Archives for January 1999

Adapting To Change: Union Priorites in The 1990s

Many unions around the globe have been experiencing a drop in membership and a decline in density over the last ten years. The union response, as documented in this paper based on a survey of innovations and change in Canadian labour organizations, has been both defensive and pro-active, focusing on protecting current levels of wages and benefits as well as fostering social unionism.

Team Training: Does It Increase Satisfaction and Improve Performance?

In the global environment of increasing technological change, companies are looking for alternatives to traditional hierarchical organizational structures in order to maintain the competitive advantage that is necessary for their survival. Increasingly, they are turning to self-directed work teams in pursuit of high performance. But building team-based organizations requires challenging behavioural changes and a well-designed program that provides training not only in technical but also in personal skills. Based on her study of seven work teams in five Canadian organizations, the author provides detailed advice on how to design a training program that will succeed.

Living Happily Ever After… with an Acquisition

Research evidence points to numerous unsatisfactory outcomes of mergers and acquisitions, including high failure rates, sinking profits, and various negative human resource impacts. Managers looking for advice to increase success, however, will find contradictory prescriptions in the literature. For example, some researchers conclude that unrelated or conglomerate types of acquisitions perform poorly, but others report that conglomerate mergers outperform related mergers.

Based on a survey of large public Canadian companies that were relatively experienced in making and managing acquisitions, this study identifies the prescriptions that are actually associated with success, and it provides three critical lessons for managers: the need to manage risk, to manage impulsiveness, and to pay attention to the human dimension. It also reduces the vast number of recommendations about managing the human dimension to a few critical ones.

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