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ASSIGNMENT DRIVE: SPRING 2014


SIKKIM MANIPAL UNIVERSITY-DDE
Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester III
MU0012- Employee Relations Management-4 Credits
(Book ID: B1734)
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Q. No. 1. Define Strategy. Describe the different strategy levels in an organization 10
Definition of Strategy ( Unit 2) 2
Explain the different strategy levels in an organization 8

Ans: - Definition of Strategy Johnson and Scholes define strategy as The direction and
scope of an organisation over the long-term; which achieves advantages for the organisation
through its configuration of resources within a changing environment, to meet the needs of
markets and to fulfil stakeholders expectations.1

The main levels of strategy of an organisation are:
Corporate level strategy: It frames the overall business direction and goals.
Business-unit level strategy: It specifies the methods the organization uses to compete in
particular markets.
Functional level strategy: It outlines the strategy of individual departments and
divisions like finance, marketing, etc.
People strategy: It matches an organisations activities with its resources.

Different Strategy Levels in an Organisation

Organisations have different levels of strategic decision making. Although these levels
are inter-related, each one of them has its own scope and reach. The different levels of
strategy in an organisation as follows. Let us now examine each level of strategy that
exists in an organisation in detail.
Corporate Strategy: It is usually devised at the board level and defines the overall
mission, the management of the business portfolios, the priorities of each business unit,
the structuring of the business, the methods of financing the business, the mergers,
alliances and acquisitions to be made.
Corporate strategy is influenced by the external environment, the people and systems
within the organisation, the organisation structure, and resources within the
organisation, the current values of the organisation and the expectations and objectives
of the organisation.

Corporate strategy examines internal (within the company) and external factors
(competitors, clients, customers), frames a new vision for the organisation and aligns
policies, practices and resources to achieve that vision. It provides an overall direction
to the organisation.
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According to Johnson and Scholes, corporate strategy can be evaluated by the following
criteria:
Suitability, Feasibility, Acceptability

Business Strategy: It deals with the methods an organisation uses to compete in
particular markets, the opportunities that an organisation identifies or creates, the
products or services to develop, the customers that an organisation targets.
According to Porter (1985), the three basic factors that influence the decision-making process
are:
Cost leadership: It aims to offer lower costs than the competitors without lowering
quality.
Product differentiation: It tries to achieve industry-wide recognition that the different
products and services of the company are superior in quality when compared to that of
the competitors.
Specialisation by focus: It tries to establish a niche market.

Functional Strategy: It is concerned with how the different units of the business
transform corporate and business strategies into operational goals. The different
kinds of functional strategy are marketing strategy, production strategy, finance
strategy, research and development strategy and so on.
The different kinds of functional strategies are
Marketing strategy: It deals with pricing, selling and distributing a product.
Production strategy: It deals with what products to produce (issues like new
products for existing markets or products for new markets), the production
chain, etc.
Finance strategy: It aims to align the financial management of an organisation
with its mission and goals. The decisions to be made are regarding budgets,
liquidity issues, credits, cash flows, loans, capital investments, etc.
Human Resource Management (HRM) strategy: It deals with managing an
important asset of the organisation its work force.
R & D strategy: It deals with issues like innovation and development of new
products, and the addition of new features in existing products.
People Strategy: People strategy aims to match the activities of an organisation with
its human resources. An effective strategy for people management is vital to the success
of an organisation.
It aims to
Ensure that the employees are satisfied with their jobs, working environment,
rewards and career prospects.
Develop employee commitment by motivating them to move beyond contractual
obligations to emotional commitment. This develops a strong sense of loyalty to the
organisation and its customers.
Manage organisation culture by concentrating on the important cultural aspects of
the organisation.
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Q. No. 2 Define Organizational Culture. Discuss the dimensions of organizational
culture. Explain Charles Handys classification of organizational culture
(Unit 3)
Definition of organizational culture 2
Explain the dimensions of organizational culture 5
Explain Charles Handys classification 3

Ans: - Definition of organizational culture: - Organisational culture describes the
psychology, attitude, experiences, beliefs and values of an organisation.
According to Hill and Gareth (2001), organisational culture is defined as the specific
collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organisation and
that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the
organisation.

(Triece and Beyer, 1993)- Organizational culture represents an ideology of the organization
as well as the forms of its manifestation. The ideology of the organization includes beliefs,
values and norms. It is manifested through symbols, language, narration and other
activities

(Wilkins and Ouchi, 1983).- Organizational culture is the set of shared philosophies,
assumptions, values, expectations, attitudes and norms which bind an organization
together. It helps a company to implement its strategies effectively

Explain the dimensions of organizational culture: -
National, religious and cultural groupings affect the organisational cultures. The different
dimensions of organisational culture are as follows:
Power distance: This is the degree to which there are differences in levels of power.
A high degree indicates that some individuals have more power than others. A low
score shows that people have more or less equal rights.
Risk avoidance: It reflects how the much organisation is willing to take risks.
Individualism versus collectivism: Individualism refers to the extent to which people
stand up for themselves. Collectivism refers to the interdependence of individuals in
a group.
Gender differences: It concerns the traditionally accepted male and female values.
For example, male values include competitiveness, assertiveness and ambition.
Long- versus short-term orientation: Perseverance is emphasised in long-term
orientation while immediate profits are emphasised in shortterm orientation.
Charles Handys classification: Charles Handy (1972) classifiedorganisational
culture as follows:
Power culture: Power lies in the hands of a few people. Few rules and a little
bureaucracy are present, but decisions are quickly taken.
Role culture: A highly defined hierarchical structure is present. The position decides
the power wielded.
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Task culture: Teams are formed to solve problems. Expertise of a person decides the
power of the individual. Such organisations have a matrix structure.
Person culture: Every individual believes that they are superior to the organisation.
Such organisations cannot succeed.


Q. No. 3 Define Disciplinary procedure. Explain the various factors to be
considered while analyzing a disciplinary problem (Unit-6) 10
Definition of Disciplinary procedure 2
Explaining the factors in analyzing a disciplinary problem 8
Ans:-
Definition of Disciplinary procedure: - Disciplinary procedure is a step-by-step
process which an organization follows while dealing with indiscipline of any kind.
An action taken by an employer to correct serious performance issues. Disciplinary
procedures are necessary in cases where the actions of the employee are habitual,
dangerous, costly, or illegal.
It is a good practice for organisations to establish a proper disciplinary procedure in
order to ensure just decisions. A disciplinary procedure includes a formal system of
documented warnings and hearings, with rights of representation and appeal at each
stage. Disciplinary procedures have to be fair and transparent in order to avoid legal
complications. Caution has to be taken as disciplinary procedures have to be directed
against the employees behaviour rather than the employee themselves.

Factors in analyzing a disciplinary problem:-
All disciplinary actions have to be fair and impartial. The nature and the impact of the
misconduct have to be analysed before any disciplinary action is taken. The following
factors have to be considered while analysing a disciplinary problem:
Seriousness of the problem: Consider the severity of the problem.
Insubordination is more severe than reporting late to work.

Duration of the problem: Analyse if there have been any past violations and the
period over which it is happening. First-time violations are dealt with in a
different manner compared to violations which have been repeated for the third
time.

Frequency of the problem: Examine if the current problem is a part of a pattern
of disciplinary infractions. Continual violations require more severe
punishments.

Extenuating circumstances: Examine if there are any external factors which are
leading to the indiscipline. Reporting late to work due to the illness of a family
member has to be dealt with more leniently than reporting late to work because
of oversleeping.
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Degree of familiarisation: Find if the employee causing the problem has been
familiarised with the rules and procedures of the organisation. Consider if the
violator knows the organisational standards of acceptable behaviour.
Organisations that have formalised written disciplinary rules are more justified
in enforcing discipline than organisations that only have informal and unwritten
rules.

History of the organisations disciplining practices: Find how similar
misconducts have been dealt with in the past. Find out if the organisation has
consistent disciplining practices. Impartial treatment of violations requires
certain benchmarks.

Management backing: Ensure that the higher authorities back the disciplinary
process. Disciplinary actions are not effective if they are over-ridden by the
upper levels of the management.


Q. No. 4 What do you mean by Human Resource Information System (HRIS)?
Describe the various modules of HRIS. Discuss some of the HRIS
software.- Unit-5 10
Definition of HRIS 2
Explain any five modules of HRIS 5
Describe any three examples of HRIS software 3

Ans: -
Definition of HRIS; - Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) is a software
application that caters to the human resource information needs of an organisation like
monitoring employee attendance, payroll and benefits administration, career
development, employee information, performance management, and training.
HRIS is a collection of components which work together to gather, process and store
information that the HR department can use to make decisions, to coordinate and to
plan its activities. HRIS facilitates easy access and management of employee-related
information.

Any Five modules of HRIS
Payroll: This module of HRIS keeps track of the pay grades and positions of the
employees. Pay raise details are also recorded. This module gathers information on
employee time and attendance. It calculates the deductions and taxes and generates pay
slips and tax reports. Cheques get automatically deposited in the employee bank
accounts. Inputs for this module are obtained from HR and time-keeping modules. This
module integrates with the current financial systems of the organisation.

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Benefits administration: This module tracks and administers employee benefit
programmes. The benefit programmes include insurance, reimbursements, profit
sharing and pension programmes.

Training: This module administers and tracks employee training and development
programmes. Records of employee education, qualification, and skills are maintained. It
also outlines the training courses and training materials (CDs, books, web-based
learning programmes, etc), which help employees develop their skills. Courses can be
planned and scheduled using the data stored. Managers can approve training and budgets.

Performance appraisal: This module evaluates the job performance of employees in terms of
quality, time and cost. This helps in analysis of employee strengths and weaknesses and
suitability for promotions. It gives feedback to employees on performances and identifies
employee training needs. It also documents criteria which can be used for
organisational rewards.

Work time: This module helps to track the work done by the employees. This module merges
the functions of work management and time management across a wide range of activities that
include project, tasks, requests and deployment. This module maintains attendance and leave
details of employees, which are exported in various formats for further processing.

Aany three examples of HRIS software
There are many HRIS software available in the market today. Some of them are listed
below:
Sage Abra HRIS: It has modules for benefits enrollment, benefits messenger,
recruitment, employee self-service, payroll, HR features and training features. It
simplifies routine employee management tasks, ensures compliance with
government regulations, keeps track of employee attendance, makes recruitment
more effective, automates employee training and updates employees on benefit
programmes.
Oracle HRMS: This has different modules for HR, payroll, training
administration and time management. Oracle HRMS supports application
processing, employee profiling, career development, and management of
compensation and benefit plans.
SAP HR: This has modules for personnel administration, recruitment, training,
time management, payroll, compensation management, budget management,
travel management and personnel development.

Q. No. 5 As an HR of a Company, you are asked to focus on the causes of
Grievance and the Grievance handling procedure. What according to you
are the reasons of Grievance? Explain the pre-requisites you will consider
while addressing Grievance handling procedure 10


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Explain the causes of Grievance 4
Explain the essential pre-requisites of a Grievance Handling procedure 6
(Unit-7)

Ans; -
Causes of Grievance; - Grievance may be defined as a complaint or resentment against
any unjust or unfair act. Grievance is any issue associated with an organisation or its
management such as employee discrimination or harassment by managers.

Reasons for grievances
There are a number of causes of employee grievances. Some of the reasons are as
follows:

Economic: Issues related to wages like wage calculation, overtime, and bonus.
Employees often feel that they earn less than what they deserve.

Working environment: Issues related to the employees work environment like poor
working conditions, defective equipment and machinery, tools, materials.

Supervision: Issues like behaviour of the boss towards the employee, perceived ideas of
partiality, discrimination, preferential treatment, prejudice.

Work group: Issues with co-workers like stressed peer relations or inaptness with peers.

Work organisation: Issues related to the organisation like rigid and unfair rules and
lack of recognition.

It is not always the case that the organisation is at fault. There are times when the
grievances are due to the employees. Some of the instances where grievances of
management are against its employees are the following:

Disobedience on the part of employees
Going on leave without prior permission, absenteeism
Indiscipline
Illegal strikes
Wrong conclusions
Go-slow tactics
Improper methods adopted by the trade unions in dealing with management
Arrogant behaviours of the employees
Reckless charges by the employees. trade union leaders against the supervisors
or management
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Whatever the cause of grievance, efforts must be put in to find out the best possible
solutions or methods of settling grievances. For that purpose, there should be an
effective grievance redressal procedure.


The Essential pre-requisites of a Grievance Handling procedure:-
Every organisation needs a methodical grievance redressal procedure in order to
resolve grievances effectively. Unresolved grievances may end in the form of aggressive
conflicts later on. We have learnt about the various steps of grievance redressal
procedure and the policies associated with it. Let us now familiarise ourselves with the
essential pre-requisites of grievance redressal procedure for it to be sound and
successful. The prerequisites are as follows:

Conformity with statutory provisions: Due thought must be given to the laws of
the land while formulating the grievance handling procedure.

Clarity: Every aspect of the grievance handling procedure has to be clear and
definite. All employees have to know whom to approach first when they have a
grievance, whether the grievance is to be written or oral, and the maximum time
in which the redressal is guaranteed. The redressing spokesperson also has to
know the limits within which the employee can take the required action.

Simplicity: The grievance handling procedure has to be simple and short. If the
procedure is complex it may discourage employees and they may fail to make
use of it in a proper manner.

Promptness: The grievance of the employee has to be quickly handled and
essential action must be taken at once. This is good for both the employee and
the management because if action is delayed or deferred, it may affect the
confidence of other employees as well.

Training: The manager and the union representatives need appropriate training
in all matters of grievance handling so that no complications arise during the
grievance handling process.

Follow-up: The personnel department needs to keep track of the efficiency and
the performance of the grievance handling process and make necessary changes
to improve it with time.
Other prerequisites:-
-Know the contract.

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-Make sure that meetings with employees to handle complaints are held in
accordance with any contract provisions that regulate the time and/or location
for such meetings.

-Develop good listening and note taking skills.

-Be prepared to spend the time to get the evidence and testimony to support
your case and to refute management's case.

-Treat all employees fairly and consistently.

-Do not make judgments about the case to the employee or anyone else until you
get the facts.

-Keep good records of all transactions, oral and written, that occur from the time
a complaint is brought to you until the case is resolved in the grievance
procedure or in arbitration.

-Know who, when and how to ask for help.


Q. No. 6 Write a brief note on the following: - unit 4
a) Trait theory
b)ERG theory
Meaning and concept of Trait theory 5
Meaning and concept of ERG theory 5


Ans: - Meaning and concept of Trait theory: -

The measurement of consistent patterns of habit in an individual's behavior, thoughts,
and emotions. The theory is based on the stability of traits over time, how they differ
from other individuals, and how the will influence human behavior.

This theory uses traits (characteristics) to distinguish between leaders and non-leaders.
The traits that indicate strong leadership are as follows:

Intelligence: This refers to the mental ability of a person and is only a moderate
predictor of leadership. The Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of a person can be used as
a qualifier for high management jobs, but once the high position is attained, an
effective leader also displays good levels of Emotional Intelligence (EI). EI helps
a leader to empathise with the emotions of others. Many people feel that Carly
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Fiorina, the ousted leader of Hewlett-Packard, had a high IQ, but a low empathy
for the people around her and ignored the human aspects of her decisions.

Extraversion: Extraverts have higher social and interpersonal skills. They are
more energetic, assertive and self-confident. As extraverts are more dominant,
they emerge as natural leaders. For example, Steve Ballmer, the CEO of
Microsoft, is an extraverted leader.

Conscientiousness: Conscientious people are organised, dependable, systematic,
punctual and achievement oriented. They take initiative and are persistent in all
they do.

Openness: People who are open to new ideas and try new things become
effective leaders.

Self-esteem: People with good self-esteem assess their worth and capabilities in
a more positive manner. Leaders with high self-esteem are more supportive to
their subordinates. People with higher selfesteem are more confident and have
greater charisma.

Integrity: Effective leaders display honesty and integrity. Such leaders are more
trustworthy.


Meaning and concept of ERG theory

To bring Maslows need hierarchy theory of motivation in synchronization with
empirical research, Clayton Alderfer redefined it in his own terms. His theory is called
the ERG theory of motivation. He re-categorised Maslows hierarchy of needs into three
simpler and broader classes of needs:

Existence needs: These include need for basic material necessities. In short, it
includes an individuals physiological and physical safety needs.
Include all material and physiological desires (e.g., food, water, air, clothing,
safety, physical love and affection). Maslow's first two levels.

Relatedness needs: These include the aspirations individuals have for
maintaining significant interpersonal relationships (be it with family, peers or
superiors), getting public fame and recognition. Maslows social needs and
external component of esteem needs fall under this class of need.
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Encompass social and external esteem; relationships with significant others like
family, friends, co-workers and employers . This also means to be recognized
and feel secure as part of a group or family. Maslow's third and fourth levels.

Growth needs: These include need for self-development and personal growth
and advancement. Maslows self-actualisation needs and intrinsic component of
esteem needs fall under this category of need.
Internal esteem and self actualization; these impel a person to make creative or
productive effects on himself and the environment (e.g., to progress toward one's
ideal self). Maslow's fourth and fifth levels. This includes desires to be creative
and productive, and to complete meaningful tasks.