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Video Discussion Guide
Fundamentals of Human Research Management 12e
How to use the videos
Ask your students where they find out about current events. They may confirm that they read
periodicals, watch TV and surf the internet, but probe a little further and you may find that the
periodicals, TV news and internet sites they visit are not what you expect. Several recent polls
have found that young people are more likely to get their news from satirical sources like
Comedy Central's "Daily Show" or "Colbert Report." This might leave instructors frustrated if
students are unable to apply course material to current events.
For Fundamentals of Human Resource Mangement 12e,Video clips have been selected to
stimulate discussion and illustrate the application of important concepts for each chapter. These
clips provide a resource to make connections between chapter topics and important "real world"
applications. They vary in length from 2 to 5 minutes with one 37 minute presentation that adds a
light-hearted view of how to handle personal and workplace stress. Some videos are excerpts
from CEO Exchange which is produced and broadcast by PBS and Sponsored by the Society of
Human Resource Management, others are from CBS News. Specific questions and possible
responses for each chapter, but many videos have relevance for more than one chapter. These
videos can be used in several ways, including:
Show at the beginning of a class lecture for an example that provides relevance to the topic.
Show mid lecture to check understanding, apply the important concepts or just wake them
Use as an assessment tool. Show the video as a “video essay question” for in-class or online
quizzes or exams.
Include in an online class or your faculty web-site as an online activity or discussion.
As a cooperative learning activity. For example, introduce the questions to the students prior
to showing the video. Ask them to formulate responses on their own before having them
compile their answers in small groups. After allowing the groups a short time to discuss and
prepare their responses, students will usually be more willing to discuss ideas than if they
were to answer the questions on their own.
In addition to these suggestions, instructors might give students access to the clip and ask them
to create their own connection to the chapter along with a presentation to the class. After
discussing the clip, students could also find and present their own clip that agrees or presents
conflicting viewpoints. You may be surprised by their creativity and capacity for extended
Chapter 1: American versus Japanese Workers
--Source: PBS
Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer was an unlikely choice as CEO of a major Japanese corporation.
Born in the U.K. and educated at Oxford, he's also a U.S.veteran of the Vietnam War and a
former reporter for and president of CBS News. He's certainly qualified to evaluate the
differences between American and Japanese workers, but he doesn't stop there. In this short clip
from CEO Exchange, Stringer covers many HR challenges including diversity, cultural
differences, compenstion and recruitment.
Suggested questions:
1. Stringer reports that women seem to be underrepresented in the executive ranks at Sony
even though there are more than enough educated women available. AS CEO, does he
have the responsibility to change the number of women executives so it is more
comparable to that of U.S. corporations? What cultural factors must be considered?
The opinion of whether Stringer has the responsibility to increase the number of women
executives at Sony will depend on if students believe Sony should be proactive in their
ethical behavior. Ask them to support their views.
Cultural factors to consider are many. The traditional role of women in Japanese society
and the family, laws supporting equal opportunities and the collectivist views of the
Japanese that support the good of the group over the good of the individual. Lifetime
employment is a strongly held value in Japan, so companies may not be willing to
encourage male executives to retire early to make way for younger or female managers.
2. Pay for performance is a strong motivator in the U.S., but Stringer claims that Japanese
workers cannot be lured to an employer by pay raises. What organizational characteristics
do you believe would help to attract the best talent? Would the same factors help attract
workers in the U.S.? Why?
Chapter one explains that employees in the U.S. value individualism, personal
accomplishment and acquiring things which explains why money works well to lure
employees. Employees in Japan are motivated by collectivism, relationships and concern
for others. This would indicate that employers wishing to lure the best talent should
emphasize the strong bond of community in the organization, cordial relationships and a
culture of altruism and community service. Those values might be more effective in
recruiting Generation Y or Millenials, but older U.S. workers tend to be more
3. What elements of globalization have contributed to Sony's success?
Technology, access to capital and labor, reduced transportation costs, free markets,
culture, ease of communication to name a few.
Chapter 2: HR Directors
--Source: PBS
Jeffrey Immelt is the CEO of General Electric, a large multinational company with a tradition of
innovative HR practices. In this short excerpt from CEO Exchange, Immelt is asked what an HR
Director should do if held back from upper level executive meetings. Immelt's surprising answer
shows his committment to keeping HR a top priority.
Suggested questions:
1. Immelt's advice to "just quit". May not be practical in the current economy. How would
you explain the benefits of including HR in the strategic planning process to a CEO that
does not allow HR in upper management meetings?
If HR is included in strategic planning it is possible to align HR practices and plans with
organizational strategy. Employees are a strong part of an organizations competitive
advantage. HR can recruit and train employees with skills that support organizational
strategy. HR can also develop a culture, performance management and compensation
systems that support strategy.
2. What do you think Immelt means by "when you run a multi business company like GE,
people have to be our core competency"?
It would be easy to make the argument that people are the core competency of any
business. As mentioned in #1, people are a source of competitive advantage. GE is also
known for being very large, very diverse and very innovative. This creates a real need for
talented people.
3. Immelt refers to "manipulative HR leaders", and there is some evidence that they do exist
(see Ethical Issues in HRM: Purposely Distorting Information in chapter 2). Explain any
unpleasant experience you may have had with a person responsible for HR and how the
situation could have been improved.
Student anwers will vary from mildly annoyed to very angry. This is a good opportunity
to probe the expectations for HR professionals in communication and ethical behavior.
Chapter 3: Building a Diverse Work Environment
--Source: PBS
In this clip from CEO Exhange, an audience member asks the tough question; "What initiatives
have your personally championed to attract and promote women?" of James Dimon and
Raymond Gilmartin. Dimon is currently the Chair and CEO of J.P. Morgan, Chase & Co. a large
financial services company. Gilmartin is a retired President of Merck & Co., one of the largest
pharmaceutical companies in the world. They seem enthusiastic about the role of women and
minorities, but are short on specific actions taken to increase their number or role in the
organizations. This is a great opportunity to challenge students to link the strategy setting role of
the CEO with specific actions of strategic HR.
Suggested questions:
1. Gilmartin states that his organization is totally driven by talent. What challenges does this
present to HR? Does this cause any conflict with Affirmative Action initiatives?
An emphasis on talent requires HR to develop ways to identify and develop talent.
Affirmative Action requires employers to show that discrimination is not taking place.
Both require HR to have clear knowledge of the skills, knowledge and abilities for all
positions and carefully hire, assess and promote employees.
2. Why does Dimon feel that it may be tougher for minorities to gain equality in
employment and promotion than women?
Dimon feels that minorities are at a disadvantage because they do not have the same
social networks as the majority of people in the organization. This creates a responsiblity
on the part of the organization to reach out to minorities to "cast a wider net" and take
responsibility to help the minorities feel comfortable in the orgainzation.
3. Although the question asked for specific initiatives, neither Dimon nor Gilmartin seem to
present any specific actions. What can HR do to increase the number of women and
minorities they attract and promote.
This is a great place for a short cooperative learning activity. Give students two to three
minutes to individually list five actions HR can take to do a better job of reaching out to
women and minorities. When they've completed their lists, put them in groups of three
and challenge them to come up with fifteen ways to better reach women and minorites.
Give them as much time as you wish. Discuss their suggestions in a large group.
Chapter 4: Employers Fire Smokers
--Source: CBS News
At Weyco, a Michigan company, if you smoke, you're fired. “If you test positive for tobacco,
you lose your employment here,” says Howard Weyer of his health care company Weyco. He
not only forbids employees from smoking on the job, he'll fire them if they smoke ever.
Employees are forbidden from smoking at home or on vacation. They can't even light up a cigar
when they have a baby. Weyer says the drastic action was needed because increasing health care
costs threaten to choke his business. A smoker, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, will cost a company almost $3,400 more in loss productivity and health care costs
every year.
“We have to get our staff healthier,” says Weyer. “If we don't it's going to cost us.” Asked if this
is about saving money or saving lives, Weyer says it's both. Weyer gave his smoking employees
more than a year and plenty of help to quit. Most did, but those who didn't had to leave.
Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws protecting smokers, but in
nearly half the country, including Michigan, kicking smokers to the curb is perfectly legal.
Weyer says he's just trying to be a responsible employer and knows the limits. He's not going to
fire works for drinking, having promiscuous sex, eating junk food.
Suggested questions:
1. Do corporations have the right to impose limits on what employees can do, even on their
own time?
Legally, it’s allowed in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Many companies try to
encourage healthy activities with incentives like discounts for gym memberships or onsite exercise classes.
2. In the video, Lew Maltby says that banning smokers is a slippery slope. How?
If a company can fire an employee for smoking, what’s to keep them from firing people
for not getting enough exercise, for drinking, or for eating poorly?
Chapter 5: Results Oriented Work Enviornment
--Source: PBS
Best Buy's Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) is the subject of the chapter five opening
vignette in the textbook and the chapter video. Before Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson retired in
2009, he sat down for an interview with Jeff Greenfield on CEO Exchange and answered
questions about the innovative concept of ROWE, how it works and how it evolved.
Suggested questions:
1. Would the ROWE concept be a realistic alternative where you work or at your college?
For many, it may already be in use. Are the students taking online classes? Do they have
flexible hours at work? Do they use smartphones for work away from the worksite? Ask
students to list places ROWE would NOT work and have them challenge their
2. Anderson states that ROWE is an advantage in recruiting and retaining talent for the
organization for those that are in the early stages of their careers. What other advantages
might this flexible work alternative hold for Best Buy or similar organizations?
The chapter opener in the text contains several other advantages including: increased
productivity, decreased turnover, better work-life management, more loyalty to the
employer and better morale.
3. Anderson goes on to say that if he had been consulted about the ROWE concept before it
was tried, he would have been concerned that it would deteriorate discipline so severely
that it would be too dangerous to do. Why do you think that it turned out much better
than he expected.
Several reasons may be found in chapter five, including an effective Human Resource
Information System,thorough job descriptions and well-designed jobs. Other factors
would include an effective performance management system and access to
communication technology.
Chapter 6: Dow Chemicals Retrains
--Source: CBS News
Few states lost more jobs in the Great Recession than Michigan, where nearly one out of every
10 jobs disappeared. “We have a war today,” Andrew Liveris says. “It's an American crisis on
our jobs.” Liveris, who runs Dow Chemical, says the country needs a new plan to attack
unemployment. “It needs to reinvent how to put those workers to work,” he says. Liveris says it's
the responsibility of both the government and businesses to deal with it. Dow is doing its part.
The company is developing a new solar power technology. Dow has started hiring laid-off
workers, many from the auto industry, and retraining them to be solar shingle assemblers. Jim
Dorcey went into bankruptcy after he was laid off from a major automaker. Now, he's a quality
control manager for Dow. Dorcey says it's a "new lease on life." Over the past decade, one-third
of the manufacturing workforce in the U.S.—5.5 million jobs—have vanished. For every $1.00
in sales generated from manufacturing, another $1.40 is created for the businesses that support it.
This past year, Michigan has created more than 30,000 new manufacturing jobs, more than any
other state.
Suggested questions:
1. Is it the role of government or private industry to retrain workers?
The government is not required to retrain workers who have lost jobs due to downsizing
or changes in industry. It is in the government’s best interest, however, to help people
find work in new and emerging industries.
2. Why is Dow retraining workers who have been laid off?
By targeting laid off workers, Dow is able to find a motivated group of individuals. They
are also able to find specific skillsets that may translated into the type of work they need
done. In this video, they mention that many of these workers came from the automotive
industry, which may have many similarities to buliding solar panels.
3. What could help make a retraining effort happen on a larger scale?
Companies are already incentivized to hire laid off workers in the form of tax breaks.
Larger companies like Dow could look closely at areas where they need more workers
and see what industries that have had recent cutbacks might fit that need.
Chapter 9: Young Workers
--Source: CBS News
Jason Dorsey is often referred to as “The Gen Y Guy.” He is a bestselling author (Y-Size Your
Business), an acclaimed speaker, and award-winning entrepreneur. His focus is teaching business
executives how to attract, retain, and develop their Gen Y employees. In this video he is asked if
Millennials are spoiled and lazy. He explains new research about Millennials (also known as Gen
Y) and their view on entitlement and technology, and talks about generational differences that
are affecting many potential employees and employers.
1. How can companies better reach younger people who might be potential employees?
They should look at the spaces that their target audience goes (e.g., Facebook and
Twitter), and not stick to traditional recruiting methods.
2. What are some major differences between Gen Y workers and other generations?
Gen Y workers might have different work schedules, arriving later but also working later.
They are also generally very familiar with social media and with gathering information
on the Internet.
Chapter 10: Appraisals as a Motivational Tool
--Source: PBS
Judith Leary-Joyce is a speaker, consultant and author of bestselling business books "Becoming
an Employer of Choice", "Inspriational Manager", and "Serial Achiever". In this video clip she
addresses the dread that many managers face when it's time to complete performance appraisals.
She includes many tips for turning the appraisal process into an opportunity for communication
and employee motivation. Her comments and suggestions are a great lead-in to "The Appraisal
Process" section of chapter 10.
Suggested questions:
1. Do you agree with her observation that managers are tempted to just get the appraisal
process over with and possibly take care of the appraisal through e-mail?
This is an opportunity to explore the attitudes of students who have experienced
appraisals as managers and employees. Encourage them to explain their situations, good
and bad and explore how they could be improved.
2. Leary-Joyce states that people don't get out of bed wanting to do a bad job and the
appraisal process can motivate them to do a good job. How can that happen?
She states that if people feel valued by the manager and know exactly what is expected of
them, they will want to do a good job.
3. What does she suggest managers do to make the meeting more successful?
 Hold the meeting, don't postpone it.
 Find a nice location
 Prepare
 Ask questions, including how they felt about the last year.
 Listen
 Discuss how you saw the last year and compare observations.
 Describe what they did well and what they can improve on.
 As for feedback on how well you did as a manager and how you can help in the
Chapter 11: Executive Compensation
--Source: PBS
Clarence Otis Jr., Chairman and CEO of Darden Restaurants may not be a familiar name to
students, but they may be more familiar with Red Lobster or Olive Garden, the two largest
restaurant chains in the Darden group. In this clip from "CEO Exchange", Otis is asked how he
feels about executive compensation that seems too high in comparison to the performance
company. Otis sheds new light on why executive compensation doesn't seem to resemble merit
pay in any way. You'll be surprised at his answer.
Suggested questions:
1. Why does Otis believe that executive compensation is not performance-based?
Otis believes that compensation is dictated by the market, not merit. If a leadership team
is not performing to expectations, compensation is not reduced, the team is fired.
2. Can executive compensation be regulated to provide equity and fairness?
This question will undoubtedly provoke strong reactions. This is a great opportunity to
discuss several issues including the economic effect of regulation on prices of any kind,
how equity or merit will be evaluated, compensation surveys, wage curves, incentives,
supplemental financial compensation and perquisites or "perks". A good current
comparison is the executive compensation limits placed on firms that received "Bailout"
3. If salary is determined by the market, and the market is willing to pay more for scarce
resources, top executives must posess scarce skills that make them more valuable in the
marketplace. What qualities or skills do you believe make them so valuable?
This is a great opportunity for a cooperative learning activity. First ask students to
individually make a short list of four to five qualities that make top executives so
valuable. Then group them is small groups of three to five and challenge them to compile
a list of ten to fifteen unique qualities. Discuss the lists in a large group and compare
them to notable top executives. You might also compare the list to top administrators at
your college.
Chapter 12: Independent Contractors
--Source: PBS
Ask your students how many of their parents have worked for the same employer for twenty
years or more, and you'll probably see a few raise their hands. Ask how many students intend to
stay at an employer that long, and you might not see as many. The workforce is growing
increasingly mobile and employers are eager to learn ways to reduce turnover costs. Employee
benefits play an important role in attracting and retaining employees. This video clip outlines
several ways to offer benefits that appeal to the diverse needs and wants of employees. The end
of the video contains a summary of the main points that can be printed.
Suggested questions:
1. Which category of benefits are most appealing to you? Financial, Part Financial or Nonfinancial?
This question probes students' motives in selecting benefits. This is a good lead-in to the
discussion of voluntary benefits in chapter 12.
2. Do you think that might change over the years? Why?
Younger employees typically look for flexibility. Desire for work/life balance and
financial security may evolve later. It might be interesting to probe their answers to see if
economic conditions influence their choice.
3. Would non-financial benefits provide the same motivation as financial benefits?
Again, this is an opportunity to discuss the diverse needs and preferences of students in
the class and employees in the workforce. Flexible benefits are a common way to try to
please everyone or at least as many as possible.
Chapter 13: Stressbusters! Ten Little Commitments to Reduce Stress
--Source: PBS
Chapter 13 defines Employee Stress as a combination of Personal and Organizational Stress.
Both types of stress have increased for HR Professionals as a difficult econonomy prompts
layoffs and job uncertainty for many. In this 37 minute video, popular stess management expert,
motivational speaker and humorist Loretta Laroche tackles ways we can take control of personal
stress by using humor to reframe stressful situations. Her tips for stress management are
humorous, but very welcome as HR Professionals looks for ways make the workplace less
Suggested questions:
1. Can humor be used as a stress reducer in any organization, or is it necessary to first
establish a company culture that welcomes and uses humor?
This "thought question" is a little like the old question "which came first, the chicken or
the egg?". Students may have opinions on when or if it is appropriate to use humor in an
organizational setting and how effective it is in stress reduction and increasing
productivity. Some may have read the "Fish!" books or videos and feel that those
organizational culture examples are good examples of how a light-hearted environment
can reduce workplace stress.
2. Which of the "Ten Little Commitments" seem most effective to you? Which seem the
least effective?
As students discuss their preferences, probe their reasoning behind their choices and why
they feel their choices would or would not reduce stress.
1. Take a breather
2. Take time to share good news
3. Tune out pessimistic thoughts
4. Turn negative situations into opportunities for learning
5. Tap into your light side
6. Twirl
7. Tackle projects with enthusiasm
8. Talk less and listen more
9. Tame negativity with kindness and compassion
10. Teach yourself to become the change you want to see in others
3. Describe a personal experience that you feel could have been "reframed" with humor and
how you would have done it.
These personal examples are great opportunities for learning and sharing.