Levi Strauss Human Resource Management

Essay by KortEvanUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, August 2004

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Levi Strauss & Company offers a dynamic, performance-driven work environment and a corporate culture characterized by ethical conduct and a commitment to social responsibility. They value and depend upon the diverse backgrounds, experience, knowledge and talents of all their employees, and embrace and reflect the ethnic, cultural and lifestyle diversity of the communities where they live and work. Their human resource programs and corporate initiatives distinguish them from others in their industry and in business.

According to its mission statement, Levi Strauss balances profitability with product quality and service. The company focuses strategically on satisfying the customers' needs from the stage of product design to its packaging and delivery. To accomplish this aim, large investments are being made in the latest technology, and the company is concentrating its efforts on clustering manufacturing and distribution units on a regional basis. This strategy has led to some rationalization of operations within the last few years, particularly in the United States.

The HR role is vital to Levi's commitment to customer satisfaction. "Management understands," said the senior vice-president in 1992, "that people issues are business issues. You can go out and buy the technology, but if you don't have the people trained and committed to using it, and making changes, changes aren't going to happen." At Levi Strauss in the 1990s, the HR focus has changed from being on the cutting edge to being more client-driven. For this purpose, the HR function is relatively decentralized and conceptually divided along strategic, operational, and tactical lines. In practice, those segments of responsibility interact and overlap so that the business partners may become fully integrated at all levels of the organization. The challenge is to balance all these requirements and determine what the priorities are. Although the HR function was reorganized in 1993, questions remain...