1.Most likely, it is easier to integrate HR and the strategic management process in a medium to large organization due to two factors: first, larger organizations tend to have a more formalized approach to strategic planning, while many small firms do not plan; and second, larger firms generally invest time in standardizing or centralizing HR policies and practices. In smaller firms, decisions are made less frequently and may have more of an ad hoc nature.
2.By instituting strategic management within the HRM department, the department will be forced to review their mission, customers, and so forth. In doing so, it will become evident that for HRM to fulfill its mission, the function must take a role in overall corporate planning and implementation
3. HR professionals will have to have a basic understanding of the various business functions. More specifically, knowledge of statistics, accounting, information systems, and, obviously, the specific functions of HR are critical to future HR practice. Additionally an in‑depth knowledge of organizational change methods will enable an HR executive to take a leadership role in setting the direction of the organization as well as in implementing changes called for by the strategy of choice. These skills can be learned in colleges of business and through experience gained within an organization.
4.Delta Air Lines show the interdependence between “how to compete” and “with what to compete” by getting rid of its one source of sustainable competitive advantage, its employees. The strategy did reduce costs, but it also lost its employees. The company replaced its previous employees with outside contractors and less experienced employees who do not do the jobs as well as the previous ones did.
5.As head of the HRM department for Delta Air Lines, one’s priorities should be focused on the highly committed workforce. Since these employees had the incentive to buy a plane to help the company, they may have some good ideas on how to run the airline more efficiently and effectively. Employees’ participation can be sought on what to change to help the company become a “well oiled machine.” As the book states, the employees may even have ideas on “how to make any necessary workforce reductions and perhaps would be willing to take temporary pay cuts to help the firm get back on its feet.” Since the union is now involved, there would have to be discussions and contracts written up between Delta Air Lines and the union, if the pay cuts were to occur or any other decisions were to be made.
6. Michael Dell needs to fill several key executive roles within the company to aid him in his goal to “fix” his business. Dell has always had a strong number 2 behind him helping him steer his company, however he is currently facing the task of running a much larger and more complicated company than he was use to in the early 1990s.
7.HR would help Dell address their current need in attracting and developing the executive team needed to propel the company in the future. Planning a successor for Michael Dell, the current CEO of Dell, is important for the company’s sustained competitive advantage when he retires.
8. Outsourcing could be more difficult in a small company because of the likelihood that strong bonds were formed among employees. Conversely, it could be easier because employees might get more attention and assistance with finding work. HR could help smooth the transition by exhibiting compassion, helping employees to articulate their skills and translate them into new opportunities and serve as a reference for those displaced workers.