Case study I: Marriott's acquisition of Starwood
The hotel chain Marriott, in 2016, completed the largest and most expensive acquisition in the hotel industry's history, with a $13 billion-dollar acquisition of Starwood. Almost instantly overnight, Marriott increased its hotel portfolio by 50% and therefore increased their employees by roughly the same margin. One of the great challenges in the acquisition was the cultural challenges brought about by the different organizational rationale and mind-set of each business. There was a clear business rationale for the merger. In 2015 Starwood, which was one Marriott's primary competitors, put itself up for sale. Marriott looked at it and decided initially they were not interested. It looked like a really difficult job and Marriott was doing very well.
The CEO explained, in a candid sit-down interview with Fortune, that the economics didn't feel right but this began to change over the summer of 2015, when they engaged with a number of technology partners that act as middle men for their services, such as Facebook and Google. It was in these meetings that an emergent strategy became apparent.
Marriott decided that if they had an even bigger loyalty program then the relationships they could develop with their customers would be even stronger, due to the fact they could offer way more choice. The strategic importance of the deal became stronger across the environmental analysis stage. The CEO explained that companies like Starwood only come along for sale every ten years or longer, so they decided to go ahead with the deal.
• Using Whittington's (2001) model, what strategic perspective(s) appear to have been utilized by the firm?
• Describe the competitive advantage that Marriott envisioned they would receive from the Starwood acquisition.
Case Study II: The strategic role of the human resource function
The strategic role of HR at Camden Council
Camden Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Camden in Greater London, UK, and is one of thirty-two borough councils in London. It provides a range of services to the residents of Camden that include housing, social services, and education. There is a single point of contact for all HR matters (‘HR Direct'). Former HR Director Mike Cooke viewed his role as championing organizational development. He focused on improving employee performance through changing the culture of this public sector organization andhe stuck to this approach when moving posts to become director of housing and adult social care. The council needs to save £85 million per annum and so far has saved approximately 50% of this target through service-by-service reviews, which has involved encouraging department heads to think about their operations in a completely different way. Therefore, savings are being made by encouraging managers to look at new ways of working rather than just making budget cuts based in cost reduction. For instance, the meals-on-wheels service, whereby preheated meals were delivered to the elderly, has been replaced by a system in which residents order frozen meals for a whole week.In December 2011 Mike Cooke was appointed CEO of the council. As of May 2012, the council is recruiting for a Senior HR Business Partner who has skills in strategic thinking and leadership, organizational awareness and judgement, and is able to work with teams, build support, and drive improvement.
• To what extent does this case illustrate a strategic role for HR?
• To what extent are the role of HR and/or the dissemination of good HR practice dependent on the personal competencies of key stakeholders inside and outside the HR function?
The response should include a reference list. Using double-space, Times New Roman 12 pnt font, one-inch margins, and APA style of writing and citations.