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Fair and Lovely Illusion of a Murky Knowledge Studio*

CASELET, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
ET Cases - GSMC, 6 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Shweta Jha and Srirang Jha, Apeejay School of Management, New Delhi

Case Preview

Fair and Lovely Illusion of a Murky Knowledge Studio

 

New Girl on the Block

Namita was elated after receiving an offer letter from Knowledge Studio1, a Mumbai based organization. Knowledge Studio is a trusted player in training and simulator manufacturing for marine industry across the world. It was after clearing a battery of interviews and psychometric tests that she finally got selected as a Management Trainee in the organization. The company had advertised for two vacancies only and there were more than sixty applicants for the position. Hence, she had reasons to celebrate her success. She was greeted with warm smiles and a little party by her colleagues and seniors on the first day of her work. “And this is your visiting card. Welcome to the family,” said Manish, Senior HR Manager....................

 



1 Knowledge Studio is a fictitious name, although the narrative is based on real scenario faced by an identical company at the cusp of transition from traditional business model to technology-driven contemporary business paradigm. Names of actors in the narrative have also been changed to protect their identities.

Teaching Note Preview

Fair and Lovely Illusion of a Murky Knowledge Studio

 

Synopsis

Knowledge Studio’s case provides an opportunity to develop a holistic understanding of the typical HR issues in a family-run business. In this case, the readers and discussants get to know that higher compensation and parties at the drop of hat can hardly keep the employees involved and stay put for long when they are always troubled by ambiguity in roles, relationships, procedures and expectations. Too much of homely environment and excessive focus on results/outcomes work at cross purposes – enough to thump down professional star performers. The case opens a window of discussion on cost of employee turnover for family run businesses and why should they worry about doing course correction to retain their talented manpower.

This case can be used for understanding HR issues in family-owned business organizations. The case explores how employees get disenchanted with the homely environment at the workplace and nurture a thought of moving out of company, while withholding discretionary efforts in carrying out assignments. The case also helps explore the need of unambiguous HR policies and practices, role clarity, and reporting relationships. In absence of all these, employees are most likely to be frustrated............

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • • Develop an understanding of the consequences of an informal and ambiguous HR practices on employee dissatisfaction especially in context of family-run businesses
  • • Evaluate the direct and indirect cost of cosmetic employee engagement strategies
  • • Discuss the role of internal organizational communication on employee turnover
  • • Explore the cost of employee turnover

 

Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding/Before the Classroom Discussion

Participants should be encouraged to study the following books so as to make meaningful contribution to case discussion and analysis:

  • • Machado, C. and Davim, J.P. (2014), Work organization and Human resource management, Switzerland: Springer
  • • Kaslow, F.W.(2006), Handbook of family business and family business consultation: a global perspective, New Youk: Routledge
  • • Gopalkrishnan C, Muncherji, N. and Dhar, U. (2009). Creating wealth through strategic HR and entrepreneurship, New Delhi: Excel Books

 

Assignment Questions

  • I. Why is there a sudden exodus of star performers despite highly competitive compensation. (Here the instructor can facilitate the discussion towards the role of cosmetic employee engagement practices.)
  • II. What is the impact of weak/ambiguous organization communication on employee turnover?
  • III. ...............

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Product code: HRM-2-0049, HRM-2-0049A

Abstract

This case helps in understanding HR issues in a family-run business when the enterprise starts expanding and becomes big. It has been observed that informal HR practices, a characteristic feature of family-run businesses, continue even when the firm has established HR department and intends to have formal systems and practices in place. The present case highlights how star performers quit the company one-by-one as a result of a fluid HR management in spite of very competitive compensation packages, regular parties for employees and family-like work environment. The case also triggers discussion on the need for formal HR systems and practices, reasons behind employee turnover, cost of dysfunctional employee turnover, talent acquisition issues in family-run businesses and challenges of retaining and developing talented work force in such organizations to fuel growth as well as ensure sustained competitiveness.



Pedagogical Objectives
This case enables the participants to:

  • Develop an understanding of the consequences of the informal and ambiguous HR practices or employee dissatisfaction especially in context of family-run businesses
  • Evaluate the direct and indirect cost of cosmetic employee engagement strategies
  • Discuss the role of internal organizational communication on employee turnover
  • Explore the cost of employee turnover

Case Positioning and Setting
The case can be used for MBA/Executive MBA/Management Development programs in Human Resource/Strategic Human Resource Management course.


* GSMC 2016, IIM Raipur

This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Caselet
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)
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