Purpose – The aim of the paper is to highlight the award‐winning turn‐around achieved by human resource (HR) managers at Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries following a spate of merger and bid activity. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on the comments of the company's group HR director, who was himself a member of the senior steering group that was set up to plan and oversee the acquisition processes. Findings – The paper describes how the company “turned around” the prevailing view among employees that it was traditional, hierarchical and remote, and ended the “winner/loser” mentality among workers, while still achieving reductions in employee numbers and evening out differences in terms and conditions of employment. Practical implications – The paper shows that real change in organizational culture can be achieved over a fairly short period of time, if HR matters are handled sensitively and lessons are learned at the appropriate times. It highlights the successes that can result from real HR input into company strategy. Originality/value – The paper reveals, through “before and after” employee attitude surveys, that real improvements in employee satisfaction, commitment and motivation were achieved.
Human Resource Management International Digest – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: Organizational change; Human resource management; Quality awards; Brewing
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