This vignette highlights a company in Santa Clara, California named SeaMicro. SeaMicro builds servers (computers that do the data processing for a network). Its specialty is the use of small, energy-efficient computer chips such as those that might operate a smartphone or a notebook computer. These processors are combined with custom-made hardware and software that enable them to deliver plenty of computer power for today’s Web-based applications while using far less energy. SeaMicro’s strategy is based upon innovation, and as such, it needs an organizational structure and work design that support creative thinking and rapid response to customers’ needs. It set up teams that bring together employees from different functions. The teams are constantly engaged in experimentation, so team members need the chance for face-to-face interaction that would be impossible if the company offshored manufacturing to Asia. Human resource managers at SeaMicro link strategy to work design and work design to a variety of HR practices. They must identify and hire creative thinkers who also have good skills at collaborating as part of a team.1.
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