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Information plays a vital role in all organizational activities.
Marketing managers need information about customers to prefe-
rences and competitors’ products. Operations managers need
information about inventories and product demand. Financial
managers need information about interest rates and cash flows.
And human resource managers need information about all of
these areas so they can ensure they have the right employees with
the right skills in the right place at the right time.
Consider, for example, three recent news announcements
related to employment in the United States. In one, major employ-
ers in the U.S. pharmaceutical and financial services sectors
announced over 45,000 job cuts. These cuts largely were due to
industry slowdowns and corporate restructurings. But, surpris-
ingly, some cuts were related to improvements in the economy.
Banks, for example, had hired extra loan officers to help process a
surge in home refinancing, but an improving economy was push-
ing interest rates up; higher rates, in turn, led to a drop in home
refinancing and a reduced need for extra loan officers.
At about the same time, in an annual ritual, major U.S. retailers
announced that they were planning to hire hundreds of thousands
of temporary workers for the holiday season. For example, in 2013,
Kohl’s added 52,700 seasonal workers, Macy’s added 80,000, and
Target almost 90,000. As the holiday season ended, some of these
workers were offered permanent employment, some were extended
(temporarily), but most saw their temporary jobs come to an end.
Finally, late in 2013, Starbucks announced a long-term plan
to increase its global workforce from around 200,000 to 500,000.
Within this total the firm will