Friday, February 27, 2009

Polaroid Corporation

My assumption is that Polaroid’s growth strategy was based solely on the technology involved and development of its Polarizing process. They remained driven by this process and attempted to stay one step ahead of the competition prior to the 1970's.

Based on the development strategy that Polaroid employed in the early years, there are many factors one can blame, the environment, the customer, the competition, but the responsibility lay with the upper management of the company. They should have been focusing in on changing the foresight of its vision to adapt to the changing marketplace. This could have been achieved by vigilant monitoring of what the competition was doing and specifically what the customer wants. The Company made to attempt to adapt to the Technological changes that was rapidly gaining ground around their business with the aim of keeping competitive.

To summarize, the human resource plan in the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's was to grow its employee base sufficiently enough to deal with the increasing attractiveness of its breakthrough product, they also harnessed skilled employees that could helped the organization develop innovative products and by extension grow the organization, their was no strategic plan for the future. This compared to the plan for the 1980's and 1990's which was to develop new innovative products aligned with technological changes in the industry and to train and re-train the staff to adapt to the advances in technology to better prepare its human resources for the possibility of job loss as the company downsized.

Cutbacks and retrenchment had a profound effect on the company’s human resource plan during the declining years, because employees were going to be sent home. In 1988 Polaroid went through a major downsizing, eliminating 8,500 jobs, a further 5% cut was announced in 1995 to further destabilize the company. We feel that the fall in employment at Polaroid was really a product of lack of foresight, willingness to adapt to changing markets, and the inability to adequately identify their target market.

The Human resource plan for the 80’s and 90’s shifted towards preparation for layoff and certain downsizing and leaned more towards training and development. The company’s human resource plans together with the overall business plan would have had to deal with the reactions of its main suppliers, loyal customers and entrenched employees. We believe that cutback could be have been avoided, this with a enhanced growth strategy plan in place, employees who were doing what would be considered duplicate jobs could have been retrained and sent to other departments. Employees who had valuable skills that are sought in the work environment, but would be harmful if no longer available to the company could have been contracted out to other companies who are having a hard time filling jobs of a technical nature. Polaroid should have developed their workforce sufficiently so they could have moved them around when certain positions become obsolete.

Many companies in the United States have either folded or are struggling due to lack of vision or competitiveness. A good example of this would be Kmart loss of ground to Wal-Mart.

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