Transforming Human Resources at Novartis: The Human Resources Information System (HRIS) Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


Novartis is a renowned name in the world of research and development for more than a decade. The company has gone through different phases that led it to the level where we see it today. These phases are not only confined with the evolutional changes from the products side but has also provided us innovative managerial practices that has formed a number of success stories in the memoir of company.

The name Novartis is not an original one as it is a resurgence of new thought given by the highly skilled executive of three different pharmaceutical companies those are CIBA, Geigy and Sandoz. The basic purpose for to become a corporation is to move the company in to a high performance corporation. Although each company was performing well on its side from the perspective of finances but to increase the promptness of growth, this idea was highly encouraged by the CEO of Sandoz.

Novartis’s aim has been to create advanced solution for the treatment of vicious diseases and to bring desirable living facilities to the society in terms of health. The company highly appreciates people to come and invest their money and time in the company and also assures them that their investment will prosper.

The corporation is primarily divided into two main portions in terms of revenue generation. The first unit is allocated to its pharmaceutical side that serves company by providing 66% of its entire earnings and the other one is to its consumer benefits and health whereas it gives 34% sales to the company. These combine units possess more than 70,000 employees from in more than 139 countries of the world.

Issues and Problems

After becoming a huge company it needs a highly efficient and effective information system that could manage its vast human resource in a well-organized way. Since its formation as a corporation, they went through from old ways of doing things to its advance applications. Every process is being renewed to enhance productivity and quality of work. Without applying any strategic model company shifted from past practices to present ways of working. Now the world of Novartis requires well organized information system to actively manage its highly skilled human resource’s information.

It is clear to the CEO of the company that introducing HRIS would reduce most of their HR activities and defines various tasks to different executives which bring swiftness in the organizational performance. Bringing a system that could change entire hierarchical system of HR is not going to be an easy task for the CEO of the organization.

The current HR system possesses lope-holes regarding basic organizational framework that will create huge mess-up of various activities in the organization which would ultimately result in the low performance and communication gap across the organization. Implementation of a system that covers every facet of the organization regarding human activates, related to their performance on work, their ins and out in the workplace, activities involving in their succession planning training, and the most important of all is to create the system that provides an up to dated know-how of what human resources company possess and what it needs to get from within and out-side the organization.

Current HR practices

The current HR practices in the company are not sufficient to manage company’s intellectual proficiently where as they were working well in the post-merger units of individual companies. Although there are other innovative moves have been taken under this system which is related to performance and talent management processes in the company. Current HR system has also introduced some managerial development programs and models like fast action for result to increase the organizational productivity.

To get extraordinary results from the workers it is highly dependent on the HR system to establish particular set of goals and objectives according to the skills and abilities of different individuals who are going to perform a specific task. Without ignoring the fact that the work must have to be completed in a given timeline by following FAR system established by current HR system

The purpose of HR activities is to be well aware of the company’s human resources that whether they are sufficient for the work or the company is facing some deficiencies of skilled workers in some specific areas. Novartis believe that a skilled manager could be a potential leader for which they need to spend greatly on the development of their manager and to evaluate them periodically on various grounds according to the task assigned to them....................

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In 2003, Norman Walker, head of HR at Novartis received approval from the government for the implementation of global human resources information system (HRIS). While Walker has made significant progress in transforming function HR, most of their efforts were transactional, not strategic. In the case of the successful implementation of HRIS to change the role and responsibility of not only the organization of HR, but how it adds value to the company. Since its formation in 1996, Dan Vasella, CEO, transformed the organization from one with a slow functional silos in high performance company. His goal was to make Novartis »premiere machines talent for 2005." New Global HRIS is a key element in this transformation. Was clear, Walker, it is a major organizational change effort, not just IT. Walker Case describes the changes already made and a set of tasks to be solved for the new project HRIS. «Hide
by Charles A. O'Reilly, Irene van Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business 21 pages. Publication Date: January 14, 2002. Prod. # : HR22-PDF-ENG

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