Business Case Studies, Sears, Roebuck & Company, HR

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HRM / OB Case Study

Case Title:

Sears, Roebuck & Company: Operating Performance Turnaround with HR Scorecard

Publication Year : 2009

Authors: Sai Prasanna Ragu, Swapna Pragada, Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

Industry: Services


Case Code: HRM0057

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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In the backdrop of emerging trends in HR and the changing paradigms in the role of HR from an administration to a strategic asset, the case study provides an in-depth understanding of strategic human resource management and the need and importance of implementing an HR Scorecard. By illustrating Sears as an excellent example of a retailer’s strategic focus on HR, this case study offers many intriguing issues to debate on – emerging trends in HR, the new and broader strategic role of HR, strategic influence of HR on organisational performance and the factors that led Sears to lose market to competitors. It also discusses about the intricacies of implementing an operational turnaround under the able leadership of Arthur C. Martinez and sustainability of such an approach.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the emerging trends in HR and the paradigm shift in the role of HR function in an organisation
  • To gain a conceptual understanding of HR Scorecard, its implementation and the outcome
  • To examine the evolution, growth and expansion of Sears, Roebuck and Co. in the US retail markets
  • To critically evaluate Sears’ turnaround under the leadership of Arthur C. Martinez
  • To debate on the feasibility and sustainability of implementing the contemporary HR practices like the HR Scorecard.

Keywords : Human Resource management, Sears, Roebuck and Company, HR Scorecard, Operating Performance Turnaround, Strategic role of HR, Arthur C. Martinez, Contemporary HR Practices, Emerging Trends in HR


  • Sears, Roebuck and Co. – Inception, Growth and Expansion
  • Sears'Turnaround under the Leadership of Arthur C. Martinez
  • HR Scorecard at Sears – Linking Productivity, Turnover and Financial Performance to Human Resource Activities
  • Measuring Employee Attitudes to Assess Sears as a Compelling Place to Work
  • Sears 'Total Performance Indicator' Model for Full-line Retail Stores
  • Sears' Employee-Customer-Profit Chain Model

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