Sonoco Products Company: Building a World-Class HR Organization

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Case Study Analysis

Sonoco Products Company (A): Building a World-Class HR Organization


This is an analysis of the Harvard Business School case study -- Sonoco Products Company (A): Building a World-Class HR Organization. This analysis outlines the challenges of Sonoco Products Company to revise its corporate strategy (i.e. products, structure, Human Resources, etc.) to remain competitive and continue its growth in the volatile, ever-changing global packaging industry. In 1995, Cindy Hartley, Senior VP, Human Resources, came to Sonoco and found the Human Resources (HR) function broken. She soon began working on a plan to rejuvenate HR and link HR processes to Sonoco’s business objectives. As Ms. Hartley was well on
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The company was becoming increasingly more susceptible to changes in the world economy. The packaging business began to focus on the following: • development and implementation of policies and action programs to meet the consumer needs, including development of innovative packaging containers and techniques • production for diversified product types • improvement of productivity for cost reduction • introduction of higher speed computer technology for quality assurance, improvement and labor saving • creation of websites for the entire industry • cooperative efforts of the entire packaging industry for e-commerce individual packaging/logistics (Taylor, 2005)

This called for Sonoco to reassess and reinvent itself in the face of the new global marketplace to remain competitive. In this case analysis, this writer will review the state of Sonoco in years approaching the new millennium (situational analysis), utilize the 7-S Model of organizational alignment as appropriate to examine Sonoco’s need for planned change (identification of issues), examine proposed options (evaluation of alternatives), and propose plan of action (recommendation).

Situational Analysis

Upon approach of the new millennium, Sonoco began to recognize a change in its business. After enduring many years of continuous growth and financial success, Sonoco was in a precarious situation. Its stock price fell to an eight-year low. Sonoco’s debt

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