Human Capital Development: The Harley-Davidson Way


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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB096
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1992-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Harley-Davidson
Industry : Automobile - Motorcycles
Countries : US

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"The biggest takeaway [to my experience in a circle organization] is that ... [positive] change will happen as long as you don' try to force it your way. If you lead participative change, it will work."

- Richard F. Teerlink, Former CEO, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, in February 2003.

"The recovery of this company since the 1980s has been truly remarkable... According to management and labor, one of the reasons you're the best-managed company in America is that you have a genuine partnership between labor and management, where all employees are valuable and expected to make good decisions on their own for the benefit of the common enterprise. And I thank you for setting that example. I wish every manufacturer in America would model it."

- Bill Clinton, Former President of United States, in his Speech at Harley-Davidson Assembly Plant, York, Pennsylvania on November 10, 1999.

Introduction

In 2006, Harley-Davidson Motor Company (H-D), the leading manufacturer of heavy-weight motorcycles in the United States (US), implemented the 'Accenture Human Capital Development Framework' (HCDF).

This initiative was undertaken by H-D in order to bring about improvements in its human resource (HR) functions, and thereby attain improved business performance.

This was the second time that the HCDF framework was being implemented in the company, the first time being in 2004.

Another major HR initiative that H-D adopted to encourage greater employee participation and collaboration in 1992 was the circle organization.

The rationale behind creating such circles was to come out of the command-and-control leadership style of management and foster teamwork among the employees. H-D took these initiatives after the company's new management realized that in order to survive in a highly competitive market in the long run, it was essential to make the company a continuous learning and improving organization where there was free and open communication between all levels of the employees.

Each and every employee, it felt, should be able to comprehend their roles in the company and the consequence of their roles to the company.

Human Capital Development: The Harley-Davidson Way - Next Page>>


1] Kristin Merriman-Clarke, "Eat My Dust: Organizational Change," www.asaecenter.org, February 2003.

2] Robert M. Grant, "Harley-Davidson, Inc., February 2004," www.blackwellpublishing.com, February 2004.
 
3] This framework was introduced by Accenture Ltd. on June 03, 2004.

 

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