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Harvard Business Case Study for unit three

Harvard Business Case Study for unit three - Harvard...

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Harvard Business Case Study for unit three: Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. , by Robert G. Eccles and David D. Lane (May, 2008). Heidrick& Struggles International, Inc. is one of the largest U.S. recruiting firms.The company has approximately 380 headhunters filling Chief Executive Officer (CEO),Chief Financial Officer (CFO), director, and other high-level positions for companies. Itis organized into specialized search groups by industry, and it is operating in more than25 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Heidrick&Struggles International, Inc. also provides temporary placement, managementassessment, and professional development services. The company¶s revenue in 2007was at all time high and all measures of productivity were up. Despite the rosy picture,there lays a simmering problem of massive upheaval on the basis of demographicopportunities, shifting customer needs and the challenges posed by technology-drivenalternatives.This paper will attempt to identify the problems of Heidrick& Struggles International,Inc. and provide recommended approach to resolve the problem. History and Issues The executive search business emerged in the 1940s as an offshoot of managementconsulting. By the late 1940s, six of the eight leading firms in the world were founded.Up to the 1990s, the industry was relatively small and controlled by private partnershipswith high fixed cost. In 2008, the fragmented industry was dominated at the high end byfive global firms. A variety of regional and boutique players competed in certaindomains with these industry leaders, followed by thousands of smaller search firms.The five market leaders differentiated themselves from smaller firms primarily on the basis of their ability to serve multinational clients on a global basis, and by their focus onexecutive and specialist positions (Eccles and Lane, 2009).Heidrick& Struggles International, Inc. was founded in 1953 by Gardner Heidrick andJohn Struggles. Heidrick& Struggles quickly grew to serve national clients in 1957 andinternational clients in 1968. In the 1980s, all 11 of Heidrick& Struggles offices were inthe U.S. and Europe. Its search consultants had never met as a single group;consultants saw the firm as a franchise business, not as a global firm; and all Heidrick&Struggles consultants were considered generalists: they have no specialization bypractice. In 1983, Heidrick& Struggles International was set up as a separate entity tomanage the European operations, but it was later merged with the domestic operations,Heidrick& Struggles, Inc. In 1999, the company made an initial public offering (IPO),listing on the NASDAQ exchange as Heidrick& Struggles International, Inc. (HSII).In 2008, Heidrick& Struggles characterized itself as ³the world¶s premier provider of senior-level executive search and leadership consulting services,´ and focused on³building the best leadership teams in the world.´ Heidrick& Struggles managersbelieved that emphasizing senior-level search business created access and influencewith top decision makers, increased the probability
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