ORC Sightlines

November 2004

Managing R&D in a Matrixed Organization

R&D organizations almost by definition require matrix management—sometimes involving more than two dimensions. Functions or disciplines, business lines, projects, and geographical locations may all have their own management structures that are expected to accommodate and support one another. Nice and necessary in theory, but difficult to negotiate in practice. The complexities of managing in the matrix was a topic of discussion at the meeting earlier this month of ORC’s Human Resources in R&D (HRRD) network. Lessons learned from experiences shared by HRRD members boil down to five key success factors:

HRRD offers HR managers supporting technical organizations a forum for learning from one another. The multiplicity of industries represented and the experience and expertise of the members makes for vigorous exchanges at the semi-annual meetings and between-meeting networking activities. For more information, contact Michal Fineman, michal.fineman@orcww.com, 212-852-0354.

Labor Relations Group Confronts Corporate Campaigns

When unsuccessful in convincing companies to remain neutral during organizing drives and accept card checks as a substitute for secret ballot elections, unions are increasingly resorting to hardball tactics known as “corporate campaigns.” In a corporate campaign, the company suddenly finds itself the subject of lawsuits and complaints to various government agencies and a barrage of bad publicity. Customers, suppliers, shareholders, and Board members are all deluged with messages about the company’s “unfair” business practices and anti-union bias. The CEO may even go to pick up his child one afternoon to find pickets at the school.

Basically, there are only two ways that corporate campaigns can be ended: either the company gives in or the union does. Discussions at this month’s inaugural meeting of ORC’s new Canadian Labor/Industrial Relations Advisory Group (Canadian LIRAG) focused on how to cope with a corporate campaign if the decision has been made not to surrender. Recommended steps include:

A corporate campaign is a long-term strategy, and companies that decide it is in their strategic interest to hang tough should prepare themselves for a siege.

Canadian LIRAG and its sister networks covering labor relations in the US and Japan are managed by Tom Connors. For more information, contact him at 212-852-0352 or thomas.connors@orcww.com.

Global Talent Management Study Report Released

Results of the comprehensive study on global talent management practices conducted by ORC Worldwide have been finalized, and the Executive Summary is available on the ORC web site. The study, which was commissioned by Industrial Relations Counselors, Inc., a non-profit research organization and ORC’s parent, revealed a number of specific practices that are associated with high-performing talent management systems in major European and US multinational companies. (See the August 2004 issue of Sightlines for highlights of these findings.) The full report, which will be sent free of charge to participating companies, can be purchased from IRC for $800. For more information, contact Michal Fineman, michal.fineman@orcww.com, 212-852-0354.

Other ORC Resources

ORC Worldwide published the results of two compensation-related surveys this month: The Local National Salary Increase Survey and the SIRS® Survey of US Policies and Practices.

The SIRS® Survey of US Policies and Practices covers working time, pay policies, benefits, and workforce demographics. Two hundred and three organizations participated in the survey. The following are a sampling of the findings:

The Local National Salary Increase Survey reports base pay movement in over 100 countries and eight industry groupings. The data is differentiated by three types of employees: executives; managers, professionals, and technical employees; and clerical, administrative, and support employees.

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