Volvo's HR Practices - Focus on Job Enrichment

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : HROB062 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


HR Practices and Policies
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1973 - 1999
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Volvo Car Corporation
Industry : Automobile
Countries : Sweden


The case discusses the efforts made by the Swedish automobile major - Volvo AB towards improving the work conditions at its facilities through job enrichment programs.

In its efforts to reduce the instances of employee turnover and absenteeism in its manufacturing facilities, Volvo introduced innovative job enrichment programs including job rotation, management employee councils, small work groups, change implementation and employee oriented facilities. These programs helped the company to understand the importance of designing its facilities according to the work design and employees' requirements.

Volvo was one of the first automobile companies to deviate from the traditional assembly line system and adopt a more employee-centric approach for manufacturing automobiles.


Understand the importance of implementing job enrichment programs in automobile manufacturing company

Get insights into how the theoretical concepts of job enrichment could be practically implemented in a manufacturing company

Understand the new system of automobile production based on the employee friendly socio-technical approach

Debate on the efficacy of Volvo's socio-technical approach in the long term


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
The HR Problem 3
The Job Enrichment Experiments 4
The New HR Initiatives 8
The Uddevalla Plant 8
End of the Socio-Technical Approach? 10
Exhibits 11

Key Words:

Case, Southwest Airlines, Gary Kelly, James Parker, Herb Kelleher, Low-cost Airlines, Organizational Culture, Colleen Barrett, Customer Relations, JetBlue, Succession Planning, Cultural Transformation, Leadership, Change Management, AirTran, Southwest Culture

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