Case study: Merged School of Business In Tutorial Library

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TITLE: Case study: Merged School of Business

CLASS / COURSE: Human Resource Management


Read the following case study and respond to the task requirements at the end of the case within the context of an academic essay. This assignment should be presented in essay format as per Chapter 3 of the Faculty Guide for students. You are required to support your argument with appropriate theoretical discussion and references.

Your essay should be a properly constructed academic essay. It should contain an effective introduction, discussion body and conclusion. The introduction should introduce the essay and include your argument. The body should present the evidence you have collected to support your argument, and the conclusion should restate your argument, summarise the evidence and make a conclusion regarding your argument.

The essay should contain a coherent, but necessarily restricted review of the academic literature on the Human Resource Management topics in question. The literature review should be integrated into the essay, not a separate section. Advice regarding formatting of the essay can be found in Chapters 2, and 3 of the Faculty’s Guide for students (2008). Do not use headings or include an abstract. A reference list formatted in the prescribed Harvard style is compulsory

This assessment item involves researching your assigned topic to enhance your understanding of Human Resource Management concepts and utilisation of academic literature. Whilst you should AVOID using only textbooks, the prescribed textbook for the course should be cited in regard to broad HRM principles. You will be expected to present information and evidence from, and cite, at LEAST twelve (12) relevant peerreviewed, academic journal articles (minimum requirement).  Refer to your recommended readings for examples of academic journals. The quality and number of citations will demonstrate the breadth and depth of the literature used to formulate your argument.

AVOID presenting a descriptive account ONLY of your readings. What is required in this assessment is a critical evaluation of the academic literature as it relates to the specific details of the case study.  Your marker is interested in the conclusions that YOU arrive at from YOUR evaluation of the literature and of the case study

Woed Limit : 3000 words


Case study: Merged School of Business

Merger among Australian Universities and other higher educational and technical institutes are not new and several large Australian universities are the result of the merger and amalgamation of higher education and technical institutes. In recent years, there have been numerous instances or future planning of merger of universities and institutes in Australia. The following case is about a merger between two universities and their two schools/ departments. All Star University, the product of a government-sponsored amalgamation between the prestigious 115-yearold Sandstone University and the 20-year-old Redbrick Institute of Technology, is facing great financial difficulties, having lost more than 10 million in the last financial year. Sandstone University had the traditional academic emphasis, which was reflected in its courses of study. Its graduates mainly entered academia, the public service, banking and consulting. In contrast, Redbrick Institute of technology offered applied programs of study oriented to the needs of business, with its graduates going into a diversified range of private sector industries.

As part of the amalgamation, School of Economics at Sandstone University was combined with Redbrick’s School of Business. The School of Economics taught economic theory, economic geography, economic history, statistics, mathematical economics, labour economics and industrial relations. Students demand for its courses (especially in economics and industrial relations) has been in long-term decline. Students, government and local businesses have been pressuring the School to introduce more business oriented subjects into the curriculum. Reflecting its different background in focus, Redbrick’s School of business offered majors in finance, marketing and HRM. The School of Economics employs 35 academics and has 700 students who are predominantly young and study full-time, while Redbrick’s students are made up of full-time and part-time mature students.

Sandstone university’s staff are highly academically qualified (90% hold a Ph.D.) and they perceive themselves as research oriented academics. Academic qualifications and research publications are prized over practical experience and teaching ability. The majority are members of the left-wing Tertiary Academics Union. Employment terms and conditions are determined by a collective agreement negotiated by the union and the University. 85% of the staff have tenure. Pay is determined by seniority and all employees in the same rank and classification receive the same rate of pay. Sandston University’s academic staff remain angry at having to merge with a teaching University and that the focus that is now being placed on cost and performance. Fears that job security, academic standards, research output and prestige within the community will suffer are common.

Redbrick’s staff of 28 are less well qualified academically (only 40% have a Ph.D. and only 20% have tenure staff are employed on individual contracts, varying from 1 to 3 years in duration). Most Redbrick staff have had extensive work experience, take great pride in the reputation for teaching excellence and aim to prepare their 1000 students to go into the ‘real world’. Sandstone’s staff are generally regarded as being too theoretical and divorced from the needs of business. Redbrick’s courses have proved highly popular with students and the local business community and its students are in high demand. Less than 50% of Redbrick’s academic staff belong to a union. Those that are union members belong to the right-wing Australian University Teachers Union (bitter rival of the Tertiary Academics Union). Private consulting is encouraged and this, along with a performance related pay system, means that it is possible for top performing Redbrick academics to earn income significantly higher than those traditionally paid to Sandstone university academics. It is anticipated that the newly created School of Business at All Star University will need to reduce its headcount by 20% if it is to meet the proposed budgetary guidelines.


Write an essay that

(a) Identifies the key stakeholders in the case study and discuss their major interests;

(b) Explains and justifies the HR challenges and issues involved in this merger and

(c) Presents logical and practical recommendations/ solutions to overcome those HRM challenges and issues.


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