SECTION – A
1. “Regardless of industry type, size or location, the companies are faced with critical challenges of change, intellectual capital, technology, and profitability through growth and globalization.” How do you see the changing role and importance of managing
Human Resources in the newly ‘emerging business scenario. Elaborate and explain with suitable examples.
2. What is the importance and role of Selection Tests ? Briefly describe various types of Selection Tests employed by the organisations.
3. What is an ‘Assessment Centre’? What are the internationally recognised elements and essentials for a process to be considered as ‘Assessment Centre’? Explain with relevant examples.
4. What is the importance of ‘Focus’, ‘Structure’ and ‘Functioning’ as principles in designing ‘HRD System in an organisational setup ? How and why are the boundariesof HRD changing in today’s business scenario ? Explain with examples.
5. Write short notes on any three of the following :
(b) Training – A strategic function
(c) Wage structure in India
(d) Reward Systems
(e) Mediation and Litigation
SECTION – B
6. Read the case and answer the questions given at the end:
Mr. Ravi Saxena passed his B.Sc. in 1972 and joined a commercial bank in theclerical cadre. He served there for three years. He was not happy with the job prospects , and wanted a better deal in life. He quit the job in 1975 and joined Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur. He obtained his post-graduate qualification in Personnel Management, and thereafter took up a job with a large public sector organisation in Pune as a Trainee Officer in the Personnel Department. He was confirmed as a Personnel Officer after the completion of training with the company in 1978.
The Personnel Department was headed by a Manager. Next in the management hierarchy was one Deputy Manager followed by two Assistant Managers and six officers in the department. They were supported by a battalion of office and clerical staff. Mr. Ravi was ,assigned the task of maintaining certain statutory documents. He was quite enthusiastic and wanted to bring about many improvements. His work, however, hardly provided any scope for originality. The bureaucracy never permitted any change
easily. Besides, at his level in the hierarchy he could not wield much influence on any matter. His salary and perks were however quite comparable to those in any other organisation and there was adequate freedom and security of job. Though he was not very happy he tried to reconcile himself to his job.
When Sukhdev Industries Limited, Pune, advertised for the post of “Senior Personnel Officer”, he decided to apply for the post. He had reasons to do so inspite of the fact that he was reasonably comfortable in the public sector organisation. Firstly, Sukhdev Industries was a leading company in the private sector; secondly, the Personnel Manager of the company was due to retire shortly and the incumbent of the new post was to replace him in due course; thirdly he would have a much broader span of work
and would be able to implement many of his ideas which he could not do in the public sector organisation because of the bureaucratic element that prevailed there and fourthly, the job was in Pune itself and the problem of dislocation was minimum. He responded to the advertisement and got selected. He joined the organisation in early 1985.
SIL is an engineering industry engaged in the fabrication of heavy structural engineering works. It has a turnover of over Rs.40 croers and an employee strength of over 2000. The company has the reputation of being a high-profit industry. It has a very low profile so far as personnel policies are concerned and maintained steady growth over the past decade. The company is managed by a family of industrialist which is known for their shrewdness and business acumen. The management had expressed their desire to professionalise their entire organisational structure.
The company had a work force of 1700, out of which 1000 were permanent employees and over 700 employees were temporary workman. The Personnel Department was engaged most of the time in hiring these temporary hands on a continuous basis. The strategy adopted was to hire temporary persons, retain them for a period of 7 months and then terminate them. (If a temporary is retained for more than 240 working days in a year, he is deemed to have become a permanent employee as per rules). The same temporary employee could be re-employed after a gap of a few months.
Mr. Ravi studied this situation. He thought that it was an enormous waste of effort to co-ordinate the engagement of temporaries and discontinue them on such a large scale on a continuous basis. Besides, he thought, a sense of belonging could not exist among the workmen if they are employed on a hire-and-fire basis.
He prepared a proposal suggesting to discontinue this practice. He submitted a well written note to the. Personnel Manager, who had a very progressive outlook on personnel matters. The Personnel Manager informed him that in SIL such decisions were beyond the jurisdiction of the department and that he could only send the proposal to the Vice President who normally deals with such matters. Accordingly, the notewas forwarded to the Vice President.
There was no response from the Vice President who was known for his grip over the company’s administration ) and controlled it very tightly. He used to take quick decisions on matters reffered to him. By practice, the managers knew that if there was no response from him, it meant that he was not interested in the proposal, and the managers generally did not venture to follow up the matter.
Mr. Ravi however sent a note to the Vice President indicating his desire to discuss the matter with him. In the meanwhile he had also worked out details of another scheme offering to encourage self-study by the employees. According to it an employee
could undertake higher education and seek career advancement. This, he thought, would motivate the employees as their energies would find a new and useful outlet. Mr. Ravi was called for a meeting with the Vice President. The Personnel Manager
was also invited to be present. Mr. Ravi briefly explained the salient features of the two schemes he had proposed. He contended that they would bring a major change in the IR situation of the organisation. The Vice President indicated that both the proposals
were immature and unrealistic, though he agreed that they were good proposals on paper. He asked Mr. Ravi to be more realistic and pragmatic in his approach rather than take decisions, on academic merits. In support of his statement he asked him to go through the facts and figures with the help of Mr. Godbole. Mr. Godbole gave Mr. Ravi a few relevant facts : the average efficiency of a permanent employee in the company was 48%, while that of temporaries was 85%. The productivity of an employee came down as soon as he was confirmed on the job. There was hardly anything that the company could do in the matter in the then prevailing labour situation. This was proven with the cases of a few employees who were confirmed in the past few months. Hence, in the interest of labour productivity it was necessary to maintain the temporary operatives. The company could manage the work quite well as the skill required was not of a high level in a majority of the cases. A temporary operator could pick up the required skill level in a few days. It was only the will to work which was required.
As regards the self-education scheme, the Personnel Manager asked him to go through the personal docket of selected workmen. Mr. Ravi went through them and found a file of Mr. Jadhav whose case was as : He had joined the company canteen as a helper 16 years ago after his SSC. He worked sincerely, and was confirmed in the regular service of the company 10 years ago as a server. He was a sincere and hard working person. There was absolutely no problem with his work. He enrolled himself in an evening college in 1.973 and completed his B.A. In 1978. He was extremely happy and immediately put up an application seeking a white collar job as a clerk or an assistant in the commercial department. He felt that would be a more suitable job for him. The management looked into his case.
Mr. Jadhav was drawing a salary of Rs. 1600 by virtue of his long service. The clerical job which he was looking for could be filled up by a fresh graduarte on a salary as low as Rs.700 to start with. His long service was not of any use in his new assignment.
His application was rejected. There was no openings at the supervisory level in the canteen. Thus, there was no way in which he could be given a promotion or a white collar job.
This had very serious repercussions on Mr. Jadhav ‘s performance. In 1979 there were complaint of his misbehaviour with his supervisor and lack of interest on the job. He was suspended for 3 days in 1980. Today ; he is a thoroughly disgruntled worker
since his aspirations linked to his new qualification could not be met with. There were several other such cases of dissatisfied employees.
The company management rightly feared that undue encouragement for self-study may have grave consequences as their aspirations could turn out to be unrealistic.
This apprehension was confirmed by the feedback from other organisations which. had encouraged such schemes and were having a bitter experience with several cases of dissatisfaction among employees. Hence keeping a low profile was better. The
management, finally maintained that encouraging employees to go in for higher courses was to invite trouble.
Mr. Ravi was thoroughly confused and disillusioned. He wondered whether what is thought and taught to be good can’t be so in practice. There were more and more instances proving to the contrary. .He had come across several cases of managers who made themselves redundant by developing their juniors, and had to quit the organisations. After all, who wants to pay a fat salary to a Senior executive and retain him if a junior in the department can do his job? The end justified the means in many private commercial organisations.
1. Why did the Personal Manager who understood the situation not explain it to Mr. Ravi ?
2. Was he right in sending Mr. Ravi’s proposal to the Vice President?
3. Is the Vice President an orthodox executive or is he a pragmatic person who hadadapted his style according to circumstances ?.
4. What should be Mr. Ravi’s next course of action under the circumstances ? Should he reconcile himself to the situation ? If so, how ?