Human Resource Management
Paper instructions:
This case study is an opportunity for you to imagine yourself as part of a situation with challenging dynamics. You will need to construct a 1200-word analysis of this situation using the Analysis Questions to guide you.


Case Study


Sgt. Michaels was newly appointed to the Professional Standards Section of a municipal police department. He was promoted to this section a week ago and is still somewhat unfamiliar with all of the professional standards policies. Three days ago, Insp. Smith, convened a meeting of himself (the inspector in charge), the staff sergeant and the other sergeants. SSgt. Williams asked Sgt. Michaels to attend the meeting as this would give him an exposure into his new role.


At the beginning of the meeting, SSgt. Williams introduced Sgt. Michaels very briefly to Insp. Smith. The meeting started with an address from the Insp. Smith who then began asking everyone present about the new professional standards policies, which had been implemented four weeks prior to the meeting. Insp. Smith was very knowledgeable on the new professional standards policies, and had a reputation of being very outspoken on his expectations that everyone should have the same level of knowledge and understanding as he had. The other people present at the meeting knew of Smith’s reputation and had prepared prior to the meeting for potential questions that Insp. Smith would pose to them, and as such, they had prepared concise and direct answers to Insp. Smith’s questions. However, as Sgt. Michaels had only been in his position for less than a week, he wasn’t as familiar with the new policies or how Insp. Smith’s conducted meetings.


SSgt. Williams immediately understood that Insp. Smith had possibly failed to remember that Sgt. Michaels was new to the position. He thought of interrupting Insp. Smith’s questioning and giving a discrete reminder that Sgt. Michaels was new. But by that time, Insp. Smith who was pretty upset with lack of preparation by Sgt. Michaels made a public statement “Gentlemen, you are witnessing here an example of sloppy work, and this can’t be excused”.


Now SSgt. Williams was torn as to what he should do – should he interrupt Insp. Smith and tell him that Sgt. Michaels was new to that position OR should he wait until the end of the meeting and tell Insp. Smith privately? SSgt. Williams chose the second option.


Sgt. Michaels was visibly angry at the treatment meted out by Insp. Smith but he also chose to keep quiet. Insp. Smith quickly closed the meeting saying that he was generally disappointed in the lack of preparation for the meeting. He also asked SSgt. Williams to stay back in the room for further discussion.


Before SSgt. Williams could give any explanation on Sgt. Michaels, Insp. Smith asked him “Tell me openly, SSgt. Williams, was I too rough with that boy?” SSgt. Williams said “Yes, you were. In fact I was about to remind you that Sgt. Michaels is new to the job”. Insp. Smith explained that the fact that Sgt. Michaels was new to the job didn’t quite register with him during the meeting. Insp. Smith admitted that he had made a mistake and asked his assistant to get Sgt. Michaels to report to his office immediately.


A perplexed and uneasy Sgt. Michaels reported to Insp. Smith’s office after few minutes.


Insp. Smith looking Sgt. Michaels straight into his eyes said, “In the meeting, I completely forgot that you were new to your position. I would never have thought that I would have behaved that way, and I want to apologise to you for how I questioned you and for my resulting reaction.”


Sgt. Michaels was left speechless.

Insp. Smith continued, “I would like to state few things clearly to you. Your job is to make sure that people like me and your supervisors make the best decisions possible based on solid background information. If we didn’t think you could handle the position and its responsibilities, we wouldn’t have hired you. I recognize that everyone needs time to learn, but I expect you to have a solid understanding of the new professional standards policies within a three-month period because, if we make faulty policy decisions, they could have a serious negative effect on the department. I am confident that you will quickly familiarize yourself with these policies and how the department functions.”


Insp. Smith closed the conversation with a big reassuring handshake with Sgt. Michaels.


Analysis Questions


1.Was it at all necessary for Insp. Smith to apologise to such a junior member like Sgt. Michaels?
2.Imagine you were someone else at this meeting. Would you have responded or reacted to Insp. Smith’s comments or behaviour? How would this interaction have affected you?
3.If you were in Sgt. Michaels’ place, how would you to respond to Insp. Smith’s apology?
4.Did SSgt. Williams make a mistake by not intervening during the meeting and correct Insp. Smith’s misconception about Sgt. Michaels?
5.Based on what you have learned in this course, how would you define the character of Insp. Smith – bullying but later regretting? Does his attitude need to be corrected?
6.Would you hire someone like Inspector Smith in your organization, and if so, do you think your people would appreciate having this type of supervisor?
7.What training practices would you apply to avoid a situation such as this happening again?
8.Applying the course and text readings, what recommendations would you make in having Insp. Smith correct his behaviour?
Case study and questions adapted from:


1.Complete an analysis of the case study by answering the questions provided and adding information, if you choose. You will need to compose this assignment in essay format (with an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion) of approximately 1200 words. Full sentences and paragraphs are required. You may wish to begin by thinking about all of the different ways in which you might respond to the provided questions. Consider the pros and cons of each and select the option you will advance. Then begin drafting your essay.
2.Clearly reference the source of any information you quote directly or paraphrase, including material you find in the Study Guide. Any citations and referencing need to be in APA style. For help on using APA format, visit
3.Before you start, review the information about interpretations of and penalties for plagiarism and academic misconduct in
Contact your course facilitator if you have any questions about this assignment or how to properly cite material you are paraphrasing or directly quoting. The JIBC Library also has further information about citing and referencing at


Grading Criteria


This assignment is intentionally vague, reflecting the ambiguous nature of many HR tasks and the degree of judgment HR practitioners must exercise. There is no “right” answer. Your assignment will be graded based upon three criteria:

•How completely you have addressed the questions
•Your application of knowledge to the task and references to course material and text
•How clearly you present your ideas.




Human Resource Management