Human Resource Management: EHS 200: Foundations of HRM - 2017 SP2 Assessment 1 - Case Study


Businessman clients portfolio icon by, CC BY 3.0:, Flickr: studies are descriptions of situations which you will likely encounter within your chosen discipline. They provide you with the opportunity to think about the complexities, make connections between theory and real life examples and provide a practical solution to real life problems. (adapted from 'Case studies' document by Student Engagement Unit)

For help with reading and analysing case studies, have a look at these:

This individual assessment has two parts. It requires you to provide comprehensive written case study responses.

During the unit you will be given access to the case studies. You are required to review the cases and respond to the questions included in the cases. You are expected to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of relevant HRM concepts in your response.

In order to develop student knowledge and skills, this course employs a ‘fourfold’ approach to learning: concrete situations, reflection, analysis and action. The aim of this assessment is to help you develop your critical thinking skills. Case study analysis provides you the opportunity to enhance your understanding of HRM concepts by applying them to realistic scenarios.

Assignment objectives:
Demonstrate knowledge of the variety of techniques available to HR practitioners in carrying out operational HRM activities
Identify appropriate techniques for use in specific operational HRM situations

Recommended case study process:
Step 1: Read the case study and the questions carefully. Analyse the case to identify HRM issues that are relevant to each question.
Step 2: Reflect (critically think about the case study questions and the HR concept/s the case study raises) as well as what your own arguments might be when answering the questions. Refer to the Assessment Feedback Sheet at this stage to familiarise yourself with how your response will be assessed.
Step 3: Search university library databases for HR academic literature to support your arguments. You are also encouraged to use your own work experience to illustrate the points you make.
Step 4: Prepare your own creative solutions to case study questions. Ensure that you have supported your responses with relevant academic literature and other credible sources.

The unit material (e.g., your prescribed textbook, lectures, e-readings) will develop your knowledge of HR concepts. However, the cutting edge debate on each HR topic is to be found mainly (but not always) in the most recent academic literature. This is why your case study response needs to include a minimum of 15 references
across the 2 parts.

Part 1 – minimum 5 references, include at least 3 refereed human resource journal articles and 2 other credible sources of information.

Part 2 - minimum 10 references, include at least 6 refereed human resource journal articles and 4 other credible sources of information.

Please check your Course Outline for full details of assessment requirements 


Case studies

Winning the European Market:

Strategic Change at Arup Packaging Limited

Read the case study and the questions carefully. Analyse the case to identify HRM issues that are relevant to each question.

Case study questions:

  1. Gabrielle needs to recruit a General Manager Packaging – Europe. She has decided to start with a job analysis of this position. Do you think it is appropriate to conduct a job analysis in this instance? Why? /Why not? 

Describe the key steps that you would recommend to Gabrielle to conduct a job analysis of this position. Ensure that you have covered the key aspects involved in the process and applied these to Arup e.g., what data Gabrielle should collect, what data sources she should use, what methods she should use to collect data.  Justify your recommendations.

  1. Using the Job Characteristics Model (Hackman & Oldham, 1976), identify which core job characteristics are present or absent in the current factory worker position at Arup Packaging Limited. By current I mean, the factory workers currently working on products for the Australian market. What changes in job design would you recommend to the top management team, in relation to the current factory worker position?

Factory Workers for European Packaging Section

Read the case study and the questions carefully. Analyse the case to identify HRM issues that are relevant to each question.

Please ensure that you have read the complete case study (i.e., both Parts 1 and 2) before you answer these questions.

Case study questions:

  1. What specific recruitment practices would you recommend to Arup Packaging Limited to in order to reach applicants aged 18-24? What specific recruitment practices could Arup adopt to reach potential female applicants? Justify your recommendations.
  1. Drawing on the meeting excerpt in Part 2 and other case material, list the selection criteria you would recommend to be used to select applicants for Factory Worker - European Packaging position.  Justify your recommendations.
  1. Identify selection methods to measure each selection criteria you recommended in response to question 2. In choosing selection methods, take into consideration time, cost and the large number of factory workers that need to be hired in this case. Justify your recommended selection methods.
  1. What type of incentives and benefits could Gabrielle and the team use in order to attract applicants to the Factory Worker European Packaging position? Suggest at least 1 incentive and 2 benefits. Justify your recommendations.


Taki Steve 'Keys', CC Licence: CC BY 2.0, Image source: Flickr

WHAT do I want to find out? What are the
main concepts and keywords?

To find information for your assignment topic you will need to identify some relevant keywords. You will then be able to use these keywords to search information resources such as the catalogue, databases and the internet.

What you need to consider:

  • What do I want to find out?
  • What keywords/phrases can I use to help me find information?

Jacqui Brown, ‘Keys’, CC BY-SA 2.0 (, image source: flickr ( Once you've identified your keywords, you'll need to combine them together to find information on your topic.

Have a look at this guide, which will show you how to connect and combine your keywords to enable you to search the catalogue and databases effectively.

For more help with keywords, watch this short (2 mins) video.

**Please note: that this is a generic video and the keywords are not necessarily for your case study.**

Winning the European Market:

Strategic Change at Arup Packaging Limited

Here are some keywords you might like to consider:

  • "job analysis"
  • "job evaluation"
  • "job qualifications"
  • "job descriptions"
  • "personnel management"
  • "job characteristics" AND "skill variety"
  • "job characteristics" AND "task identity" OR "task significance"
  • "job characteristics" AND autonomy
  • "job characteristics model" AND feedback

These are only some of the keywords or phrases you could use, there are many others you could use to identify the concepts you are looking for information about. Can you think of any others?

Job Characteristics Model (Hackman & Oldham, 1976)

Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1976). Motivation through the design of work: Test of a theory. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 16(2), 250-279.

Factory Workers for European Packaging Section

Here are some keywords you might like to consider:

  • recruitment AND "young workers" OR millenials OR "gen y"
  • "employee recruitment" AND "women employees"
  • "employee selection" AND recruitment
  • "selection criteria" AND "manufacturing industries"
  • "selection methods"
  • "employee selection"
  • incentives OR benefits OR remuneration OR wages

These are only some of the keywords or phrases you could use, there are many others you could use to identify the concepts you are looking for information about. Can you think of any others?


Academic Resources

Charles Clegg 'Book Shelves', CC Licence: CC BY 2.0, Image source: Flickr

For this assignment you will need to find information from academic / scholarly resources.

Not sure what that means or how to find it? 

Watch these quick videos

Read our Quick Guide about Peer Reviewed Journals


Recommended references

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Click on the tabs above to find links to resources recommended for you in your Course Outline


Where can I search for information?

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Click on the tabs above for information and tips on searching

You can find academic references for your report by searching the Library Catalogue

Catalogue search examples:

"job analysis" AND hrm

"job characteristics" AND "skill variety" (refined date 2011 to 2017)

recruitment AND "young workers"

incentive* OR benefit* OR applicant*

"selection methods" AND recruitment

Try combining other keywords to find information relevant to you.

Catalogue search tips:

  • You can limit your search results to articles only, if you would like to. Search for your keywords and then refine by Format > Articles
  • You can further limit your results to Show Only > Peer Reviewed
  • Use double quotes for phrases e.g. "job design"
  • Use an asterix * to find alternate word endings e.g. method* finds methodology, methods, etc.

You may also find suitable academic references for your topic using an internet search engine such as Google Scholar. Google Scholar searches only within academic or scholarly sites, rather than over the whole internet like a regular Google Search. For more information on using Google Scholar, visit the Beyond Google for your Research Guide.

Beyond Google for your Research guide

IMPORTANT By accessing Google Scholar via the library website you are entitled to access UniSA's licensed resources and may be able to link directly to articles by clicking on the Full-text at UniSA link.

To use the advanced search option: select the down arrow in the search box. You can use many of the same search strategies you use to search the catalogue and databases to search the web.

Google Scholar search example:
**This search has been limited to items since 2012**

If you use Google Scholar to locate an article, include date viewed and URL.

For example:

Madera, Juan R 2012, 'Using social networking websites as a selection tool: The role of selection process fairness and job pursuit intentions', International Journal of Hospitality Management, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 1276-1282, viewed 25 May 2017,

Refer to the Roadmap to Referencing resource for more information.


Searching databases

Databases help you to find publications (e.g. journal and newspaper articles, conference papers, book chapters) by a particular author, from a specific publication or on a topic.

They can provide either the full text to a publication or the reference and abstract only. You can access databases from the Library homepage. Choose the Databases link underneath the catalogue search box to see the full listing of database titles.

Business Source Complete

Provides information covering all areas of business including accounting and finance; banking; finance and insurance; construction; computer science; economics and more. Includes country economic reports as well as detailed company profiles

This is an example of a search using Business Source Complete.

Tip: You can limit your search by date range and to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals from the box on the left hand side of the results screen.

Emerald: insight
An excellent source of management and business information. All content in Emerald is peer-reviewed.


  • Use the advanced search option.
  • Narrow your search by date range

This is just one sample search - try searching on your own keywords to find articles for your report.


Don't be fooled by the name - ScienceDirect is an excellent source of information on business and management. And, as an added bonus, all articles are peer-reviewed!


  • Use the advanced search option.
  • You can limit your search to information related to Business, Management and Accounting selecting them from the subject area box.

Try searching using some of your own keywords to find information relevant to you.

LSE Library, ‘Collecting books for readers in the reserve stacks, 1964’, no copyright restrictions, source: flickr (
There are other databases you could search in to find information. These include:
Australian multidisciplinary database with an excellent coverage of economic and social issues, including information on indigenous affairs and Australian business.

Informit Business Collection
Business Collection is an Australian database which covers all broad business fields. It's a great resource for Australian content.

International indigenous research database covering a wide range of topics, including community development, economics, etc. 

Other sources

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Finding newspaper articles via databases
"Jan Kromer, 'Novinky: the news', CC Licence: Attribution 2.0 Generic, image source: flickr"
A great place to search for newspaper articles is via one of the databases. You can find newspaper databases listed under Browse by Subject > News on the right of the Find a Library Database page.

The databases listed below contain both Australian and international content:

Finding newspaper articles via the Library Catalogue.

The catalogue automatically excludes newspaper articles but you can add them back in to your results after searching:

Catalogue search example:

"human resource management"

This search has been limited using the following steps:

  • Additional resources: Newspaper articles (this adds newspapers articles to your results)
  • Format: Newspaper articles (this limits your search to newspaper articles only, and excludes all other formats from your results - you add them in and then take out everything else)
  • Date: 2012-2017

For more information about finding newspaper articles check out:

There are several ways that you can find case studies:

  • many textbooks and recommended readings include case studies
  • add the phrase case studies to your search
  • limit by format/content type eg book or eBook 

Try this Library catalogue search below to find case studies within eBooks from 2012 to 2016.

You can also try the above search in our databases (see our tab on databases above for links and tips).

Here are some database examples:


Evaluating your resources

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Not sure if the information you have found is good quality? It is important to evaluate before you use it in your academic work.

Freepik 'Clapperboard', CC Licence: CC BY 3.0, Image source:  
  Watch our video You be the Judge - learn to evaluate


Jason Grant 'Roadmap to referencing', January 2013 [Image source: UniSA Library]

Need help referencing? Follow the roadmap!

You can find additional help with referencing at these sites:

More help

If you need more help try one of these options:"Open Clip Art, 'Help Button', CC Licence: No Copyright, Image Source:"