The task – Case Analysis
Drawing from theories and models that inform adult and organisational learning, analyse the case below and make recommendations for action.
You may identify a number of issues or concerns in the case. In framing your response to the case it is recommended that you concentrate your efforts on the most critical. It is important that you explicitly establish a link between the critical issue and the relevant literature.
Academic references: You will need to demonstrate that you have a good understanding of the relevant academic literature. While an exact number of academic literature cannot be given, it is expected that you will use between five and eight academic references.
Human Resource Development Scenario
Akaline Inc is a Singaporean based petrochemical company. It produces approximately one million tonnes of ethylene per year. The Singapore plant has an enviable safety record and in the last financial year it recorded the following incidents:
1. Fatalities: 0
2. Permanent injury: 1
3. Lost time or restricted capacity to work: 10
4. Minor First Aid: 21
Five years ago Akaline Inc formed a joint venture with a Vietnamese company to build and operate a petrochemical plant in Vietnam. Akaline brings to the joint venture international expertise in operations and plant systems.
The plant was completed approximately eighteen months ago and after an initial period scaling-up it is supposed to be operating a full capacity. While the plant was under construction the Human Resources department was busy recruiting local engineers, operational staff and maintenance personnel. The Human Resource Development team of which you are a member, devised a comprehensive training program for all staff that had been recruited for the new Vietnam plant. The training included occupational, health and safety, standard operating procedures, plant/maintenance operation and where appropriate team leadership. All the new operators and the majority of the new maintenance recruits spent between three and six months at Akaline’s Singapore training facility.
While the Vietnam plant performed according to expectation during the six month scale-up period it has struggled to reach its production targets in the ensuing 12 months. Management based in Singapore have struggled to understand this. One reason could be that during the scale-up stage experienced engineers and managers from Singapore were ‘on-hand’ to assist. Another possibility is that the targets that were set by Singaporean operational management were too ambitious. However operational management were under pressure from executive management to establish those targets given the need to meet the financial targets and satisfy the banks that had provided capital for the Vietnam plant.
It is already apparent that safety is a cause for concern. Two weeks ago one of the plant’s maintenance staff was killed when he entered a chamber and was overcome with ammonia. Four other staff was also injured and required hospitalisation. This was the latest in a series of incidents. An initial investigation revealed that the Standard Operating Procedures that were based on the Procedures used in Singapore were not being implemented in the manner intended. The SOPs covered both operations and maintenance. The maintenance area in particular would appear to require urgent attention.
Senior management in Singapore have decided that urgent action needs to be taken. As a senior HRD practitioner you have been given the task to develop a HRD intervention.
Assessment criteria and their indicative weighting are:
• Analysis of the case – identify critical aspects of the case (6)
• Critical review of appropriate HRD models, concepts or theories (12)
• Evaluation and recommendations (14)
• Clarity of writing (6)
• Appropriate acknowledgement of sources (4)
• Overall coherency and quality (8)
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