Many people who lacked the qualifications normally required of new employees were hired by Purity Chemicals, an old, established firm, in the early 1960’s. Because of the manpower shortage, it was necessary to hire those who were available. As the years went by, additional employees were hired as production was increased, and the overall qualifications of these employees were much higher than those of earlier employees. Since it was company policy to promote production supervisors from the wage-roll ranks, many highly qualified supervisors were promoted from among the ranks of these newer employees. According to a union-manager agreement, all production supervisors retained and continued to accrue plant seniority in the bargaining unit from which they had been promoted. In the late 1990’s, the company found it necessary, because of technological changes and a decrease in demand for its products, to reduce the number of its employees. Seniority was the primary guide in determining who would be terminated. It was apparent that the company’s younger- and in many cases better- supervisors, would be involved in the layoff as a result of this seniority clause. The union agreement was followed, however; and the younger supervisors were terminated according to their seniority. A few years later, following a change in top management, great efforts were made to make Purity ‘the leader’ in its field. In addition, the company began to expand and diversify into other related fields in order to address competitor take-over of their markets. Shortly after this new era of growth began, the production manager asked his subordinate, the production superintendent, for a list of employees whom he considered to be potential supervisors since additional ones would be needed for the new production facilities. The superintendent had thought about this many times and had already made a survey of those employees who had some of the more desirable qualities of leadership. For reasons such as health, age and lack of education, however, he no longer had employees he felt could be promoted. He informed the d the manager of this problem. The latter had received similar reports from other superintendents.
Some of the new units could be run without hiring new wage-roll personnel by redistribution of existing personnel, but additional supervisors would be required in some cases. This current situation has affected the performance of Purity chemicals since they could not diversity and expand to be able to meet customer demands. Q1. Based on the case above, demonstrate how succession planning could have contributed to address the challenges faced by Purity Chemicals Q2. Identify the external challenges that have led to labour demand by Purity chemicals and what could be done to address the challenges identified.
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