Human Resources Management

| November 18, 2015

Joan is the director of scientific computing at a large utility company.  The people she supervises are all college graduated with backgrounds in science, engineering, or math.  These people do systems work and computer programming that is more problem-oriented than other programmers in the company and the people in Joan’s department are quite close knit

Joan hired Fred into the group from the Engineering Department.  Fred, who had worked for the company for seven years, learned the programming easily and was doing quite well.  One year later Bob was hired into the group by Joan.  Bob and Fred both assimilated into the group quickly.

About a month later, Joan’s problems began.  Information was quite freely shared by members of the group, especially job-related information such as salary.  When Fred learned that Bob was making more money than he was, he was quite upset.  Bob was doing the same kind of work with less experience at his new job.  He also had had less total working time with the computer only four years.

When Fred voiced his concern to his boss, he was told that the company had specific guidelines for raises and wide salary ranges for each job level.  Bob was just on the high sides of his old job’s salary range and received a hefty raise when he was promoted to this new job.  Fred was not pleased with the setup because he had received a raise just before Bob came and knew that it would be a year before he would get another one.  In Fred’s mind, he was now qualified, more experienced, had better knowledge of the company, and if nothing else, more seniority than Bob.  Fred’s attitude and discontent was apparent in his work, and although Joan could not really prove it, Fred caused serious delays in projects.  Also, new errors seemed to be cropping up in the computer programs that came out of Joan’s section.

  • What role does equity play in this case?
  • Should companies demand that individuals not reveal their salaries? Why or why not?
  • Comment on the salary system and weakness you see in it.
  • If you were the director, how would you handle Fred?

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