The case exposes problems that a world leading mobile telecommunication handheld producing company is facing under the pressure of complex internal and external challenges. The company, Research In Motion (RIM), is experiencing success in the smart phone market with explosive growth rate and big market share. The BlackBerry products which integrate different functions have reached 14 million subscribers worldwide and have over $ 6 billion in revenue. However, the great potential smart phone market also comes along with intense competition. RIM can hardly rest on its success and have to face other strong competitors. Meanwhile, several SHRD problems arise from the explosive growth of RIM. The R&D, the key factor to RIM’s success, has increased significantly both in terms of total number of employees as well as geographic scope of its operation. The explosive growth has caused great pressure on the R&D team. What’s more, great demand for engineers has made the talent and space scarce. Several feasible options are offered in the case, providing solutions to address the SHRD issues. The company is facing the problem in finding the way to manage its explosive growth. Environment Analysis
RIM is operating in a sunrise market, a market with great potential and immense competition. RIM is the leading figure in the telecommunication market with explosive growth. BlackBerry which is RIM’s featured products, has reached 14 million subscribers worldwide and has over $6 billion in revenue.( Mazutis, 2011) RIM has more than 100,000 enterprise customers and an estimated 42 percent market share of converged devices thanks to its “push” e-mail architecture and built on security.( Mazutis, 2011) Besides North America, the telecommunication market has great potential worldwide. In China, there are over 524 million subscribers with only 39 percent penetration. (Mazutis, 2011) India is also experiencing fast growth rate with a 60 per cent increase and only 21 per cent market penetration. (Mazutis, 2011) However, great potential comes with great competition. Several competing platforms exist in the market. Symbian holds an estimated 65 per cent worldwide share of converged devices. (Mazutis, 2011) Apple’s iPhone also has a great impact on the smart phone market. What’s more, Microsoft and Apple are actively pursuing the business segment. The explosive growth rate has caused great pressure on RIM’s R&D teams at the headquarters in waterloo. In order to catch up with the dynamic market situation, RIM needs to ensure its R&D investment match its total sale. The hiring department at RIM has to work overtime in order to keep up with the growing demand for qualified engineers. Moreover, the R&D group has expanded to more locations not only in North America but also in England. Problem Identification
The problem lies on the conflicts between traditional growth strategy (enterprise culture) and the high demand of R&D resources from rapid growth. RIM has unique culture that keeps a low employee turnover rate and maintains a good working environment for engineers. Centered in waterloo is the core to keep such culture. However, such concentration has caused SHRD issue regarding the high demand of R&D resources. The historic growth strategy makes the recruitment can hardly catch up with the pace of fast growth. To source from local talent pool, through employee referrals and new graduate recruitment has already consumed most of the best developers in the area (Mazutis, 2011). What’s more, attracting outside talent to Waterloo was difficult given the competitive nature of the global software development industry. The shortage of physical space at RIM’s Waterloo campus and the specific recruitment make it even harder for RIM to find qualified engineers. Solution:
Enterprise culture is needed to be changed in the RIM case; The DNA of the company is needed to be rearranged. Instead of keeping the “Waterloo centered” culture, RIM should make further move in the direction of “dual core”. It is obvious that Waterloo is facing both talent and physical space scarcity. The location lacks the ability to attract talents out of the region due to the nature of the highly competitive software industry. Although RIM has already made expansion outside Waterloo, the “Waterloo centered” is so deeply rooted in the culture that makes the expansion lagging behind the fast growth. RIM should reinforce the status of its research facilities in America. Instead of keeping two separate R&D departments at different locations, RIM should merge the two departments into one big “Headquarter” in America at a desired location. By merging to one location, RIM can avoid the problem of development integration and promote innovation. Thanks to the comprehensive legal framework to protect intellectual property in America, RIM can put parts of its core work at the “headquarter” in America without worrying piracy and relief the pressure at Waterloo. What’s more, the American headquarter also has strong advantage in recruiting talents nationwide. The HR department should establish co-op program to attract talent new graduate student. The nationwide campus recruitment campaign should also be conducted by the lead of the HR department. In order to maintain low employee turnover rates, competitive employee benefits and enterprise culture education should be guaranteed as part of the HD strategy. Action Plan:
Phase one: American headquarter location selection. In order to select the most suitable location for the headquarter in America, the location must have the following characteristics:1) technology sector has already been existed in the location 2) big local talent pool 3) close to top level universities with strong engineering program. The mentioned location selection criteria would make sure the company has the ability to meet the high demand from R&D group. Current location Dallas or Chicago are the best choice relocation cost would be minimized. Phase two: The involvement of HR department. Enterprise culture shift should be conducted by the HR department. The “dual core” culture should be introduced to current employee and managers. Current Waterloo employee should be contacted whether they have the will to relocate. Phase three: The HR department should establish new co-op program at the new location. On campus recruitment campaign should be conducted at universities with strong engineering program. Meanwhile, good employee benefits and enterprise culture education should also be provided in order to keep a low employee turnover rate.
Mazutis, D, (2011)， Research in Motion: Managing Explosive Growth. Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario.