HR as Transformation Partner in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.
(13 pages of text)
The Indian business landscape is marked by uncertainty, turbulence, hyper-competition, and non-linear growth, as exemplified by the automobile sector. Increasing competition from foreign automobile organizations and homegrown ones such as Tata Motors are posing a threat to the market leader, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. A fierce battle for market share is ensuing among these automobile giants. However, Maruti Suzuki has succeeded in maintaining its leadership position. Yet with more companies venturing into the territory of Maruti Suzuki — the small car segment — the threat to Maruti Suzuki’s market share is looming larger than before.
This case illustrates Maruti Suzuki’s journey and depicts the changes in its organizational strategy, HR strategy, and work culture in response to new challenges. Maruti Suzuki had to change from a government-owned organization and a monopoly, to a firm capable of competing with world-class automobile companies. This case describes the various challenges faced by the organization and how HR has assisted in bringing about much-needed transformation. The challenges include having to create a performing workforce, changing the mindset of the employees, coping with cross-cultural issues and, most significantly, engaging in breakthrough innovation. HR needs to create an organizational culture that not only supports breakthrough innovation but also helps retain employees.
The case enables students to:
- Understand the concept of strategic human resource management by illustrating how HR strategy aligns with organizational strategy.
- Understand the impact of the strategic human resource practices and policies on the work culture of an organization.
It can be used for discussion in a postgraduate program in management or human resources to explain the evolution of an organization and HR, as well as the link between organizational strategy and HR strategy. It can also be used in a strategic human resource management elective, by HR managers for in-organization training, or in management development programs. Perspectives from which it can be taught include: a) growth of a firm, b) linking HR strategy to organizational strategy, c) determining what HR needs to embark on to bring about a change in the culture of an organization, d) talent management, and e) cross-cultural differences in a parent-subsidiary relationship and its management.
India, Large, 2009
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