joining Arup, Brenda has been working tirelessly to attract new customers outside
Australia. Brenda’s most promising leads have come from Europe. Most potential clients
were impressed by Arup’s high quality products. After months of hard work, Brenda has
een able to secure packaging orders from a group of clients in France and Belgium.
Orders will start in September 2017. Brenda is confident that this is the beginning of a
new market for Arup’s products.
At Arup’s Board meeting in Fe
uary 2017, the CEO, Franco Weller, reported these new
developments to the Board of Directors. The Chairman and the Board were pleased with
this outcome and asked the top management team to develop plans as to how this
initiative will be taken forward.
The top management team (see figure 1 below) met early this week to discuss the
implications of these new customers to Arup’s business strategy. At the management
meeting, Brenda presented the new strategic initiative. She emphasised the following
factors in relation to the new customers:
• The new customers require mostly paper and plastic packaging products at this
• Unlike the customers in Australia, these European organisations are medium
sized and offer a wide variety of products. This means the orders for packaging
products are likely to be smaller and more varied.
• These customers usually change their packaging designs at least once a year, so
stable product designs that Arup is used to will need to change.
• The European customers are offering a higher price than Australian customers.
Even when freight costs are taken into consideration, Arup’s profit margins are
likely to be higher from these European customers compared to those in Australia.
Brenda ended her presentation, emphasising that it was critical to ensure that the first
orders in September 2017 are completed on time and to high standards. She said that
the first orders should be seen as a first step towards attracting more orders and
potentially more European companies willing to buy Arup’s products.
The following is a transcript of the conversation that took place after Brenda’s
Franco: I agree with Brenda. We need make sure that those first orders are perfect.
In my discussions with the Board of Directors, I requested permission to recruit a
General Manager to be in charge of these European customers. This manager will
eport directly to me and will work closely with Brenda. The Board approved it.
Franco showed the proposed organisational chart (see figure 2) to the top management
Jeremy: This might look like we are just adding another manager to the top
management team (refers to the proposed organisational chart), but this is a more
significant change. For the last 50 years, we have worked with large organisations,
our orders are large and design changes are very minor. Do you think we have the
capability to handle the design requirements of these customers from Europe?
Franco: I agree that expanding our customer base into Europe is a significant
strategic change for us. But it reduces our reliance on a few customers in this
egion. To answer your question, I don’t think we have the design capability at the
moment. We need to develop that quickly in order to get to production in
Page 3 of 7
Case study written by S Perera
ielle: From an HR perspective, this is a huge change. Our employees and
managers are used to working on large orders and long production cycles. We have
always praised and rewarded productivity. This kind of change requires a complete
mindset transformation. Basically we need to rethink how we approach work.
Brenda: Yes, but it will make us a more versatile producer of packaging solutions.
Remember, innovation is one of our core values, but our innovations have been
small and incremental. It is time we really lived that value.
Jose: You know that we are all committed to the expansion strategy. It is just that
this is all happening quite fast and we don’t have a lot of time to get our act
together. I suggest that we work in smaller groups to work out what this means for
each of our functions. That way we can have a more concrete discussion when we