Get Instant Help From 5000+ Experts For

Writing: Get your essay and assignment written from scratch by PhD expert

Rewriting: Paraphrase or rewrite your friend's essay with similar meaning at reduced cost

Editing:Proofread your work by experts and improve grade at Lowest cost

And Improve Your Grades
Phone no. Missing!

Enter phone no. to receive critical updates and urgent messages !

Attach file

Error goes here

Files Missing!

Please upload all relevant files for quick & complete assistance.

Guaranteed Higher Grade!
Free Quote

Case Study of Woolworths Supermarkets


Analyse the HR problem or issues.

The issues faced by the human resource managers are changing drastically in the context of the employee relation and industrial service management parameters. It is again expected to be modified within the next few decades. Hence, it is the right time for the managers and HR professionals to play the special role in dealing with the HRM challenges by developing specific competencies to develop these roles within their core attributes. In this context, Smith (2010) stated that HR managers need to accommodate workers in the virtual work locations and introduce the ways to manage the employee orientation and the corporate culture as well. Considering the fact, the current study has focused on identifying a few issues generated in the workforce due to the impact of the key HRM issues, considering the case study of a manufacturing firm Woolworths Supermarkets. These issues have been analysed and linked regarding the theoretical models and the facts. Based upon that analysis different negotiation techniques have been discussed by the researchers to resolve the existing HRM issues in the organisation. A change program has been implemented to address these issues, to address and potentially manage the set of change program activities. 

The current study has been conducted on Australian retail firm Woolworths Supermarkets, which is operating its business since past 92 years. Although the strategic HRM of the company is found reliable, it lacks from the effective ER forces and experiences a significant IR issue throughout the operation. Its primary operation includes manufacturing and retailing across the Australia and New Zealand. The firm has more than 200,000 strength, and it has earned a profit of A$2.5 billion in the last financial year.  

  • Lesser compensation and workplace strike:

In the factory outlet of its manufacturing unit, the HR managers of the current organisation face issues regarding the strike and the unrest of the employees due to either lesser wages or the unpaid bonus scheme. In this context, Baert & Omey (2015) stated that the violence between the paid and unpaid workers are increasing significantly, managing which is becoming a critical challenge to the modern day HR managers. The fair working system call has become a standard HR issue in the industrial relationship with the current firm.  This scenario has become common in the majority of the retail manufacturing organisations.

For instance, the fair work demand of its Australian branches has created a call for the strikes in the manufacturing unit of a reputed institution dated 30th   May 2015 (, 2016). Apart from this example, similar incidents are happening across worldwide institutions, and the HR personnel are failing to meet those demands due to the dilemma between the own principle and the action list posted by the management of the Woolworths Supermarkets. In the words of Smith (2010), the manufacturing organisations are mainly driven by the market pressure and competitiveness, due to which the management prioritises more on the continuous innovation and the total quality management. On the other hand, Booth & Hamer (2007) mentioned that to attain a significant profit margin, the firm cuts a few additional bonuses of the employees. This, in turn, creates payout issues within the workforce that result in a strike. This issue is faced by the HR personnel of the present organisation, due to the change in the power relations and the supremacy of the management. Balancing both the management and the employees has become a crucial task for the HR managers.

  • Employment discrimination and workplace bullying:

HR Issues in Woolworths Supermarkets

Bullying has been occurred due to the unreasonable behaviour that mainly occurs from the management towards a group of workers which has created a significant risk to the health and safety of the workers. The administration of the production unit very often changes the roster off schedule, the leave balances and the overtime schedule of the workers to increase the profit margin under a particular circumstance. It deliberately creates inconvenience to the employees (Ahsan, 2013). In the manufacturing unit, the employers discriminate women employees from the male staffs and allocate more than 38 hours work schedule in a week. As a consequence, the women employees become unable to continue the job and becomes forced to leave the job (Chelliah & D'Netto, 2006). This workplace bullying has created strikes within the organisation and the manufacturing unit incurred a significant loss in the productivity as well.

Currently, a call has been raised in, 30th May 2016, for the working hours in Australia that is to be capped by 38 hours in a week. This report has been published in the Sydney Morning Herald (, 2016). Croucher, R. & Morrison (2012) supported the fact and stated that the challenges of the highly paid workers and the unpaid workers are mainly raising the situation due to the workplace bullying initiated by the employers.

  • Employee unrest and greater degree of absenteeism:

The staffs of the current organisation from the Minchinbury site have generated multiple industrial actions regarding the fair wages and the goof working conditions for more than 197,000 team members. Although the National Union has employed adequate worker right, the interest of earning higher profitability has generated the driving force of offering a stagnant pay scale to its employees. According to the current situation, the employees are seeking clarity on the right of the permanent workers regarding the workload and the work life balances. The unrest amount is increasing which is introducing greater absenteeism in the manufacturing unit. The health issues have generated a higher degree of security problems, and the lack of transparency regarding the organisational commitment launched a major strike in its production unit. Jianxin & Daming (2009) also mentioned that lower rate of pay for the casual workers and the security of tenure of the employment in the non-full-time employees. The lower rates of pay and conditions for the casual workers have pushed the union to introduce a strike in its production process. The extreme workload has increased the absenteeism towards the Woolworths Supermarkets, and even greater employee strength has left the organisation as well (, 2016).  

The first issue of the legitimate work demand of the Australian company, Woolworths Supermarkets  has made a call for the strike in the manufacturing unit. It has been observed that apart from the enterprise, this particular situation is rapidly happening across the worldwide organisation. In this present critical situation, the Unitary Theory of Industrial Relationship produced a unified authority or loyalty structure to the management for managing the adverse situation. As per the opinion of Banik et al. (2015), the unitary perspective placed all the organisational participants as a team implicitly focusing on the shared goals, shared values and common destiny. Hence, the unitary theory intends to maintain the industrial peace by making all conflicts unnecessary.   

Negotiation Techniques to Resolve HR Issues

The second issue is employment discrimination which is majorly hampering the organisational working culture in the company, Woolworths Supermarkets. The Conflict Theory of Industrial Relationship reflects that the employees have different values and aspiration which potentially conflict with the decisions of management. According to the opinion Engel & Reich (2015), the conflict theorists helps to resolve the conflicted situation through agreement and collective bargaining. Hence, the company, Woolworths Supermarkets has to be the follower of the Conflict Theory, which enables the group of employees to influence the decision of the management.                                    

A third issue faced by the Woolworths Supermarkets are the employee unrest and greater degree of absenteeism. It has been observed that the current issue of work-life balance of the employees, health problem, security issue and lack of transparency regarding the organisation’s commitment is directly linked with the System Theory of Industrial Theory.  In this similar circumference, Rai et al. (2015) mentioned that every organisation has to develop its system approach to influence the structural and functional sociology of the industrial relation. Therefore, as the perspective of System Theory, Woolworths Supermarkets requires introducing a range of rule-making governing and systematic explanation of production. So that it could be possible to balance the social system by establishing a unique industrial relationship system.      

Considering the current situation of the Woolworths Supermarkets, it has been identified that the firm needs to employ right negotiation technique to manage the actions of the workforce. The long-term production issue might hamper the brand profitability up to a great extent (Ahsan, 2013). Thus, the pay scale increment and implementing a potential work hour planning could reduce the employee grievance regarding the management, and the overall productivity can also be improved. In addition to that considering the demand for the current workforce, it can be stated that job redesign could be a better option for the full-time and the casual workers as it could increase the motivation level of the employees towards the daily work.  Lai & Babcock (2012) stated that the employee unrest level can also be reduced, which could increase the work life balance and the increased employee retention in its global operation as well. All in all, distributive and collective bargaining process could be implemented to improve the negotiation effectiveness of the overall industrial relationship process.  

The change program can be initiated considering a range of plans of the organisation. Considering the fact, Paauwe (2009) stated that the mapping of the reasons for the improvement is necessary before implementing a change process in the strategic HRM process. Thus, an evaluation strategy also needs to be engaged to enable the change process that could be applied into the Woolworths Supermarkets. The flow chart of the program level planning could be as follows:

Step 1: Defining the future mission and vision of the firm

Step 2: Establishing the pros and cons of the plan

Step 3: Developing the knowledge base regarding the impact of the change process

Step 4: Mapping the causes of the change process


Step 6: Creating and evaluation strategy

Step 7: Communicating the plan to the workforce

Step 8: Ask the workforce to make active participation in the change process

Step 9: Creating an enabling environment and utilising the enabling tactics

Step 10: Pretest the process by engaging the labour union.

Step 11: Finally, implement the action plan after gathering the affirmation of the union.

Since the firm Woolworths Supermarkets is suffering from employee relationship issues, engaging the worker union could be a beneficial strategy for the current firm. The adequate mapping and the evaluation of the change strategy could help the management, analysing the potential of the framework. Smith (2010) also indicated that the changes in the HRM policies, including the compensation and other job related activities need to be properly communicated to the employees prior to the implementation. Thus, the communication of the action plan could be an effective agenda to the current firm. The pre testing of the action plan could also help the management, identifying the upcoming threats or engagement from the employee side. Thus, the feasibility of the overall change plan can be assessed. Thereby, managing a sustainable industrial relationship with the current workforce could be a fruitful agenda of the current organisation.  


The primary assertion of the study indicates the current HRM issues of the organisation, Woolworths Supermarkets. While conducting the research, the research associate has identified the three significant HRM issues of Woolworths Supermarkets, which includes lesser compensation and workplace strike, employment discrimination and workplace bullying and employee unrest and the greater degree of absenteeism. To critically analyse those issues the theory of Industrial Relationship like Unitary Theory, Conflict Theory and System Theory have been evaluated in the current research work. Furthermore, a change program with several steps has been designed to implement the organisational workflow structure. Finally, a potential action plan would help the particular company to achieve the desired goal by keeping a focus on the adopted strategies. 


Ahsan, R. (2013). Offshoring and Wages. Australian Economic Review, 46(1), 110-118

Baert, S. & Omey, E. (2015). Hiring Discrimination Against Pro-union Applicants: The Role of Union Density and Firm Size. De Economist, 163(3), 263-280

Banik, M., Bhattacharya, S. S., Mukherjee, A., Roy, A., Ambainis, A., & Rai, A. (2015). Limited preparation contextuality in quantum theory and its relation to the Cirel’son bound. Physical Review A, 92(3), 225–232

Booth, S. & Hamer, K. (2007). Labour turnover in the retail industry. Intl J Of Retail & Distrib Mgt, 35(4), 289-307

Chelliah, J. & D'Netto, B. (2006). Unfair dismissals in Australia: does arbitration help employees?. Employee Relations, 28(5), 483-495

Croucher, R. & Morrison, C. (2012). Management, Worker Responses, and an Enterprise Trade Union in Transition. Industrial Relations: A Journal Of Economy And Society, 51, 583-604

Engel, A., & Reich, Y. (2015). Advancing architecture options theory: Six industrial case studies. Systems Engineering,

Industrial Action Types Examples and Guidelines | Workplace Info. (2014). 

Jianxin, Z. & Daming, Z. (2009). An Investigation into the Group Characteristics of Casual Construction Workers. Chinese Sociology & Anthropology, 

Lai, L. &  Babcock, L. (2012). Asian Americans and workplace discrimination: The interplay between sex of evaluators and the perception of social skills.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

My Assignment Help. (2017). Analyzing HR Issues In Woolworths Supermarkets: Resolving Through Negotiation Techniques (70 Characters). Retrieved from

"Analyzing HR Issues In Woolworths Supermarkets: Resolving Through Negotiation Techniques (70 Characters)." My Assignment Help, 2017,

My Assignment Help (2017) Analyzing HR Issues In Woolworths Supermarkets: Resolving Through Negotiation Techniques (70 Characters) [Online]. Available from:
[Accessed 01 March 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Analyzing HR Issues In Woolworths Supermarkets: Resolving Through Negotiation Techniques (70 Characters)' (My Assignment Help, 2017) <> accessed 01 March 2024.

My Assignment Help. Analyzing HR Issues In Woolworths Supermarkets: Resolving Through Negotiation Techniques (70 Characters) [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2017 [cited 01 March 2024]. Available from:

Get instant help from 5000+ experts for

Writing: Get your essay and assignment written from scratch by PhD expert

Rewriting: Paraphrase or rewrite your friend's essay with similar meaning at reduced cost

Editing: Proofread your work by experts and improve grade at Lowest cost

250 words
Phone no. Missing!

Enter phone no. to receive critical updates and urgent messages !

Attach file

Error goes here

Files Missing!

Please upload all relevant files for quick & complete assistance.

Other Similar Samples

sales chat
sales chat