Victoria Corti Maderna
Universidad San Andrés Argentina
Acindar Foundation, driven by the company’s founder Arturo Acevedo had engaged in comprehensive educational, health and environmental activities for 40 years, carrying out Acindar’s corporate social policies. A family-owned business, Acindar was one of Argentina’s leading steel companies. After the 2001-2002 Argentine economic crisis, it had yielded its controlling stake to a new investor -Belgo Mineira, a Brazilian company of Austrian origin. However, Arturo Acevedo (Jr.), the founder’s grandson, had kept his managerial position as company CEO and President.
Over the years, two key factors had basically shaped Acindar’s Human Resources (HR) management: first, the company’s permanent growth, which had led to additional facilities and acquisitions of new plants, increasing headcount to around 3,000 people, and, second, the almost unending labor conflicts resulting from social and union-related unrest that shook the country over the second half of the 20th century.
In 2004, Acindar Foundation’s activities largely focused on the communities were company plants were located. Its strategy was clearly externally-oriented, and its interactions with corporate operating management, particularly with the HR area, were scarce. The case depicts the changes resulting from the incorporation of the new shareholders to the company, and how they reflected on Foundation’s management and the corporate HR area. The triggering factor was an initiative to develop a Corporate Volunteer Program, similar to the one Belgo Mineira had implemented in Brazil, a project that integrated Foundation, corporate and H.R. management efforts at each production plant.
Case analysis focuses on the challenges posed by the launching of a Corporate Volunteer program during a period featuring significant shifts in corporate strategy and management, brought about by the company’s ownership change.
This case may be used in Human Resources Management courses that zero in on defining HR’s field of action, the relationship between HR management and corporate foundations in community activities, and the management changes in both areas resulting from the arrival of new shareholders with a different vision regarding social work and Human Resources.