Posted by & filed under Chapter 4 - The Structure of Canadian Unions.

Description: The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is boycotting the Ontario Federation of Labour convention.

Source: Canadian Labour Reporter

Date: 11/22/2011

Link: http://www.labour-reporter.com/articleview?articleid=11783&headline=unions-boycott-ontario-federation-of-labour-convention

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Questions for discussion:

  • What is the role of a provincial labour federation?
  • How do you think this boycott will affect the OFL’s ability to perform that role?
  • The OPSEU statement doesn’t say why they are boycotting the convention. Why do you think the union issued the statement?
  • Why do you think they worded the statement the way they did?

Posted by & filed under Communication, Entrepreneurship, Innovation/Creativity, Leadership, Social Responsibility.

Dani Reiss, CEO of Canada Goose was selected as “Ontario 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year” and  received a “Business-to-consumer products and services” award. National and Ontario director of Entrepreneur of the Year, Colleen McMorrow mentions that Entrepreneurs need to have a strong frame of mind, and they should be innovative and risk takers. The program selects winners based on vision, leadership, financial performance and social responsibility. Mr Reiss has topped in all the criteria.

Questions:

  1. Complete a SWOT analysis for Canada Goose. Explain its strengths and Opportunities that were favorable to Mr. Reiss’ success.
  2. Study its Marketing plan? What effect does social media has on the marketing of the brand?
  3. How does he cover the innovative and social responsibility aspect? How do you think this aspect affects its sales globally?

SOURCE: Associated Press, “Made in Canada brand embraced on global scale” Financial Post (Retrievable online http://business.financialpost.com/2011/11/15/made-in-canada-brand-embraced-on-global-scale/)

Posted by & filed under Communication, Decision Making, Environment, Leadership, Management, Planning, Strategy.

Sony’s CEO, Sir Howard Stringer’s speech at Wall Street Journal event last week compared and contrasted Sony’s achievements and goals with its admired competitor, Steve Job’s “Apple”. While Sony focuses on multiple products, Apple focuses on a few items with its main emphasis on marketing of those products. Sony has seen a consistent loss in sales, lay-offs and problems with its suppliers. On the other hand, Apple has captured the world with its seamless technologies that are difficult to imitate.

Questions:

  1. Sony is going through loss in sales, business closures, lay-offs, cuts in operating profits, natural disasters in Japan and Thailand and much more. What would you suggest their marketing plan should emphasize on: marketing of the products they have or R & D and launching of new products?
  2. Compare and contrast the SWOT analysis of Sony and Apple?
  3. Explain the difference in marketing plans of Sony and Apple. Which one would you consider better and why?

 

SOURCE: James Rogers, “Why Sony’s CEO is still competing with Steve Jobs” The Globe and Mail (Retrievable online at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/tech-news/why-sonys-ceo-is-still-competing-with-steve-jobs/article2233887/ )

Posted by & filed under Chapter 1 - Introduction, Chapter 13 - Future Issues, Chapter 4 - The Structure of Canadian Unions.

Description: The Speaker of the House of Commons has ruled that a private member’s bill that would have forced unions to disclose financial information was improperly introduced.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Date: 11/05/2011

Link: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Commons+speaker+derails+bill+that+sought+more+financial+information/5661040/story.html

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Questions for discussion:

  • Why did the Speaker rule the bill out of order?
  • How could the bill be reintroduced?
  • What would be the political implications of that?
  • Why do you think the bill’s opponents attacked it on procedural grounds, rather than its content?
  • From what you have read, what do you think are the pros and cons of this proposed legislation?
  • Do you think it is required? Why or why not?

Posted by & filed under Chapter 1 - Introduction, Chapter 13 - Future Issues.

Description: York University law prof David Doorey is posting what he calls the Bad Employer Sunshine List, saying Canadian employers often ignore employment standards law with impunity.

Source: Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog

Date: 11/08/2011

Link: http://www.yorku.ca/ddoorey/lawblog/?p=4172

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Questions for discussion:

  • What is the Bad Employer Sunshine List?
  • Why is Dr. Doorey posting this list on his blog?
  • What do you think of the idea?
  • What kind of workers are most affected by employment standards laws?
  • How many Ontario employers were convicted in August?
  • What was the usual penalty?

Posted by & filed under Compensation & Benefits, Diversity, Human Resource Management.

The labor productivity of Canada (production per hour of work) is much lower than the other industrialized countries. It has increased an average of 0.5% since 2005 compared to an average of 2.1% in U.S. Unemployment rate among Canadians born in Canada is 7.5% compared to 15.8% for Immigrant population who is in Canada for less than five years. While a few professional associations have started considering foreign credentials, a lot more needs to be done since there are 440 Canadian regulatory bodies. Canadian hiring practices needs to be revamped, and immigrant education and experience needs to be considered, so that their hiring can lead to decrease in employment and subsequent increase in Canadian productivity.

Questions:

  1. How should Canada harness the immigrant talent?
  2. Do you think the increase in immigrant population in Canada is having a positive or negative impact to the Canadian economy?
  3. Canada’s major employment is in retail and services industry. Should more consideration be given to these industries when evaluating immigrant applications?

SOURCE: Rita Trichur, “Productivity woes aggravated by failure to hire new immigrants” The Globe and Mail online http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/growth/productivity-woes-aggravated-by-failure-to-hire-new-immigrants/article2220379/ )

Posted by & filed under Communication, Environment, Ethics, Social Responsibility.

The 2011Corporate Social responsibility report (CSR) of Wal-Mart Canada shows many positives. Reporting on the four categories of CSR—Environment, People, Ethical sourcing and Community, Wal-Mart posits that its policies has benefitted local Canadian businesses, encouraged organic baby food and discouraged child labour. However, the article suggests that these positives can also be drawbacks depending on how you look at it. For instance, is organic food really better than normal food?—such questions need to be clarified to get a true picture of CSR.

Questions:

  1. Mention some more actions that firms incorporate to show a sense of corporate social responsibility?
  2. Would you agree with the author’s controversial statements on the Wal-Mart CSR report? Justify your opinion with examples.
  3. There is a fine line between what is right and what is not with respect to justification of social and ethical issues. As a corporate leader which path would you follow for your firm?

SOURCE: Chris MacDonals, “Walmart, CSR reporting, and moral grey zones” Canadian Business (Retrievable online at http://www.canadianbusiness.com/blog/business_ethics/55179–walmart-csr-reporting-and-moral-grey-zones)

Posted by & filed under Chapter 1 - Introduction, Chapter 10 - Third-Party Intervention, Chapter 13 - Future Issues, Chapter 8 - The Collective Bargaining Process, Chapter 9 - Strikes and Lockouts.

Description: Air Canada flight attendants are unhappy after an arbitrator imposed a contract they had previously rejected.

Source: The Toronto Star

Date: 11/07/2011

Link: http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1082475–arbitrator-imposes-deal-that-air-canada-s-flight-attendants-rejected?bn=1

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Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the steps that took place after the flight attendants rejected the most recent tentative agreement.
  • Why did the arbitrator impose the terms of the second contract on the parties?
  • What did the two sides ask for during the arbitration?
  • The arbitrator found that government intervention did not harm the union. Do you agree?
  • The arbitrator also found that the imposed settlement is similar to what would have been decided if the collective bargaining process had been allowed to run its course. What do you think?

Posted by & filed under Chapter 1 - Introduction, Chapter 10 - Third-Party Intervention, Chapter 13 - Future Issues, Chapter 8 - The Collective Bargaining Process.

Description: A proposal to use arbitration in first contract negotiations has the Nova Scotia opposition warning of job losses.

Source: Canadian Business

Date: 11/02/2011

Link: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/55287–nova-scotia-premier-plays-down-labour-law-threat-to-jobs-and-investment

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What is first contract arbitration?
  • Why do unions seem to favour it?
  • Why do employers seem to oppose it?
  • Which arguments do you find most persuasive?
  • How does this compare to the arbitrations ordered by the federal government recently?

Posted by & filed under Entrepreneurship, Environment, Global Management.

While U.S. was hit by a recession and Europe was under severe debt, Canada’s economy grew by 3.1% last year, 9th largest in the world. The ranking was based on 11 factors such as property rights, innovation, technology, corruption and so on. It compared 134 countries. Canada is among the top 5 in investor protection and lack of red tape which shows that it’s easy to start a business in Canada and it has also improved in its tax standing from last year. While U.S. is ranked 6th in terms of innovation and patents/ capita, Japan has the highest corporate tax rate.

Questions:

  1. What factors would you consider are mostly responsible for Canada’s growing economy?
  2. How has introduction of HST in Ontario and BC affected Canada’s tax standing?
  3. Do you think corruption is one of the causes for some countries to suffer despite high GDP?

Source: Associated Press, “Canada ranked best company for business” Financial Post  (Retrievable online at  http://business.financialpost.com/2011/10/04/canada-ranked-best-country-for-business/)