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Chapter 03 - Planning


Chapter 03: Planning


Sample Answers for Ethical Issues

Issue 1
Does an organization have any ethical responsibility to share with all of its employees the
results of its forecasting of HR requirements and availabilities? Does it have any ethical
responsibility not to do this?

Some organizations might want to divulge planning information to their employees so

that employees can prepare themselves for major changes. If an organization will engage
in downsizing, for example, employees should be informed so they have time to find
alternative work. Some planning information should not be shared with employees if
there is a possibility that this information would lead to the spread of rumors or
destructive political infighting between employees.

Issue 2
Identify examples of ethical dilemmas an organization might confront when developing an
affirmative action plan (AAP).

Strong needs for diverse recruiting, for example, might be seen by internal employees as
a signal that those hired through recent recruiting pushes are not as well qualified. An
organization needs to be certain that their efforts towards diversity always are selecting
qualified individuals, or else run the risk of creating functional inefficiency and negative
reactions against minority groups further down the line.

Chapter 03 - Planning

Sample Answers to Discussion Questions

1. What are ways that the organization can ensure that KSAO deficiencies do not
occur in its workforce?

There are a number of strategies that can be effective for this issue. First, an employer
needs to conduct a careful analysis of its staffing requirements so that it understands
exactly which KSAOs are needed among its workforce. Second, staffing systems must
be created that make selection decisions based on a careful assessment of the KSAOs
needed for a given position. Third, organizations need to be committed to offering
ongoing job training and development to ensure that employees possess needed KSAOs.
Finally, career ladders, coaching, and mentoring programs can be implemented to enable
employees to develop new KSAOs that will be needed by the organization in the long-

2. What are the types of experiences, especially staffing-related ones, that an

organization will be likely to have if it does not engage in HR and staffing planning?

Sample Response: HR and staffing planning revolves around an organization’s most

essential asset, its people. Without attention to such planning, an organization can
experience: (1) shortages of employees; (2) excess employees (which threatens the
organization’s economic viability); (3) shortages of skills vital to organizational success;
(4) a workforce lacking in motivation; (5) a workforce too inflexible to meet changes
forced on the organization by its external environment; (6) inability to draw upon internal
employment sources for promotional and succession; (7) inability to comply with
EEO/AA legislation; (8) a workforce generally too inadequate, in terms of both KSAOs
and motivation, to achieve overall organizational goals.

Chapter 03 - Planning

3. Why are decisions about job categories and levels so critical to the conduct and
results of HRP?

Sample Response: An organization’s workforce is an integrated whole, a system. To

achieve inter-functional integration, which is required to achieve organizational goals,
there must be coordination between jobs laterally, and smooth- communication vertically
among job levels. This means that organizational management has to be attuned to
employment gaps (surpluses, shortages, KSAO deficiencies) between job categories and
between job levels. This requires knowledge of, and control over, the parts of the
workforce and their respective interactions. Decisions made without consideration of
these interrelationships between job categories and levels can result in a workforce that is
grossly out-of-balance in either a quantitative or a qualitative sense. Decisions made to
adjust to employment gaps depend on both internal and external employment sources.
For example, poorly conceived decisions can result in an inability to promote from within
due to under-staffing, or a lack of personnel training within given job categories or at
given levels. Inability to promote from within implies inadequate availability of KSAOs,
added cost (due to increased need for outside recruitment), and low morale (no
opportunity for employee advancement within the organization).

4. What are the differences advantages of succession planning for all levels of
management, instead of just top management?

Sample Response: Succession plans allow the organization to develop a coherent plan for
how management will proceed for the future. Establishing continuity in all positions
helps to ensure that the organization does not face critical gaps in mid-level managerial
positions. In addition, succession plans can help to identify entry level managers who are
likely to be “stars” in the future. These individuals can be put in special fast track
positions that help the organization hold on to the valuable KSAOs that these individuals
can bring to the organization.

Chapter 03 - Planning

5. What is meant by reconciliation, and why can it be so useful as an input to staffing


Sample Response: Reconciliation is the identification of surpluses and shortages between

an organization’s employment requirements and the organization’s available personnel.
The reconciliation process reveals employment gaps (shortages and surpluses) by job
category and job level, and provides a starting point for taking appropriate action (action
plans) to adjust gaps to meet organizational needs. Taking appropriate staffing action is
key to achieving this overall HR purpose: Ensuring the organization has the right people
(KSAOs and numbers) at the right place (job category, job level, geographical location)
and at the right time (internal source, external source) to achieve the overall goals and
purposes of the entire organization.

6. What criteria would you suggest using for assessing the staffing alternatives shown
in Exhibit 3.14?

Sample Response: The alternatives addressed in Exhibit 3.14 involve two dimensions of
time (long-term and short-term) and two types of employment gaps (shortages and
surpluses). Two general criteria that will always come into play will be organizational
need (in terms of meeting objectives) and cost. There will be a constant balancing that
must occur between these two criteria, and the third criterion of timing or urgency.
Through planning, management can assess meeting short- and long-term needs (i.e.,
objectives) in terms of cost and urgency. This assessment then leads to consideration of a
series of structural workforce criteria such as: KSAO inventory within the workforce,
workforce size, workforce flexibility, and core-versus-contingency workforce staffing.

Chapter 03 - Planning

7. What problems might an organization encounter in doing an AAP that it might not
encounter in regular staffing planning?

Sample Response: AAP is related to the demographic composition of the eligible labor
force in a given geographical location. In regular HR planning, the organization can
employ various interventions to recruit or train employees, but, for the purposes of AAP,
the organization cannot alter demographic composition in the short-term. AAP also brings
perceived a host of cultural and attitudinal variables to the fore: actual racial prejudice,
perceived bias towards one group or another, and multiple perspectives on the degree or
nature of problems. In regular HR planning, the organization may often adjust its policies
to the needs and desires of employees or potential employees. In an AAP, the
organization may have to oblige individuals (e.g., departmental managers) to either adjust
to AA policies or exit the organization. Unlike regular HR planning, which supports
functional objectives (i.e., sell a product, provide a service) AAPs support objectives
designed to remedy past discrimination and achieve equal inclusion and participation
among various demographic segments of the population in the professional and economic
life of the nation. Past disparities of opportunity have given advantages, or perceived
advantages, to certain groups (e.g., white Anglo-Saxon males) who will resist losing these
advantages. Dynamics such as these challenge the organization doing an AAP to confront
the need to simultaneously change employee perceptions, change employee values, and
do what is necessary to meet legal requirements. This is a very different orientation than
the traditional one that focuses primarily on satisfying the needs of the organization’s
functional operations.

Sample Answers to Applications

1. Application #1: Markov Analysis and Forecasting

A. Describe the internal labor market of the company in terms of job stability,
promotion paths and rates, transfer paths and rates, demotion paths and
rates, and turnover (exit) rates.

The 2010-2011 transition probabilities provided indicate the following:

Sales - Full-time

1. 50% stayed the same.

2. 10% transferred to part-time status.
3. 5% were promoted to Asst. Sales Mgr.
4. 0% were promoted to Regional Sales Mgr.
5. 35% left the organization

Chapter 03 - Planning

Sales - Part-time

1. 5% transferred to full-time status.

2. 60% stayed the same.
3. 10% were promoted to Asst. Sales Mgr.
4. 0% were promoted to Regional Sales Mgr.
5. 25% left the organization.

Asst. Sales Mgr.

1. 5% were demoted to full-time sales.

2. 0% were demoted to part-time sales.
3. 80% stayed the same/
4. 10% were promoted to Regional Sales Mgr.
5. 5% left the organization

Region. Sales Mgr.

1. 0% transferred to another job.

2. 70% stayed the same.
3. 30% left the organization.

B. Forecast the numbers available in each job category in 2012.

Job 2011 2012 Forecasts

Category Employees SF SP ASM RSM Total Exit
SF 500 250 50 25 0 325 175
SP 150 7.5 90 15 0 112.5 37.5
ASM 50 2.5 0 40 5 47.5 2.5
RSM 30 0 0 0 21 21 9

C. Indicate potential limitations to your forecasts.

1. Some cells contain fewer than 20 cases. Thus, estimates based on these
figures will tend to be unstable.

2. There is a possibility of some distortion of the results due to multiple

moves by employees which this analysis cannot detect.

3. The forecast of availabilities erroneously assumes that all employees in a

category have the same probability of movement. In addition, these
probabilities cannot explain why movements occur.

Chapter 03 - Planning

2. Application #2: Deciding Whether to Use Flexible Staffing

A. Summarize the possible advantages and disadvantages of flexible staffing.


1. Staffing flexibility and adaptability for adjusting staffing levels quickly in

response to changing conditions.

2. Lower labor costs.

3. Flexible workers are not viewed as being employees of the company

thereby relieving the employer of certain legal obligations.

4. Employer is relieved of doing its own recruitment and selection.


1. Legal loss of control over flexible workers.

2. Frictions between flexible and core workers.

3. Flexible workers may lack familiarity with equipment.

B. Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of using FSS as a service


Advantages of Using FFS

1. To reduce uncertainty associated with a more turbulent environment.

2. To enhance organizational adaptability.

3. To reduce administrative work associated with doing recruiting and

selecting on its own.

4. To reduce the company’s exposure to litigation.

Chapter 03 - Planning

Disadvantages of Using FFS

1. Company has never used flexible workers before.

2. Rejection by core workers.

3. Quality of flexible workers may not be as high as that of the core workers.

C. Summarize the type of additional information you recommend gathering

and using as part of the decision-making process.

1. What are the exact KSAOs of the flexible workers?

2. How good is the flexible worker/job match?

3. How good is the flexible worker/organization match?

4. Who will train flexible workers as new KSAOs are needed?