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10.4 Chapter Exercises

Real World Case Study

The following case study is based on a first-person narrative article published in the Harvard Business Review.Grossman, M. (2011). HSN's CEO on fixing the shopping network's culture. Harvard Business Review, 89(12), 43–46.

Mindy Grossman had worked for Nike for six years when she was passed up for a promotion. Although she realized that the men who got the job were deserving, she knew that her only possibility for ensuring progress in her career was to look for CEO jobs outside of Nike. Eventually, a corporate recruiter asked if she would be interested in applying for the CEO position at IAC Retailing. Her first question, “What’s IAC Retailing?”

IAC Retailing’s flagship was the Home Shopping Network (HSN) along with a number of minor companies abroad. In the previous ten years, HSN had seven different CEOs, so Grossman quickly realized that something was wrong with how things were run at IAC Retailing. On her first trip to HSN’s headquarters in Florida, she was surprised to find a dirty office, apathetic employees, and an organization at a loss for innovation.

Shortly before starting her job, she received a call from the head of Human Resources who asked what she would like to do on the first day of her job. She responded by asking, “What do other employees do on the first day?” “They go to new employee orientation,” the head of HR Responded. Much to the surprise of the head of HR, Grossman responded that she would also go through new employee orientation. During the orientation she saw the basic product line, took a tour of the set, and even listened to individuals in the call center. Going through the orientation process provided Grossman with a quick and comprehensive snapshot of the organization and how it functioned and those places where the organization currently was not functioning.

Since taking over the reins at IAC Retailing, she’s turned HSN from a second-tier shopping channel into a direct-to-viewer shopping powerhouse. In August of 2008, she took the company public and despite a downtrodden economy, by 2011 HSN was valued at over $2 billion.

  1. Do you think new CEOs should go through new employee orientation? Why?
  2. How do you think going through the orientation process at HSN impacted Grossman’s credibility among her new subordinates?
  3. Do you think Grossman’s success at HSN is directly related to the understanding of the organization she received during her new employee orientation? Why?

End-of-Chapter Assessment Head

  1. Darlene is in the process of putting together her organization’s plan for hiring a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). One of the parts of her plan involves thinking through the communicative messages she wants potential CFOs to receive. According to Breaugh, Macan, and Grambow, which step of the model of employee recruitment is Darlene engaging?

    1. recruitment objectives
    2. recruitment strategy
    3. recruitment activities
    4. applicant interview
    5. recruitment results
  2. Which theory of realistic job previews explains that realistic job previews work because the RJP prepares a new hire in incremental steps for the day-to-day life the new hire is going to experience within the organization?

    1. inoculation theory
    2. self-selection theory
    3. organizational socialization theory
    4. socialization resources theory
    5. disengagement theory
  3. One of the ways employees are socialized into the world of work is through families, friends, and educational experiences. What type of socialization do these represent?

    1. preventive socialization
    2. organizational anticipatory socialization
    3. precautionary socialization
    4. vocational anticipatory socialization
    5. business-related anticipatory socialization
  4. Bobby has only recently started working at Universal Corp. During a lunch room conversation, he mentions to a new coworker that he is an avid snowboarder. According to Fredric Jablin, what type of information giving is Bobby engaging in?

    1. evaluative work
    2. evaluative non-work
    3. descriptive work
    4. descriptive non-work
    5. information acquisition
  5. Peter is feeling more and more disgruntled at work. His productivity is slipping and he just doesn’t seem to care much about his job anymore. Although Peter hasn’t said anything to anyone, most people in his office assume he’s on the job market. According to Fredric Jablin, which step in disengagement is Peter exemplifying?

    1. preannouncement
    2. announcement
    3. pre-exit
    4. actual exit
    5. post exit

Answer Key

  1. B
  2. A
  3. D
  4. D
  5. A