Glenn Brophey, David Hemsworth
published: 2006 | Case Study | Communications
Subject Area: Human Resource Management; Organizational Behaviour; Communications
Key Issues: Change Management; Management of Human Resources; Ethical decision-making; Communication tactics; Grieving process as it relates to plant closure
Case Description: George Dubroy, the manager of a subsidiary warehouse operation for the convenience store industry is faced with both ethical and business dilemmas of how to go about closing his entire operation. The case opens with the scene where George has just learned from corporate that the decision is final and all of their attempts to forestall closure have been rejected. The setting is in Northern Ontario and George knows that many of his longer-serving employees are not likely to find work again in the region. His divided loyalties to his people and his employer are brought into stark relief as he begins examining the corporate severance policies and is confronted by one of his friends on staff who is faced with an important career decision that is directly negatively affected by the severance policy. In addition his own severance package has yet to be negotiated, but he suspects that keeping closing costs low is bound to affect his final number positively.
Layered onto George's ethical dilemma, is his corporate mandate to make the closure appear seamless--especially to the Mom & Pop variety stores that can easily switch to competitors. His task of managing the process is complicated by the 4-6 month time frame that he estimates the task will take to complete.
# Case Pages: 9
Case Number: 030066-W
Teaching Note: Yes
revised May 11/06