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Code_HRMT20026(HT1, 2019) STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCEMANAGEMENT Case Study – Carlsberg Group

Code_HRMT20026(HT1, 2019) STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCEMANAGEMENT Case Study – Carlsberg Group

A major part of the Human resource is to regulate the performance of the employees and the
company. Creating a space where the employees can produce great work and perform to the best
of their ability is not an easy task because of which the organisations tend to develop and
implement certain strategic HR policies that lead to effective performance (Heffernan et al,
2016). Effective performance management includes effective leadership, constructive feedback
teamwork and also interpersonal relationships. The purpose of this report is to discuss and
analyse the HR trends in global companies and the development of HR strategies by Carlsberg.
The Carlsberg group was founded in 1847 in Copenhagen. This company employs more than
41,000 people and deals into more than 500 variants of beer. This report investigates how the
“winning behaviour” was considered as a strategic concept by the top management at the
Carlsberg group. In Denmark, China and Malaysia, interviews were conducted, observations
were made to collect relevant information for analysis. The local managers at Carlsberg tried to
expand the meaning of “winning behaviour “by giving it more sense. This process of developing
a new strategy concept while also considering the social-cultural context was facilitated by the
HR department in headquarters and the communication department who played an essential role
in the development of “glocal strategy process “(Olson et al, 2018)
Strategic HR priorities pursued by Carlsberg.
The core values of the Carlsberg group were the “winning culture”, being innovative,
responsible, ambitious and honest. What sets the company apart from the competitors is that it
strives to attain the right balance by working closely on a global scale while allowing the local
brands to flourish. At Carlsberg, the HR priorities are pursued with the aim to work together and
stronger, to win, to make sure that the consumers are the heart of every decision taken by
company’s management, to make a difference and engage with the society (Bratton & Gold,
2017). Carlsberg HR strategy which was labeled with “winning behaviour “in all the markets
where the company operates from. From their perspective, this HR strategy will act as a
guideline for how the business should be done and how global alignment will be attained while
also making sure that the consumer requirements are met. This strategy will help the brand to
grow and flourish. the winning behaviour strategy will be a visible part of the company’s
identity. Corporate communication and human resource management plays a vital role in the

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development of this strategic policy in the social-cultural integration process (Delery & Roumpi,
The rationale for implementing the ‘Winning Behaviours’ strategy
The human resource department at Carlsberg group develops a plan for training the employees,
recruitment, compensation and to enhance the performance of the employees so that the goals
and objectives of the company are met. Such strategies ensure a greater chance of Organisational
success. Rather than just focusing on internal issues of the company, strategic human resource
management at the Carlsberg group emphasizes on solving certain problems like what impacts
performance related issues in the long run globally. This the main importance of the strategies
implemented by the Carlsberg group is that it will help the employees to strengthen their skills
and abilities which will further be used to enhance their performance and focus on business
problems. Winning behaviour strategy implemented by Carlsberg group was based on the
concept of “must win battles which includes developing a group culture, growing the brands
made, developing the skills and capabilities of people, driving profitability in the beer industry.
Higher emphasis was gibe to taking the lead in the beer industry. The new strategy of winning
culture was somewhat uncomfortable to accept because of the word winning in the culture as it
was incompatible with the current culture of the company (Bratton & Gold, 2017). The rationale
of implementing winning behaviour strategy was that it focused on five essential factors like
together the employees and the management of the work will be stronger, encouraged to make a
difference in the society, the aim is to win, keeping the consumers in mind while taking any
decision regarding the product or service, and also to make sure the level of engagement with the
society is high (Zhong et al, 2016). The intention of the top management at Carlsberg was to
align the winning behaviour with the current business strategy of the company. Apart from this,
the management needs to consider the local needs of the people, their interest and constraints
while implementing this strategy (Stone & Deadrick, 2015). The winning behaviour strategy was
basically influenced by the combination of a local and global way of thinking.
Carlsberg's 'Winning Behaviours’ strategy aligned with other HR
The business strategy of a company focuses on how it aims to succeed in the market place and
how can it attain competitive advantage (Shields et al, 2015). The strategy helps to establish the

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guideline which will help the organisation to beat the competition and meet the consumer needs.
Business strategy and marketing strategy are two different things. Business strategy needs to
consider the changing need of consumer, resources required and performance of the employees.
the aim should be to align the HR strategies or practices with Organisational strategies so meet
the competitive demands (Collings et al, 2018). The integration between the business strategy
and human resource strategy is closely linked because the organization’s human resources are
utilized more frequently and help them to attain competitive advantage. Strategic human
resource has become essential for successful formulation and implementation of business
strategies (Bal et al, 2015). With effective planning, the organisations match the available
resources, with the current needs and requirements consumer and then the need for strategy
implementation. Alignment of human resource strategy and business strategies is required on a
regular basis and it also requires active participation from the employees to ensure progress
(Delery & Roumpi, 2017). The alignment will help to minimize the potential risks related to the
business. Carlsberg’s intention was to align the HR strategies with the company global business
strategy and integrate its approach to HRM. The approach was communicated via brochures,
posters and on the website. The management made sure to share the strategy with the teams
around through seminars and workshops. A set of ten leadership competencies was used for the
performance management process which was then linked with the engagement service and
business review. For example, the employees will attain rewards on the basis of their behaviour
(Martin et al, 2016). The employees were also provided with training from the Carlsberg
leadership academy and also from the international talent program that supported the managers
in the initial stage of their career. At the country level, the behaviours were adapted in Malaysia
which is a multicultural company with different ethnic groups. Due to the local culture,
Carlsberg Malaysia made certain changes to align the leadership, production of Malaysia. The
winning behaviour strategy was termed as FAST which means fearless, ambitious, smart and tea,
which was started to encourage the people to work together efficiently (Shen & Benson, 2016).
The aim was to make sure that the employees at Carlsberg Malaysia are well aligned with the
local traditions.
Difficulties faced by Carlsberg
Some of the challenges which were faced by the Carlsberg group were the translation of winning
behaviour into the local languages. Every place has its own culture own values according to

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which the employees work (Albrecht et al, 2015). There are chances that the employees at
Malaysia consider winning behaviour with different goals and the employees at Copenhagen
with different goals. This will happen because of their cultural values which also impact their
way of thinking. So, it will become difficult for the Carlsberg group to set common goals
globally (Chadwick et al, 2015). Secondly, the company might face problems in selling alcohol
in predominantly music countries because of their cultural values and beliefs. due to the
conservative nature of the Muslim society and their values advertising beer or any another
alcohol is a problem, some places have already banned selling and advertising and some places
tax heavily for sales and promotion of alcohol. Thus, Carlsberg will have to bear the cost of
advertising in such countries (Noe et al, 2017). Thirdly, winning behaviour emphasizes more on
corporate social responsibility and its initiatives are welcomed by the subsidiary. But this
requires to keep the consumer needs and requirement in mind before taking any decision
regarding the product service (Greene, 2018). To adhere to the changing demands of the
consumer can be another challenge for the company.


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