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Human Resource Management of Interplay Entertainment

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Netra Shetty
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Human Resource Management of Interplay Entertainment - January 27th, 2011

The company was founded in October 1983[2] as Interplay Productions in Southern California with Brian Fargo as CEO. The first employees were the programmers Jay Patel, Troy Worrell and Bill Heineman who had previously worked with Fargo at a small video game developer called Boone Corporation.[3]

The first projects were non-original and consisted of software conversions and even some military work for Loral Corporation.[2]

After negotiations with Activision, Interplay entered a $100,000 contract to produce three illustrated text adventures for them.[2] Published in 1984, Mindshadow, is loosely based on Robert Ludlum's Bourne Identity, and The Tracer Sanction puts the player in the role of an interplanetary secret agent. Borrowed Time which features a script by Arnie Katz' Subway Software followed in 1985.[4] These adventures built upon work previously done by Fargo: His first game was the 1981 published Demon's Forge.[2][5] Interplay's parser was developed by Fargo and an associate and in one version understands about 250 nouns and 200 verbs as well as prepositions and indirect objects.[6] In 1986 Tass Times in Tonetown followed.



Two other factors make HR outsourcing even more attractive. Firstly, from

a demand perspective, the trend towards smaller organisation scale combined with a

growth of contracted-in labour means that organisations have less “employees” to

manage. Second, on the supply side, the proliferation of “management consultants”

provides a buoyant source of contracted-in personnel/HR services.

The contributions to this special issue

The five selected empirical papers presented in this Special Issue which represent a

mix of the quantitative and the qualitative and the strategic and operational focus on,

inter alia, how organisations distribute HR activities among internal and external

agents, role dissonance among middle line managers who have significant devolved

HR responsibilities, the changing nature of the HR function in a post-merger scenario,

outsourcing and in-sourcing in managing HR supply chains and the diffusion of

information technology in HR service delivery. Combined, the papers offer insights on

the changing anatomy of the HRM function against the backdrop of a dynamic

contemporary organisational landscape.

Fundamental to generating understanding of this anatomy is an exposition of who

the relevant HR agents are and whether and how they combine and exchange in

different ways in the execution of their HR responsibilities. Our first paper by Mireia

Valverde and Gerard Ryan of Universitat Rovira i Virgili and Ceferi Soler of ESADE

tackles this issue. The authors argue that increasingly HRM is not the sole

responsibility of the HR department, but rather a mix of internal and external agents

who combine to share HR activities and responsibilities in relatively diverse ways.

Despite this emerging development of a partnership of multiple agents acting in

consort, the authors note the lack of any sophisticated models of HR agents in the

literature suggesting that it is in this regard prescriptive with an emphasis on what

different stakeholders should do as opposed to what they actually do. Consequently,

they seek to test the proposition on the existence of a unique organisation HR agency

model derived from the mix of agents carrying our HR activities in each organisations,

and the limits to it, using a survey among Spanish organisations. Using principal

component analysis and clustering techniques, the results point to a total of seven

agency mix models as follows: HR as a shared function among internal agents; HR as a

shared function led by top management; An agent for each job and a job for each agent;

Partial outsourcing of a wide range of HR activities; Outsourcing specialised activities

and sharing generalist responsibilities; HR function as the exclusive domain of the HR

department; and the HR function as the domain of the HR department supported by the

line. Having identified these unique clusters of the distribution of HR activities among

internal and external agents, the authors then seek to identify whether there are

significant contextual factors influencing the mix of responsibilities. Here, sector, size,

structure, technological system, organisational history, employee characteristics,

environment, culture and the characteristics of the HR function all failed to reach

statistical significance and the proposition that similar types of HR functions would be

found in organisations with similar contextual characteristics was not supported.



Hierarchy of strategy
Another aspect of strategic management in the multidivisional business organization
concerns the level to which strategic issues apply. Conventional wisdom identifies
different levels of strategy – a hierarchy of strategy (Figure 2.3):
1. corporate
2. business
3. functional.



Corporate-level strategy
Corporate-level strategy describes a corporation’s overall direction in terms of its
general philosophy towards the growth and the management of its various business
units. Such strategies determine the types of business a corporation wants to be
involved in and what business units should be acquired, modified or sold. This
strategy addresses the question, ‘What business are we in?’ Devising a strategy for a
multidivisional company involves at least four types of initiative:
establishing investment priorities and steering corporate resources into the most
attractive business units
42 Human Resource Management
Human resource management: philosophy, policies,
programmes, practices, processes, relationships with managers,
non-managers, trade unions, customers and suppliers
Corporate-level strategy
What business are we in?
Business-level strategy
How do we compete?
Functional-level
strategy
How do we support
the business-level
competitive strategy?
Figure 2.3 Hierarchy of strategic decision making
Contextual
factors
Product market
Capital market
Labour market
Technology
Government
policies
European Union
policies
North American
Free Trade
Agreement
policies
Stakeholder
interests
Corporate management
Business
unit 3
Business
unit 2
Business
unit 1
Manu- Finance
facturing
Human
R&D Marketing resources
initiating actions to improve the combined performance of those business units
with which the corporation first became involved
finding ways to improve the synergy between related business units in order to
increase performance
making decisions dealing with diversification.
Business-level strategy
Business-level strategy deals with decisions and actions pertaining to each business
unit, the main objective of a business-level strategy being to make the unit more
competitive in its marketplace. This level of strategy addresses the question, ‘How do
we compete?’ Although business-level strategy is guided by ‘upstream’, corporate-level
strategy, business unit management must craft a strategy that is appropriate for its
own operating situation. In the 1980s, Porter (1980, 1985) made a significant contribution
to our understanding of business strategy by formulating a framework that
described three competitive strategies: cost leadership, differentiation and focus.
The low-cost leadership strategy attempts to increase the organization’s market
share by having the lowest unit cost and price compared with competitors. The
simple alternative to cost leadership is differentiation strategy. This assumes that
managers distinguish their services and products from those of their competitors in
the same industry by providing distinctive levels of service, product or high quality
such that the customer is prepared to pay a premium price. With the focus strategy,
managers focus on a specific buyer group or regional market. A market strategy can
be narrow or broad, as in the notion of niche markets being very narrow or focused.
This allows the firm to choose from four generic business-level strategies – low-cost
leadership, differentiation, focused differentiation and focused low-cost leadership –
in order to establish and exploit a competitive advantage within a particular competitive
scope

Miles and Snow (1984) have identified four modes of strategic orientation:
defenders, prospectors, analysers and reactors. Defenders are companies with a limited
product line and a management focus on improving the efficiency of their existing
operations. Commitment to this cost orientation makes senior managers unlikely to
explore new areas. Prospectors are companies with fairly broad product lines that focus
on product innovation and market opportunities. This sales orientation makes senior
managers emphasize ‘creativity over efficiency’. Analysers are companies that operate
in at least two different product market areas, one stable and one variable. In this situation,
senior managers emphasize efficiency in the stable areas and innovation in the
variable areas. Reactors are companies that lack a consistent strategy–structure–culture
relationship. In this reactive orientation, senior management’s responses to environmental
changes and pressures thus tend to be piecemeal strategic adjustments.
Competing companies within a single industry can choose any one of these four types
of strategy and adopt a corresponding combination of structure, culture and processes
consistent with that strategy in response to the environment. The different competitive
strategies influence the ‘downstream’ functional strategies.
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Re: Human Resource Management of Interplay Entertainment
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James Cord
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Re: Human Resource Management of Interplay Entertainment - March 26th, 2016

Quote:
Originally Posted by netrashetty View Post
The company was founded in October 1983[2] as Interplay Productions in Southern California with Brian Fargo as CEO. The first employees were the programmers Jay Patel, Troy Worrell and Bill Heineman who had previously worked with Fargo at a small video game developer called Boone Corporation.[3]

The first projects were non-original and consisted of software conversions and even some military work for Loral Corporation.[2]

After negotiations with Activision, Interplay entered a $100,000 contract to produce three illustrated text adventures for them.[2] Published in 1984, Mindshadow, is loosely based on Robert Ludlum's Bourne Identity, and The Tracer Sanction puts the player in the role of an interplanetary secret agent. Borrowed Time which features a script by Arnie Katz' Subway Software followed in 1985.[4] These adventures built upon work previously done by Fargo: His first game was the 1981 published Demon's Forge.[2][5] Interplay's parser was developed by Fargo and an associate and in one version understands about 250 nouns and 200 verbs as well as prepositions and indirect objects.[6] In 1986 Tass Times in Tonetown followed.



Two other factors make HR outsourcing even more attractive. Firstly, from

a demand perspective, the trend towards smaller organisation scale combined with a

growth of contracted-in labour means that organisations have less “employees” to

manage. Second, on the supply side, the proliferation of “management consultants”

provides a buoyant source of contracted-in personnel/HR services.

The contributions to this special issue

The five selected empirical papers presented in this Special Issue which represent a

mix of the quantitative and the qualitative and the strategic and operational focus on,

inter alia, how organisations distribute HR activities among internal and external

agents, role dissonance among middle line managers who have significant devolved

HR responsibilities, the changing nature of the HR function in a post-merger scenario,

outsourcing and in-sourcing in managing HR supply chains and the diffusion of

information technology in HR service delivery. Combined, the papers offer insights on

the changing anatomy of the HRM function against the backdrop of a dynamic

contemporary organisational landscape.

Fundamental to generating understanding of this anatomy is an exposition of who

the relevant HR agents are and whether and how they combine and exchange in

different ways in the execution of their HR responsibilities. Our first paper by Mireia

Valverde and Gerard Ryan of Universitat Rovira i Virgili and Ceferi Soler of ESADE

tackles this issue. The authors argue that increasingly HRM is not the sole

responsibility of the HR department, but rather a mix of internal and external agents

who combine to share HR activities and responsibilities in relatively diverse ways.

Despite this emerging development of a partnership of multiple agents acting in

consort, the authors note the lack of any sophisticated models of HR agents in the

literature suggesting that it is in this regard prescriptive with an emphasis on what

different stakeholders should do as opposed to what they actually do. Consequently,

they seek to test the proposition on the existence of a unique organisation HR agency

model derived from the mix of agents carrying our HR activities in each organisations,

and the limits to it, using a survey among Spanish organisations. Using principal

component analysis and clustering techniques, the results point to a total of seven

agency mix models as follows: HR as a shared function among internal agents; HR as a

shared function led by top management; An agent for each job and a job for each agent;

Partial outsourcing of a wide range of HR activities; Outsourcing specialised activities

and sharing generalist responsibilities; HR function as the exclusive domain of the HR

department; and the HR function as the domain of the HR department supported by the

line. Having identified these unique clusters of the distribution of HR activities among

internal and external agents, the authors then seek to identify whether there are

significant contextual factors influencing the mix of responsibilities. Here, sector, size,

structure, technological system, organisational history, employee characteristics,

environment, culture and the characteristics of the HR function all failed to reach

statistical significance and the proposition that similar types of HR functions would be

found in organisations with similar contextual characteristics was not supported.



Hierarchy of strategy
Another aspect of strategic management in the multidivisional business organization
concerns the level to which strategic issues apply. Conventional wisdom identifies
different levels of strategy – a hierarchy of strategy (Figure 2.3):
1. corporate
2. business
3. functional.



Corporate-level strategy
Corporate-level strategy describes a corporation’s overall direction in terms of its
general philosophy towards the growth and the management of its various business
units. Such strategies determine the types of business a corporation wants to be
involved in and what business units should be acquired, modified or sold. This
strategy addresses the question, ‘What business are we in?’ Devising a strategy for a
multidivisional company involves at least four types of initiative:
establishing investment priorities and steering corporate resources into the most
attractive business units
42 Human Resource Management
Human resource management: philosophy, policies,
programmes, practices, processes, relationships with managers,
non-managers, trade unions, customers and suppliers
Corporate-level strategy
What business are we in?
Business-level strategy
How do we compete?
Functional-level
strategy
How do we support
the business-level
competitive strategy?
Figure 2.3 Hierarchy of strategic decision making
Contextual
factors
Product market
Capital market
Labour market
Technology
Government
policies
European Union
policies
North American
Free Trade
Agreement
policies
Stakeholder
interests
Corporate management
Business
unit 3
Business
unit 2
Business
unit 1
Manu- Finance
facturing
Human
R&D Marketing resources
initiating actions to improve the combined performance of those business units
with which the corporation first became involved
finding ways to improve the synergy between related business units in order to
increase performance
making decisions dealing with diversification.
Business-level strategy
Business-level strategy deals with decisions and actions pertaining to each business
unit, the main objective of a business-level strategy being to make the unit more
competitive in its marketplace. This level of strategy addresses the question, ‘How do
we compete?’ Although business-level strategy is guided by ‘upstream’, corporate-level
strategy, business unit management must craft a strategy that is appropriate for its
own operating situation. In the 1980s, Porter (1980, 1985) made a significant contribution
to our understanding of business strategy by formulating a framework that
described three competitive strategies: cost leadership, differentiation and focus.
The low-cost leadership strategy attempts to increase the organization’s market
share by having the lowest unit cost and price compared with competitors. The
simple alternative to cost leadership is differentiation strategy. This assumes that
managers distinguish their services and products from those of their competitors in
the same industry by providing distinctive levels of service, product or high quality
such that the customer is prepared to pay a premium price. With the focus strategy,
managers focus on a specific buyer group or regional market. A market strategy can
be narrow or broad, as in the notion of niche markets being very narrow or focused.
This allows the firm to choose from four generic business-level strategies – low-cost
leadership, differentiation, focused differentiation and focused low-cost leadership –
in order to establish and exploit a competitive advantage within a particular competitive
scope

Miles and Snow (1984) have identified four modes of strategic orientation:
defenders, prospectors, analysers and reactors. Defenders are companies with a limited
product line and a management focus on improving the efficiency of their existing
operations. Commitment to this cost orientation makes senior managers unlikely to
explore new areas. Prospectors are companies with fairly broad product lines that focus
on product innovation and market opportunities. This sales orientation makes senior
managers emphasize ‘creativity over efficiency’. Analysers are companies that operate
in at least two different product market areas, one stable and one variable. In this situation,
senior managers emphasize efficiency in the stable areas and innovation in the
variable areas. Reactors are companies that lack a consistent strategy–structure–culture
relationship. In this reactive orientation, senior management’s responses to environmental
changes and pressures thus tend to be piecemeal strategic adjustments.
Competing companies within a single industry can choose any one of these four types
of strategy and adopt a corresponding combination of structure, culture and processes
consistent with that strategy in response to the environment. The different competitive
strategies influence the ‘downstream’ functional strategies.
Hey friend,

Please check attachment for Study on Interplay Production, so please download and check it.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Study on Interplay Production.pdf (937.0 KB, 0 views)
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