Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Dota's Software Re Engineering Group: What's Going on in Your Department, Jimmy?

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Dota's Software Re Engineering Group: What's Going on in Your Department, Jimmy?

Article excerpt


The primary subject matter of this case concerns the critical Human Resource Management issues that arise in organizations. Specifically, the case focuses on the role played by legal and ethical concerns in formulating and implementing sound Human Resource Management policies for recruiting and selecting employees as well as creating a professional work environment.

A related issue examined in this case explores the impact of globalization on human resource management practices of recruitment, selection, and retention. The importance for managers to engage in effective International Human Resource Management practices in the context of an outsourcing/off shoring strategy to countries like India is highlighted.

The case can be used to discuss a number of secondary issues such as, effective leadership from top management, Line vs. Staff issues, organizational culture, the power and influence of HR in organizations, group dynamics among top managers, and the need for effective communication of HR policies in organizations.

This case has a difficulty level of three or four and is best utilized with juniors and seniors in the latter half of the semester in a Human Resource Management course. It can be taught in two hours of class time and should require four to five hours of outside preparation by students.


This case describes events taking place at Digital Omega Tech Alpha (DOTA) Information Services. This company has been in business for 17 years and employs around 90 people in its Providence, Rhode Island headquarters. Senior DOTA managers actively work to identify organizations that are facing challenges in communicating and effectively interfacing with various stakeholders (typically employees, customers, clients, suppliers, and regulatory agencies, etc.). After doing a needs analysis, DOTA typically proposes software solutions to handle collection of the relevant data from important internal and external stakeholders for easy retrieval, analysis, and display for the decision makers in their client organization.

To continue expanding, DOTA opened an office in Delhi, India in 2002, and has been offshoring design and programming work to that office. However, the India office has been experiencing high turnover among employees and managers, and several major projects for important clients are stalled there. Although top DOTA managers are keenly aware of what is happening in their India office and the need to address it, they have become distracted by an EEOC investigation of sexual harassment at DOTA. The EEOC representative has also been asking questions about DOTA's recruitment and hiring policies in the Providence, Rhode Island office and is poised to broaden the investigation into other HR practices in the company. Various Equal Employment Opportunity laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, American Disabilities Act, as well as Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures issued jointly by the EEOC and other federal agencies are salient to the case.

The case raises a variety of legal and ethical HR issues and highlights the tension and difference in perspectives that can occur between top managers. The case suggests that neglecting HR issues can potentially undermine the overall strategy of a business. The case has been successfully used in HR class discussions as well as for take- home case analysis projects.


Mike Thompson experienced feelings of shock and dismay as he reflected on the very tense meeting with two of his key managers, James Applebee and Lisa Connors. As President and CoFounder of Digital Omega Tech Alpha (DOTA), Thompson prided himself on creating a culture of professionalism, fairness, and equal opportunity in the company.

Thompson wondered where he had gone wrong. This morning he had learned that, a number of his female employees viewed the culture at DOTA as being hostile to women and a third female employee had filed charges of sexual harassment. …

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