Human resource development in organizations

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Reference no: EM131395


1. Explain the various challenges faced by present day Human Resource Development in organizations.

What are the key characteristics of Strategic HRM?

2. What are the objectives of performance appraisal? What factors can distort the fair appraisal of performance of employees? How can these be minimised? 

3. What is 'Job Evaluation'? How organisations can successfully implement performance- related pay structure to motivate employees and improve their performance?

4. A leading software company in India requires to fill up the Position of Chief of raining. Suggest suitable recruitment and selection method exclusively for this position only.

Case Study - The Wilderness Training Lab

Claudia, a successful 33-year old corporate marketing executive, found herself in the mountains preparing to climb a rope ladder attached to a tree. When she reached the top of ladder. She would fall off backwards. It wouldn't be an accident. No. She was not suicidal or deranged. She was participating in an executive development program called The Wilderness Training Lab.

            At the Corporate office, she was known as independent, smart, and tenacious business women. She moved quickly up the corporate ladder from product research assistant to brand manager. Claudia had a reputation for micromanaging her subordinates and being a loner. When asked about these issues, Claudia replied, "When I was in college, I had a lot of group projects. At first I went along with the group decisions and trusted others to do a good job, even though I felt anxious about putting my grade in the hands of someone else. It seemed to be a good way to get along in the group. Those projects received mediocre grades, and I am only satisfied with being the best. Then I started to take over the leadership of every group I was in. I developed the plan , decided who would do what and what the time lines were, and always took on the most difficult and complex part myself, all the time making sure that others were doing what they were assigned. From then on my group projects always got an 'A'. I carried those lessons with me into the workplace, and I have had good success here too. Maybe it rubs some people the wrong way, but it works for me. The only trouble I am having is keeping up with all my projects. Some of the other brand managers want to work with me on joint projects, but I don't have time. Besides probably they just want me to do their work for them or steal my ideas. The VP of marketing will be retiring soon and only one of the seven brand managers will get that job. What is in it for me if I collaborate with them? Let each of us sink or swim on our own merits."

            A few months ago, the VP of marketing, sandy Clines, set down with Claudia to discuss career plans. Sandy had always praised and encouraged Claudia's work, but this time he was little reserved. He suggested rather in strong terms, that she attended a Wilderness Executive Development Program. Claudia hesitated because of her workload and pending upcoming projects. Sandy said, "Well I leave this decision up to you. The director training and I have looked at your strengths and what you will need at the next level as an executive. Technically you are very strong, but more important at the next level is building good interpersonal relationships. The training director recommended this program for you. But as I said I will leave this decision up to you."

            Claudia wondered what he thought was wrong with her interpersonal relationships. She had great relationships with customers, with outside vendors and in her personal life. Relationships with her subordinates and peers needed to be different. She needed to be firmer and less flexible with them. Didn't She?  She did not think she had bad relationships with her subordinates and peers. They never complained to her. However, Claudia decided that Sandy wanted her to attend the Wilderness program.

            In the training camp she found a diverse group of men and women executives from all parts of US. Many confided that they had been sent by their organizations to "Learn how to be more effective in groups" most of them indicated they were interested and eager, but a little nervous about what was expected of them. They soon found out. They were divided into groups of 10 and taken out on the "course". The first exercise was climbing the 'trust ladder'. The program director explained that the group members would have to rely on each other quite a bit during the coming week. To demonstrate that the group can be trusted, each person was to climb the top of ladder and fall backwards into the group, who would catch the person in a proper manner. He showed them how. After every one completed the exercise, they discussed risk-taking, building and trusting one's support systems, being a part of support system and communicating one's needs. Then came more challenging exercises, building and using rope bridges to cross-a stream, water rafting and - the most challenging of all - scaling a 3 foot wall. The front of the wall was sheer and smooth. On the other side was a platform on which two people could stand at about waist level with the top of the wall, and from which extended a ladder to the ground.

            Everyone had to scale the wall and no one could stand on the platform until he or she had scaled the wall. The event was timed and the groups were in competition with each other. The first thing a group had to do was to develop a plan. Strong and tall people were needed to boost the others to a point where they could pull themselves over. Some stood on the platform to and helped those who were not strong to pull themselves over. It was clear that the first people over. Another problem was the last person over. Everyone except the last pair would have 'spotters in case of a fall and last person would have no one left to boost him or her to the top. Someone would have to act as a human rope, hanging down from the top so that last person could climb up him and over the wall. Therefore the last person would have to be light but strong enough to boost the second -to- last person up and climb up the human rope.

            In order to determine the order, the group member needed to share one another their strengths and weaknesses. Claudia wanted to be the last person so she could make sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to do, and also because the as the last person over the wall, she would represent the group's successful completion of this exercise. Two of the strongest men in the group confessed to having injuries that would hamper them. Claudia realized that her tennis elbow would be a great liability. When it came to her turn to discuss her strengths and weaknesses she was honest about her injury and indicated she would fit best somewhere in the middle. Where many people could help her.

            When Claudia's turn to climb came, she called out to those on top what to expect - where she could not put much strain and how she would indicate that someone was pulling too hard. Then she was being pushed up with spotters all around her, and the next thing she knew she was over the wall.

            Later when the members discussed the event, Claudia asked what impact her limitations caused in the group. Those who had been pullers replied "none" they said that because she told them about the problem ahead of time, they knew what to do.

            While getting packed to go home, Claudia thought about how much she had learned about herself and her relationship to other people, especially at work. She recognized that she generally failed to trust others to do their part and so she was being not as effective as she could be. Her success came at a high price because of the extra workload she imposed on herself. In addition, s is that behaviour really in my or my company's best interest? She knew she would have a lot to think about on the trip home. She wondered," what was the price paid by my subordinates? How have my actions affected their attitudes and performance? Do I need to be so competitive with my peers?


1. Do you think Claudia was suitable for promotion to VP marketing from the position of Brand manager? How has the MDP -The Wilderness Lab prepared her?

2. Has the program successful in improving interpersonal relations skills of Claudia? How?

3. Explain what other MDPs could have been useful to Claudia?


1. What do you understand by Industrial Relations? Explain various approaches to IR and discuss some factors that influence the Industrial Relations climate in any organization.

2. Why should a manager be concerned about employee grievance? Define the process of collective bargaining. Discuss, "Collective bargaining assumes collective wisdom of both     labour and management"

3. In today's globalized economy retention of professionals has become key responsibility of HR function in all types of firms. Why? What strategies you suggest to reduce employee turnover?

4. Write short notes on:

 a) Key statuary provisions regarding health, safety and welfare of labour

 b) Quality of work-life.  


K.U. Naik is the Managing Director of Sri Ram Pharmacy, a medium-sized pharmaceutical firm. He holds a MS degree in pharmacy and has been managing the company since its inception in 1990. For more than two decades, the company has been doing reasonably well. Recently, Mr. Naik has noticed that the workers are not working to their full potential. They fill their days with unproductive activities and work only for the sake of wages. Since last one year, the situation has become quite alarming as the several key professionals have resigned and left and there is growing unauthorized absenteeism in some sections. As a result of falling production and productivity the organization has to begun to crumble under the weight of uneconomical effort. The situation demand prompt remedial measures to check the detrimental trend. Mr. Naik understands that the only way to progress and prosperity is to motivate workers through better human relations and various incentive schemes.

            Mr. Naik asked the HR manager what the problem with the workers was. "We pay the highest in the industry. Our working conditions are excellent. Out fringe benefits are the best in the industry. Still the workers are not motivated. Find out what the workers really want. Unless productivity improves we are doomed."

            The HR Manager made a detailed investigation and concluded that the wages and working conditions also need improvement and besides there are other factors. "I have found out from the workers that work and efficiency go unnoticed and unrewarded in the company. The promotions and benefit plans are tied to the length of service. Even unproductive workers enjoy all the benefits in the organization, which according to the workers should go only to those who work hard. As a result more and more workers are joining the bandwagon of non-performers. This has become quite alarming as workers refuse to perform.


1. Analyse the problem in depth and find a solution.

2. If you were the HR manager how would you change the organization climate for motivation and performance?

Reference no: EM131395

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