Human Resources at the AES Corporation: The Case of the Missing Department

By Jeffrey Pfeffer
2004 | Case No. HR3 | Length 27 pgs.
AES develops and operates electric power plants all over the world, and by late 1996, has approximately 20,000 employees. But, the corporation has no human resources staff, either at corporate headquarters in Arlington, VA, or in any of its operating facilities. Moreover, the company has very little centralized staff at all, little or no strategic planning, no environmental department, and almost no legal staff. The question is: Could and should the company continue to operate in this same way, with little specialized staff, as it continues to expand and geographically diversify? Another question is: How had the organization been able to be so successful without developing and relying on specialized expertise?
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